Football Follies 2015 – NCAA Week 8

Football Follies 2015 – NCAA Week 8

There’s news already: Arkansas State beat Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday evening, 37-27.  You’re totally square if you missed the game.  (Hey, we didn’t specify whether it was good news.)

The polls are their usual stupid selves this week.  More on that as our story develops.

Sudden Cal, #20 (which is not necessarily stupid), will be at UCLA Thursday night for their Storied Rivalry game.  The weather will be ridiculous.  Playing in the Rose Bowl guarantees that, most of the time.  The Bruins give 4, for the usual reasons.

In an NFC-by-the-bay twofer, Seahawks will be at Niners Thursday night as well.  Both come in 2-4 and struggling to recover their zippety-doo-da, sadly lacking this year as compared to the 2014 season.

Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-3), which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, kicks off Friday night for LU Nation, hosting #18 Memphis.  As highly as we think of Philip Montgomery (for now; that inexplicable Thing with ECU still burns), we have to go with the crowd and give the 6-0 Julian Fuentes team, coming off the insane win over Ole Miss, a big edge for this one.  Take all the Memphis points you can get; 10.5 are on offer at the moment.

Annoying #17 Oklahoma (5-1) hosts Texas Tech (5-2) on Saturday.  We’re dubbing this one the Patty Duke Show: a meeting of identical cousins (which was always a moronic proposition, but sitcom TV has never really been what you might call a Mensa pastime).  Lincoln Riley air-raid offense with hunted-rabbit quarterback meets “What, me worry?” defense.  Sooner fans, high on the blowout win over a gimpy, bullet-ridden K-State, have OU giving 14.  That’s ridiculous.

#14 Oklahoma State hosts poor, unfortunate Kansas on Saturday afternoon. Pokes give a fair-minded 34.5.

Navy (4-2) hosts 2-4 Tulane, giving 23.  We wouldn’t put it past the Green Wave to cover, but definitely go with Navy for the win.

Army (2-5) heads to Rice (3-3), with the Black Knights on the short end of 7.

Air Force (3-3), after losing the Ram-Falcon trophy, will host Fresno State in Colorado Springs.   The Bulldogs are in a trough from their former heyday, 2-5 and facing an Air Force give of 17.

Virginia Tech, 3-4, hosts #23 Duke for an ACC Coastal showdown.  Duke’s 5-1 record isn’t that impressive when you break it down; the one quality win was over Georgia Tech, which was #20 at the time.  The Blue Devils are beatable (hence the Hokie give of 3-ish), but VT is at a minimum going to have to get back to Beamer Ball, in which the defense actually works.  The stunned-mullet D has been a big part of their problem this year (aside, of course, from the turnovers and penalties).

Nevada, also 3-4, hosts Hawaii on Saturday afternoon.  In spite of the Pack’s loss to Wyoming last week, they’re giving 7 to the 2-5 Warriors, who’ve been looking pretty sad this season.

Speaking of 1-6 Wyoming, they’ll be at Boise State (5-2) on Saturday, with basically no shot at the Broncos.  Boys Estate gives 35.

TCU has slipped to #4 in the AP poll, where Utah is like somebody’s girlfriend or something.  The Frogs could have been more dominating in the win over Iowa State, but we’ll leave that argument for the beer-and-knishes gathering.  Toads have the weekend off and will meet West Virginia, pride of the Big 12, next Thursday.

LSU rings in at #5 after frankly looking much better than Utah in beating Florida.  The Tigers have a nice scrimmage lined up with Western Kentucky, the sort of thing we feel that all the Bigs of the Power 5 should schedule into Week 8 if they can.  LSU, in Death Valley, gives 16.

Kansas State (3-3), licking its wounds, will be in Austin to take on 2-4 Texas.  The Horns give 7.

Penn State will be at Maryland for another iteration of their Storied Rivalry.  Although the Terps managed to edge PSU last season (a rare event), we imagine the Cats will take this one – and almost certainly cover the 6.5 they’re giving.  Now that Maryland is in the Big X, this rivalry will get more of a workout than it once did, especially between 1993 and 2014.  Too bad for Maryland.

Obligatory

#1 Ohio State will be at Rutgers giving 21.5.  We rarely root for the Buckeyes, but this is one of those times.  Treat the service academy teams with respect, Scarlet Commies, and we’ll consider turning around and looking at you again.

#2 Baylor hosts Iowa State, giving a conservative 37.

“#3” Utah will be at USC, which at 3-3 is reenacting a socially-conscious story line from The Love Boat every week and wearing out even its most die-hard fans.  Even so, Prophylactics bettors have USC giving 3.5 in the home stand.  The Coaches Poll, and the rest of the nation, aren’t buying the Youths at #3.  (Coaches put them at #7.  We think they’ll down the Trojans, either way.)  Rutgers being no match for Ohio State – their bout has the marquee slot – we’ll call Utah-USC the game of the week.

