October 22, 2005

What I'll Be Watching (Oct. 22)

Michigan at Iowa, ABC, Noon

I am in the weird position of needing Michigan to win to help the campaign for getting Notre Dame to a BCS bowl. To date, Notre Dame hasn't beaten a BCS poll ranked team. If Michigan can win in Iowa City then that argument will end.

Mario Manningham has emerged as the Wolverines best receiver. I dont follow UM but I haven't heard much of Jason Avant or Steve Breaston (at least for his receiving exploits) this season. Iowa is turning their ship around, having won three straight games against inferior talent. The Hawkeyes will see this game as their welcome back to relevance. I know less about the Hawkeyes (chalk that up to living on the border of ACC/Big 10 ABC regional coverage). I know that Drew Tate was injured early in their loss to Iowa State and the whole team stunk up Columbus.

In the end, LLLoyd Carr is a wuss on the road. He will play tight and close to the vest and Michigan will be 4-4. Its the only way he can do anything negative to Notre Dame anymore.

Iowa 28, Michigan 23

BYU at Notre Dame, 2:30, NBC

Get this stupid week over with. Yes, the Irish lost no matter how you slice it. Yes, I was hopeful for the future after what I saw against the Trojans. Yes, assisting the runner is a rule hardly ever called and yes, I would have taken the win had Quinn been pushed in with :03 left. (I dont think the rest of the college football would wink, wink, nudge, nudge the Irish for the play. I imagine the rivals would have big problems with it.)

BYU is a good opponent to have coming in after USC. Weis only needs to show game film of last year's pathetic effort against the BYU gimmick, 3-3-5 defense. I hope to have this game out of the way in time to catch..

Notre Dame 49, BYU 21

...Tennessee at Alabama, CBS, 3:30

One of the greatest nicknames for a rivalry is "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate" to describe the rivalry between Georgia and Georgia Tech. In the case of Bama and UT the hate won't be clean. The Snitch (Fulmer) comes to town for the first time since the probation and the Alabama fans will be ready. The game itself features a Bama squad searching for life after Prothro and Tennessee is once again on the ropes to save their season with two losses and a trip to South Bend in two weeks after Tuscaloosa.

I think last week for Bama was more looking ahead than any indication that they are lost without their star wide receiver. The Bama D is a killer even though its not 1992-level.

I like the Tide. (But for the Irish sake, I need UT to win.)

Alabama 20, Tennessee 14

Auburn at LSU, 7:45, ESPN

Auburn plays only its second game of the year (at least where they stood a chance of losing) and they venture to Death Valley. LSU seems to fear success this year, nearly giving a dominating performance back to Florida due to offense ineptitude. The Bayou Bengals are dang lucky to have all these games at home. The Tigers (Cajun version) are #6 in the BCS and I find that a tad overrated when you see how the Tigers have played. The results, only loss in OT, are quite another thing.

Auburn now has seasoning under their belt for their quarterback, Brandon Cox and their running game. However, the Tigers (Plains version) will be taking a large step from their five consecutive creampuffs. I would like a closer game, maybe even taking Auburn, if this game was back on the Plains. However Cox will be welcomed by a rowdy (read: drunk) LSU crowd ready for Saturday Night at Tiger Stadium.

LSU 24, Auburn 7

World Series Game 1:
Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox, 8:00, FOX

I can't remember the last World Series in which I didn't have a rooting interest either way. Year in, year out I can usually identify with a team or story that I prefer over the other.

Its Houston's first World Series and the White Sox haven't won since 1917. Somehow, though, the Boston drought had more impact than the White Sox drought. I have known that the White Sox haven't won in forever, but there seemingly was a justice involved with a team that had members proven to have gambled away the 1919 World Series to the Reds of all teams.

I am completely indifferent. I think this thing goes the distance with Cub fans rolling in their graves and otherwise when the South Siders bring it home in 7. Sorry Brian, but if I am wrong I will lose zero sleep.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.