The nicest part of the Pac-12 being so strong in its final football season – as we know it? Every week there are make-or-break games for multiple teams. Saturday is no different, even for the team from Pullman.
The 10 departing Pac-12 teams all learned their future football schedules this week. They all banded together in court and told a judge they are afraid the bullies at Washington State and Oregon State want to steal their lunch money. And now they have to shake off all those distractions and play games?
What a struggle! How can they do it? It’s just not fair.
Excuse me. I had to stop laughing before I moved on.
Looking at Saturday’s college football television schedule, I first circled the 6 p.m. game on the Pac-12 Networks that pits the poor, exiled-to-the-ACC Stanford Cardinal visiting Pullman to play one of their tormentors, WSU. Not only are the Cougars supposedly planning to keep all the riches the conference has amassed this season, they probably have instructed the officials not to allow the Cardinal a chance. That’s what will happen, according to the departing 10 (more than likely), if the courts rule in favor of the staying two.
WSU’s partner in “crime,” No. 16 Oregon State, is at Colorado in a 7 p.m. game on ESPN.
But those two contests aren’t the most alluring of the Pac-12’s fading brand. Fifth-ranked Washington at No. 24 USC kicks off at 4:30 on ABC and we almost can hear Keith Jackson’s voice coming from the Coliseum. Wait, are the departing 10 worried Jackson’s alma mater will try to keep rights to every audio clip after they leave? Maybe they should be.
The other conference games are Arizona State at No. 18 Utah (11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks), California at sixth-ranked Oregon (2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) and the #Pac12AfterDark game, No. 20 UCLA at Arizona (7:30, FS1). By the way, we didn’t see it in Thursday’s court filing, but we’re sure the 10 departing schools want to take that hashtag with them. Though they probably will concede Bill Walton can stay with OSU and WSU.
What else is on this weekend? Well, the best college games include 12th-ranked Notre Dame at Clemson (9 a.m., ABC) and No. 25 Kansas State at seventh-ranked Texas (also 9 a.m., Fox). There is Bedlam, No. 10 Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, with November’s first rivalry game on ABC at 12:30, and upset king No. 22 Kansas trying not to suffer a letdown at Iowa State (4, ESPN).
Sunday’s NFL slate includes the Seahawks kicking off early in Baltimore, although their 10 a.m. game on CBS isn’t the first, or best, game of the day. Miami facing Kansas City in Frankfurt, Germany, starts at 6:30 a.m. and will be on the NFL Network. Oh, and don’t forget, Sunday is the day the clocks move back an hour, so there is at least some time to sleep before tuning in.
You may need it, because after the Hawks finish, Philadelphia hosts Dallas on Fox starting at 1:25, and Buffalo will try to keep its contender status alive in Cincinnati, NBC’s 5:20 game.
Friday night isn’t bereft of action, either. The Gonzaga men will try to match what the women did Thursday night and rout a regional NAIA team in an exhibition basketball game. The men host Lewis-Clark State at 6 p.m. on KHQ.
If that isn’t your cup of coffee, there are also three college football games on and, if you are really searching, a NASCAR truck race on FS1.
Or you can leave the comfort of your living room and venture out to one of the high school playoff games. It will be cold – hey, it’s November for goodness’ sake – but there is no precipitation in the forecast.
GSL champions Gonzaga Prep hosts Sunnyside Friday night in a 4A matchup. The 3A teams, top-seeded Mt. Spokane and first-time state participant Ridgeline, wait until Saturday at 1 p.m., when it may be a little wet, to host Roosevelt and Seattle Prep, respectively.
Whether it be in person or in front of the TV, it’s a good weekend to watch sports.
I mentioned this earlier, but I wanted to pass along the warning one more time. Daylight saving time ends this weekend. The sun will begin rising in the 6 a.m. hour again, though not for long. Sunset will come before 5 p.m. and right around 4 before the world begins to tilt back.