#6 Clemson gives 7.5 in an ACC confrontation with Miami (Da U).

#7 Michigan State hosts Indiana, giving 16-ish.  The Hoosiers being pathetic, we imagine MSU will cover.  (#15 Michigan, incidentally, has the week off.  Which can be a double-edged sword for mental anguish after a tough loss.)

#8 Alabama gives 15 hosting Tennessee for the Third Saturday in October rivalry.  If the Tide fell asleep at the wheel for this one, it wouldn’t be the first time this season.  But we doubt it.

Florida State hits #9 as it heads off to a clash with Georgia Tech.  The 6-0 ‘Noles give 6.  New #10 Stanford could use a defense, and will likely get a challenge from Washington State, which has largely recovered from a terribly ignominious Week 1 loss to FCS middle-packer Portland State.  No line on this one, but we’d predict Heathered Mauve bettors backing 7-ish.

In other action of interest, NC State (motto: “They have a football team?”) will be at Wake Forest to continue their quasi-Storied Rivalry.  The Wolfpack is giving 9.5

Pitt and Syracuse meet for their Storied Rivalry match in the Loud House, Panthers giving 7.

We, personally, have been waiting all season for the Bowling Green-Kent State bout to decide the Anniversary Award.  The Falcons give 14 in this one, as you might expect.

And we mustn’t forget the “South’s Oldest Rivalry,” which sees Virginia at North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, Tar Heels giving 17.

Regrettably, there’s no hilarious bric-a-brac slated to change hands for the Storied Match-Ups this weekend.

We’re dubious about Iowa being at #12.  Just fitting that one in somewhere.  The Hawkeyes play Maryland next week.

Other ranks

In FCS, McNeese State remains #9 in the Coaches Poll.  The Cowboys host Northwestern State in Lake Charles on Saturday evening.  The Demons come in 1-5 and sucking royally (well, they did beat Lamar last week, but Lamar is pretty bad, with one victory, over a Division II opponent).  This is just the kind of game McNeese likes to annoy its fans by almost losing.  But we’re believing for better things; it’s homecoming for McNeese State, after all.

That said, there’s a real possibility of a rain delay.  Thunderstorms from the big low pressure system clocking the southern Plains are predicted for Saturday evening, and floods are already sweeping toward Louisiana from Texas.

In Div III, Rose-Hulman (6-0) gets its toughest test so far this season, facing off with Franklin College (Franklin, IN), the powerhouse program of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.  Franklin comes in 5-2, but its losses were out of conference to ranked Illinois Wesleyan (now #15), and Div I opponent Butler.  Although RHIT is hosting, the smart betting would be on the visiting Grizzlies.  A soggy field from Friday’s rains, but overcast and 60s at kickoff (1:30 PM) in Terre Haute.

Christopher Newport hosts homecoming on Saturday as well, with NJAC rival Frostburg visiting in Pomoco Stadium Saturday evening.  The Captains are having a quality learning experience with their 1-5 record; Frostburg, at 5-1, is one of the better teams in the conference.  CNU alums should probably concentrate on tailgating and enjoying the 60-ish, partly cloudy autumn evening on the Bay.

Merchant Marine, 2-4 after the unexpected win over Springfield, heads to Worcester, Mass. Friday night to take on Liberty League foe Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  WPI is 4-2 and not at all shabby, by Liberty League standards.  We’re kind of expecting WPI to take this one, but the story may be the serious fall football weather for the game, which should be plummeting through the 40s and into the 30s following the 7 PM kickoff.

Pros

Redskins Redskins Redskins burst forth – giving 3 – in the early slot Sunday, to host the Buccaneers.  What can we say: two teams, somebody’s gotta win, right?

The Saints, now 2-4, will be courting renewed respectability at the 3-3 Colts.  Who are never going to live down that Most Idiotic Trick Play Ever Perpetrated.  That play is going to be a deathless metaphor industry, with its own Encyclopedia Britannica entry.  The Colts are still giving 4.5 at this writing.

Steelers (4-2) at Chiefs also compete in the early slot.  The Chiefs have slumped badly to a 1-5 start; there’s no line on this one that we can find, but we’d take 4 or 5 Pittsburgh points if they showed up.

Cowboys (2-3) are back in action, if you want to call it that, at Giants (3-3) in the afternoon slot.  Giants give 3-ish; they’re not so all-fired hot either.  They’re looking to avenge the irritating, last-seconds loss in Week 1, however.  We figure they probably will.

Carolina (5-0) gives 3 hosting Iggles on Sunday night, and the Brokedown Ravens head to Cardinals Monday night, with 4-2 Arizona giving 10.

Broncos have the week off.

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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