Spoiler Alert: once you’ve finished reading this column, you will already know what’s going to happen in this weekend’s game. Instead of wasting your time watching the heavily anticipated Rhode Island-Maine matchup, I think it’s time you got cracking on Robert Caro’s multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson. If you’ve already plopped down the money for 50 yard line tickets at Alfond Stadium and reserved a suite at the Orono Motor Inn, then I suggest bringing all four volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson to the game. You will get most of the way through that opening chapter in book one on the ecology of the Texas Hill Country if you knock out a couple of pages during each television timeout.
Last Week: 7-9
Season to date: 28-17
- UC (2-1) at Memphis (3-0): Memphis is a paper tiger. We are going to blow them out. Remember men, the honor, that hangs upon this game.
Final Score: UC 38, Memphis 3
The Rest of the AAC
- Navy (2-0) at UCONN (2-1): Man, did UConn look good against Missouri last week. Almost as good as Huskies coach Bob Diaco looks morning, noon, and night. This is the kind of game that you get in your car and book a room at the Best Western to go see. Here’s a pro tip for staying at Best Westerns that I learned from my uncle. Scoop up all the shampoos and soaps and plastic cups in your room and use them as stocking stuffers. The only little bottle you should use during your stay is the conditioner. It makes a halfway decent body wash.
Final Score: Navy 30, UConn 20
- UCF (1-2) at South Carolina (1-2): I hear they have a mouse problem in Central Florida, but thankfully the Burmese Python has become the apex predator in the Everglades. On the other hand, Steve Spurrier at South Carolina is quickly devolving into Jordan wearing the number 45 territory.
Final Score: UCF 31, South Carolina 28
- Virginia Tech (2-1) at East Carolina (1-2): More than one million Americans rely on the paper industry for their employment. These good paying jobs in extraction, manufacturing, shipping, printing, and recycling account for only a portion of the paper industry’s financial impact. Clerical workers, postal employees, and warehouse laborers rely on paper for their continued employment. While many in the aforementioned fields have engaged in high-tech training to make themselves more competitive in an ever-automating corporate environment, computers have rendered these workers increasingly expendable with each passing year. Give your computer some rest. It will be there when you need it. Try using more paper in your daily life. Quit going paperless with your phone bill, light bill, bank statement, and credit card payment. Send someone a postcard instead of an email. Handwrite one letter a week instead of a long email. Get on as many junk mail lists as you can. Think of all the jobs that junk mail creates. Knowing you, I know you’ll pat yourself on the back for recycling all those catalogs and fliers. Just try to use more paper.
Final Score: East Carolina 35, Virginia Tech 31
- James Madison (3-0) at SMU (1-2): Few schools have as strong a triumvirate of ballers in the original Tecmo Bowl as SMU. Indianapolis running back Eric Dickerson, San Francisco defensive tackle Michael Carter, and Chicago wideout Ron Morris all dominate the game. It is rumored that Cap Boso tried to transfer to SMU.
Final Score: SMU 55, JMU 6
- Texas State (1-2) at Houston (2-0): LBJ, the most interesting guy who was ever president, went to Texas State’s predecessor, Southwest Texas State Teachers College-San Marcos. Once this game gets out of hand, I suggest that you head over to your local library and check out any of Robert Caro’s doorstop-sized volumes on the life of Lyndon Johnson. They are the best biographies I have ever read.
Final Score: Houston 51, Texas State 13
The Rest of the Country
- #9 UCLA (3-0) at #16 Arizona (3-0): Tucson has a lot of good grocery stores. Buvs told me that he is particularly fond of McGary’s Discount Grocery on West Fort Lowell Road. Buvs is a really big fan of tuna fish and they have a great selection. All the name brands. When he heads over to McGary’s, he goes right to the tuna aisle and he does tuna dances in front of all the Chicken of the Sea cans.
Final Score: Arizona 49, UCLA 42
- #19 USC (2-1) at Arizona State (2-1): Since when does Cracker Barrel serve supper? I drove by after the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game last week and they were open. And they were selling that delicious sawmill gravy smothered on a range of affordable and hearty dinner platters. I would like to give Cracker Barrel my full dinner endorsement. The only thing that bothered me about my trip to Cracker Barrel was this guy about five years younger than me standing near the door, wearing one of those "Korea: Veteran" hats they sell, and shaking hands with all the customers and saying "you’re welcome" to them as they waited to be seated.
Final Score: USC 44, ASU 22
- Central Michigan (1-2) at #2 Michigan State (3-0): Goldy Gopher has the inside scoop on this one. Goldy told me that Sparty is quite handsome. Bit of a butter-face, but what a body! They dated briefly, but she dumped him for Efrem Zimbalist Jr. That was during Goldy’s "I’m wearing a Beatle wig to church" phase. Mount Pleasant, Michigan, the site of Central Michigan University, is a very pleasant college town. It would make a great destination for your next vacation. Goldy is also fond of Central Michigan alum Dan Majerle, in whose starting lineups she recently invested her scratch-off ticket income.
Final Score: Michigan State 31, Central Michigan 20
- #14 Texas A&M (3-0) vs. Arkansas (1-2) (Jerry World, Arlington, TX): What in the Good Lord’s name is wrong with Arkansas? Must be that Bret "The Hitman" Bielema is spending too much time smearing mayonnaise on his sumo belly and sitting out in the Fayetteville sun. Fire Bielema. Hire Coach Holtz. He got the job done at Arkansas. In fact, he did a great job everywhere except with my beloved New York Jets. Bielema should move to Methuen, Massachusetts, set up shop outside the Getty Station on Broadway and let people give him belly tubas for $5 a pop.
Final Score: Arkansas 42, Texas A&M 40
- Rhode Island (0-3) at Maine (0-2): If I was the governor of Maine, I would move my capital, Avignon Papacy-style, to the tracks at Scarborough Downs. There isn’t nothing to do in Augusta. At Scarborough Downs, you can bet on live harness racing from March through December. Not bad for the Northeast. More importantly, you can bet on the simulcasts they get from all the other race tracks around the country just about every day of the year. Just head up 95 and it’s maybe an hour north of Methuen.
Final Score: Maine 35, Rhode Island 17
- Tennessee (2-1) at Florida (3-0): I don’t think that Doug Llewellyn is up for the job of coaching Florida. That’s an awfully big step up from coaching at Colorado State and introducing the cases on The People’s Court. Joshua Dobbs for Heisman. Scarborough Downs for capital of Maine.
Final Score: Tennessee 30, Florida 21
- #18 Utah (3-0) at #13 Oregon (2-1): In the 43rd annual battle for Joe McGreevy's Typhus Infested Bootstrap, the most prestigious trophy in the Oregon-Utah rivalry, look for the Oregon Ducks to wear brightly colored uniforms and the Utah Utes to also make an appearance. Oregon has a national recruiting base and one of the finest backcourts in the nation. To help out the Utes, the Utah Booster Club plans to leave negative comments on Yelp about "gastro-pubs with a farm-to-table concept" in Eugene. Did you know that Utah’s acceptance rate is 81.7%. Their admissions philosophy is "We’ll take the good with the bad."
Final Score: Utah 30, Oregon 29