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SPORTS WEEKEND | WEEK 1 PRIMER

Rating The Tv Games

September 01, 2000|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

**** Whoa, Nellie

*** The yardwork can wait

** OK to pay bills while watching

* For XFL scouts only

** Toledo at Penn State (0-1), 9 a.m., ESPN2.

One school limps into State College hoping to keep the score close. The other school is Toledo.

* The line: Penn State by 19.

* Ohio at Iowa State, 9:30 a.m., FSN2.

Viewers in some regions will get replays of Ohio State at Iowa.

* The line: Iowa State by 13 1/2.

*** No. 15 Texas A&M at Notre Dame, 10 a.m., Channel 4.

For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee, Bob Davie.

* The line: Notre Dame by 2 1/2.

* Mississippi State at Memphis, 12:30 p.m., FSN.

Obviously, someone at Fox is a Memphis graduate. Why else would you televise this?

* The line: Mississippi by 5.

*** No. 23 Colorado vs. Colorado State, 3 p.m., ESPN2.

Last year's game at Denver became a real tear-jerker when police were forced to gas unruly fans after Colorado State's 41-14 victory.

* The line: Colorado by 4 1/2.

** Louisiana Tech (1-0) at No. 8 Kansas State (1-0), 4 p.m., FSN.

Injury to Kansas State's David Allen almost makes this game interesting. Almost.

* The line: Kansas State by 27 1/2.

*** No. 22 Southern Mississippi at No. 13 Tennessee, 4:30 p.m., ESPN.

"Hooked on Phonics" people report there are 17 consonants in play here.

* The line: Tennessee by 10.

** Arizona at Utah, 6 p.m., ESPN2.

One year after Penn State, Arizona vows to restore Pac-10 honor with a road victory in Provo.

* The line: Utah by 3.

** Stanford at Washington State, 7:15, FSN.

It's the smart kids versus, well, the kids from Pullman.

* The line: Stanford by 2 1/2.

THE LOCALS

No. 3 Alabama at UCLA

* Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Bowl, Channel 7.

* Story line: It's a highly ranked team against an unranked team, but still an interesting opener. The Crimson Tide is making a long trip to unfamiliar territory to start a season of great expectations, while the Bruins try to prove they can be competitive with the national powers.

* UCLA update: Linebacker Ryan Nece practiced all week despite a troublesome shoulder, so he will remain in the opening lineup. That means the only starting job undecided, as long as Oscar Cabrera's ankle holds out, is between Gabe Crecion, Bryan Fletcher and Mike Seidman at tight end, and that will be a three-man rotation no matter who starts.

* Alabama update: The Crimson Tide is opening on the road for only the 23rd time in its 106 years, but for the third time in Southern California. The other two were against USC at the Coliseum, a 19-7 victory in 1938 and a 17-10 win in '71. Alabama hasn't played at the Rose Bowl since Jan. 1, 1946, the last time the game was not between the champions of what is now the Pacific 10 and the Big Ten.

* Edge to: Alabama. Bruins start season in the red.

* The Line: Alabama by 6.

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