The American Trophy heads to Memphis this week.
The thought just occurred to me that the top game of interest to Temple fans on Saturday, UMass at Notre Dame (covered in yesterday’s post), might be interrupted a few times. It is on one of the three major local channels at 3:30, right smack in the middle of the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia.
Geez, I hope Channel 10 has more respect for the region’s 1.4 million Catholics than that. When Notre Dame is on, they do not want any interruptions.
Just in case, though, keep the remote control handy. Here are the other Saturday games of interest to Temple fans (with earlier games added at the end).
Navy at UCONN (-8), noon, CBS Sports Network,
If Memphis does not win the AAC West, Navy will. Last week, I predicted Navy would beat East Carolina, 38-17. I was wrong. Navy won, 45-21. Close enough. UConn was impressive in holding No. 18 Missouri to just nine points on the road, but that doesn’t erase giving up 15 to Villanova and 17 to Army. Navy should score 27 in this one and win, 27-14.
Northern Illinois at Boston College (-4), 1, ESPN3
This is only important because of Fraudazzio’s involvement with Boston College. Northern Illinois is coming off a 20-13 loss at Ohio State and BC is only favored because it is a P5 team at home. Anyone who watches BC can see that Addazio’s century-old approach to offense has not changed. Northern Illinois with the upset, 30-16. If the Owls do not make a BCS bowl, a matchup with BC in Yankee Stadium might make for a good storyline.
Virginia Tech at East Carolina (+7.5), 3:30, ABC or ESPN 2
ECU is probably a lot closer to the team that struggled to beat Towson and was blown out by Navy than the one that lost by a touchdown at Florida. Virginia Tech should win this won by about 20-10 on the road, slightly covering the spread. Right now, this is listed as an either/or game, but fans better hope this is on ESPN 2 because Channel 6 is going to be breaking in with Pope coverage every five minutes.
Cincinnati at Memphis (-7), 7:30, ESPN
Probably the game of the year so far in the AAC pits West preseason favorite Memphis against East preseason favorite Cincinnati. Memphis blew out Kansas, scoring 55 points, but probably had a more impressive win at Bowling Green, 44-41, last week. That was more impressive because Bowling Green was coming off a 48-27 win at Maryland, the same Terps’ team that beat South Florida, 35-17, a week ago. Temple fans might like Cincy to get another loss to drive the Bearcats further down in the East standings, but would be also consoled by a Cincy win by knowing the Owls would be considered the defacto top dogs in the AAC. Gunner Kiel suffered a head injury and is day-to-day. Memphis wins this, 35-24.
Boise State at Virginia (+2.5), 8, ESPN
Only important for Temple down the road because, if the Owls keep taking care of business, a Boise State team that lost only to BYU could be up against the Owls for a BCS bid. Unfortunately, I do not see Boise State losing this one. Boise State, 20-17.
Tomorrow: Fifteen Perfect Plays