Like so many athletes before him, Ray Small was blessed with an abundance of talent but cursed with way too little in the area of common sense. He has a lot in common with this year’s Ohio State team as a whole.
Forget for a moment that Small has game-breaking speed and as of this very moment leads the Big Ten in punt return average. To thrive as a student-athlete at the major-college level, you must at least pretend to pay attention to the student part of the equation. By all indications, Small cut classes in favor of sleeping in and even dozed off a time or two during football meetings.
Cutting class and sleeping in certainly aren’t major cases, and as some have already indicated, they are not offenses that rise to assault charges or drunk driving arrests. Still, there are team rules and when you do not abide by them – repeatedly – you begin to forfeit your playing status.
Small is been a problem child ever since he got to Ohio State. He wasn’t supposed to be academically eligible to join the Buckeyes as a freshman in 2006 but barely squeezed through at the last minute. Since then, he has been in and out of Jim Tressel’s doghouse as the coach devised new ways to try and get Small’s attention. He lost his starting job, lost his jersey number and even lost a spot in the team’s official media/recruiting guide this fall.
Through it all, Small never really seemed to get the message. Now he is suspended again and his father has indicated his son may take his obvious skills – as well as a burgeoning persecution complex – elsewhere.
Small’s situation is the latest in what is becoming an Ohio State team rapidly showing cracks around the edges. In case you hadn’t heard, the rumors now making the rounds at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center whisper of a disgruntled team divided. Several of the upperclassmen, so-called insiders say, were on the verge of all-out mutiny a couple of weeks back when Tressel dumped senior quarterback Todd Boeckman in favor of multitalented freshman Terrelle Pryor.
I’m not especially into conspiracy theories, and it makes no particular sense for any senior player to go into the tank with every NFL scout in the country poring over every frame of game film. Likewise, Ohio State didn’t exactly play lights out against Ohio the week before the USC beatdown.
Perhaps there is dissension on this team. It wouldn’t be the first time it happened in college football and lord knows it won’t be the last. Tressel has faced it a couple of times before, including his inaugural season when most of his roster was used to John Cooper’s hands-off approach to coaching. The fact that Tressel has been able to keep the attitude level high and off-the-field problems to a minimum the last couple of years is testament to his powers of persuasion. He prefers to present young men with options, clearly underlining which he believes are the best. But he’s never been a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy. The Maurice Clarett episode should be evidence enough of that.
Still, Tressel has to work with upwards of 100 young men on a daily basis, and like any other entity of that size with that number of individual personalities, not everyone is going to see eye to eye.
To be honest, I’m still left wondering why the trigger was pulled so quickly on Boeckman. I will stipulate that he is not the greatest quarterback ever to walk onto a football field, but he did have a lot of things going for him. He did lead the team to the national championship game last year, he was elected a team co-captain and he did (and likely still does) enjoy a huge amount of popularity among his teammates.
I never thought Tressel would supplant a senior, especially one at quarterback, with a freshman no matter how talented that freshman was. Again, conspiracy theorists surmise that after taking stock of his team following the USC game, the head coach was merely trying to get a jump on the 2009 season. Anyone that has even a passing knowledge of the way Tressel operates understands there is no way that could be true.
For all of their warts, this year’s Ohio State team remains in the running for a BCS bowl berth. If the Buckeyes win their final three games – and they should be favored in each – they will receive their fourth straight trip to the BCS and sixth in the last seven years.
Unfortunately, a BCS bowl berth notwithstanding, the legacy of the 2008 Ohio State football team will not be accentuated by what it achieved. Rather, it will be what the Buckeyes did not achieve. A team that was predicted – and quite frankly expected – to march to a third straight national championship game has been left in must-win mode with three games remaining in the regular season.
In that vein, Ray Small and his current situation is a microcosm of the entire team. It’s either a case of being totally overrated or never being quite able to play up to one’s vast potential.
The bottom line is that the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
OHIO STATE-NORTHWESTERN MINUTIAE
** Ohio State and Northwestern will meet Saturday for the 74th time and the Buckeyes hold a lopsided 56-14-1 advantage in the series. OSU has a 25-6-1 edge in Evanston, including victories in 15 of the last 16 at Ryan Field/Dyche Stadium. The Wildcats took a 33-27 overtime win over the Buckeyes in 2004, but before that you would have to go all the way back to 1958 to find a home win for Northwestern over Ohio State.
