Football Follies 2015 – NCAA Week 4

Football Follies 2015 – NCAA Week 4
Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche, where he usually is. (This image from the 2014 season. Via Today's U)

Wheeeeee!!!!!!!  Redskins Redskins Redskins at Giants tonight.  Did we mention the Redskins?  Granted, we’re talking about the inexcusable NFC East, on which topic the normally deft Jason Gay succumbed this week to a meltdown verging on the look-away-can’t-bear-seeing-a-man-in-such-pain variety.

(He did prompt the talented Paul Antonson to design an entertaining helmet for his Mediocre Toads fantasy team – and that gives us a hook for featuring an LU Nation favorite, the aspirational, microaggressive, totally insensitive New York Jews ballcap designed by our own Howard Portnoy.  Never let it be said that your LU Football Commentary Service bypasses an opportunity to take the pulse of the culture.)

Bonus cultural update. A service of your LU Football Commentary Service.
Bonus cultural update. A service of your LU Football Commentary Service.

Giants at home are giving 3, although the Redskins will arrive with the one win the two teams have between them.  (As this goes to post – a few hours late, due to a back-end issue at the website – the Giants are way covering the spread.)

Cincinnati takes a little hop to Memphis tonight for an American faceoff.  Memphis gives 7 at the moment, and if that doesn’t blow the sand off your crevices, I’m not sure what will.  It’s a brave new world we’re in.

Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, has the weekend off.  (Houston next week.)

#15 Oklahoma is off as well.  The Sooners will be preparing to host West Virginia, pride of the Big 12.

New #24 Oklahoma State heads to Austin to take on Texas.  The Cowboy give of 3 is probably a tad pessimistic, but we can understand why bettors are leery of both teams.  We can expect a highly representative Big 12 game, in fact:  a hot mess, with everybody running around really fast, throwing things and dropping things, and little “defense” in sight.

Navy is off to seek its first road win against an American Conference foe, UConn.  Navy gives 7; the Huskies are 2-1, but looked seriously un-dominating in the wins over Army and Villanova.

Army, 0-3, will be at Eastern Michigan (1-2) – which did have the win over Wyoming, and gives 1-ish in the line.  Army could actually win this one.  Air Force has Saturday off, but will meet Navy for the first Commanders’ Cup match on 3 October.

Virginia Tech is off to Greenville to play the Hokies’ perennial nemesis of late: East Carolina.  Navy really did a number on the Purple Pirates last week, and the oddsquad has the Hokies giving 10.  For a scenario in which VT could lose, see the analysis here.  But although the Pirates have had a habit of putting the club to the mullet in the teams’ last few meets, we’re going with the bettors on this one.

Nevada will be at Buffalo on Saturday for the two teams’ second meeting ever.  The 1-2 Wolf Pack, still struggling for a post-Fajardo offensive groove, has shown sparks of competence on a few occasions so far; whereas Buffalo, quite honestly, hasn’t really showed much in getting to 2-1 (beating Albany and Florida Atlantic).  The oddsdudes have this as a pick ‘em.

#4 TCU will seek to dominate its own hot-mess Big 12 game in Lubbock, and we do expect Texas Tech to be the bigger mess.  (The Red Raiders letting Sam Houston State score 45 points on them in Week 1 was our first clue.)  Frogs give 6.5.

LSU has won its new #8 ranking fair and square, and isn’t likely to have a lot of difficulty defending it against Syracuse in the Loud House.  (These two teams last met in the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1989.)  Tigers give 24.

Kansas State, as noted by our correspondent NaCly Dog, has the week off.

Wyoming, now 0-3, isn’t given much of a chance, even hosting New Mexico at home.  The 1-2 Lobos were maybe a quarter of the way respectable in their 34-10 loss to Arizona State last week, and that’s enough to have them giving 3.5 heading to Laramie.

Obligatory

#1 Ohio State continues to not get much of a workout, hosting Western Michigan on Saturday.  Between the VT game in Week 1 and the Michigan State game on 21 November, the Buckeyes won’t play even one team that has recently been a true Power-5 contender.  We’re just mentioning that, not that we have even the smallest scintilla of unorthodox doubt about Ohio State’s ranking.

Michigan State has soared to #2 in the AP ranking, and although we’re a bit dubious, we’re not experiencing an existential meltdown or anything.  Saturday opponent Central Michigan won’t be stirring things up, in any case.  Spartans give 27.

AP puts Ole Miss at #3, and since the Rebels too will have a creampuff opponent in Vandy, AP is likely to be stuck with this lineup for at least another week.

