Okay…so I’ll wave the white flag.  Thursday Night Football is here to stay in the NFL…no matter how many players might get hurt on short weeks or how sloppy the play might be, TNF is an entity that won’t go away (much to the dismay of “Big Bang Theory” fans).  Which is kind of a shame, because now the NFL Ratings Freight Train (5 of the first 6 TNF games were in the top 5 watched programs of the week) steamrolls the college prime time games into an afterthought.  I’ve long thought the college game is better suited for and handles Thursday night football better.  First, there are over 60 games to choose from each week…so even taking a marquee matchup away from Saturday doesn’t destroy the schedule.  The NFL, with bye weeks and Sunday/Monday night commitments, takes away one more potentially worthwhile matchup from a shrinking slate by having the Thursday game.  College football also solves the overworked/underprepared complaints many are lobbing at the NFL’s venture into Must See TV night:  most schools have the previous weekend off (like Virginia Tech)…and even if they played the previous Saturday are coming back after 4 days off instead of just 3 (like Pitt).  Some even schedule consecutive Thursday night games (Virginia Tech this week and next).  That extra day–or seven–makes the game that much safer and better.  Once the NFL institutes a system of having the Thursday night teams take their byes the weekend before, I can focus my futile energies on eliminating the Pac-12’s 10:30pm Thursday game.  You guys robbed me of watching Arizona-Oregon, for heaven’s sake.

 

Memo to the Pac-12:  I love you guys.  The wide-open football and athleticism.  The fan bases that for the most part don’t have ridiculous expectations.  The fact that winning and losing are great in places like Eugene, Tempe and Boulder but it’s not the end of the world because there are other things you spend your lives on.  I like how your name actually aligns with the amount of teams in the conference (Sorry Big-10 and -12).  I appreciate how your division setup doesn’t have a North division school south of five schools in the South (sorry SEC).  I enjoy how you’re kinda letting USC and UCLA wear their home colors for their annual game (so does Kodak).  But can you please get rid of that Thursday night 10:30 game?  The 10:30 Saturday night game is a nice dessert to a great meal– but for the life of me I can’t handle a 10:30 Thursday game.  Bump it back to 9pm and I’m yours…but you’re throwing away what’s been a pretty good game (UCLA-Arizona State and Arizona-Oregon were both top 25 matchups, Stanford and Utah were ranked as well) into the phantom zone of football otherwise.

 

Alma Mater Update– this is the floor game for the Orange…a loss to 2-4 Wake Forest would sentence SU to the Atlantic Division cellar.  Both teams have as equally unimpressive wins (SU over Villanova in double overtime, Wake by 3 over Army) and discouraging defeats (Orange on a Friday night to Louisville, Demon Deacons at Utah State).  This is the only remaining team with a losing record on Syracuse’s slate–the remaining slate is 21-11 on the year and a 3-win season is a dark possibility in the Salt City.  Like an order of wings with no drumsticks, this isn’t looking good.

 

I already start 0-1 as for some reason I didn’t recognize that Virginia Tech would be traveling to Pitt minus its ground game: 26 yards on 22 carries?  Not awesome, Hokies…a 21-16 loss that will give me plenty to chew on for the next few days.

 

Maryland entertains Iowa– homecoming at Byrd Stadium brings another huge offensive line to town.  Trouble.  The Hawkeyes’ left tackle Brandon Scherff weighs 320 pounds…and the Terp D coughs up more than 200 yards a game.  Trouble. Even thought the Terps are rested after their bye week, can a 3 man front keep these corn-fed kids contained?  With Cole Farrand manning a fly to the ball linebacking corps, yes.  Keep an eye on #47 Saturday–the senior happens to be a magnet for the football.  Offensively, the Terrapins have to get their ground game in gear–against FBS teams they’re rushing for 111 yards a game at under 4 yards per carry.  CJ Brown can’t make the mistakes that have plagued his early season..but he also can’t carry a team by himself.  Iowa is a very shaky–they’ve posted one-possession wins over Northern Iowa, Ball State and Pitt while posting a less than convincing sweep of Purdue and Indiana.  Terrapins triumph, 21-16.

 

Virginia visits Duke– another clash for first place in the ACC Coastal…this time against the defending division champs.  Which should give Coach Mike London’s team the idea “hey, if DUKE can win the Coastal–why can’t we?” (probably because your remaining opponents are 26-11).  The Blue Devils bounced back from a tough defeat at Miami (Anthony Boone threw 2 INT’s and the team went 2-16 on third down) to hand Georgia Tech their first loss of the season (thanks to a turnover free game).  While the Cavaliers cause a lot of turnovers (17 takeaways over 6 games)…they’ve coughed up the ball a lot this fall.  Quarterback Carousel Update– Greyson Lambert looks healthy enough to play…meaning he could see a play, series or indiscriminate quarter running the team.  Wait on the Magic Eight Ball.  Cavaliers come up short, 31-26.

 

Howard handles Florida A&M, Towson tumbles to Delaware, William & Mary slips to Villanova, Richmond rips Rhode Island, Morgan State tops North Carolina Central.

Last Week: 6-1.

Overall: 51-16.

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