** That overtime loss to the Wildcats in ’04 evidently made the Buckeyes angry. In the three games since, they have outscored Northwestern by a 160-24 margin. That is probably a good thing for OSU because the Wildcats are 17-4 in their last 21 overall games determined by seven points or less.
** OSU head coach Jim Tressel is 6-1 against Northwestern while Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald is 0-2 vs. the Buckeyes. With Ohio State, Tressel is 19-4 during the month of November, good for a .826 winning percentage. All-time, the Buckeyes are 281-132-19 (.672) overall during the month as well as 178-78-11 (.687) on the road in November.
** The last time these two teams got together, Ohio State took Northwestern to the woodshed. Last year’s 58-7 pounding represented the most points scored by the Buckeyes since Tressel got to Columbus. In fact, it was the most points scored by any Tressel-coached team since Youngstown State rolled to a 63-20 win over Alcorn State in the first round of the 1994 Division I-A playoffs.
** Something has to give Saturday. During the Tressel era, Ohio State is only 1-4 in the game following a regular-season open week. However, the Buckeyes are 15-2 under Tressel following a loss. That includes a 5-1 mark on the road.
** Ohio State is currently working on a streak of 13 consecutive victories in Big Ten road games. The Buckeyes last lost a conference road contest Oct. 8, 2005, when they dropped a 17-10 decision at Penn State.
** Since 1995, only four Big Ten programs have winning records against Northwestern. OSU leads the parade with an 8-1 record while Michigan is 8-3, Purdue is 8-5 and Penn State is 7-3. The Wildcats are .500 or better against the other six conference schools over the past 13-plus seasons.
** Northwestern junior quarterback Mike Kafka had a career day last weekend during his team’s 24-17 win over Minnesota. Kafka completed 12 of 16 pass attempts for 143 yards and two touchdowns, and added an amazing 217 yards rushing. That broke the old Big Ten record for most rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback, held since 1972 by Purdue’s Gary Danielson, who had 213 during a 22-21 loss to Washington.
** Kafka won Big Ten offensive player of the week honors for his performance, and teammate Brendan Smith captured the conference’s top defensive award after he returned an interception 48 yards for the game-winning touchdown against the Gophers. It was Smith’s second pick six of the season. He returned one 28 yards for a score in the Wildcats’ season-opening 30-10 win over Syracuse.
** It is unknown whether or not Kafka will keep his starting job this week against Ohio State. Regular starter C.J. Bachér sat out last week with a hamstring injury and is scheduled to be re-evaluated today. A barking hamstring will likely prevent Bachér from equaling Kakfa’s running exploits from a week ago, but the senior QB is the better of the two when it comes to throwing the football. Bachér owns two of the top three passing games in Northwestern history – 520 yards against Michigan State and 470 against Minnesota. Both performances came last season. His high game so far this season was 284 in a 22-17 win at Iowa.
** The Buckeyes may want to think about what they’re doing at halftime – and change it. They are outscoring their opponents by an average of more than 11 points per game, but have been outpointed 34-26 in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Northwestern has outscored its opponents by a 60-35 margin this season in the third quarter.
** With 12 tackles against Penn State, OSU senior linebacker James Laurinaitis upped his career total to 335 and passed Mike Doss (331, 1999-2002) for 10th place on the Ohio State all-time list. Laurinaitis needs only 11 more stops to jump into seventh place past Glen Cobb (336, 1979-82), Ed Thompson (338, 1974-76) and Al Washington (345, 1977-80).
** OSU junior tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells currently has 2,859 yards for his career, good enough for ninth on the school’s career rushing list. He needs 115 more yards to jump into sixth place past Antonio Pittman (2,945, 2004-06), Michael Wiley (2,951, 1996-99) and Carlos Snow (2,974, 1987-89, ’91).
** Kickoff for this week’s game is 12 noon Eastern Standard Time. That is 11 a.m. local time if you’re going to Evanston. The telecast will be handled by ESPN2 with the announce team of Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware (color).
