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College Football: Week 4 Viewing Guide

Last week’s viewing guide went to press too late to make it online, but it’s back and there are some great games to tune in for this weekend. The rankings listed here are from the AP poll until the BCS rankings begin in mid-October. Check your local listings for channel availability, and also these coverage maps for the mid-Saturday regional games.

If you’re like Eyes Of TX, forget the countdown to Monday Night Football, you’ve been looking forward to Saturday. Now, grab a frosty mug and pour yourself an manly drink, you deserve it. Let the week 4 viewing guide lead your way. Cheers!

Thursday, September 23
#19 Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh (7:30 PM ET; ESPN)
Finally, a decent Thursday night game. Can the Hurricanes recover from the tsunami that occurred in Columbus in week 3?

Friday, September 24
#4 TCU at SMU (8:00 PM ET; ESPN)
Take this opportunity to see TCU in prime time with nothing else to distract you. And remember, there’s a frying pan on the line.

Saturday, September 25
Bowling Green at #21 Michigan (12:00 PM ET; ESPN2)
The early games this week are a little soft, but Michigan (or at least their QB) is showing promise for the first time in years.

Central Florida at Kansas State (12:30 PM ET; FSN, Comcast Sports)
Tune in to see one of Texas’ future 2010 Big 12 North opponents in K-State.

#1 Alabama at #10 Arkansas (3:30 PM ET; CBS)
This is the game of the week. Alabama has their first difficult road game in what seems like years and Arkansas has a chance to prove that they’re among the elite of SEC teams.

For the regional ABC/ESPN games below, check the coverage maps to see where you can find it in your area. Of note, Texas hosting UCLA is one of your regional matchups this week and won’t be shown in the mid- and south Atlantic regions.

UCLA at #7 Texas (3:30 PM ET; ABC/ESPN)
What could have been an annual game, is now just another good non-conference match-up. With a soggy forecast expected in Austin, the running game could be even more important to the ‘Horns success in week 4.

Eastern Michigan at #2 Ohio State (3:30 PM ET; ABC/ESPN)
Coming off a solid win against Miami, the Buckeyes get to beat down on the worst team in the MAC.

Wake Forest at Florida State (3:30 PM ET; ABC)
It’s a regional treat of two unranked ACC teams. Time for another beer.

#8 oklahoma at Cincinnati (6:00 PM ET; ESPN2)
This is ou’s final tune up before the Red River Rivalry next weekend if you care to see how they look. It’s also their first road game of the season. Cincinnati has dropped off considerably since former coach Brian Kelly jumped to Notre Dame, so don’t expect much of a fight.

#12 South Carolina at #17 Auburn (7:45 PM ET; ESPN/ESPN3D)
Both of these teams have exceeded expectations so far this season and despite their middle of the pack rankings, either team could play a huge part in determining how the SEC championship is decided. With the SEC champ as a presumptive entrant into the BCS title game, everything that happens among the big boys of that conference is important to keep an eye on.

Oregon State at #3 Boise State (8:00 PM ET; ABC)
A few weeks ago, this was a must-watch game, but now the luster has worn off of Boise State thanks to Virginia Tech’s BCS suicide. Expect the Broncos to handle the Beavers easily and try to put up a big score in the hopes of winning style points.

#22 West Virginia at #15 LSU (9:00 PM ET; ESPN2)
Due to the staggered kickoffs of the prime time games, you should be able to check in on all of them when your game of choice is on a break. This one should provide some intrigue as the night goes on, unless LSU has run away with it before half time.

#5 Oregon at Arizona State (10:30 PM ET; FSN, Comcast Sports)
Your night cap this week has the top five-ranked Ducks going on the road for their first conference game. Both of these teams have put up some big points, and ASU stuck with #11 Wisconsin last week losing by only a point on the road, so there is long-shot the Sun Devils could give Oregon a tough time in the Valley of the Sun.

Thanks to “Lil Pete” for his ongoing weekly viewing guide contributions to EyesOfTX.

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College Football: Week 14 Viewing Guide

This is it, essentially the last week of the college football regular season. With it, there are conference championship games and “de facto” championship games, all coming to a television screen near you. This week is for all the marbles as college football fans will see the national title picture and the rest of the BCS mess cleared up.

