We begin this week with an impending hurricane, a time frame, the percentage of expected rain, and the price of a ticket.
With Hurricane Joaquin (What happened to the American names for hurricanes??!! – Sorry, I wanted to sound like Donald Trump) threatening the Carolina Coast, Duke’s Administration decided to adjust its ticket prices for Saturday’s mid-afternoon game against Boston College by playing a game of weather roulette.
Starting on Wednesday, the athletic department looks at the weather forecast to see what the chance of rain will be on Saturday.
The readings are taken at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. The biggest discount will be if there is a 90-percent chance or greater of rain. In that case, the general admission ticket, regularly $25 will be discounted in half to: $12.50.
The smallest discount, 10-percent comes if there is less than a 30 percent chance of rain for the game.
“Fans can decide to lock in their ticket now, or roll the dice and wait,” said Chris Alston, director of football marketing for the school.
The rain amounts are of little concern for the Dukies whose new field has the capacity to drain 8 to 10 inches per hour.
This weekend let’s see which teams drown out the noise, and blow away the opposition, and which gets a bargain on its tickets, but pays a high price with another loss.
No. 13 Alabama at No. 8 Georgia (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) It’s appropriate that in the “year of the tailback” a pair of All-America John Deere earth movers are featured in this game.
And for the first time in over five years, a span of 72-games, Alabama will find itself running out of the tunnel as an underdog.
There is even some grumbling in Groucho’s favorite town, that the “Tuscaloosa Titan” Saint Nick has lost a little off his fastball. We’ll see.
Alabama’s offense led by senior QB Jake Coker (8 TDs-4 INTs) has drifted as far off course as the USS Minnow, and against Georgia, is facing a bigger challenge than Volkswagen trying to salvage its reputation.
Luckily the QB can lean heavily on the tailback duo of All-America Derrick Henry, and his turbo-charged partner Kenyan Drake, to hoist a substantial load.
The receivers of the Sons of Ray Perkins; Calvin Ridley, and ArDarius Stewart, are one the job trainees hoping to someday rise to the standards of Amari Cooper.
The Tide’s D also an enigma has been as puzzling as Bobby Fischer in self-imposed exile.
It possesses more talent than the stage at Woodstock stoning runners behind a pair of All-Americas backer Reggie Ragland, and nose A’Shawn Robinson, but has struggled mightily defending the pass, and has allowed a jaw-dropping 40-points in 3 of its last 7 games.
A victory moves the Bulldogs into elite status, and legitimate playoff contenders, but as the Athens faithful are painfully aware, in recent years, these are the games in which Coach Mark Richt has coughed-up a fur ball.
The Sons of Hershel Walker gallop on the legs of the best tailback duo in America; All-America, and Heisman contender Nick Chubb, (averaging 149 yds. – who tied Hershel for most consecutive 100-yard games by a Bulldog at a dozen) and his partner Sony Michel.
While these Georgian peaches average over 7-yards a pop and have combined for over 800 yards and 10-TDs, junior QB Greyson Lambert (7 TDs – 0 INTs – 76%) has hit his targets better than the pickup drivers in “Easy Rider” lasering on his game changer; Malcolm Mitchell.
The Dawgs D, anchored by a trio of backers: Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins, and Tim Kimbrough has played with the intensity of Donald Trump toward Carly Fiorina, or Mayor Marty Walsh toward the Wynn Corporation.
In a game that will have more hits than a Beatles convention, we think the Athens sound system serenades its faithful with the Ray Charles classic; “Georgia on My Mind,” as the Dawgs claim its biggest victory since the Vince Dooley championship year of:1980.
No.6 Notre Dame at No.12 Clemson (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) It’s been a glorious stretch for Notre Dame.
The Irish remain on a green path toward a playoff invite, and last week its President, Fr. John Jenkins had a visit with the world’s biggest rock star; the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis.
On the gridiron, the Sons of Paul Hornung have flattened the opposition behind its road-grading ground attack featuring C.J. Proise (averaging 8 yds a pop – and 150 per game) and his quality assistant Josh Adams, who is also an 8-yard per carry man.
The director of the entire operation is r-shirt freshman QB DeShone Kizer (5 TDs-2 INTs) whose surprising maturity has put a smile on the visage of “Touchdown Jesus.”
The kid’s principle target wideout Will Fuller (20-yards a grab) scores a touchdown (6) almost as quickly as another email account engulfs Hillary Clinton.
The Domers D, featuring All-America backer Jaylon Smith, his partner Joe Schmidt who is also All-America worthy, along with safety Elijah Shumate has been stouter than NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
The Clemson Tigers are as mysterious as Republican Presidential candidate Jim Gilmore, the former Governor of Virginia.
Are they legitimate ACC title threats? Or like the Gov, simply jousting at windmills?
The Sons of James Dickey are under the command of its dynamic dual-threat QB Deshaun Watson (7 TDs-3INTs-74%) with assists from its bell cow tailback Wayne Gallman, and a trio of field stretchers; Artavis Scott, Ray-Ray McCloud, and Charone Peake.
The Tigers fuel-injected D featuring a pair of ends Shaq Lawson, his partner Kevin Dodd, along backer B.J. Goodson ranks ninth overall, and is solid in all phases.
We think the spirit of Francis continues to shine the spotlight on the Congregation of the Holy Cross, as the Irish high step into the national title conversation.
No.23 West Virginia at No.15 Oklahoma (FS1, Noon) To paraphrase Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” the Mountaineers are about to quickly find out, that they’re not in John Denver Country anymore.