** Next week’s game at Illinois is also scheduled to begin at 12 noon EST, 11 a.m. local time. It will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
** Texas Tech enjoyed one of the most successful weeks in its football existence with the upset of instate rival Texas. The victory came in the program’s 500th game and marked the first time Tech had ever beaten the nation’s No. 1-ranked team. Add those milestones to the Raiders’ lofty No. 2 perch in the BCS standings – their highest ever – and the fact that they own Division I-A’s longest current win streak at 11 games, and you can see why everything is coming up Double-T right now.
** One more thing about Texas Tech: The last time the school’s football team started 9-0 was 1938. The only remaining living member of that team, Lonnie “Primo” McCurry, served with the U.S. Marines at Iwo Jima in World War II. McCurry was on hand in Lubbock last Saturday night when the Raiders toppled Texas.
** Maybe the Big Ten doesn’t rack up big offensive numbers, but you would have been hard-pressed to find any conference with more thrilling finishes last weekend. All four of the Big Ten games were decided in the final 30 seconds – an interception return for a touchdown with 12 seconds left, the always-entertaining hook-and-ladder play with 26 seconds to go and a pair of last-second field goals, one with 0:24 showing on the clock and the other with just 0:07 remaining.
** Apparently the nation at large still likes Big Ten football even if the media does not. The Ohio State-Penn State game on Oct. 25 drew the seventh-largest audience ever for an ABC primetime regular-season contest. According to data from ESPN, the game was watched in 7.35 million households, which translates to a 6.4 rating share. The game was also the second-highest rated game of the 2008 season, surpassed only by the Sept. 13 clash between Ohio State and USC. That game was watched by an estimated 7.95 million households, good for a 7.0 rating.
** Last week’s 48-42 loss to Purdue eliminated Michigan from postseason eligibility, ending the nation’s longest postseason streak at 34 consecutive years. The Wolverines are now 2-7 in Rich Rodriguez’s first season and are assured of their first losing record since going 4-6 in 1967. In all of its long and storied history dating back to 1879, Michigan has never lost more than seven times in a single season.
** Head-scratching stat of the week: Wisconsin outrushed Michigan State by a 281-25 margin and somehow came up with a 25-24 loss. The Badgers, who started the season 3-0 and rose as high as No. 8 in the country, have lost five of their last six games.
** Our weekly update of the undefeated teams at Division I-A finds the number has dwindled to six: Alabama, Ball State, Boise State, Penn State, Texas Tech and Utah.
** Alabama has now played nine games so far this season which computes to 540 minutes of football. The Crimson Tide have trailed their opponents for exactly 75 seconds.
** Votes in this week’s Associated Press media poll show some indecision in terms of the best team in college football. Alabama received 46 first-place votes while Texas Tech’s thrilling upset of previous No. 1 Texas garnered the Red Raiders a dozen first-place votes. Penn State also got some love by getting named on six first-place ballots. My problem was the one voter who gave Florida a first-place vote. How can you possibly vote the Gators ahead of three undefeated teams, especially with a loss to 5-4 Ole Miss on their résumé?
** Of the teams in the AP’s preseason top 10, two – Clemson and Auburn – aren’t even ranked this week while a third, West Virginia, is barely in the poll at No. 25. Meanwhile, this week’s No. 1 team Alabama was down at No. 24 in the preseason rankings.
** Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford established a new school record last Saturday night against Nebraska. Bradford now has 31 pass completions of 40 or more yards in his career. That is two more than the previous best of 29 by Heisman Trophy winner Jason White. Best of all – for the Sooners at least – is that Bradford is still only a sophomore.
** Speaking of Oklahoma, it is second in the nation in scoring at 49.8 points per game. The Sooners are averaging 35.2 of those points in the first half alone, and that would rank No. 23 nationally all by itself. Three times this season, OU has scored 28 or more points in the first quarter and twice it has scored 50 or more in the first half.
** In their 62-28 rout of Nebraska last week, it was business as usual for Oklahoma as it tallied 35 points in the first quarter. It definitely was no business as usual for the Cornhuskers, however. They had never given up that many points in a single quarter in program history.
