Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sports Saturday: 9/11/10

Chances are, for the next few months, most of my "Sports Saturdays" will really just be "Football Saturdays". No NASCAR or Formula One chit-chat today - it's all football. Woooo!

With lots of big college football games on tap for Saturday, and the season opener for most NFL teams on Sunday, it should be a good weekend to sit on the couch, watch some football, and do my best to ignore everything else going on in the country right now. At least, that's the plan.

College football - Last weekend, the two best games were both 8 PM starts (LSU v. North Carolina on Saturday, Boise State v. Virginia Tech on Monday), so I missed the exciting second halves of both. Here's hoping the best games this weekend are played at more Chris-friendly times. Unless Virginia at USC ends up being the best game of the weekend (ha), then I shouldn't have to lose any sleep in order to catch the best football of the weekend. Yay!

It seems like this is the week that most schools have decided to schedule their biggest non-conference opponent. Makes perfect sense - start soft with a cupcake game, play a big game, get another cupcake or two in after that, then start conference play. That's how college football scheduling is done these days.

Remember that this isn't a complete list of televised games. If you want a full list, I recommend either or These are only the games I'm going to pay attention to.

Sat 12:00p - South Florida at Florida, MSG (SEC Network): The game I'll be paying most attention to during the first time slot. Let's go Bulls! It could happen, right?
Sat 12:00p - Duke at Wake Forest, WLFL 22 (ACC Network): Is this the year for Duke? Will they finally go to a bowl game? I can't wait to find out. By the way, "ACC Network" is the new name for "Raycom Sports". Same deal, just a different brand name, at least for this year.
Sat 12:00p - Georgia Tech at Kansas, FSN
Sat 12:00p - Georgia at South Carolina, ESPN2: Decent third and fourth options for the early time slot.
Sat 3:30p - Florida State at Oklahoma, ABC: Alright, here we go. This applies to pretty much every team in a big game this week, but this will give us a good indication of what Florida State has to offer this season. Of course, this could also end up being another bad week for the ACC.
Sat 3:30p - Michigan at Notre Dame, NBC: Amber's Dad, a devoted Notre Dame fan, is in town this week. (Amber's Mom is here too, but she doesn't care about football.) With Notre Dame and Florida State playing opposite each other, it'll make for an interesting afternoon...
Sat 3:30p - Miami (FL) at Ohio State, ESPN: Believe it or not, I'm actually rooting for Miami (FL) in this one. A truly rare occurrence. Of course, the ideal outcome would be a 0-0 tie.
Sat 3:30p - Iowa State at Iowa, ESPN2
Sat 3:30p - Kent State at Boston College, ESPNU
Sat 4:00p - UNLV at Utah, the mtn.: Looking forward to finding out whether I get the mtn.'s games in HD this year. I think I'm supposed to.
Sat 7:00p - Penn State at Alabama, ESPN: Another big one. No early bed time tonight!
Sat 7:00p - Oregon at Tennessee, ESPN2: Almost kept this game off the list, but I might need something to flip to during commercials.
Sat 7:30p - NC State at Central Florida, CBS College: You better not lose this freaking game, Wolfpack. The ACC will be very mad at you if you do.
Sat 10:30p - Virginia at USC, FSN: No, I'm not considering this a cupcake game. Close, though.

NFL - I am really excited about my purchase of NFL Sunday Ticket this year. You'd better believe I'm going to make the most of it. While most college games last weekend were cupcakes, in the NFL, we get going right from Week 1. Local Jacksonville media are already saying this is one of the biggest games in Jaguars history.

Yes, they are. True story! The idea is that a win will help ticket sales at a time when the Jaguars really need it, and that with a game at San Diego next weekend, a loss this week will basically mean an 0-2 start. Either that, or the non-Gator fans just want to stick it in the face of everyone who thought the Jaguars should have drafted Tim Tebow. (Yes, it's pretty rotten that my first Jaguars game with NFL Sunday Ticket has to be a Tim Tebow fest. Whether he plays at all or not, he'll probably be pictured and/or mentioned every five minutes anyway. Ugh.)

