What to watch this weekend (Oct 17-18)

If you thought last weekend featured the only big-time tussle in the bayou, think again. While this weekend’s college slate might at first glance pale in comparison to Florida-LSU, don’t be fooled. Three of the top-five teams in the nation square off against ranked opponents. If they’re not careful, they can easily be knocked from their perch. While the NFL powers-that-be separate themselves from the dregs of the league, two unbeatens go head-to-head in yet another bayou battle for supremacy.

bradford_mccoy_cotton_bowl-774153(20) Oklahoma at (3) Texas – (Saturday, 12:00 pm – ABC – UT minus 3.5)

After one bum shoulder and two Sooner losses, the Red River rivalry might not hold the anticipation it was supposed to at season’s beginning, but don’t tell that to the school’s alum. With losses to Miami and BYU, any Oklahoma hopes of returning to the BCS title game are pretty much out the window, but they can still win their conference and dehorn Texas whose championship hopes are alive and well. On the other hand, an undefeated season would earn Texas a first class ticket to Los Angeles in January. Texas won this matchup last year, but lost to Michael Crabtree and Texas Tech, denying them a title shot and opening the door back up for Oklahoma. Even though Bradford and Colt McCoy are the best of friends, the revenge factor in this game is big. Expect nothing but fierce competition and quality quarterback play at high noon on Saturday.

Iowa State football... 09/15/00(11) Iowa at Wisconsin – (Saturday, 12:00 pm – ESPN – Wisc minus 1.5)

Iowa is the only undefeated team remaining in the Big Ten. They’ve even beaten Penn State in Happy Valley. Yet they’re still inexplicably ranked eleventh in the nation behind Ohio State, LSU and Miami who all have one loss. No wonder people complain about college football polls. We’ll find out Saturday whether they’re appropriately ranked as they travel to Camp Randall Stadium to face the Badgers, who lost to Ohio State last week, 31-13. A win will give the Hawkeyes a stranglehold on the Big Ten until their November 14 matchup against Ohio State. A loss will mean the pollsters were right about Iowa all along.

jimmy-clausen(6) USC at (25) Notre Dame – (Saturday, 3:30 pm – NBC – USC minus 11.5)

The annual rivalry between two of the most storied college football programs has been a bit one-sided lately. The Irish haven’t beaten USC in seven tries. In those seven games, USC hasn’t scored less than 34 points! In their last two games, Notre Dame hasn’t even scored a touchdown. Most feel if Notre Dame has a chance of ending that streak, this would be the year. They’re playing in South Bend and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen remains a fixture atop most Heisman watch lists. He’s the nation’s most efficient passer. But on Saturday, he’ll be going up against the nation’s most efficient pass rush. Not only might a win help Clausen become the first Domer to win the award since Tim Brown, it would likely sink any chances USC has at a national title. Big East, Big Ten and at-large conferences should be watching this game intently as a USC loss may very well knock the Pac-10 out of the national championship conversation.

Georgia SCarolina Football(22) South Carolina at (2) Alabama – (Saturday, 4:45 pm – ESPN – Bama minus 17.5)

Can anyone stem the tide this year? The visor will give it his best shot Saturday evening. Alabama continues to amass victory after impressive victory, edging ever so closer to #1 Florida each week. Alabama has already beaten two ranked teams this season. They look to add a third notch to their bedpost as they host South Carolina Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. Despite a lengthy history against the Tide while wearing orange and blue, this will be the first time Steve Spurrier has faced ‘Bama as head coach of the Gamecocks. Earlier this season, South Carolina recorded only its second victory against a top five team in school history by beating Ole Miss. They’ll get another chance this weekend a little sooner than they would have liked.

jared-allenRavens (3-2) at Vikings (5-0) – (Sunday, 1:00 pm – CBS – MIN minus 3.5)

Three weeks ago, Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens were undefeated and looking like they were the cream of the AFC crop. Quoth the Ravens nevermore as this week, they’re on the verge of losing their third straight. Behind Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen, the Vikings look like serious Super Bowl contenders. 3-3 doesn’t necessarily mean the Ravens are out of contention but it will put them another game behind conference rivals Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and one game closer to the cellar-dwelling Browns.

eli-manningGiants (5-0) at Saints (4-0) – (Sunday, 1:00 pm – FOX – NO minus 3.5)

Will the best team in the NFC please stand up? We’re about to find out who that is on Sunday. The Saints and Giants are ranked first and second in the league in scoring differential. In layman’s terms, that means both teams have been consistently beating the tar out of their opponents. Eli Manning’s health (plantar fasciitis) is still a concern. As should be the fact that he’s never played a game in the Superdome despite his father’s many years of success in that same building. The over/under (total points scored) for this game is 47 is the highest of any game this week which means Las Vegas expects a shootout.

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20 Replies to “What to watch this weekend (Oct 17-18)”

  1. Chris

    That matchup between the Longhorns and Sooners will be a real eye opener. As too will the game between the Saints and Giants. Can’t say I wasn’t surprised at the result between the USF Bull and the Cincy Bearcats. The Bulls’ defense was downright atrocious. Nevermind the fact that Daniels threw 3 interceptions.

    Alan Parkins

  2. Back in 1993, I went to South Bend to watch SC take on ND. I bought a sweatshirt there…still have it. It showed the scores of the 10 consecutive ND wins. 1993 was the 11th. I think it’s only fair that USC win at least four more games so they can make a similar sweatshirt. Oh wait, who wears sweatshirts in Southern California?
    Incidentally, this was pre-GPS. We took a wrong turn in South Bend and ended up in the corn fields!

  3. Al.. I was hoping to see more of Pike but he went down at halftime with the injured wrist. I had a feeling Cincinnati was the better team and they proved it. Just took them a little while to get going.