** Congratulations to Navy, which has become the first team in the nation to formally accept a bowl bid. The Middies, now 6-3 after last week’s overtime win over Temple, will play in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl, set for Dec. 20 in RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
** To say that it is a forgettable season in the state of Washington would be an understatement. Last week, Washington and Washington State were outscored by a combined 114-0, marking the first time in 33 years both teams were shut out on the same weekend. The Huskies are now 1-8 while the Cougars are 0-9.
** I don’t care what Duke head coach David Cutcliffe says. Which would you choose – staying at a school where football is an afterthought or going to one where the facilities and fan base are among the best in the nation? That’s why I think when the money starts talking, Cutcliffe starts walking – straight to Tennessee.
** If you are the Western Kentucky defensive coordinator, how do you explain losing a 51-40 decision at home to previously winless North Texas? That is 51 points to a team that had been averaging 16.9 points in its previous eight games. Of course, Hilltoppers head coach David Elson won’t have to go far to find his defensive coordinator. He just needs to look in the mirror.
** Stephen F. Austin quarterback Jeremy Moses is probably somewhere icing his elbow right now. Last weekend during his team’s game against Sam Houston State, Moses set new NCAA single-game records for pass completions and attempts when he connected 57 times in 85 tries for 501 yards and four touchdowns. Alas, it all went for naught as the Division I-AA Lumberjacks lost 34-31 in double overtime to the Bearkats.
** HBO is nearing completion of its documentary “Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football,” which chronicles the experiences of the first black players in the South during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. It is scheduled to debut Dec. 16.
** The Rev. James Riehle, longtime chaplain for the Notre Dame football team, died last week at the age of 83. His first game as team chaplain was the famous 10-10 tie with Michigan State in 1966, and Rev. Riehle played himself in the 1993 film “Rudy.”
** Thirty-two years ago today – much as it is this week – Texas was licking its wounds after an upset loss to a conference rival. On Nov. 6, 1976, Houston highlighted its first season as a member of the Southwest Conference with a stunning 30-0 victory over the Longhorns. The Cougars were led by defensive tackle Wilson Whitley as Texas was limited to just eight first downs in its worst conference loss ever under legendary head coach Darrell Royal.
** Also occurring during this week in college football history: On Nov. 4, 1967, Miami (Fla.) ended Virginia Tech’s regular-season winning streak at 14 with a 14-7 upset in Blacksburg; on Nov. 5, 1955, three future College Hall of Famers – coaches Bowden Wyatt of Tennessee and Bobby Dodd of Georgia Tech as well as UT tailback Johnny Majors – were all at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville as the Volunteers and Yellow Jackets played to a 7-7 tie; on Nov. 7, 1970, Northwestern fullback Mike Adamle set a new Big Ten record for carries by rushing 48 times for 192 yards and four touchdowns as his Wildcats took a 28-14 win over Minnesota; and on Nov. 8, 1975, freshman cornerback Savann Thompson’s interception with 59 seconds left set up the game-winning field goal as Stanford shocked No. 9 USC, 13-10, in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
** This week in college football history also saw the unveiling of a new offensive alignment. On Nov. 9, 1912, Carlisle used the double wing formation for the first time and rolled past a confused Army team, 27-6. Leading the Indians was legendary fullback Jim Thorpe while the Cadets featured a team that included nine future generals, including five-star general and future U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
We’re pretty sure we know how the Georgia Bulldogs feel. We had some early-season success, got to feeling pretty good about ourselves and then – BOOM! – it’s all over in a flash when you’re on the business end of a rout. Probably the less said about last week’s picks the better, so we’ll simply note that the straight-up picks were 6-5 while we were a miserable 3-8 week against the spread.
For the season, the numbers are now 64-24 straight up and 46-41 ATS. As we’re sure they are doing in Athens and Lincoln and Seattle and several other places all over the map, we’re going to try and forget last week as quickly as possible.
Here are the games we like this week (and remember that we’re using AP rankings).