Nothing is on regional coverage this week, so to hell with the coverage maps! All rankings are the current BCS standings. Grab some cold ones and crash your couch like you’re a Salahi at the White House with Eyes Of TX’s week 14 viewing guide as your ticket to this week’s college football match-ups. No Secret Service approval necessary.

Thursday
9:00 PM ET
#16 Oregon State at #7 Oregon, ESPN
The winner of the Civil War will take the Pac-10 title and with it, a trip to meet Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. You’ve got to love an in-state rivalry game with so much riding on it. Neither team has been to the Rose Bowl in at least 15 years (or, 45 years for the Beavers). USC head coach Pete Carroll is rolling over in his L.A. grave, er, mansion. OSU bonus: Sara Jean Underwood!

Friday
8:00 PM ET
Central Michigan v. Ohio, ESPN2
The MAC Championship. Central Michigan carries an unbeaten conference record that includes victories over Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and Michigan State. Who knew Michigan was so big? They also dominated Northern Illinois (hey, they’ve got to start somewhere), so they are the favorite in any game featuring a region, thus giving Ohio a fighting chance, right? Oh, we lost you at MAC?

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
#5 Cincinnati at #15 Pittsburgh, ABC
Another conference championship is on the line, this time featuring an undefeated team without a prayer of playing for the national title. Football fans would sooner see a rematch of the SEC title game than the Bearcats sneaking into the BCS’ top two. Given the shine of the Irish gold, could this be Brian Kelly’s last game for Cincinnati? Bonus: Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt’s uneven mustache!

3:30 PM ET
Arizona at #18 USC, ABC
To fill in the gap before the SEC Championship check in on this one. Plenty is riding on this game for USC with regard to bowl placement. The Trojans could finish second in the conference with a win (if Oregon State loses), or as low as sixth if Arizona pulls off the victory. Is Arizona football suddenly better than Arizona basketball? In December, it sure seems to be the case – go Desert Swarm!

On a Big 12 note, the #2-ranked ‘Horns take on USC on the hard court in the Erwin Center in Austin on Thursday night (9:00p ET on ESPN2).

4:00 PM ET
#1 Florida v. #2 Alabama, CBS
Blah, blah, blah, Tebow, blah, blah, Saban, blah, blah, blah, scripture, blah, eye poking, blah, blah, Ingram, blah, defense, blah, blah, DUI, blah, blah, blah, rematch, blah, Heisman, blah, blah, blah. This game will be great, too bad it’s sullied by all of the hyperbole and exhausted storylines. Plus, if you choose to watch this game and not the Big 12 Championship, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog.

#22 Nebraska v. #3 Texas, ABC
The Big 12 title game is finally here. One final test for the Longhorns and after a neck-and-neck game last week at A&M, there’s plenty of speculation that this will be a greater test than anyone anticipated midway through the season. As expected, a victory on Saturday all but guarantees Texas a slot in the BCS title game in Pasadena. Expect loads of negative energy to be focused on the ‘Horns as most of the country would love nothing more than for the Cornhuskers to pull off the upset and throw the BCS world into a tizzy with TCU waiting in the wings to move into one of the top two national rankings. Bonus: Truth! Hook ‘Em!

Now, a viewing guide bonus!

Sunday, December 12th
2:30 PM ET
Army v. Navy, CBS
This game is always a treat despite the fact that neither team has been really competitive on a national level for about a hundred years. In the wake of the President’s recent announcement that the U.S. will be committing 30,000 more troops to the war effort in Afghanistan, it is nice to pause and watch kids being kids because after all, this violent game is what these guys do for fun, and when they go to work, their jobs are far worse. It’s also a source of morale for our men and women already serving overseas, and as fans and patriots of a great country, we can’t send them enough. So good luck and thank you to both sides for all that you do to protect our freedoms.

Thanks to LilPete for what has been an awesome series of viewing guides this season, keeping college football fans around the world on track. Perhaps a bowl season viewing guide is next?

