Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Weekend's Games of Interest

During the 2009 an 2010 football seasons, I produced a weekly feature on Spit Blood called "Strength of Schedule Watch". Now, I don't want to be a complete Debbie Downer about the loss to Baylor- but with the Frogs' already-imperfect record and the fact that they will play Boise State on the field later in the fall it just seems kinda silly to get really paranoid about the weekly effects that other teams have on TCU's BCS status, doesn't it?

That being said, it's certainly worth our collective while to keep ourselves up to date on what's going on with the Frogs' opponents- both current and future. So every week on Thursday (or thereabouts), I'll try to give you a preview of the weekend as it pertains to the teams of the Mountain West, Big East and TCU's non-conference schedule.

San Diego State (1-0)
at Army (0-1) ~ 11:00am Saturday on CBS-College
-The Aztecs eventually pulled away from Cal-Poly last week, 49-21, behind Ryan Lindley's 4 TD passes and Ronnie Hillman's 189 rushing yards. This week they're headed to West Point to take on Army, who turned the ball over three times and gave up over 500 yards on defense in a 49-26 loss to Northern Illinois.

Colorado State (1-0) vs. Northern Colorado ~ 11:00am Saturday on The Mtn
-CSU defensive lineman Nordly Capi pulled a Stansly Maponga by both causing and recovering a fumble as the Rams held off a last-gasp effort by New Mexico in the 14-10 Colorado State win last week. Sophomore Pete Thomas was 22-of-26 passing the ball. "The other UNC" lost to some school named Lindenwood, so hopefully the Rams should be off to a 2-0 start.

Wyoming (1-0) vs. Texas State (0-1) ~ 5:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-It wasn't easy for the Cowboys in their season-opening win over Weber State...they were actually out-gained by 78 yards but threw a touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining to seal the win. They get another FCS opponent this week when Fran and the Bobcats, who let a 10-9 halftime lead over Tech turn into a 50-10 loss last week, come to Laramie.

UNLV (0-1) at Washington State (1-0) ~ 4:00pm Saturday
-I'm sure a lot of you watched the Rebels' game against Wisconsin last Thursday. While they were clearly outmatched on defense, they actually did some good things when they had the ball- but kept shooting themselves in the foot. Washington State rolled to an easy 64-21 win over Idaho State, but likely lost their starting QB for the season in the process. I'm not expecting it, but I also wouldn't be shocked to see UNLV pull off the upset here.

New Mexico (0-1) at Arkansas (1-0) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on ESPN U
-Jesus, this one could get ugly. Sure, the Lobos nearly beat CSU last week, but they are 2-28 in their last 30 games and until they get rid of the somehow still employed Mike Locksley they are going to continue to make the TCU basketball team look like the Harlem Globetrotters. Arkansas, despite losing their Heisman-candidate running back for the season, didn't miss a beat in a 51-7 win over Missouri State last week.

Boise State (1-0) is idle this week following their 35-21 win over Georgia last week.

TCU non-conference opponents:

BYU (1-0) at Texas (1-0) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on ESPN 2
-The newly-independent Cougars looked dead in Oxford last week, trailing Ole Miss 13-0 with just under 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. But sophomore QB Jake Heaps found ex-Longhorn commit WR Ross Apo for a 19-yard touchdown and then 4 minutes later the Rebels coughed up a fumble that BYU returned for the winning touchdown. Texas, expectedly, beat up on Rice last week but we still don't know what to expect from the puke-orange rebuilding project.

SMU (0-1) vs. UTEP (1-0) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on FSN
-Any hopes of an upset in College Station were erased pretty quickly last weekend when Kyle Padron threw two early INT's and the Aggies took advantage, rolling to a 46-14 win. June Jones apparently does not like INT's, because he benched Padron for senior J.J. McDermott, who will start this week against UTEP. The Miners had all of 36 rushing yards as they rallied to beat FCS Stony Brook in OT last week.

Louisiana Monroe (0-1) vs. Grambling (1-0) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on
-There wasn't a whole lot on offense for the Warhawks in their 34-0 loss at Florida State last weekend, as they mustered just 191 total yards. Grambling won their season opener on the road, 21-14, over fellow-FCS Alcorn State.

