Oregon v Stanford was one of the best games of 2012. Should be a similar game Thursday night. (Scott Olmos, USA TODAY Sports)

The Weekend Watchlist: November 7th-10th

 

 

Most weekends in the Fall come with so many great sporting events that sometimes it’s hard to determine which games are worthy of your precious time. This weekend watchlist in particular has crazy action starting as early as Thursday night with some of the best college football games all year. Here at KC Kingdom, we care quite a bit about the Kansas City Chiefs but they’re on the bye week, so we’ll just have to settle for some of the other NFL games.

College basketball also begins with games around the country and around the clock, but unfortunately the television coverage is scarce, as are any interesting matchups. The college basketball schedule will begin to pick up during the coming week, but keep coming back to KC Kingdom where we’ll have something up for Mizzou, Kansas, and K-State.

 

Thursday, November 7th

The college football season tends to pivot on a select few November Saturdays each year. This year, three of those games land on the same weekend, but oddly two of those games happen on a Thursday night. Both games will most likely determine who wins their conference, and these two games feature the two best offenses in college football.

#6 Baylor Bears vs. #10 Oklahoma Sooners, 6:30 CT, Fox Sports 1

Line: Baylor by 14.5 points

Oklahoma will have their hands full trying to slow the Bears on a cold Autumn night. If you haven’t already heard, Baylor leads the nation in offense: 718 yards per game, 63.9 points per game, and all that comes while only scoring 8 points per fourth quarter. They are blowing past defenses so fast that the game is decided before half time. But at the same time, Baylor’s opponents so far haven’t been much of a challenge.

Teams like West Virginia, Iowa State, and Kansas don’t strike fear in any football coach this year. In fact, those are three of the four worst teams in the Big XII this year. What you didn’t know about Baylor though is that they also possess the 11th best defense in the country as well, but take it with a grain of salt because the teams they’ve played haven’t produced offensively either.

Bryce Petty takes the snap. (Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports)

Now comes Oklahoma, a team whose defense may be able to keep up with Baylor’s offense. The Sooners have the 10th best defense in college football, against teams like Notre Dame, Texas, and Texas Tech. Watch for lots of blitzes from the talented linebackers who will attempt to knock Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty off his rhythm.

My Prediction:  Baylor all the way.

#5 Stanford Cardinal vs. #3 Oregon Ducks, 8:00 CT, ESPN

Line: Oregon by 10.5 points

Stanford sits one game behind Oregon in the Pac 12 North standings. Plain and simple, if the Ducks win, they’ll have the division championship in their grasp. Stanford’s defense is smart, physical, and the key to winning this game. They will need to find a way to stop Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is a capable of running just as well as he passes.

In last year’s game between these two, Stanford found a way to slow the Oregon offense by controlling and killing the clock. Oregon just didn’t have a chance to play their explosive form of offense. This game will be similar. Expect Stanford to play cerebral football by milking the clock and allowing small Oregon yardage. Stanford would rather the Ducks make long, slow drives down the field, than have them fly past the defense.

Oregon is still a complete team. Their quarterback is one of the best in the nation because he is surrounded by other great athletes. The Oregon offense and defense are fast, capable of outpacing and wearing out the opposing team. But Stanford knows this, and they’ve been planning for this game all year. If you are going to watch any game on this list, don’t miss this one.

My prediction: Oregon in a close one.

Other Big Games on Thursday Night:

NFL:  Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins, 7:25 CT, NFL Network

MLS Playoffs:  Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 8:00 CT, ESPN2

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, 10:00 CT, NBCSN (Watch this, I’m not kidding)

NBA:  Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 6:00 CT, TNT

 

Saturday, November 9th

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, 1:30 CT, NBC

WAIT, STOP, LOOK HERE!!!

Good, you didn’t stop reading. The MLS Playoffs are— No, don’t leave. Keep reading…

The soccer playoffs reach the start of the Conference Finals Saturday and you seriously don’t want to miss it. This matchup has come to bring resentment and fear in Sporting KC fans. The last two years have seen the Sporting lose in the playoffs to Houston, and again the Dynamo are knocking off top talent, ready to send Sporting home for the year.

Claudio Bieler wants you to watch the MLS Playoffs.

Claudio Bieler wants you to watch the MLS Playoffs. (John Rieger, USA TODAY Sports)

On Wednesday night, Sporting came from behind twice against New England to win in extra time. It was dramatic with a passionate crowd willing them to win. The kind of game that shows people why soccer is so great.

Houston always seems to barely get into the playoffs and then get hot, so watch out for the Dynamo as they welcome Sporting. You’ll be thanking me for recommending this to you.

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #13 LSU Tigers, 7:00 CT, CBS

It’s the classic Nick Saban vs. Les Miles game. Not only is this a great game, but it also packs in lots of history and background. Go back to 2011 when Alabama and LSU played a rematch in the National Title Game, no teams from the same conference ever played each other in the championship, it wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did, and it was hyped as the Game of the Century. The entire month of December overflowed with talk about the game, building from talk to a roar by early January. Then came the big game, and Alabama destroyed LSU. With Saban having a whole month to plan for the game, there was no way that LSU stood a chance.

Now back to today. Alabama has been top dog ever since that game only losing once in two years. LSU has found a quarterback in Zach Mettenberger who is capable of hitting his wide receivers downfield and places the pass away from the reach of defenders.

This game will be a defensive brawl. Both coaches want to win badly, since the SEC West race is so tight. Although it’s not at the level of the 2011 games, this is still an interesting game to watch. Don’t miss out.

My predicition: LSU will make a mistake that will cost them the game. Alabama wins.

 

Sunday, November 10th

NFL Sunday without the Chiefs always feels odd. Like I’m supposed to be doing something, but I just can’t figure out what it should be.  There’s always plenty of action that tries to fill the void, but it’s never ceases to amaze me how much I miss the Chiefs on bye week Sunday. Luckily there are four top notch games this weekend.

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions, Noon CT, FOX

The NFC North is currently in a three-way tie. The Lions, Packers, and Bears (oh my!) all are 5-3, but only the Lions still have their first-string quarterback in full health. This is Detroit biggest opportunity in years to take a hold of the North. With Calvin Johnson flying around, I don’t see the Bears keeping up offensively.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers, 3:05 CT, FOX

Did you know the Panthers are on a four game win streak right now? Did you know the 49ers are on a five game win streak right now? Both of these teams are going to be fighting for a wild card spot come the end of the season. It’s the Carolina defense making all the difference in this game, they rank third in total defense. This clash of versatile quarterbacks should be a good one to watch.

San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos, 3:25 CT, CBS

For all you Chiefs fans, this is one of those games where you almost kinda wish a meteor hits the 50-yard line. You don’t want anybody hurt, but you also don’t want either team to win. Unfortunately, one team will have to win, and I’m guessing you’ll be rooting for the Chargers, since that would put more space between the Chiefs and the Broncos. Keep an eye on Manning’s arm. There have been rumors of it looking weak over the last couple games. This could be a major factor in the game verses the Chiefs next week.

New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys, 7:30 CT, NBC

Games like this are wonderful for Sunday night football. Two teams, at the head of their divisions, battle it out on prime time TV, with two well-above-average quarterbacks (I like Brees, personally). The Saints look to be the winners in this one, but don’t count out the Cowboys. They have potential to be giant-killers.

 

Tags: LSU Tigers Oregon Ducks Sporting Kansas City Stanford Cardinal

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