A Minimal Football Friday 11/1/19

This is NOT a full-on Football Friday; nonetheless, there are football commentaries that should be made here.  First, Linfield College has guaranteed itself yet another winning season in football.  That streak of winning seasons began in 1956 – when Dwight Eisenhower was President.  Here is what happened:

  • On 19 October, Linfield beat Willamette 77-0
  • On 26 October, Linfield beat Pacific Lutheran 42-10
  • Linfield’s record is now 5-1 and with a 9-game regular season schedule, that means the Wildcats will be above .500 for the 2019 season.
  • Linfield is 4-0 in Northwestern Conference games; the conference champion gets an automatic invitation to the Division III playoff tournament once the regular season ends in mid-November.  Go Wildcats!

Once Football Friday gets back on a more normal footing, it is that time of the year when I begin to size up the worst teams in Division 1-A football in order to create my mythical SHOE Tournament field.  For those who have joined this wagon train in the last 12 months here is the deal:

  • SHOE stands for Steaming Heap Of Excrement.  It is not an honorific title.
  • The SHOE Tournament is purely fictional; it seeks to identify the worst team in college football each year and seeks to do so with on-the-field play.
  • A Committee-of-One – – namely ME – – seeds the 8 worst teams in the country.  The idea would be to have those teams play one another in a bracket format where it is the LOSER who must advance to the next round.  If a team wins a SHOE Tournament game, they can go home secure in the knowledge that they will not be saddled with the title of SHOE Team of the Year.

We are at the point in the season where it makes sense to start to identify the 8 teams worthy of inclusion in the SHOE Tournament.  I began a cursory search this week looking at the three teams who are still winless in 2019 and the schedules remaining for those teams.

  1. Akron is winless in 2019.  The Zips have 4 remaining games against MAC opponents.
  2. New Mexico State is winless in 2019.  The Aggies face Incarnate Word on 9 November and then UTEP – a perennial SHOE Tournament participant – on 16 November.  Failure to get a win in either game would guarantee New Mexico State a berth in the SHOE Tournament.
  3. Rice is winless in 2019.  The Owls face Middle Tennessee St and N. Texas St, down the line; neither opponent has a winning record to date.  Then, Rice closes the season against UTEP – a team with one win at the moment and dates with two sub-.500 teams so far this season.

This week in college football offers up a game between Miami and Florida State.  Twenty years ago, this would have been the biggest game of the college football season.  This week, the game makes it all the way up to the level of “Ho-Hum!”.

There are some rivalry games this weekend:

  • Army/Air Force is always an interesting game to watch.
  • K-State/Kansas is an interesting rivalry game every year.
  • Florida/Georgia is always an intense rivalry – – and usually an important and competitive game.  This is the Game of the Week in college football.

Utah/Washington and USC/Oregon are important games for PAC-12 standings and that conference’s potential participation in the CFP.

SMU and Memphis meet with conference championship implications all over this game.  SMU is undefeated for the season; Memphis has 1 loss (in conference to Temple) and needs a win here and then to win out over the likes of Houston, USF and Cincy to be this year’s “Group of Five Darling”.

IN NFL games this weekend:

  • Skins at Bills has a Total Line of 36.5.
  • Bears at Eagles is a critical game for both teams
  • Packers at Chargers could be a make-or-break game for the Chargers this year.
  • Pats at Ravens is the Game of the Week
  • Jets at Dolphins is the Dog-Breath Game of the Week.

Finally, Dwight Perry had this item in the Seattle Times recently.  It is relevant over many time zones…

“Dunbar High School of Dayton, Ohio – trailing 23-8 with 7 minutes left in the first half and already whistled for three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties – had to forfeit its football game against Cincinnati’s Roger Bacon when a Dunbar player head-butted an official.

“Bonus points:  The game was played at Welcome Stadium.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………