Colleges and conferences have to decide what’s more important:  dollars or eyeballs.  One is tangible–you can actually count money, believe it or not–but the other is tough to get a handle on until it’s too late.  Right now the Pac-12 is penny rich but pound foolish.  Their TV deal with FOX gives them exposure that the Utahs and Colorados crave–but forces their prime properties into the back alley of the viewing landscape.  Oregon put 59 points on the board against Cal– but in  a Friday night game that kicked off at 10pm.  On Fox Sports 1…wherever that is on your cable system this week.  The issue the Pac-12 has had over the years is that the East Coast media doesn’t see their games and thus undervalues their teams.  How does playing 10 and 10:30pm games on Thursday and Friday night change that?  Arizona’s upset of Oregon earlier this year should have been heralded as one of the games of the year–instead it’s a postcript to a bleary-eyed Friday morning.

 

Alma Mater Update– the Orange embark on a trip to #21 Clemson in a battle of oranges…although the Tigers often wear purple and the Orange sport who knows what befits them this week.  The race to six wins and that Pinstripe Bowl (two banners already hanging proudly in the Carrier Dome, thank you) would get a huge boost with a victory at Clemson– although I think even the most diehard SU fans have had an L in pen next to this game since the schedules came out.  Which means a 3-1 finish will be needed to go bowling this fall.

 

Forgive me, I had to pick myself up off the floor after laughing at the possibility this team could finish 3-1.

 

Maryland (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) visits Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1)– somehow the Terrapins have gone from roadkill to road warriors: after losing 9 of their first 11 games away from Byrd in the Randy Edsall era, the school’s won 5 straight road games.  But Camp Randall Stadium in Madison packs a little more punch than Memorial Stadium in Bloomington.  The Terps can also clinch bowl eligibility with a victory…and it’s not a big story like the pursuit of six wins was last year.  That represents progress.  Stopping the run has been a major concern for the Terps D this year (they rank 13th in the Big Ten in rushing defense)…and the Badgers average 343 yards a game on the ground while boasting Division I’s second leading rusher in Melvin Gordon (174 yards a game at 7.9 yards per carry).  Can CJ Brown avoid mistakes in a raucous Camp Randall Stadium?  Bowl eligibility likely waits one more week as the Terps tumble, 24-19.

 

Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC) entertains North Carolina (3-4, 1-2)– tailgating tandems Kippy and Buffy welcome their UNC version Meredith and Peyton (I still don’t know which one’s the guy or the girl, but they let me enjoy all the crab dip I can eat). The holier than thou Tar Heels come to Charlottesville under the cloud of academic hijinks that involve classes taken by student-athletes that entailed never actually going to class.  Their defense drops by Scott Stadium allowing over 43 points per game…even against Liberty they were gashed for 29.  Coach Mike London once again invites the possibility that he might use both Matt Johns and Greyson Lambert at quarterback against the Tar Heels after last weekend’s experiment with having two of his wide receivers throw passes.  Break out the Magic Eight Ball.  Cavaliers come up big, 34-18.

 

Navy (3-4) hosts San Jose State (3-3)– the Midshipmen after a week off look to get one step closer to bowl eligibility– and the Spartans are one of two teams remaining on their slate without a winning record (Army is the other).  A week off may add more rust than rest– Navy hasn’t won following its early/midseason bye since 2007.  Keenan Reynolds likely returns after missing the game against VMI–and although Tago Smith filled in well, this team rises or falls on Reynolds play. San Jose State is 1-2 on the road…getting outscored 93-47.  Shame one can’t pick a tie because neither team inspires a world of confidence.  Midshipmen need overtime to stop the Spartans, 23-20.

 

Georgetown loses to Bucknell, James Madison falls at Charlotte, William & Mary slips to Delaware, Richmond routs Elon, Morgan State loses to Villanova, Old Dominion defeats Western Kentucky.

 

Last Week: 4-3.

Overall: 55-19.

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