No. 11 TCU at No. 10 Utah: We haven’t done very well this year with Thursday night affairs, but how could we resist this one from the Mighty Mountain West, especially when it has BCS implications. Each of these teams is in the running for an at-large berth in one of those big-money bowls and this game is the last real obstacle on either schedule. There is an awful lot to like about the Horned Frogs, including a defense that ranks third in the nation in scoring defense, second in total defense and first against the run. The Utes are extremely tough at home, winning nine straight at Rice-Eccels Stadium, and their offense is usually pretty good at putting points on the board. Also, Utah has beaten TCU in four of their last five meetings, including last year’s 27-20 win in Fort Worth … Utah 23, TCU 17. (8 p.m. EST, CSTV)
Wisconsin at Indiana: Would you believe me if I told you the Hoosiers were in front of the Badgers in the Big Tens standings? It’s true. Wisconsin at 1-5 is a half-game behind IU, which is tied with Purdue and Michigan (!) at 1-4. Still, Bucky has a lot to play for. If he can win out against the Hoosiers, Minnesota and Division I-AA Cal-Poly, he can avoid missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 2001. Over on the other sideline, Indiana has lost six of its last seven this season and nine of its last 11 against the Badgers. Something tells me Bucky is about to explode … Wisconsin 38, Indiana 20. (12 noon EST, Big Ten Network)
Michigan at Minnesota: Despite last week’s stumble against Northwestern, the Gophers are still poised to play in their first New Year’s Day game since the 1962 Rose Bowl. To accomplish that feat, they will probably have to win out and the first step is Saturday against the Wolverines. Everyone in Ann Arbor knew this was going to be a difficult season but it’s doubtful anyone knew just how difficult. U-M has lost five games in a row for the first time in 41 years, but can buoy itself with the knowledge that it has won 19 of the last 20 meetings with Minnesota. Of course, the Maize and Blue faithful also know this has been a season already tough on streaks … Minnesota 31, Michigan 28. (12 noon EST, ESPN)
Purdue at No. 18 Michigan State: The Boilermakers mined the depths of their bench last week, turning to a third-string quarterback to lead them to a 48-42 victory over Michigan. This week, Purdue tries to pull off the Michigan two-fer against a much tougher opponent. Sparty somehow got past Wisconsin last week which may have been a turning point for the program. In recent years, MSU has typically had a November swoon. Now with an 8-2 record, the Spartans are gunning for their best season since finishing 10-2 in 1999. It is difficult to see how the Boilers’ defense can do much to derail that push … Michigan State 34, Purdue 17. (12 noon EST, Big Ten Network)
Utah State at No. 9 Boise State: If you’re thinking this is a mismatch, you’re thinking what we’re thinking. The Broncos are trying to crash the BCS party for the second time in the past three years and have plenty of history on their side. They haven’t lost a regular-season game on the Smurf Turf since 2001, they are a perfect 30-0 against WAC rivals over that span, and they have outscored the Aggies by a 338-150 margin over the last seven games in the series, including last year’s 52-0 romp. Want more? Utah State is 1-47 all-time against ranked teams, and that includes 0-37 on the road … Boise State 42, Utah State 7. (2 p.m. EST, ESPN GamePlan)
No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 LSU: There is not much to say about this one other than I feel an upset brewing. Tide QB John Parker Wilson has played extremely well this season, especially in big games against the likes of Clemson and Georgia. But Wilson is still susceptible to making mistakes and he likely has at least one bad game coming. This could be that game, especially since the Tigers are playing at home with pretty much nothing but pride on the line – that and the desire to prove Nick Saban made a mistake when he left Baton Rouge. Here is Upset Special No. 1 … LSU 34, Alabama 30. (3:30 p.m. EST, CBS)
No. 3 Penn State at Iowa: No, this will not be Upset Special No. 2. While the Hawkeyes have had some success this year, they should be no match for the Nittany Lions, well-rested after their win over Ohio State two weeks ago. Iowa has five victories so far this season, but their five victims have a combined 18-26 record this season. Take the win over Division I-AA Maine and the Hawkeyes don’t have a single victory over a team with a winning record. That doesn’t exactly bode well when you’re playing the No. 3 team in the nation and one that ranks tops in the Big Ten in both scoring offense and scoring defense … Penn State 26, Iowa 13. (3:30 p.m. EST, ABC Regional/ESPN)
