College football: TV isn’t making it easy

September 2, 2011 by  

SEATTLE — Dennis Erickson, the Arizona State football coach, was asked earlier this week if he’d be tuned in to catch the Oregon-Louisiana State headliner Saturday, given that the Sun Devils aren’t playing that day.

“I’ll be surfing,” he said.

Ah, you can just see the 64-year-old coach, hanging ten on the Salt River in Phoenix, his pixie gray hair flapping lightly in the breeze.

“I’ll be surfing with the channels,” he clarified, just in time.

TV isn’t making it easy on any of us this week. On opening weekend, there are two rankings-rattling games, two that stand out above all others.

Naturally, they’re at the same time — 5 p.m. Saturday. That’s when the Oregon-LSU matchup goes off against Boise State-Georgia in Atlanta.

Oregon-LSU: This game needs to be played before somebody else gets suspended.

And talk about the difference between the pro game and college. In an NFL-without-lockout season, teams might start with a scrimmage. And then four exhibition games. And then a season so elongated that it’s impossible to eliminate yourself early.

By contrast, Oregon (No. 3) and LSU (No. 4) have to bolt out of the gate knowing that a misstep might prevent them from national-title consideration.

Boise State-Georgia: Five years ago, Kellen Moore was a ho-hum prospect from Prosser, mostly ignored by Washington and Washington State. Today, he’s 38-2 as Boise State’s starting quarterback, and eight more wins thrusts him past Colt McCoy’s national record of 45 for QBs.

Trying to outdo Moore will be Aaron Murray of Georgia in another big-stage game for Boise State. Before it began excelling at this, it ventured to Georgia in 2005 and got schooled, 48-13.

Four others of note

Northwestern at Boston College, 9 a.m.: Of all the promotional campaigns in history, Northwestern’s is the heaviest. In celebration of quarterback Dan Persa’s strength, the Wildcats sent out two 7-pound purple dumbbells (his number is 7) to media members, labeling them “PersaStrong.”

Brigham Young at Mississippi, 4:45 p.m.: Jake Heaps leads BYU into its era of football independence against an Ole Miss team largely rebuilt on defense.

UCLA at Houston, 12:30 p.m.: QB Case Keenum got a sixth year of eligibility, and the Cougars no doubt remember a 31-13 waxing given them by the Bruins last year, when Keenum went out with a knee injury.

Fresno State-California at Candlestick Park, 4 p.m.: “Playing up” was the Western Athletic Conference’s slogan a few years ago, and nobody personifies it like the Bulldogs, who are in their last year in the league. Cal, which missed a bowl last year after seven straight appearances, needs to be on guard.

— Bud Withers/The Seattle Times

Filed under * Washington Huskies, * WSU Cougars, All

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