#5 Baylor hosts Rice, so, once again, we don’t expect tremors in the Force.  Except for TCU, everybody up in the nosebleed section is giving dozens of points in the line.

That includes #6 Notre Dame, hosting Massachusetts, although not #7 Georgia, because they’re playing Southern (FCS, SWAC).

#9 UCLA collides with #16 Arizona in Tucson, a game that seems like it should have marquee-slot cachet, given its teams and prized Saturday night air time, but in fact feels oddly unimportant.  We’re not convinced either team belongs where it’s currently ranked.  Bruins give 3.

#10 Florida State is off this week.

Pickings are a bit slim in other games of interest, with a lot of lopsided matches still infesting the schedule this weekend.

In the non-lopsided, pretty interesting category, we figure Michigan has a good shot at covering its 5-point give in a home stand against #23 BYU.

San Diego State will be in Happy Valley on Saturday for a first-ever meet with Penn State.  The 1-2 Aztecs are slow off the mark this season; we’re going with the Nittally Lions’ 15-point give.

Friday night offers some cheap entertainment with Boise State heading to Virginia.  This is also a first-time match-up, in which the Broncos are giving a parsimonious 2.5.

Maryland and West Virginia, pride of the Big 12, will hold their rivalry meet in Morgantown on Saturday, Mountaineers giving 17.  San Jose State and Fresno State have their rivalry match this weekend, as do – right on schedule – Florida and Tennessee.  No goofy pieces of junk change hands in these storied gridiron negotiations, but we wish them all well.

Sudden Cal will be in Seattle giving 3 to the Huskies, and we’re as surprised as anyone about that.

Other ranks

In FCS, McNeese State hosts Mississippi College on Saturday.  The Choctaws are an out-of-conference opponent (Gulf South) coming in 2-1, with the loss to North Alabama.  McNeese State, 2-0, lingers in the teens in the rankings, clocking in at #17 this week in the FCS Coaches Poll.  80s and mostly clear for the 6 PM kickoff.

In Div III, Rose-Hulman is 3-0 and riding the wave atop the Heartland Collegiate football standings.  The Fightin’ Engineers have the weekend off.

Christopher Newport gets its next NJAC test hosting Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ) in Newport News Saturday evening.  Rowan comes in 2-0, and, having made it to round 1 of the Div III tournament in 2014, won’t be a chump opponent.  Good luck to the Captains; they’ll at least have their favorite weather on their side, with Newport News in the big middle of the Atlantic storms lashing the East Coast this weekend.  60s, wind, and driving rain at the 6 PM game time.

Merchant Marine gets conference play underway for the season, hosting Hobart College (Geneva, NY) on Saturday.  Hobart is kind of the Bomb, having gone 12-1 last year, taken conference honors, and advanced three rounds into the Div III tournament.  So USMMA is pretty much hosed for this one.  (Not that Hobart, whose team name is the Statesmen, would ever put it that way.)  70s with heavy cloud cover for the 2 PM kickoff in Kings Point.

Pros

Dallas kicks Sunday off, hosting Atlanta in the early slot.  No one will be able to talk about anything but the absence of Romo.  Brandon Weeden’s got his work cut out for him.  He was mobile, quick-thinking, and smart in a very agile Oklahoma State offense before coming to the Cowboys; we’ll see if he can take advantage of the tremendous protection the Dallas offensive line has been providing of late.

Cincinnati at Baltimore holds much interest for the AFC North; the Ravens shouldn’t have lost to the Raiders last week, but their slow start has been one of narrow losses and frustration.  They’re certainly still in it.  Pittsburgh will be at St. Louis.

New Orleans heads to Carolina for what should be an informative match-up.  I would suggest to Jason Gay that the NFC South holds as much promise of repeating its pattern of abject silliness as the NFC East – but that’s a two-week impression, and this weekend’s games, including Falcons in Dallas, will tell a lot.

Denver rounds out our LU Nation lineup in the Sunday Night Football meet at Detroit.  Lions having a tough time getting started this year; Denver should be the gouge.

KC hits Green Bay Monday night.

One prep note this week.  If you haven’t seen John Krahn, the 7-foot tall, 440-pound defensive lineman playing for Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Riverside, California (about 45 minutes from the command center of the LU Football Commentary Service), stop what you’re doing right now.

Reportedly, college recruiters would like to see him lose some weight.  But Michael Oher himself would probably quail, just a little bit, at the thought of blocking this guy.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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