No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Texas Tech: If you weren’t dazzled last week by Texas Tech’s passing game, your dazzler must be broken. QB Graham Harrell is a cool customer with a live arm, but standing behind that massive line with a guy like Michael Crabtree to throw to would make you cool, too. So what it the world would make us think Okie State can go into Lubbock and do what Texas could not? Just a hunch. It would be difficult to imagine the Red Raiders and their crowd having much left in the emotional tank after last week. Add in the fact that the Cowboys also know a thing or two about moving the football (512.0 yards per game) and scoring points (45.3 per game) and the stage is set for Upset Special No. 2 … Oklahoma State 38, Texas Tech 34. (8 p.m. EST, ABC Regional)
No. 4 Florida at Vanderbilt: Don’t look now but the Gators are making a strong push for their second BCS title game appearance in three years. They have become a pretty nifty blend of offense and defense, averaging 42.8 points on their side of the scoreboard while allowing opponents only 11.6. Meanwhile, Vandy’s storybook start to the season has faded with three straight losses, and it is doubtful the Commodores have enough firepower to stay with the Urban Legends. Look for Florida to make it 18 in a row in the series and continue on its path to an SEC championship showdown, most likely with Alabama … Florida 38, Vanderbilt 14. (8 p.m. EST, ESPN2)
OHIO STATE NONLEAGUE OPPONENTS
Indiana State at Youngstown State: We thought we’d have a little fun and try to pick off some easy wins by taking a look at Ohio State’s nonconference opposition and how they’re doing this year. To be kind, both of the teams in this contest are struggling. The Penguins are shadows of their former Division I-AA powerhouse selves, listing along with a 2-8 record. But that’s better than the Sycamores, who are winless in nine games while getting outscored by an almost unbelievable 418-56 margin … Youngstown State 35, Indiana State 6. (1 p.m. EST, No TV)
Bowling Green at Ohio: Another couple of underachievers square off in Athens. Despite owning a losing record, the Falcons still entertain hopes of winning the weak MAC East since they play conference leader Buffalo next week and hold the tiebreaker over Akron. Meanwhile, the Bobcats haven’t been too successful in the recent past against BG. Ohio won last year’s contest, but that came after five straight losses in the series. Since 1982, OU has won only five times in 25 tries … Bowling Green 33, Ohio 19. (2 p.m. EST, No TV)
Western Kentucky at Troy: We’ve already talked about WKU’s problems on defense. That should bode well for the Trojans, who hung around with the likes of Ohio State and Oklahoma State earlier this season. Probably all you need to know about this one is that Troy dumped North Texas by four touchdowns a couple of weeks ago while the Mean Green dropped 51 on the Hilltoppers last week … Troy 43, Western Kentucky 13. (3:30 p.m. EST, ESPN GamePlan)
No. 21 California at No. 7 USC: Poor Pete Carroll is upset about the BCS standings that dropped his team from fifth to seventh this week despite a 56-0 win over Washington. Naturally, Carroll wouldn’t be making too much of the BCS had his team taken care of business earlier this season at Oregon State. As it is, USC needs to win out and hope the teams ahead of them in the standings knock one another off. Of course, if the Trojans are too focused on what they cannot control, the Bears are capable of the upset. Not saying they’ll get it – just that they are capable … USC 37, Cal 14. (8 p.m. EST, ABC Regional)
No. 12 Ohio State at Northwestern: I don’t know what was said or done to the Buckeyes after losing in Evanston in 2004, but I do know that OSU has uncharacteristically run up the score on the Wildcats ever since. The two teams would seem to be evenly matched this season, and normally that would bode well for the home team. Additionally, Ohio State has lost four of five games in the Tressel era following open weeks. It all points to an upset, doesn’t it? It might except that it is going to be difficult for Northwestern to mount any kind of rushing attack and that’s what leads to final scores getting out of hand … Ohio State 37, Northwestern 14. (12 noon EST, ESPN2)
Here are the spreads for the aforementioned games: TCU at Utah (+2½); Wisconsin (-9) at Indiana; Michigan (+7½) at Minnesota; Purdue at Michigan State (-9); Utah State at Boise State (-31); Alabama at LSU (-3); Penn State (-7) at Iowa; Oklahoma State (+5) at Texas Tech; Florida (-20) at Vanderbilt; Bowling Green (-3) at Ohio; Western Kentucky at Troy (-17); Cal at USC (-17); and Ohio State (-10½) at Northwestern.
Enjoy the games and we’ll visit again next week.