After a diet of victory sweeteners, the Sons of Don Nehlen march into Memorial Stadium to see if it can digest a humongous entrée of protein.
The ‘Neers ludicrous-speed attack, courtesy of its mad-scientist Dana Holgersen, is directed by its dual-threat QB Skyler Howard (9 TDs-1 INT) with assists from the tailback combo; Wendell Smallwood and Rushel Shell.
When the WV dart-thrower goes aerial, Shelton Gibson, Jordan Thompson, and Javon Durante are dangerous field-stretchers.
The seasoned D, led by All-America safety Karl Joseph, and backers Jared Barber, and Nick Kwiatkowski has dramatically closed the Deval Patrick budget-sized gaps that plagued West Virginia in previous years.
In Norman the “Air-Raid” attack under the command of its talented bombardier QB Baker (10 TDs-2INTs-67%) Mayfield is in full bloom.
The OU Rifleman is assisted by a trio of glue-fingered receivers led by the nonpareil Sterling Shepard, who should be doing commercials for “Elmers.”
The ground attack featuring Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon is solid, but nowhere near as vintage as the championship years of glories past.
As the Norman faithful are painfully aware the Sooners D, featuring a pair of All-Americas; backer Eric Striker, and corner Zack Sanchez have often shown as much discipline as a Kardashian toward a camera, but will be the eleven that will ultimately determine the heights to which the OU season climbs.
The Sons of Bud Wilkerson under “Big Game Bob” are always its most dangerous when the least is expected. Forget John Denver, on Saturday it will be Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma, OK!”
No.3 Mississippi at No. 25 Florida (ESPN, 7 p.m.) The question lingeringly filters through the leafy Grove in the center of the Oxford campus; Are the Rebels really this good?
The Sons of Archie and Eli Manning will be tested again, this time in the hyper-amped night atmosphere of the Gainesville Swamp.
And in the spirit of those ‘Ole Miss gunfighters, the Rebs latest sharpshooter Chad Kelly (10TDs-3 INTs-61%) also carries special pedigree, as the nephew of Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly.
The ground support is provided by tailbacks Jaylen Walton, and Jordan Wilkins, while a pair of All-Americas; Laquon Treadwell, tight end Evan Engram, along with Cody Core have displayed better hands than Michelangelo.
But it’s on the defensive side of the ball where the Sons of Jimmy Patton have the strongest pour.
All-America tackle Robert Nkemdiche, one of the nation’s most feared disruptors anchors of this sledge hammer eleven, with assists from backer Denzel Nkemdiche, and safety Trae Elston.
In Gainesville the Sons of Steve Spurrier have a renewed optimism courtesy of its newly minted Coach Jim McElwain.
The Gators may also have found its QB in gritty, slippery slasher, Will Grier, who is tougher than a $5 steak.
Tailback Kelvin Taylor is the Gators lead dog, while wideouts Brandon Powell, Demarcus Robinson, and tight end Jake McGee provide big play targets.
The penurious D is anchored by end Jonathan Bullard who plays with the anger of a grammar school nun towards, well take your pick, with assists from All-America corner Vernon Hargreaves, and backer Jarrad Davis.
At the final gun, we think the Ole Miss faithful will be treated to the Jesse Winchester classic; “Mississippi Your on My Mind,” as the Sons of William Faulkner write another successful chapter.
No.1 Ohio State at Indiana (ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.) In Columbus, at least so far, it appears the smooth running Porsche of the Sons of Woody Hayes’s has been traded for a Volkswagen diesel.
The Buckeyes, who have more talent than a Miss Universe contest, have underachieved, and are sputtering worse than the campaign of Jeb Bush.
To paraphrase Ross Perot, after a quick inspection under the hood it appears there is a crossed wire at quarterback.
Both starter Cardale Jones (4 TDs- 4 INTs – 57%), and his starry backup J.T. Barrett (2 TDs-2 INTs – 55%), have performed as inconsistently as the foreign policy of the United States.
Inexplicably, the Bucks best athlete, Braxton Miller, has been like an extra in “Lost in Space.”
The game changer has stunningly only had a total of 28 touches, which is something that the Sons of Archie Griffin must fix quickly.
It has also been slow going for All-America tailback Ezekiel Elliott, while wideouts Michael Thomas, and Curtis Samuel have played like they are still low on the learning curve.
The Bucks dynamic D sporting a trio of All-Americas; end Joey Bosa, tackle Adolphus Washington, and safety Vonn Bell, has been the backbone for the Boys from Columbus.
It’s been quite some time since the Hoosiers have appeared in this space. Probably because it’s been a-quarter-of-a-century since it began a season; 4-0.
The Sons of John Pont (the only Indiana Coach to take the Hoosiers to the rose Bowl -1967) are directed by its talented senior QB Nate Sudfield (7 TDs- 1 INT -61%) with assists from starry tailback Jordan Howard, who leads the nation in rushing, and a trio of receivers led by game breaker Ricky Jones who averages 22-yards a pop, with 3 TDs.
Coach Kevin Wilson’s D anchored by end Nick Mangieri, and a pair of ball-hawking backers; Marcus Oliver and T.J. Simmons has improved, but remains on the porous side sitting last in the Conference.
We think the Buckeyes will be tested early, but ultimately, they leave Bloomington singing “Goodbye Columbus” to the much improved Hoosiers of Indiana. .
Last week’s record: 2-3 Season record: 10-10
That’s it from cyber space. Be sure to read our recap which will be up and running by Noon on Sunday. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK