Hello again, everyone!
This edition of Clear Your Schedule is without reader questions (my Twitter inbox is open all the time, by the way), so with that — and a largely uninspiring slate of games — I want to take a second and look back at a couple of things.
Credit where due: Holy smokes, what a time to drop in with possibly the prognostication of the year. You probably read this last week, but in case you didn’t, behold:
Does Purdue have even the slightest of chances of beating Iowa? Brohm has had their number the past 4 year. 3-1 record.
— Matt Don (@MDon134) October 12, 2021
Here’s to you, @MDon134. I said last week that I thought people were looking at the wrong week for Iowa to fall — “thinking that Nebraska is the only hurdle remaining on that schedule is a fool’s errand” is how I labeled it — but he was all over it.
Now, I did note that Iowa had allowed its largest rushing output all season the week prior. That wasn’t eclipsed last week, as Purdue galloped for just 86 yards and a score. The Boilers did, however, gash the Hawkeyes for its largest yardage total — by far — allowed through the air, throwing for 378 yards and two scores on 31-for-43 passing. However it went down, the fact remains that it did go down. Iowa now finds itself on the outside looking in at a playoff berth, with a crazy set of circumstances needing to happen (Ohio State losing again, Michigan and Michigan State both needing to lose, and who knows what else) to work its way back in. The Hawkeyes went from their best season in recent memory to calls from fans to dismiss both Kirk Ferentz and his son in the span of a few days.
Ah, college football.
Thoughts on letter Conference USA sent to ACC?
— Ken Tripper (@SportsTripper) October 14, 2021
As you now know, between the time of this tweet coming in and the publishing of this article, six of C-USA’s schools have bailed for the AAC. It’s one thing to get pantsed by another conference — with a terrible hashtag, but let’s not address that — but it’s quite another for it to happen in the course of a week.
C-USA is now left with a lot of viable schools, but a shroud of unanswered questions. Do you go get JMU and Liberty? Does Liberty even entertain the offer after its prior alliance with the league? Is JMU ready for FBS football? Do you try to convince Sun Belt teams to jump, though the Sun Belt — laughably — has an arguably better media rights deal? We shall see.
If we’re looking back at last week’s column, we should also revisit the question about Nevada’s Carson Strong. Strong threw for a paltry 395 yards — his highest total of the season — on 34-of-54 passing in a big Nevada win against Hawaii last week. The junior signal-caller also took his team to the paint twice. In reality, Strong likely won’t be mentioned in the same breath as a lot of the “brand-name” quarterbacks, but he’s got some pretty intriguing outings remaining on his schedule. Keep an eye on him.
Finally, lest anyone ask about the currently-open coaching jobs at P5s, here’s how I’d rank them: LSU, USC, Washington State.
Since I don’t have any additional questions to answer, I’ll ask you one!
TRIVIA (answer at the end of the column): Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba is — as of now — the most accurate kicker (minimum 50 attempts) in NCAA history, hitting 69-of-76 tries (90.8%). Only one other kicker has a career mark of 90 percent. Who is that kicker?
Now, on to what I’m watching — one game per conference, as usual. First, though, as usual:
DISCLAIMER: This article will reference gambling lines and game odds. This feature is not meant to offer gambling advice or influence any financial transaction, and should not be construed as such.
All lines from Caesars Sportsbook, except where otherwise specified. All times Eastern. All games Friday night or Saturday considered for selection. All times Eastern.
American: Memphis (4-3, 1-2) at UCF (3-3, 1-2, -2), 7:00pm Friday, ESPN2
ACC: Clemson (4-2, 3-1) at #23 Pittsburgh (5-1, 2-0, -3), 3:30pm Saturday, ESPN
Big Ten: Maryland (4-2, 2-1) at Minnesota (4-2, 2-1, -5), 3:30pm Saturday, ESPN2
Big 12: #8 Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0) at Iowa State (4-2, 2-1, -7), 3:30pm Saturday, FOX
CUSA: #24 UTSA (7-0, 3-0, -7) at Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1), 7:00pm Saturday, Stadium
Independents: #16 Wake Forest (6-0, 4-0 ACC, -3) at Army (4-2), noon Saturday, CBSSN
MAC: Northern Illinois (5-2, 3-0) at Central Michigan (4-3, 2-1, -5.5), noon Saturday, ESPNU
Mountain West: #20 San Diego State (6-0, 2-0) at Air Force (6-1, 3-1, -3.5), 7:00pm Saturday, CBSSN
Pac-12: #10 Oregon (5-1, 2-1) at UCLA (5-2, 3-1 ,-2.5), 3:30pm Saturday, ABC
SEC: LSU (4-3, 2-2) at #12 Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1), 3:30pm Saturday, CBS
Sun Belt: South Alabama (4-2, 1-2, -13.5) at UL-Monroe (3-3, 1-2), 7:00pm Saturday, ESPN3
AQ7: RV Jacksonville State (3-3, 1-0) at #1 Sam Houston (5-0, 3-0), 3:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Big Sky: #11 Montana (4-2, 1-2) at Idaho (2-4, 1-2), 7:30pm Saturday, ESPN+
Big South: #12 Kennesaw State (5-1, 2-0) at Campbell (3-3, 2-1), 4:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
CAA: #18 Rhode Island (5-1, 3-1) at #5 Villanova (5-1, 3-1), 3:30pm Saturday, FloSports
Ivy: Harvard (5-0, 2-0) at #22 Princeton (5-0, 2-0), 1:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
MEAC: Norfolk State (4-2, 0-0) at Howard (2-4, 1-0), 1:00pm Saturday, ESPN3
Missouri Valley: #17 Missouri State (4-2, 3-1) at #3 North Dakota State (6-0, 3-0), 3:30pm Saturday, ESPN+
Northeast: RV Duquesne (4-1, 2-0) at Sacred Heart (4-3, 2-1), noon Saturday, ESPN3
Ohio Valley: SE Missouri State (2-5, 2-1) at #13 UT-Martin (5-1, 2-0), 3:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Patriot: Colgate (2-5, 2-0) at Holy Cross (4-2, 1-0), 5:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Pioneer: Morehead State (4-2, 3-0) at Marist (3-2, 3-0), noon Saturday, No TV
Southern: #14 ETSU (6-1, 3-1) at Furman (4-2, 2-1), 2:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Southland: #16 Incarnate Word (5-1, 3-0) at McNeese State (2-4, 1-2), 1:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
SWAC: RV Prairie View (5-1, 4-0) at Southern (3-3, 2-1), 7:00pm Saturday, No TV
TRIVIA ANSWER: I asked earlier: Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba is — as of now — the most accurate kicker (minimum 50 attempts) in NCAA history, hitting 69-of-76 tries (90.8%). Only one other kicker has a career mark of 90 percent. Who is that kicker?
Former Louisiana kicker Brett Baer converted 90 percent of his attempts (45-for-50) in his collegiate career. Baer never attempted an NFL kick.