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Cal v. UCLA 10.25.08 Pregame and 1st Quarter Open Thread

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Lots of great games on tap today, but if you're going to the game today (like I am), you're going to miss almost all of them. That's because, other than Penn State @ Ohio State, pretty much every good game today is on at 12:30PM Pacific Time.

Broadcast TV:
UCLA @ California, 12:30PM - ABC
#7 Georgia @ #13 LSU, 12:30PM - CBS
#3 Penn State @ #9 Ohio State, 5:00PM - ABC

If you're NOT going to the game today, but you live in Pac-10 country, you're in luck -- ABC will be carrying the game (if you're unsure, check the coverage map). However, ABC will be sending its HD cameras elsewhere (Oklahoma State @ Texas and Michigan State @ Michigan), so it's standard definition only. Disappointing, but not unexpected. If you're jonesin' for some high-definition football, I recommend flipping over to CBS, where Georgia @ LSU should be a doozy (unless LSU plays like it did at Florida a couple weeks ago, in which case it'll be over by halftime.

Then, everyone should find a TV this evening for what is basically the Big 10 Championship Game: Penn State @ Ohio State. I'm kinda rooting for one last hurrah for JoePa before he completely forgets where he is (BTW, who had Lute Olson retiring before Joe Paterno? Wow.), but I like the Buckeyes due to the home field thing.

Basic Cable:
#8 Texas Tech @ #23 Kansas, 9:00AM - ESPN
Illinois @ Wisconsin, 9:00AM - ESPN2
#4 Oklahoma @ Kansas State, 9:30AM - Comcast Sports Net Bay Area
Baylor @ Nebraska, 9:30AM - Versus
Michigan State @ Michigan, 12:30PM - ESPN2
Colorado @ #15 Missouri, 3:30PM - Comcast Sports Net Bay Area
#2 Alabama @ Tennessee, 4:45PM - ESPN
Notre Dame @ Washington, 5:00PM - ESPN2
#5 USC @ Arizona, 7:15PM - Comcast Sports Net Bay Area

Start your morning off right with Texas Tech @ Kansas. Which Big XII team is overrated? Probably at least one, possibly both. Tune in and find out! Michigan State @ Michigan also intrigues me, but I won't get to see any of it.

I will, however, be heading home after the game to catch Notre Dame put the finishing touches on Ty Willingham's career at UW. Realistically, Ty's been done for a few weeks now, but a butt-whupping from Notre Dame would leave no doubt. I'm rooting for Willingham here, and I think beating the Irish would be nice and poetic, but really, this game should be over in time for the start of USC @ Arizona.

Premium Cable:
#22 Northwestern @ Indiana, 9:00AM - Big Ten Network
#24 Minnesota @ Purdue, 9:00AM - ESPN Classic
UNLV @ #21 Brigham Young, 11:00AM - The Mtn.
Fresno State @ Utah State, 12:00PM - Comcast Sports California
#6 Oklahoma State @ #1 Texas, 12:30PM, ESPN360
Virginia Tech @ #25 Florida State, 12:30PM - ESPN360
Wyoming @ #14 TCU, 3:00PM, The Mtn.
Colorado State @ San Diego State, 6:30PM, The Mtn.

Lots of "meh" games here; there are good reasons most of these games aren't on basic cable. Northwestern-Indiana? Minnesota-Purdue? Yes, they 'technically' involve ranked teams, but the sound you're hearing is me struggling to care.

The real travesty, though, is that Oklahoma State @ Texas isn't even on TV on the West Coast. Normally, ABC will stick two of the better games out of the area on ESPN and ESPN2, but Michigan State @ Michigan gets ESPN2, and ESPN has some sort of Breeder's Cup horse race or something. Lame.

Pay-Per-View or No TV:
Eastern Michigan @ #20 Ball State, 9:00AM
Kentucky @ #10 Florida, 9:30AM
Virginia @ #18 Georgia Tech, 12:30PM
#16 South Florida @ Louisville, 12:30PM
North Carolina State @ Maryland, 12:30PM
Rutgers @ #17 Pittsburgh, 12:30PM
Oregon @ Arizona State, 7:00PM

The Ducks should be able to take the Sun Devils, but Pac-10 teams have had an especially difficult time winning on the road this year. Meanwhile, Maryland hosts NC State a week after knocking off their third ranked opponent of the year; it just screams let-down loss, don't it?

Anyway, this open thread should take us up to gametime and through the first quarter. Comment away!