11.26.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneYour San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles (8-3), now a full game back in the AFC West and sporting a 4-1 road record, were supposed to play the Steelers in Pittsburgh in a Sunday morning game in Week 13. Things changed — NBC flexed it into a “Sunday Night Football” experience (5:20 p.m., Channel 4), so make sure you’re not at LAX too early to welcome the Chargers’ players back from their trip. Seems most important to send Philip Rivers in bubblewrap and make sure he’s not damaged in any travel situation at this stage.
Meanwhile, the Rams will have had almost two full weeks to rest, recover and reconcile the true meaning of their 54-51 win over Kansas City at the Coliseum on Nov. 12, which came with a convenient bye week attached to it, since the original plan was to allow players to relax through Thanksgiving week in case there were any cases of Montezuma’s Revenge from a trip to Mexico City. All clear. Picking things up for the last five weeks, the Rams (10-1) can lock up the NFC West in Week 13 with a trip to Detroit (Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11) in what hopefully doesn’t smell like Thanksgiving leftovers at Ford Field.
The end of Week 12:
* Tennessee at Houston, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
The rest of Week 13:
* New Orleans at Dallas, Thursday at 5:20 p.m., Channel 11/NFL Network/Amazon Prime
* Kansas City at Oakland, 1 p.m., Channel 2
Minnesota at New England, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11

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1twoThe dust will settle on the conference championship games played out on Friday and Saturday, meaning they can settle on the final College Football Playoff poll, rankings and bowl assignments in a Sunday TV production (9 a.m., ESPN).
There will be no viewing party on the campuses of USC or UCLA.
What will lead into sorting all that out in Week 14:
Friday’s games:
* Pac-12 Championship at Santa Clara: Utah vs. Washington, 5 p.m., Channel 11
* MAC Championship in Detroit: Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday’s games:
* Big 12 Championship at Arlington, Tex.: Oklahoma vs. Texas, 9 a.m., Channel 7
* Sun Belt Conference Championship: Louisiana at Appalachian State, 9 a.m., ESPN
* Conference USA Championship: Alabama Birmingham at Middle Tennessee, 10:30 a.m., CBSSN
* American Athletic Conference Championship: Memphis at Central Florida, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
* SEC Championship in Atlanta: Alabama vs. Georgia, 1 p.m., Channel 2
* Mountain West Conference championship: Fresno State at Boise State, 4:45 p.m., ESPN
* Big Ten Championship at Indianapolis: Northwestern vs. Ohio State, 5 p.m., Channel 11
* ACC Championship in Charlotte, N.C.: Clemson vs. Pitt, 5 p.m., Channel 7
Also games to be made up Saturday:
Stanford at Cal, noon, Pac 12 Network
Marshall at Virginia Tech, 9 a.m., ACC Network
East Carolina at North Carolina State, 9 a.m., ACC Network
Akron at South Carolina, 9 a.m., SEC Network
Drake at Iowa State, 9 a.m.

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1threePromoters of this Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury matchup at Staples Center (Saturday, card starts at 6 p.m., Showtime PPV, $65) call it the “most important heavyweight fight in the United States since Lennox Lewis took on Mike Tyson in 2002.” We gotta take a quick look at that one: It was held in Memphis because Nevada wouldn’t give Tyson a license after a press conference brawl he had with Lewis and admitted to biting Lewis on his leg, giving him $335,000 in restitution. Ring Magazine voted it the “Event of the Year” before the fight even took place between Lewis, with the WBC, IBF and IBO title belts, against Tyson, who used to hold all those titles and more. Lewis knocked Tyson out in the eighth round. Both won $17.5 million. Ring Magazine also called it the “Knockout of the Year.” Now there’s this: the 6-foot-7 Wilder (40-1, 39 KOs) as the WBC heavyweight champ from Tuscaloosa, Ala., against the 6-foot-9 the “linear (WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring)” heavyweight champ Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), who, when he was born in England in 1988, was named after Mike Tyson by his father. Staples Center won out over Las Vegas and New York in bidding to have the fight venue. “I’ve  worked my ass off to get to this very point in my life and now I’m here,” said Wilder. “Right now is the biggest fight in the world in the heavyweight division and we’re going to L.A. to do this thing and bring out all the stars.”

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1fourBetween the Lakers and Clippers, only one of their games this coming week draws national attention. Don’t bother guessing: It’s the Clippers contest at Sacramento on Thursday (7:30 p.m., TNT).
Otherwise, the Clippers’ home game against Phoenix (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket) is their only Staples Center appearance this week during a stretch where six of eight are on the road.
Also this week: At Dallas, Sunday at 4 p.m., Prime Ticket
Meanwhile, the Lakers’ quick trip to Denver this week (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet) interrupts a period where they’ll have six out of seven games at home.
The rest of the week:
At Staples Center vs. Indiana, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., SSN
At Staples Center vs. Dallas, Friday at 7:30 p.m., SSN
At Staples Center vs. Phoenix, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., SSN

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1fiveBecause this is the time we look forward to measuring up Southern California college basketball teams against each other, the most intriguing may turn out to be 7-0 Loyola Marymount’s trip to UCLA on Sunday (at Pauley Pavilion, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network). The Lions are off to the best start in school history and includes some notable wins over Georgetown, UNLV and even a two-pointer over Central Connecticut with a couple of free throws with one second left. No. 17 UCLA comes into the week 4-2 after back-to-back losses to Michigan State at North Carolina in Las Vegas.
Other inter-sectional games in the region:
Long Beach State at USC, at Galen Center, Wednesday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Also this week for SoCal teams:
UCLA vs. Hawaii, Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday at 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network
USC vs. Nevada, Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Channel 11
Long Beach State at San Diego, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Cal State Northridge at Washington State, Tuesday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Cal State Northridge vs. Sacramento State at Matadome, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Loyola Marymount vs. Bethesda College, Thursday at 7 p.m.
Pepperdine vs. Idaho State at Firestone Fieldhouse, Monday at 7 p.m.
Pepperdine vs. Abilene Christian at Firestone Fieldhouse, Saturday at 5 p.m.
This week nationally:
Tuesday: Michigan State at Louisville, 4:30 p.m., ESPN; Indiana at Duke, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday: North Carolina at Michigan, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Saturday: Gonzaga at Creighton, 11 a.m., Channel 11; Stanford at Kansas, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

static1.squarespace.comAlso:
The Kings and Ducks have been told to leave town.
The Kings’ road trip this week: At Vancouver (Tuesday, 7 p.m., FSW); at Edmonton (Thursday, 6 p.m., FSW); at Calgary (Friday, 6 p.m., FSW). Then they return to Staples Center on Sunday: (vs. Carolina, 7:30 p.m., FSW).
The Ducks’ road trip this week: At Tampa Bay (Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Prime Ticket); at Florida (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Prime Ticket), at Carolina (Friday, 5:30 p.m., Prime Ticket); at Washington (Sunday, noon, Prime Ticket).

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