Well, we gave KTHV-TV, Channel 11, news another try after the Florida-LSU game Saturday night. Readers might remember that we’ve been boycotting all of Channel 11′s local newscasts since last fall due to the station’s stubborn refusal on Saturdays to give the scores of any Arkansas university other than the University of Arkansas.
Being home on a Saturday night in the fall (which is rare) provided an opportunity to see if the station had changed its ways. No luck. No UCA-Northwestern State score. No UAPB-Jackson State score. No Gulf South Conference scores. No more viewership at my house for another year.
It still amazes me that the station will work hard to give every high school score possible on Friday nights — no matter how tiny the school — but will not give the scores on Saturdays for universities with thousands of alumni across the state. We’re not asking for highlights. Just scores. It would take less than a minute. Perhaps they believe they are somehow buying favor with the folks in the University of Arkansas athletic department.
I was able to switch over to KATV-TV, Channel 7, and get all of the Arkansas scores from Dale Nicholson The Younger (though they did have the Arkansas Tech-Southern Arkansas score wrong on the screen). At least Channel 7 tries.
We were 4-3 last week on picks, making our record 30-14 for the year. The Razorbacks came through for us against Auburn. The UAPB-Jackson State game could have gone either way in overtime. We had given Jackson State the slight edge as the home team. Congratulations to Coach Monte Coleman and the Golden Lions for their 3-2 start to the season. Both Arkadelphia schools let us down last Saturday.
On to the picks for this week. Unlike Channel 11, we’ll cover all of the Arkansas schools:
Arkansas State 34, Louisiana-Monroe 28 — We still don’t think college football games should be played on a Tuesday evening. But the Sun Belt Conference needs the national exposure. So the Red Wolves play tonight on the road to satisfy ESPN2. Steve Roberts’ team cannot afford to get off to an 0-2 start in the conference. Look for ASU to get it done against a 3-2 Warhawk squad that has lost to Texas and Arizona State while beating Texas Southern, Florida Atlantic and Florida International.
Florida 30, Arkansas 17 — Expect Arkansas to play well for at least three quarters before wearing down in The Swamp. The Hogs won’t embarrass you. They won’t upset the No. 1 team in the country, either. Tim Tebow is playing. That’s all that needs to be said as he goes up against that Willy Robinson defensive scheme.
UCA 37, Stephen F. Austin 24 — Stephen F. Austin won no games two years ago. The school won four games last year. It already has won four games this year in five outings. It won’t be enough against a Top 10 team on its home field. Clint Conque’s Bears will go to 5-1 Saturday night in Conway.
UAM 29, West Alabama 28 — The Boll Weevils have won two straight conference games after starting the season 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Gulf South Conference. Finally, UAM is looking like the team we were expecting all along. West Alabama won its first three games, lost its next three and then upset Delta State last Saturday. The Tigers are due for a letdown after beating Delta.
Arkansas Tech 48, West Georgia 20 — The 0-6 Wolves of West Georgia are mailing it in at this point. The 4-2 Wonder Boys might be the best team out of the six Arkansas teams in the GSC. Saturday’s game in Russellville won’t be close.
Valdosta State 30, Harding 20 — Valdosta State is having a down year by its standards. The Blazers are 3-3 overall and 2-2 in conference. Valdosta appeared to right the ship at home last week, though, against a talented Henderson squad. Harding is 4-3 overall and 2-2 in conference after back-to-back wins against Southern Arkansas and Ouachita. The Bisons will play well at home but, much like the Hogs in The Swamp, will wear down late.
Ouachita 34, Southern Arkansas 28 — Which Ouachita team will show up? The one that started the season 4-0 with wins over Valdosta State and Delta State? That team found itself ranked No. 14 in NCAA Division II. Or will it be the team that has lost the past two weeks to UAM and Harding? This is a hard team to figure. SAU is 1-5 overall and 1-4 in conference. But it’s homecoming in Magnolia. We expect the game to be close.