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College Football: Week 13 Viewing Guide

It’s Thanksgiving week, which is also Rivalry Week. We’ll be light on commentary this week, because most of these games speak for themselves. Many of these rivalries are sullied this year with dominant teams facing off against their historic opponents in rebuilding years. However, for those teams with nothing else to play for, these match-ups will be their “championship” because it would bring a team – like Auburn or Texas A&M – no greater pleasure than to spoil the BCS title hopes of their nemeses. So, don’t be surprised to emotional play lead to some surprising upsets this weekend.

Remember to check the TV coverage maps, and note that all rankings are the current BCS standings. Enjoy your leftovers and save room to indulge in your week 13 viewing guide.

Thursday
8:00 PM ET
#3 Texas 49 v. Texas A&M 39
This was…unusually close. Despite the loss, the Aggies might have played their best game of the year – at least offensively. QB Jerrod Johnson looked fantastic, and will continue to be a threat to Texas in the next couple of years. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will be irate after the way the defense played Thursday night, but my guess is that emotion and momentum kept the Aggies in the game much longer than expected because the ‘Horns offense clicked most of the game. If you’re running behind on Eyes Of TX content, the in-depth game preview can be found here. There is no asterisk as division champs this year, as Texas has plowed their way to the Big 12 Championship game against Nebraska on December 5th.

Friday
11:00 AM ET
Rutgers at Louisville, ESPN2
Exciting! Not. But, football season’s almost over….let’s feast while we still can.

12:00 PM ET
Illinois at #5 Cincinnati, ABC
One final test for the Bearcats. Rumor has it former starting QB Pike will make the start this week. Eyes Of TX says, “why mess with a good thing?” Hope that doesn’t backfire for Cincinnati, but an upset sure would make the BCS happy.

2:30 PM ET
#2 Alabama at Auburn, CBS
Can ‘Bama overcome their biggest rival to give themselves a shot at #1 Florida, the SEC championship and the national championship? We’ll see how Auburn gets up for this game after a killer start, but a late season let-down. If head coach Gene Chizik pulls off the upset, sadly, he will be enshrined as the best coach ever at Auburn.

3:30 PM ET
Nebraska at Colorado, ABC
Nebraska has clinched the Big 12’s North division and will face #3 Texas on December 5th for the Big 12 conference title. This will be the last opportunity to see what Bo Pelini’s squad has to offer, in particular his offense, and while most thought it will be Colorado’s last chance to help head coach Dan Hawkins keep is job, the university confirmed that he would be coaching in Boulder again next season. The NCAA might as well give CU the “death penalty” because they’ve definitely rolled over this year.

7:00 PM ET
#9 Pittsburgh at West Virginia, ESPN2
Does anyone else think Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt has a funny mustache?

10:00 PM ET
Nevada at #6 Boise State, ESPN2
Close out the night with this late game. Boise State could be shut out of the BCS this year despite being #6 and undefeated. It’s too bad their weak schedule didn’t allow us to see just how good they can be, and perhaps Oregon helped them look better than they actually are… With #5 Cincinnati and #4 TCU as mid-major schools ahead of them in the BCS, it will be a disappointment for the home of the blue turf.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
Both of these games are intriguing for the in-state bragging rights implications. Neither matchup is particularly compelling but in the context of Rivalry Week, they’re definitely worth watching.

#18 Clemson at South Carolina, ESPN
The ‘ol Ball Coach tries to make a stand in Columbia against a ranked opponent. Win or lose, they could keep Clemson RB C.J. Spiller from winning some post-season awards if they can hold him to a sub-par performance.

North Carolina at North Carolina State, ESPN2
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? In the shadows of the Appalachian mountains, its basketball season folks.

12:21 PM ET
#25 Mississippi at Mississippi State, check local listings
If you can find this, see the same reasons as above. If anything, Texas fans can relish in the fact that when the pressure was on to deliver a big year for Ole Miss, former Longhorn back-up quarterback Jevan Snead fell flat in 2009.

12:30 PM ET
#12 Oklahoma State at oklahoma, Comcast Sports Net
Another one that will be hard to find, unfortunately, because it’s always nice to watch ou struggle. With this year’s ‘Pokes team rolling to a potential BCS at-large bid, it’s hard to imagine them dropping this one, even though they’re away from home.

