NFL Network will be showing Mason Fine and North Texas at Rice. I get it. It was scheduled way early in the season. CBS Sports Network will be showing Miami and FIU. I get it, it is a chance to broadcast Miami.
If there was a way to flex out of the NFLN matchup, now would be a great time. Yes, ESPN+ is better than CUSA.TV but it sure is not as easy to watch at a restaurant.
Tech has the “best” offense in the league — read: most yards — and they are traveling short-handed (Self-inflicted suspensions to J’Mar Smith and Adrian Hardy) to Birmingham to take on a compromised Blazer squad.
Southern Miss is very interested in the outcome because if they win out and Tech loses, the Golden Eagles will win the division and earn a spot in the title game. Of course, the game will be on at the same time, so there will be a little multi-screen action going on for USM fans.
UAB still has an outside chance of backing in. They need WKU to beat USM this weekend, and FAU to do the same the following week and of course win out the rest of the way against Tech and UNT.
As recently as two weeks ago, LA Tech looked in firm control, with the most complete team and QB J’Mar Smith playing his best football of his career. He was suspended for two games along with star receiver Adrian Hardy. Head coach Skip Holtz said he felt Aaron Allen and the rest of the young players that “stepped up” were great, there were a lot of “uncharacteristic mistakes”. Like Kody Russey tossing the ball over the QB’s head when Tech had a chance to cut the lead to seven.
UAB is a tough squad, well-coached, with a good defense just like Marshall. There usually aren’t many chances for a do-over, and this is one of them. Holtz said that finals and academics were one of the “distractions” that the team handled well, including a short week. This week we might see a more composed Tech squad and that may be all the difference.
The Blazers come in with a chance to make up for their terrible performance against USM, where they were destroyed by a good team. Tech is vulnerable and Birmingham is always a tough place to play for CUSA squads. Last year UAB went to Ruston and got a big win on the road that boosted the title-run. This is something like a revenge game for Tech.
It is a shame that the best games cannot be on the broadest medium, but that is a function of the overall interest in the league. So we can only wish, but cannot complain.