    Cincy should run the table and then we’ll have an undefeated team in a BCS conference whining about not playing for the national championship.

    Cincy-Boise State would a classic matchup.

    But heck, Texas and either Florida or Alabama might also run the table.

  4. Elizabeth… USC has definitely got the better of Notre Dame lately. I know they’ve had more talent but at least 34 points in 7 straight is laying the wood.

    I have a feeling this one will be a little closer.

  5. I’d have to say that other than the UF game I am most looking forward to Georgia Tech – Virginia Tech. Tyrod taylor’s looked better but there is still something about him I don’t trust as a player and Georgia Tech’s Triple Option is just beautiful to watch when it’s clicking. With 277 rushing yards per game (just behind Nevada, Florida and Air Force) it is usually clicking. Saturday, 6:00 PM on ESPN 2. Check it out.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if GT pulled off the upset. Voters have Va Tech as one of the first one-loss, BCS teams (behind USC) if Florida/Bama or Texas struggle, so that would shake things up a bit.

    I’ll watch Notre Dame to see if they can put up a fight. I’ll also probably check out the fighting Spurriers to see if they can hang with Bama.

  7. Chris

    The ol’ ball coach has ‘bama this weekend I believe ? So it wouldn’t surprise me if he had one or two tricks up his sleeve for dear ol’ Nick Saban.

    The slew of college games this weekend in some ways they’re far better than what the NFL has in store for us all.

    Oklahoma vs Texas

    USC vs Notre Dame

    Wake Forest Clemson

    Miami vs Ohio

    Arkansas vs Florida

    Missouri vs OSU

    What more could a college football fan ask for ?

    Dropped this socio op-ed piece given what took place in Louisiana with that couple. By all means leave a comment if you wish. If not then I’ll understand if you choose not to.

    We’re Still Living In The Dark Ages …………..

    Alan Parkins

  8. Chris

    In light of the NFL and in particular Goodell professing the fact that he’d ultimately like to see a franchise back in South Cali’ . What do you think will ultimately happen- given the fact that Ed Roski has been clandestinely meeting with several franchises to see if they’re prepared to relocate there ?

    Dropped this piece on the subject. Bear in mind the California legislature voted on and approved a bill signed into law to get the ball rolling there.

    Just Because The Is In A Mess It Doesn’ Mean They Can’t Have Another NFL Team In Southern California ……….

    Alan Parkins

  9. Yeah, Al. I love a full slate of college games that starts at noon, continues all afternoon, then gives us a couple quality 8 o’clock games.

    I’ll make sure my bar is fully stocked.

  10. I don’t see the NFL expanding in this economy, Al. Besides, the teams fit way too neatly into their conferences. Four teams each in four divisions, like little chicks in a hen house.

    If they were to move a team to L.A., a city which has proven over and over again it won’t can’t support, who will it be? Jax?

    Whichever team they get won’t be any better than USC.

  11. Chris

    There’s money to be made in the greater LA market . And without an NFL franchise there the NFL can ill afford to be losing that type of revenue to the likes of the NBA and MLS.

    Los Angeles is the second largest as market in the US behind NY City. The state of California alone accounts of 26.5 % of the country’s GDP. So you’re still of the belief that it can’t sustain an NFL franchise. They can if it’s a winning product from the get-go. And it’s the immediacy of that which they seek . Not a start up franchise or some mediocre team such as Jacksonville. They will want a proven winner. It’s not rocket science just simple vanity on their part that’s all.

    Ultimately it will happen by hook or crook . As well know what the NFL wants it usually gets in the end. It’s just the way that they do business .

    Dropped this weekend College NFL piece.

    Games We Relish Well For Me It’s The Ones I’ll Like ………….

    Alan Parkins

  12. All I’m saying, Al, is that they’ve had NFL teams in the past and haven’t been able to support them.

    I don’t think the NFL would move a team there, even though it may want to, unless there are guaranteed ticket sales for several years up front.

  13. Chris

    I can guarantee you this if there’s a market there and there’s money to be made then the NFL will enter it , by hook or by crook. If the product there is a winning one to begin with then people will come. I mean what have they actually got in that market other than the pitiful Raiders ? It’s USC and if they could make an NFL franchise at the drop of a hat then I guess they would but they can’t. In all certainty the league will try and relocate a franchise there . Rather than putting out to tender a whole new entity to begin with.

    Dropped this on game 1 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Angels.

    Meltdown In NYC ………

    Could things have gotten any worse for the Phillies ? So many errors made in game two , that it in essence cost them the game.

    Alan Parkins

  14. Chris

    The Gators squeaked out of that one by the skin of their teeth. I’d be surprised if they’re still ranked #1 when the BCS poll comes out.

    Dropped this on the ALCS game between the Yanks and Angels from Friday night. The Angels after last night’s loss have themselves with an uphill task. That Izturis mistake was a costly one and it’s going to come back and bite them in the as_ !

    Meltdown In NYC …..

    Alan Parkins

  15. Al…

    I was so emotionally drained after watching the Gators play, I could barely focus on anything else. Or maybe it was the vodka.

    I watched ‘Bama ultimately handle South Carolina but couldn’t switch over to baseball mode.

    Maybe your boy Krukkie was right about A-Rod after all.

  16. Chris

    So Gaines Adams is now a Chicago Bears player ? All that for a second round draft pick ? What they couldn’t have traded him for a couple of bottle caps or some ring pulls off some Coke cans – or was that too steep a price to pay ?

    LOL,LOL ,LOL !!!

    Alan Parkins

  17. So the Bucs now are even lower under the salary cap than they were before?

    I understand they weren’t happy with Adams but that’s all they got?

    Work in progress is what I keep telling myself.

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