3:30 PM ET
Florida State at #1 Florida, CBS
Florida’s won the last 21 games of this series, if memory serves. For Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden, the good thing is he’s old enough to forget each game. Florida wins big, and sets up the ultimate SEC Championship match-up of #1 v. #2 Alabama for the right to play in the national championship.

#14 Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPN
Virginia is an absolute debacle this year. Expect the Hokies to roll the ‘Roos at home.

#17 Miami at South Florida, ABC
This might actually be interesting, as South Florida started out the year strong, as did Miami. We’ll see what the ACC has to offer up the bowl committees besides a surprising Georgia Tech. Can Miami step up?

(Also in this slot on ABC is Arizona at Arizona State, and Missouri at Kansas.)

5:00 PM ET
#21 Utah at #19 BYU, CBS College Sports
A great in-state matchup between two of the best non-BCS conference teams.

7:00 PM ET
Arkansas at #15 LSU, ESPN
LSU has found out they weren’t quite as good as they thought, in part due to horrible coaching by Les Miles last week. Arkansas has been inconsistent, but could pull off the upset. Unfortunately, Death Valley isn’t an easy place to play, especially the week after an LSU loss.

8:00 PM ET
Georgia at #7 Georgia Tech, ABC
Who would have thought the best team in Georgia would be out of Atlanta? Georgia Tech’s triple-option has proven surprisingly successful this year. Go Yellowjackets!

Notre Dame at Stanford, ABC
What could be head coach Charlie Weis’ last game at Notre Dame will be shown in most of the country. Meanwhile, Stanford will try to stamp their ticket with another win against a big-time program.

Thanks again to LilPete for his 2009 season viewing guides.

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NCAA Football: Week 7 Viewing Guide

NCAA FootballIt’s time. The biggest game of the season is upon Texas Longhorn and oklahoma sooner fans, but don’t blow your tops too soon because there’s a lot to look forward to this weekend across the college football agenda. Find some Shiner Bock, kick back, and enjoy the ride because the slate of games this weekend doesn’t get much better than this. Here’s your week 7 viewing guide.

Thursday
7:30 PM ET
#8 Cincinnati at #21 South Florida, ESPN
This is a meeting of the best in the Big East. That sounds like a joke, honestly. Both teams are unbeaten and 1-0 in conference play and have never before played with both teams ranked in the top 25. This game should decide the BCS representative from the conference.

Friday
9:00 PM ET
Bed time, er, Pittsburgh v. Rutgers
It’s going to be a long day for Big 12 fans on Saturday, so get your beauty sleep. Oh, Pitt is playing Rutgers. Choose sleep.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
#3 Texas vs. #20 oklahoma, ABC
Game of the week for the nation, game of the year for Longhorns. oklahoma QB Sam Bradford looked like his old self in his first game back from the injury to his throwing shoulder last weekend, so this won’t be the cakewalk that ou’s losses to BYU and Miami might lead you to believe. Both defenses are ranked in the top 10 nationally and the Texas offense has been sluggish at times, most notably their two offensive touchdown effort last week against an inferior Colorado team. Hopefully, the ‘Horns shake off the rust for good and take this one to Big Game Bob and the land thieves north of the border.

3:30 PM ET
#6 USC at #25 Notre Dame, NBC
Follow up the fireworks in Dallas with another huge rivalry game that has massive implications for both teams, as this game is essentially do-or-die for both teams. The Trojans are going on the road to South Bend and desperately need to leave with a victory in order to keep their BCS dreams alive. For the Irish to have any chance of climbing back into the BCS picture, they need this upset on their resume.

6:00 PM ET
#4 Virginia Tech at #19 Georgia Tech, ESPN2
The Techs square off! Virginia Tech’s only loss to-date was in week 1 to then-#5 Alabama. Since then, the Hokies have been on a roll. However, they return to Atlanta (the site of their opening week loss) this weekend to face the Yellowjackets who could lock up a three-way tie in the ACC’s Coastal division between themselves, Virginia Tech, and Miami if they come away with the win. Either way, something tells me the ACC has a more logical tiebreaker than the Big 12. Eyes Of TX predicts a Tech win, and the Vegas odds will good on that.

