Football Follies 2020: NCAA week 7

Football Follies 2020: NCAA week 7
OU LB #2 David Ugwoegbu blocks Texas punt by #8 Ryan Bucjevski to recover the ball at the Texas 5. Taken in for a TD by RB #24 Marcus Major in the moronic 4OT, 53-45 Oklahoma win. Fox Sports/Big 12 video, YouTube

Unless you’re a fan of football in the American, you probably missed the OT humdinger between #17 SMU and Tulane Friday night.  The Mustangs took it 37-34 in a good game, featuring a double-reverse-and-a-pass play for a 55-yard gobble-gulp.  Kind of thing that never works if a Top 10 team tries it.

Other than that, it’s a rough week for the LU Football Nation Inner Circle. Besides having some teams off, we’ve got several whose games are Solemnly Postponed.  Heavy sighing.  It’s really kind of knocked out the weekend.  We recommend consuming mass quantities of chocolate, pancakes, tacos, pizza, drip beef, quiche, srimps, ribs, or whatever your go-to pick-me-up food is.  (If it involves kale, we don’t want to hear about it.)

It may be best to have a little more leisure to deal with the onslaught of Godzilla-level revelations from laptops and email accounts, and you know what we’re talking about there.

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, is in Solemn Postponement from the previously planned visit by (new) #8 Cincinnati.

Oklahoma has the week off, after basically achieving the feat of forcing Texas out of the Top 25 with the demented 4OT win in the Shootout.  What both teams could use is 2-3 weeks of Solemn Postponement to get them healthy again rankings-wise.  Instead, OU will play TCU on 24 October.

New #7 Oklahoma State has its match with Baylor Solemnly Postponed, in spite of the Bears’ earlier determination to avoid that fate.  This could well keep the Pokes up at nosebleed level through mid-November.

Navy, we’re proud to report, is actually playing this weekend.  The Mids are 2-2 after edging out Temple last week, and head to East Carolina for an American match on Saturday.  Navy’s giving 3, as the Purple Pirates are in another extended funk this year.

Army is 4-1 heading to UT San Antonio in the Alamodome on Saturday, enjoying a 6-point advantage over UTSA (in spite of being held to 14 points by the Citadel last week).

Air Force is preparing for the first Mountain West match at San Jose State next week.

New #23 Virginia Tech, coming off the hard-working loss to UNC, is still planning, as far as we can tell, to be at Boston College Saturday night for their Storied Rivalry match.  The Hokies are giving 13, though the 3-1 Eagles haven’t been totally blowing chunks so far this year.

LSU is Solemnly Postponed against #10 Florida, and not a moment too soon.  The Mizzou outing was really out of phase last week, and QB Myles Brennan could use some more time to heal.  It would be nice if the defense could decide some of its basic coverage tactics and move on to polishing the skills up.

TCU will be back in action on the 24th hosting Oklahoma, and Kansas State, after the tough win at TCU, will be preparing to meet Kansas (motto: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”) in their Storied Rivalry match next weekend.

We’ll preview our other Mountain West teams – Nevada and Wyoming – next week.  The countdown continues to Toledo, the MAC, and midweek football! – coming in November.

Top 10

#1 Clemson is giving 27 at Georgia Tech.

#2 Alabama hosts #3 Georgia in what will clearly be the game of the week on Saturday night.  This is, of course, a Storied Rivalry, basically an unavoidable hazard in the SEC once you get past about week 4 each fall.  Tide’s favored by 5.

New #4 Notre Dame, having lived the impossible dream and beaten Florida State, hopes for a repeat on Saturday hosting de-ranked 1-3 Louisville, which let’s just say has been neither all that nor a bag of chips this year.  We suppose a win for the Arsh (-14) will boost them over whoever loses in Tuscaloosa.

#5 North Carolina, coming off the win over Virginia Tech, heads to Florida State for a ritual drubbing of the Seminoles in the marquee slot on Saturday night.  Tar Heels give 8.

#6 Ohio State and #9 Penn State retain their ranking leases pending the start of Big 10 play next week.

Best of the rest

There’s a dab of Storied Rivalry action with (what did we tell you) Kentucky at #18 Tennessee (-7) Saturday morning, and Duke at NC State (-5; motto: “They have a football team?”) in a leg of the three-way for the North Carolina Victory Bell.  With Kentucky and Tennessee no longer playing for interesting artifacts, it’s all bells and tasteful trophies this weekend.

Arkansas will be hosting Ole Miss (-2) for their Storied Rivalry as well.

If #11 Texas A&M brings chops again, the visit to Mississippi State could be some pretty good ball.  Aggies give 5.5 in that one.

We’d take some convincing on most of the other games, but we can unreservedly recommend the first season outing of Independent UMass, which will be at Georgia Southern on Saturday, sucking up trons on ESPN2 for no apparent reason.  We’ve been watching anxiously for the Minutemen to make good on this encouraging signal from early in the season, posted at their 2020 schedule page:

The University of Massachusetts announced Mon., Sept. 21 that it intends to schedule and play a limited number of football games this fall. The decision was reached following a positive review of the football program’s stringent COVID-19 safety protocols and rigorous testing regimen, in place since players’ return to campus in June. It follows announcements from college football conferences across the country also returning to play this fall and reverses a department decision on August 11 to postpone football competition until the spring. Individual games will be listed on the schedule page below this message once information becomes available.

The great day has finally arrived.  So far, the Georgia Southern game is the one and only event on the schedule.  But you know how we heart UMass.  Georgia Southern is 2-1, with a respectable win over Louisiana-Monroe and a 27-26 edge-out over long-time FCS rival Campbell (Big South) in week 1.  The Southern Eagles give 30.

Other ranks

It’s officially 28 days to the Storied Rivalry match in Div III between Coast Guard and Merchant Marine.  We’ll keep you posted.

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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