West coast bias
I don't think Art Alexakis had football in mind when he once said "dreaming of the west coast" but the focus is out west tonight with a pair of games that will shape not just the tone of the weekend but the rest of the season as well.
On the NFL schedule the 4-2 Seattle Seahawks face the 4-2 San Francisco 49ers. It is always interesting to see how teams come out on a short week, especially considering the Niners are coming off an embarrassing loss while the Seahawks are flying after upsetting New England. There's no doubt Seattle is for real after last week but the pressure is on them tonight. Those two losses the Seahawks have are divisional losses and if tiebreakers come into play it's not likely that Seattle can win the division with a 3-3 record. It's just a reminder that to win the division, you must win within the division. To be sure, it appears that the 49ers and Seahawks are the better teams in the NFC West so this game looms large not just for divisional purposes but the team that wins will have the second most wins in the NFC.
A huge college football weekend kicks off tonight with a key Pac 12 matchup between Oregon and Arizona State. The Ducks are third in the BCS standings (though we in Geekville see things differently) and part of that could be a lack of signature wins. At the very least Oregon has a lack of road wins, having played five of their first six games at home with the sixth game at a neutral site. So not only is this a chance for Oregon to score a nice road win against a red hot team but this is also a classic strength against strength confrontation. Oregon is second in scoring offense (and averaging a mind-blowing 300 rushing yards per game) while Arizona State in ninth is scoring defense. In their three game winning streak the Sun Devils have given up less than 14 points per game. A big road win against a decent opponent should help Oregon in the BCS formula.
So there's big time incentive for both Seattle and Oregon to come up with a road win. Even though it's only mid-October the last thing you want to do now is sparkle and fade.