8:00 PM ET
#22 South Carolina at #2 Alabama, ESPN
Alabama isn’t playing like the #2 team in the country right now; they’re playing like the #1 team. South Carolina will have their hands full going on the road to Tuscaloosa for this one. Fortunately for Spurrier’s Gamecocks, his defense is ranked #15 in the nation. Unfortunately for them, Alabama’s defense is #2.

9:15 PM ET
#16 oklahoma State at Missouri, ESPN2
Close out the night with another Big 12 matchup. Missouri fell from the top 25 this week after their loss to Nebraska at home, and Okie State has stagnantly remained in the teens since their inexplicable loss to Houston, but sit comfortably at 1-0 in conference play. The Tigers still have a decent shot at competing for the Big 12 North title with both Kansas and Nebraska, but those teams also face precarious games against Texas and Oklahoma respectively in the coming weeks. The Tigers need to take this one in Columbia to keep those hopes alive. The Pokes are going to have a run for their money, especially if star WR Dez Bryant remains ineligible to play.

Thanks to LilPete for his ongoing contributions to the weekly viewing guide for Eyes Of TX.

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NCAA Football: Week 6 Viewing Guide

NCAA FootballAre we really already halfway through the season? It’s week six in the college football season, and this is when things get interesting as conference play is in full effect and the national rankings have begun to sort themselves out. Of course, “now things get interesting” only relates if you’re not a Big 12 Conference fan.

There are a great set of games to check in on this weekend, so here’s your week six NCAA football viewing guide.

Thursday
#21 Nebraska 27 at #24 Missouri 12
If you missed this game on Thursday night, here’s a quick recap – a near-tsunami came through Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night and it wasn’t either team’s offense for the first three quarters. Special teams mistakes and the punting game were the outcomes of heavy rain, but in the fourth quarter, Nebraska found some magic and scored three TDs in just over 3 minutes to seal the victory. As Eyes Of TX expected, this puts Nebraska and Kansas in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 North title. If you haven’t been watching Nebraska, you should begin thinking about defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as a Heisman Trophy candidate – he is unbelievable.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
#17 Auburn at Arkansas, ESPN
Auburn has entered the top 25 with a 5-0 record. Arkansas isn’t likely to stand in their way to a rise up the rankings, but Ryan Mallett – whether he sticks with football or pursues a Major League Baseball career – has the potential to keep the ‘Hogs close. This is a nice way to kick off a great afternoon and see what’s going on in the SEC.

3:30 PM ET
#3 Alabama at #20 Mississippi, CBS
Alabama has been gaining ground on Texas in the polls and Ole Miss was positioned in the top 5 only a few short weeks ago before being exposed at South Carolina. The Rebels could redeem themselves with a victory at home, or the Tide could make a case for themselves as the best team in the country. Either way, this is must watch.

Wisconsin at #9 Ohio State, ABC/ESPN
ABC has a quad-fecta of regional games Saturday afternoon so check your listings for what’s available to you. Wisconsin enters this game unbeaten and unranked, sitting at the top of the Big 10 standings – yet they are still unranked. That is hard to fathom given Washington was ranked earlier this season, but we digress. Tyrelle Pryor has the potential to use his legs to win this one for State, then again, everyone has been saying Pryor can run and Eyes Of TX has yet to see it on display. Maybe Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis needs to come to town and breathe some life in to the Ohio State offense. It will be interesting to see what both of these teams are made of this week.

#13 Oregon at UCLA, ABC
Oregon still has a lot to prove after their opening week loss to now #6 Boise State, but could make a case for themselves as the best team in the Pac-10. They’ve looked solid the past few weeks, including a beat-down of then-#6 California,and their quarterback could be back from this match-up. Neuheisal’s already got bets on the outcome of this game, from what we hear.

Baylor at #19 oklahoma, ABC
ou is floundering, and Baylor has never beaten the sooners, but there’s no time like the present. After the close loss to Miami last week, the sooners desperately need a win in their final lead up to the Red River Shootout, but Baylor hasn’t had a team as likely to pull off an upset of a top 25 team in a long time. Unfortunately, that Baylor team had a healthy Robert Griffin, and he’s out for the season. ou quarterback Sam Bradford is expected to start his first game since the week one injury, so we’ll see how his recovery has gone over the course of the game.