-Portland State (1-0) and Baylor (1-0) are idle this week after the Vikings beat Southern Oregon 52-0 and the Bears won that thriller over the Frogs in Waco.

Louisville (1-0) vs. Florida International (1-0) ~ 6:00pm Friday on ESPN
-Junior QB Will Stein threw for 226 yards as the Cardinals scored an underwhelming 21-9 win over FCS Murray State last week. Florida International, coming off a Sun Belt conference title a year ago, beat up on hapless UNT 41-16 last week.

Rutgers (1-0) at North Carolina (1-0) ~ 11:30am Saturday on*
-It was pretty easy in Week 1 for the Scarlet Knights, as they rolled to a 48-0 win over FCS North Carolina Central. This weekend they get the flagship university of the Tar Heel State when they travel to Chapel Hill for what is a pretty crucial game considering the ACC and Big East may be fighting to the death. UNC beat FCS James Madison 42-10 last week.

Pitt (1-0) vs. Maine (1-0) ~ 12:00 noon Saturday on*
-Junior running back Ray Graham rushed for 201 yards and 3 TDs last week as the Panthers beat Buffalo, 35-16. The bad news is that the Pitt defense gave up over 400 yards. This week they face the FCS Black Bears, who took advantage of two turnovers to beat some school called Bryant last week.

West Virginia (1-0) vs. Norfolk State (1-0) ~ 12:00 noon Saturday on*
-In a game that featured lightning delays totaling 4 hours and 22 minutes and was actually suspended for good in the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers defeated cross-state rival Marshall 34-13 last week in the "Friends of Coal Bowl". Junior QB Geno Smith threw for 226 yards and 2 TDs. FCS Norfolk State took down Division II Virginia State 37-3.

Cincinnati (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on ESPN 2
-The Bearcats rolled up 387 rushing yards on their way to a 72-10 trashing of FCS Austin Peay at home last weekend, but will obviously face a far tougher test at Neyland Stadium this Saturday. The Volunteers beat up on FCS powerhouse Montana, 42-16 in their opener.

Syracuse (1-0) vs. Rhode Island (0-0) ~ 3:30pm Saturday on*
-One of last weekend's most thrilling games featured the Orange overcoming a 15-point 4th quarter deficit to beat Wake Forest in overtime. Take that, ACC! This will be the season opener for the FCS Rams, who went 5-6 last year.

South Florida (1-0) vs. Ball State (1-0) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on*
-In another game that lasted just about forever because of lightning delays, the Bulls beat Notre Dame in South Bend in a game that most of the national media mistakenly referred to as 'an upset'. With the W, they move into the Coaches' poll at #22. Ball State beat Indiana, 27-20, further illustrating just how much the Hoosiers deserve to be in a BCS conference.

UConn (1-0) at Vanderbilt (1-0) ~ 6:30pm Saturday on*
-The Huskies' home opener against Fordham was delayed from Thursday until Saturday of last week due to Hurricane Irene, but they eventually dispatched of them 35-3. Freshman running back Lyle McCombs led the way with 141 yards and 4 TDs. This weekend they travel to Nashville to take on the Commodores, who beat up on Jim Schlossnagle's alma mater (Elon) 45-14 in Week 1.

*-I bet you're probably thinking, am I going to have to watch every game on my computer when TCU moves to the Big East? While a good majority of the games are available to watch online, the ones with asterisks are also available on ESPN Game Plan- meaning they're aired locally and are pay-per-view for the rest of the country. Think back to TCU's days in Conference USA (and even in the early MWC days) when Channel 52 picked up a few games a year.


bscooter26 said...

Just throwing it out there, ESPN3 also has their app on xbox live for free, so if you have that hooked up to a TV you can watch it there.

Lyle Lanley said...

Ah, good call. I did not know that.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

Yeah, I haven't been able to convince my wife that wearing a headset and talking shit to 14 year olds in Great Britain while playing FIFA is a good idea... but the whole ESPN3 thing really should help my case, right?