Adding to the intensity is that the Jaguars and their fans are also feeling a little frustrated. The national media loves to pick on the Jaguars and their small fan base, more so than any other team with a small fan base. But why? The Jaguars weren't last in attendance last year; they finished ahead of Detroit and Oakland (source). Why aren't people saying the Lions or Raiders are going to move to Los Angeles? The Jaguars aren't the least popular team in the NFL according to the Wall Street Journal; they're ahead of St. Louis and Tampa Bay. Why aren't people saying the Rams or Bucs are going to move to Los Angeles? The Jaguars aren't the only team who had most of their games blacked out last year, you know. Why does everyone single out the Jaguars? Because it's the "trendy" thing to do? Well, as a Jaguars fan, here's my response to all of that: F@#$ YOU.

(Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. I feel better now.)

Despite my fan enthusiasm, I don't have high expectations for the Jaguars this season. I haven't seen any indication that the Jaguars are capable of winning more than, say, 6 games. But right now, they're undefeated, and they're actually a slight favorite against Denver this weekend. I have no idea why, but there is one good reason why I don't bet on games: most of the time, I have NO CLUE who is going to win. And I like it that way. In most cases, I have more fun watching a game without the weight of a preconceived notion regarding what is "supposed" to happen. Of course, when what is "supposed" to happen actually doesn't happen, then that can be very interesting. Watching a heavy favorite lose is always fun (as long as you're not a fan of the heavy favorite, of course). But there are no heavy favorites in the NFL like there are in college, so for the NFL, I'm happier assuming that no team is a "favorite". For now, every team is tied with no wins and no losses, which for me makes even the Cleveland at Tampa Bay game worth watching. Who knows - maybe one of these teams could go to the Super Bowl! Who are you to say they won't? Until they actually start losing games, we don't know for sure.

Anyway, what I meant by all that is this: there is still hope, for now. Let's go Jaguars!

Oh, and I'll probably check out a few other games this weekend, too. I paid for that privilege, so I might as well. 49ers at Seahawks, anyone?

Sun 1:00p - Denver at Jacksonville, DirecTV 707
Sun 1:00p - Indianapolis at Houston, DirecTV 706: This will be my "option two" during the first time slot. I'm curious to see if the Texans can finally beat the Colts, for once. Let's go Texans!
Sun 1:00p - Miami at Buffalo, DirecTV 705: I know a lot of Bills fans, and before the Jaguars were created, I was one myself. I'll rank the Bills fairly high on my priority list most weeks. At least, until mid-November, at which point they're usually out of it.
Sun 1:00p - Cleveland at Tampa Bay, DirecTV 704: If Amber had to pick a favorite NFL team, it would probably be the Browns. I don't think she really cares, though, especially that Brady Quinn isn't there anymore.
Sun 1:00p - Atlanta at Pittsburgh, DirecTV 711:
Sun 1:00p - Cincinnati at New England, WRAL 5: I paid a lot of money to NOT be stuck with the same old teams every week, so I probably won't watch the regular broadcast games all that much. At least, not this week.
Sun 1:00p - Carolina at NY Giants, WRAZ 50: Same goes for the Panthers. I just can't get into them. They're Charlotte's deal.
Sun 1:00p - Detroit at Chicago, DirecTV 708
Sun 1:00p - Oakland at Tennessee, DirecTV 712
Sun 4:15p - San Francisco at Seattle, DirecTV 715: Two teams that I rarely get to watch. Let's check them out!
Sun 4:15p - Green Bay at Philadelphia, WRAZ 50
Sun 4:15p - Arizona at St. Louis, DirecTV 714
Sun 8:20p - Dallas at Washington, NBC: Most weeks, I'll likely be all footballed-out by the time Sunday night rolls around. I don't expect I'll ever stick around for the Sunday night game. I usually won't watch on Monday night, either.



Spartangoogle said...

Noonish Saturday we'll be flipping from MSU-FL Atlantic to USF vs. UF. Go Bulls! In today's paper someone noted San Diego might have blackouts too and why would anyone talk of moving the Jags to the west coast when they can't fill the stadiums they already have? One of my coworkers had a T. Tebow jersey on (and me in my D. Garrard). Boy, did I let him have it! C'mon...we live in Jacksonville not Denver.

James Allen said...

The first 5 Jaguars games are not blacked out. I would like to see Tyson Alualu sack Tim Tebow and then return the fumble for a TD.

And, of course, goooooooo Bulls!

allen_t said...

I'm the only one who hasn't said anything so I'll say..... I guess it has all been said.