ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The football withdrawals of a St. Louis Rams bye week can make for a bland weekend. Like many other local fans, I have a less satisfying weekend without Rams football. Especially because this means another week and all we can talk about is practice and injuries. But to quench your football thirst, I recommend tuning into these five football games this Saturday and Sunday.
1. Carolina Panthers vs Seattle Seahawks: Seattle is undefeated in its last three meetings with Carolina, which is impressive because they were all road games for the Seahawks and this one is at home. But this year’s 2-3 Seahawks aren’t the same Super Bowl caliber team. Carolina is an undefeated team coming off a bye week and ready to prove wrong anyone who thinks the team’s perfect record is a reflection only of its weak schedule. Carolina’s opponents are a combined 5-15 this year. The Panther’s total offense is third worst in the league and if Seattle’s Richard Sherman blankets Carolina’s Ted Ginn Jr., then the pressure mounts on Cam Newton to make plays with his legs. Or worse, they will have to rely on a Jonathan Stewart who leads the team with only 220 rushing yards this year.
2. USC vs. #14 Notre Dame: Notre Dame at home is favored by 6 ½ over the USC Trojans. Which is about as safe a bet there is this week to put money on Notre Dame to cover. This game shouldn’t be judged by the final score, but to see how the USC players come out with a change in the hierarchy. Steve Sarkisian is out as head coach. The LA Times reported his addiction to prescription drug and alcohol use dates back to his time in as a coach at the University of Washington. The players are finally done with a week of questions about their coach’s off-field issues and now they go into South Bend, Indiana.
Hype for the game has slightly intensified with the release of ESPN’s 30 for 30 about the rise and fall of USC in the early 2000’s under Pete Carroll titled “Trojan War”. Between 2002 and 2011 USC defeated Notre Dame in nine of its 10 meeting.
3. Florida vs. LSU: This game has the most College Football Playoff implications of any match-up this week. Florida, even with a loss, will be the favorite to make the SEC Championship game out of the West. LSU, and its Heisman Trophy candidate running back in Leonard Fournette, could separate themselves from Alabama because the Crimson Tide also have a tough match-up with Texas A&M (a game that nearly made this list). Florida quarterback Will Grier has hung his team out to dry this week, and for the remainder of the season. He failed a drug test this week for a banned supplement he bought over the counter. The offense will have to replace just over 200 yards of offense per game that Grier accounted for, which won’t be easy with an LSU defense that gives up only 22 points per game on average.
4. #7 Michigan State vs #12 Michigan: One hundred and eight times these in-state rivals have met, but in only 17 of those games have both teams been ranked in the top 25. Generally there is only room for one of these schools to have a successful season, as college football folklore goes. The season’s halfway point is here, and this game may just be a setup for one of the final two weeks of the season. No. 1 ranked Ohio State plays Michigan State in week 12 and Michigan in week 13.
If that’s not enough, check out what’s being painted on Michigan State’s statute of Alumni Magic Johnson and around campus.
😳😳😳 So disrespectful. 😡😡😡 pic.twitter.com/zkraUAsfxu
— Alvin Ellis (@AEllisIII) October 15, 2015
— Ryan Cole (@ryan_cole9) October 15, 2015
5. Everton vs Manchester United: Oh yes, I had to sneak in a little futbol on you. Everton, a side that always seems able to snatch defeat from the clutches of victory, has the opportunity to grab a home victory from the big boys of the EPL, Manchester United. The sides last seven meetings in Everton’s Goodison Park have proved uncomfortable for United, they’ve won only one of those seven. Everton can jump from No. 7 as high as to tie United and Arsenal at No. 2 in the EPL. Best part is, watching this game on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. would do no damage to your North American Football plans. The game has a strict ending time at 11 a.m.