Wednesday, October 2, 2013

College Football Weekend Primer: Thanks a Lot Obama

Service academy football may not happen this weekend... Thanks a lot Obama.
By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

I don't know if you've heard, but there's this little government shutdown thing going on.

First of all, thanks a lot Obama, and second of all, service academy football is in jeopardy. Army, Navy and Air Force are all still in the process of determining whether or not funds for athletic travel and facilities operation are Congressionally appropriated (Seems like something they should know), meaning that Saturday's Air Force-Navy game in Annapolis and Army's game at Boston College may not be played. Air Force has halted all travel for its athletic teams, meaning that the sold out match up between the Midshipmen and the Falcons is almost surely cancelled.

Navy, for its part, hasn't yet held practice this week. As for Army's trip to Chestnut Hill, Boston College AD Brad Bates had this to say in an email to our buddies at ESPN Boston.

"We are in constant communication with West Point and they are telling me it is not a simple dollar and cent issue."

Interpret what you will from that, but one thing is for sure: This is just plain un-American.


Now it's time for quick hits, where I give you small tidbits of information that are somewhat relevant to the upcoming weekend, mostly because I'm too lazy to go into detail about them.

-Oregon running back De'Anthony "The Black Mamba" Thomas will not play in the Ducks' game at Colorado this Saturday. Oregon will still win by 40.

-Northwestern is ranked 16th in the AP Poll. Wow, they've played this year? Wait, they've beaten two BCS teams in the non-conference (Cal and Syracuse)? Hmm… Ok.

-Baylor and West Virginia probably won't top their 70-63 shootout from last year, which included 1,507 yards of offense. Still, I'm going to watch them try.

-Maryland's trip to Florida State could be a national coming out party for receiver Stefon Diggs. But, more likely, it will be  crash back to reality for the high-flying Terps.

-Purdue is on a bye. It's official, the Boilers, who just lost at home by 31 to the MAC's Northern Illinois, can't lose this week.

-UMass is not very good. This whole FBS experiment, where the Minutemen play 100 miles from campus at Gillette Stadium, doesn't seem to be working. There is little to no interest in the team, and they're losing games by an average score of 33-7. They begin MAC play (Yes, they're in the Mid American Conference) this week at Bowling Green.

Game of the Week: 15. Washington at 5. Stanford

I feel like we keep having to give Stanford the Game of the Week whenever there just isn't an interesting or marquee game. But, this is a battle of Top-15 teams, and the Huskies did overcome a 10-point second half deficit to give the Cardinal its only loss of 2012.

Expect things to be a little different for Stanford this time around. Last year in Seattle, quarterback Josh Nunes struggled against the Washington defense, and the Cardinal produced only 235 yards of total offense. Since then, Stanford has gone to now-sophomore Kevin Hogan, who has helped the Cardinal knock off Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA twice and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

So yeah, things are looking a little better, but Washington looks to be much improved as well. After opening the year with a 38-6 dismantling of normally salty Boise State, Washington and star quarterback Keith Price are rolling. Price has been absurdly efficient thus far in his senior season, completing 72% of his throws for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns with only a pair of interceptions.

Will the Cardinal defense be able to put the clamps down on Price like they did last year? That will be the story of this game.


First, here is your Stone Cold video of the week.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here is my Stone Cold betting lock of the week. Home team in caps:

Georgia (-10.5) over TENNESSEE

I don't care if Georgia running back Todd Gurley plays or not, the Vols are terrible. They just squeaked by South Alabama last week, and couldn't stay within striking distance of a Florida team determined to give away a game via turnovers and football follies the week before.

Georgia has the best offense Tennessee will see all year, and the Vols have shown that they're willing to spot you a turnover or two when they get off the bus. This looks like a 35-17 affair to me, at best.

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