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The Saturday Agenda


Your viewing/listening guide for this weekend’s college football bonanza, sorted into those clashes that appeal to the mainstream (The Cannon) and the indie (The DuBose):

Act I

The Cannon: No. 15 Michigan (7-1) at Iowa (5-3), noon, ESPN

Appeals To: Maize, Maize

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

Act II

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

Act III

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

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