UConn at Pittsburgh, ABC/ESPN
This game rounds out the four top for ABC and doesn’t add much to the conversation, but the game is on TV whether you like it or not, so you might as well be aware. If anything, it’s a good opportunity to get a chuckle at Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt’s moustache.

7:15 PM ET
Colorado at #2 Texas, ESPN
Hopefully, Texas isn’t looking ahead to ou weekend in Dallas. The ‘Horns should be able to put this away early, as Colorado continues to struggle through a four quarter game. Coach Dan Hawkins club just can’t seem to get it together, and with the ‘Horns bye week and the offense hitting its stride against UTEP, this is another scary match-up for the ‘Buffs. On a positive note, if this game gets out of hand early, it allows us all to check out what’s happening in Baton Rouge.

8:00 PM ET
#1 Florida at #4 LSU, CBS
CBS has the game of the week with this top 5 showdown. The storylines for this game don’t need repeating here, this week is all about what takes place in Death Valley. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has been dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion he suffered against Kentucky, and his play tonight is a game-time decision. If Tebow sits this one out, Eyes Of TX believes there is a huge opportunity for an upset.

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NCAA Football: Week 5 Viewing Guide

NCAA FootballThe top two NCAA football teams – #1 Florida and #2 Texas – are off this week, as many teams are beginning to get in to their conference schedules, but there are still plenty of games to keep the masses entertained this weekend. Unfortunately, the TV schedule this week is top loaded on the evenings with a lot of regional coverage, so check your local listings and decide which games have the biggest impact on your 2009-2010 expectations.

For reference, here’s the NCAA football week five TV viewing guide.

Thursday
7:30 PM ET
Colorado at West Virginia, ESPN
Both teams are down this year, which is too bad, but this will still be an entertaining matchup for a Thursday night. The winner could turn it around this season, the loser is going to be seriously down and out.

Friday
8:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh at Louisville, ESPN2
Friday night game, watch if you must. Or, go to happy hour. Best part of college sports? Highlights. While at the bar. Perfect.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
Arkansas State at Iowa, ESPN2
Curious to see if Iowa is for real, or if Penn State was once again just overrated in their loss last weekend? Arkansas State shouldn’t put up much of a fight, so we’ll see if the Hawkeyes can put up some big numbers and make the Big 10 Conference look good.

3:00 PM ET
Kansas State at Iowa State, FCS Central
Take a look and see what’s happening in the Big 12 Conference’s North Division. Or, go watch paint dry. This could seriously end in a 0-0 tie. Eyes Of TX should have some Cyclones’ game analysis from some guest bloggers attending the game in Kansas City next week.

3:30 PM ET
Penn State at Illinois, ABC
We’ll see how Joe-Pa and Penn State rebound, going on the road, following a tough loss at home to Iowa. Are they as good as the pre-season hype? Did they just have an off week? How “juiced” will Illinois be? Get it?

8:00 PM ET
USC at California, ABC
A week ago, this would have been must-see game, but now it’s relegated to ABC’s “B team” and will likely only be seen on the West coast. Still, this is a compelling matchup despite Cal’s precipitous fall down the standings after the absolute debacle at Autzen Stadium at the hands of Oregon. USC needs to continue to rebound in Pac-10 play after the disappointing loss to Washington. The winner places itself in pole position to climb back in to the BCS hunt, while it’s “better luck next year” for the loser.

oklahoma at Miami, ABC
The real game of the week. Or, it should be. Head coach Bob Stoops has managed to weasel ou back in to the top 10 rankings (after the opening week loss to BYU) quicker than anyone would have imagined thanks in large part to the poor play and exposure of so many top-ranked teams last week. That, and the fact that just about every pollster slurps Stoops so much you wish they would get it over with and just ask him to the prom already. On Thursday, Stoops announced back-up quarterback Landry Jones would start in place of the injured Sam Bradford, and Miami’s Jacory Harris needs to bounce back after the loss to Virginia Tech to keep his name in the Heisman Trophy discussion.

Thanks to LilPete for this weekly contribution.

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