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PREVIOUS SPORTS
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
SPORTS

SIDELINE
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

Weekend Prep: Red River and More
October 10, 2008

Put the stock markets on pause, forget about presidencies, and claim that sofa. It's time for the Red River Rivalry. As is so often the case, Texas and Oklahoma are fighting on the national stage, and after the damp squib that was Ohio State–USC, this is the top 5 clash to define the first half of the season.

For a game more traditionally known as the Red River Shootout, no chance of an anticlimax here. Quarterbacks Colt McCoy of Texas and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma promise a genuine shootout, McCoy with an almost 80% completion rate, Bradford at around 73%, and each with 20 scores to his name. Don't expect a low scorer.

We may not get college football playoffs, but NASN's afternoon game may deliver a knock–out in the debate between McCoy and Bradford in the Heisman hunt. The winner more than likely goes forward to the next stage of the Heisman regionals, a Big 12 Championship battle with Missouri's Chase Daniel, who also faces unbeaten opposition when the Tigers take on Oklahoma State.

I have nothing to add to these few paragraphs of pre–game hype other than to say: enjoy yourselves, fellow football fans — together we'll get through this baseball thing and normal football Saturdays will be restored! If this is the only live college action we get this weekend, it should be worth it.

What? It ISN'T the only action? Oh yeah. Notre Dame.

They may be on the up, they may be gaining confidence, and they may have a 4–1 record, but it's hard to recall a televised Notre Dame game that elicited less buzz and more ho hum. The domers and their opponents North Carolina combined for 7 wins last season. The Tar Heels may have topped UConn last week, but they did it with interceptions and blocked punts — three of each.

But stay tuned if you want to see the Fighting Irish on the turn. QB Jimmy Clausen has passed for over 600 yards and 6 TDs the past two games, and a road win would probably scrape them back into the top 25.

In fact, Red River aside, this weekend's televisual theme could be football teams digging themselves out of holes. Sunday's NFL action has several that fit the comeback bill.

Hot off their inexplicable loss to the Vikings, the New Orleans Saints — who did a decent job of closing down Adrian Peterson last week — are home to an Oakland team with a rushing game and not much else of note. A red button away, Chicago v Atlanta offers a matchup of franchises picked to bring up the rear in their divisions, but thanks to new faces at QB and RB, find themselves defending winning records.

Both the Packers and Eagles need to overcome long road trips if they are to fight back into contention. Green Bay visit Seattle with a chance of victory against a Seahawks teams that seems more inclined to wait for the next leader than send coach Mike Holmgren into retirement on a high. A coast–to–coast victory seems less likely for Philadelphia, visiting San Francisco without RB Brian Westbrook.

And on Sunday night, the Chargers will get things on track with a win over the New England Patriots. Right? I mean, the Pats without Brady, in San Diego. If the Chargers can't do it now, then when?

For the Saints, Packers, Eagles and Chargers, 3–3 would feel pretty good about now.

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