Early Title Games for the Big Ten and Big 12?

Navi Sol 11-8The Fall sports season is reaching its climax as conference races are easy to picture now. Ohio State at Michigan State is virtually the Big Ten title game. Kansas State at TCU could be the same with the Big 12. I like Michigan State and Kansas State for those two. Alabama at LSU is always a big game that could go either way. Arizona State has a chance to stop Notre Dame’s playoff hopes in the afternoon. I’m picking the Sun Devils.

If women’s soccer is your sport than this is your weekend with conference tournaments. The Big Ten, ACC and SEC will have their title matches Sunday afternoon but look for smaller conferences on ESPN3.

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Potential for Shockers This Saturday

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The past two weeks of college football have been incredible but this Saturday it appears things will be coming back down to Earth. Just two games involved top 25 teams and three of those four schools are outside the top 15. Still, the games are important as someone is probably going down. Ohio State is one such candidate as it could falter at Penn State. In terms of conference races, watch USC at Utah as it will make an impact on the PAC-12 South.

A couple of volleyball games to watch includes UC-Davis at Cal State-Northridge Friday night in Big West play. The big one though is Nebraska at Wisconsin on ESPN2 Sunday. The Badgers are currently on top in the Big Ten and it’s rare for ESPN2 to air a regular season game in volleyball.

Enjoy the Check Kent State, Southern Miss and Wyoming

This is a soft slate of college football games this week as Georgia vs. South Carolina is the only match-up between Top 25 teams. There is a reason why the College GameDay gang is at North Dakota State tomorrow and that’s because there isn’t a better place to go. So that means it’s time to see what mid-majors are bold enough to get paid and destroyed by the big boys. Welcome to the Budget Games.Budget Games new

Kent State at Ohio State

The Buckeyes will pay the Golden Flashes $850,000 to travel to Columbus and take a beating Saturday. Or will they? Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is trying to fill in for injured Braxton Miller and has thrown 4 picks. Three of which came in its 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech.

Kent State though couldn’t break 300 yards of offense against Ohio and South Alabama so the Ohio State defense will be a mountain. This upset is simply not happening as I give 0-2 Kent State a 2 percent chance.

Southern Mississippi at Alabama

Say hello to a beating Golden Eagles. Southern Mississippi was trashed by Mississippi State 49-0 and No.3 Alabama is better than Mississippi State. Southern Miss barely survived FCS Alcorn State 26-20 so this game is going to get ugly and get ugly fast. This has a zero percent chance of an upset.

Wyoming at Oregon

Just think about this moment when Oregon is up 56-14 Wyoming fans.

Just think about this moment when Oregon is up 56-14 Wyoming fans.

No. 2 Oregon just had a huge win over Michigan State and Wyoming just had a huge win over… Air Force. Wyoming is 2-0 but the average margin of victory is 4.5 points. That includes a tight 17-12 decision over FCS Montana. Oregon had nearly 500 yards of offense against a strong defense in Michigan State while Wyoming had 300 yards against Montana. Not good. Zero percent chance of upset.

Other Budget Games: UL-Monroe at LSU, Miami U at Michigan, UMass at Vanderbilt, Louisiana at Ole Miss

The NCAA Continues to Stick to its Guns

Or on and off the lake.

Or on and off the lake.


On Sunday the NCAA had the national championship in women’s rowing just minutes away from me in Indianapolis. When I asked a friend if we should get tickets to a women’s rowing event I was met with some strange looks. I might as well have proposed watching the “Twilight” trilogy in one sitting. So I sat this one out.

Ohio State repeated as the Division I champ and congratulations to the Buckeyes. The Ohio State women’s rowing team is also the banner photo for the NCAA’s Facebook page. Here the phrase “Champions on and off the court” is displayed symbolizing academic success.

The NCAA is once again fighting to the bitter end that all of its athletes are students first. Highlighting a women’s rowing team is not going to go very far to persuade the masses that only see the football and basketball players skipping class. At this point, the campaign is comical.

Perhaps a better campaign would be “Providing Opportunities for the Youth of America.” That’s cheesier than a superhero movie but it allows the NCAA to claim credit for those who graduate while still being illiterate. Looking at you SEC football.

Here are some other things I noticed this past week…

CBS Makes Some Changes

Speaking of the SEC, CBS is trying to solidify their alpha dog position on the conference. CBS sports announced that Adam Zucker will be replacing Tim Brando on their College Football Today. A show that serves as a pregame for their SEC game of the week. Allie LaForce is taking the place of Tracy Wolfson as the lead sideline reporter in that game. Could this be a preemptive move to go younger to combat ESPN’s launch of the new SEC Network? The timing can’t be a coincidence.

Flooding on the Field

McNeese State had a wonderful 2013 college football season. It made the FCS playoffs and crushed FBS South Florida 53-21. Lets hope a little water doesn’t stop their momentum.

Only a marketing guy could turn a flooded football field into a chance to sell season tickets. Not sure if it will work but at least they’re trying hard. Just good luck kicking a field goal in that lake.

The Budget Games: Week 1

College football is a game but at the same time it’s a business. That’s where the budget games come into play. I define budget games as anytime a far superior team makes a deal for an inferior team to come to their house.The powerhouse school gets an easy win, a great fundraising opportunity with their boosters, and a great chance to showcase the program to recruits and fans. The inferior teams receive a fat check between $500,000 and one million dollars and the exposure from playing a big name team.Budget Games new

It may not be sexy to play a game where the outcome is never in doubt, but these are the budget games punk. Where the odds are never in your favor.

1. Buffalo at No. 2 Ohio State

Tiny Buffalo from the Mid-American conference will make the trek to Columbus where it will be slaughtered on national television. At least the Bulls will be paid a million bucks to take the pounding.

Is this game worth watching? Yes.

Buffalo did go 4-8 last year but put up a fight against SEC juggernaut Georgia last season before losing 45-23. The Bulls have plenty of returning starters and Ohio State’s coach Urban Meyer is under a great deal of pressure thanks to off the field issues with his players. The Buckeyes will win going away but I doubt it will be 70-3. Enjoy the check Buffalo.

2. Massachusetts at No. 23 Wisconsin

UMass is entering its second year as an FBS member meaning teams like Wisconsin see an easy way to pad to their win total and become bowl eligible. How much did it take to line the Minutemen up for the beating in Madison? How does $900,000 sound? That’s a lot of coin but I doubt it covers the added expenses of playing FBS ball. Should have stayed in the FCS Minutemen.

Is this game worth watching? No.

A few college football magazines have UMass as the worst team in the FBS and this game should show why. Wisconsin will score at will in this one impressing their boosters, pollsters, and recruits. No one else should watch this execution.

3. New Mexico State at No. 15 Texas

Poor New Mexico State does not have a conference until the Sun Belt lets it in next year. Until then the Aggies need to find cash through being a punching bag to college football’s wealthy juggernauts. Texas, a team trying to find games for their Longhorn Network, saw a great opportunity to help out NMSU’s financial problems while pounding the #$%@ out of it.

Is this game worth watching? No.

Texas vs. a school that could not get into the Mountain West Conference to save its life. I think I’ll pass.

Honorable mentions

Louisiana Monroe at Oklahoma, Louisiana Lafayette at Arkansas, Central Michigan at Michigan, Elon at Georgia Tech.