The Saturday Agenda
The Cannon: No. 15 Michigan (7-1) at Iowa (5-3), noon, ESPN
Everything this week is a prelude to 8 p.m. on the Network That Caruso Built, and so I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending that this joust between Big Ten Epic Poem division contenders is worth much more than a passing nod. How To Pass the Time Until 8 p.m.: In addition to Denard Robinson, the Wolverines have apparently unearthed a running back from a 17th-century French settlement based in Youngstown, Ohio.
Grantland Rating: 7.6
The DuBose: Vanderbilt (4-4) at Florida (4-4), 12:21, SEC Network
Appeals To: Al Gore, Reptiles
Vanderbilt has not defeated Florida since 1988, and while I suspect they will fail again this year, because ineptitutde on the football field is how smart southerners distinguish themselves, it doesn’t seem entirely unfathomable. How To Pass the Time Until 8 p.m.: Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers is the brother of Aaron Rodgers; Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy’s nickname is “Z-man.”
Grantland Rating: 6.8
The Cannon: Texas A & M (5-3) at No. 6 Oklahoma (7-1), ABC/ESPN2
Appeals To: Big 12 Nostalgists
A largely one-sided rivalry that no one particularly cares about culminates with the Sooners seeking to do what they do pretty much every year: Climb back into the BCS picture after a nonsensical loss to a team that probably isn’t very good. How To Pass the Time Until 8 p.m.: Texas A&M has a knack for losing games in heartbreaking fashion, which is fun if you either dislike the SEC or enjoy mocking cadets.
Grantland Rating: 7.3
The DuBose: Arkansas State (6-2) at Florida Atlantic (0-7), 4, ESPN760.com
Appeals To: Sheepish Owls, Canis Rufus Rufus
The Owls are one of the two remaining winless teams in the Division formerly known as I-A. They’re averaging 11.7 points per game and giving up 34.4, though I still think they would probably shellack New Mexico. How To Pass the Time Until 8 p.m.: Watch the Owls’ owl-like 77-year-old coach, Howard Schnellenberger, who is retiring at the end of the season, which is ironic, since the coach best suited to rebuild this program is a 60-year-old Howard Schnellenberger.
Grantland Rating: 1.2
The Cannon: LSU at Alabama
Appeals To: Those Who Relish Human Existence In All Forms
To quote an overenthusiastic football coach I happened to observe this afternoon, LEADERS LEAD. Or, to quote David Caruso, HERE WE GO. (Sunglasseswon’tgetfooledagainetc.)
Grantland Rating: 10.0
The DuBose: New Mexico (0-8) at San Diego State (4-3), 8, The Mtn.
Appeals To: Those Who Shun Greatness
Let us put aside for a moment the fact that New Mexico has yet to win a game this season: In the past 180 minutes of football, the Lobos have scored a total of seven points, and those came in the fourth quarter of a 49-7 loss to Nevada. “After this one, I told them I thought the effort was better,” said interim coach George Barlow following a 42-0 defeat at the hands of Air Force, thereby reflecting the sort of blind optimism that The Mtn. utilized when refusing to relinquish that period in their proper name.
Grantland Rating: 0.4
Previously from Michael Weinreb:
The Real Rocky
Who Invented the Seven-Game Series?
The Best Passing Quarterback Ever
Read more of The Triangle, Grantland’s sports blog.
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