10.14.19: Five things for the week ahead, all based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

NUMBER 1What we know, and what we’re not sure we know, heading into NFL Week 7:
= The 3-3 Rams’ three-game losing skid – the first under head coach Sean McVay — smells bad, doesn’t it? So they head out for a month — first to Atlanta (Sunday, at 10 a.m., Channel 11), then keep on going to London (to meet the Bengals) then return and catch Pittsburgh heading west.
= The 2-4 Chargers have two roadies, starting in Tennessee (Sunday at 1:05 p.m., Channel 2), then to Chicago, before coming back to face Green Bay before what will end up as a packed house of Packers fans (see: Sunday night vs. Steelers).
= The Pope is officially pulling for the New Orleans Saints. Which makes sense. Really, it does.

Finishing up Week 6:
Monday
= Detroit at Green Bay, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Going into Week 7:
Thursday:
= Kansas City at Denver, 5:20 p.m., Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
Sunday:
= In the Fox 10 a.m. window (blacked out in L.A.): Minnesota at Detroit, Arizona at N.Y. Giants, San Francisco at Washington.
= In the CBS 10 a.m. window: Miami at Buffalo, Jacksonville at Cincinnati, Oakland at Green Bay, Houston at Indianapolis.
= In the Fox 1:25 p.m. window: New Orleans at Chicago, Baltimore at Seattle
= Philadelphia at Dallas, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
Bye week: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Carolina

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NUMBER 2What we will fully admit to not knowing about the 2019 MLS playoffs:
= 24 teams started, and 14 remain for this next phase, even though your LAFC has already won the Supporters Shield for best overall record:
= If the Galaxy, which lost its last two games of the regular season to non-playoff teams and thus couldn’t nab a home game, somehow can come out of Round 1 with a road win at No. 4 Minnesota (At Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, 5:30 p.m., ESPN), then it advances to the Western Conference semifinals against – wait for it – No. 1 seed LAFC at the Banc of California Stadium on Oct. 24. That’s also a single elimination.
Without an injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy has defeated the Loons, 3-2, back on March 16, in Carson, but then played to a scoreless tie in Minnesota on April 24 in a midweek contest.
= The conference finals are also single elimination. The West is decided on Oct. 29, and the East on Oct. 30.
= Which ever team is left as the highest seed – NYCFC has the No. 1 spot in the East – will host the MLS Cup on Nov. 10.
= Also this week in the Round 1 games:
West:
No. 6 Portland at No. 3 Salt Lake, Saturday at 7 p.m., ESPNEWS
No. 7 Dallas as No. 2 Seattle, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Fox Sports
East:
No. 5 D.C. United at No. 4 Toronto, Saturday at 3 p.m., Telemundo (winner advances to play at NYCFC on Oct. 23)
No. 7 New England at No. 2 Atlanta, Saturday at 10 a.m., Univision/Telemundo
No. 6 N.Y. Red Bulls at No. 3 Philadelphia, Sunday at noon, FS1
The bracket: www.mlssoccer.com

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NUMBER 3What we think we know, and still may be clueless, heading into College Football Week 8:
= Yep, some teams are already bowl eligible. And isn’t that what everyone’s goal should be when starting the season?
= If the Trojans (3-3, 2-1, in a four-way tie with Arizona, ASU and Utah for the Pac-12 South lead) figure out how to win half of their last six games, they’ll crack that eligibility code. But that’s not acceptable, is it?  Head coach Clay Helton believes they can still ready the Pac-12 title game. Sure, why not. The road toward that start with Arizona (Coliseum, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
= The Bruins (1-5, 1-2) need to win five of their last six, a real accomplishment at this point, to even sniff a bowl. It starts with a contest at Stanford (Thursday at 6 p.m., ESPN) after a bye week. Unfortunately, this comes with a telecast featuring Pat McAfee as the game analyst. UCLA has dropped the last 11 overall meetings in the series (0-6 at Stanford and 0-5 at UCLA). Last season, Stanford prevailed 49-42 in a shootout in the Rose Bowl.
= If we went by a prediction on ESPN.com that has Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma in the Final Four, we should also be prepared to see USC in either the Dec. 27 Cheez-It Bowl or the Dec. 31 Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl. Dream big, boys.
Also this week:
Pac-12 games:
Oregon at Washington, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Colorado at Washington State, 4 p.m., ESPNU
Oregon State at Cal, 11:30 a.m., Pac-12 Network
Arizona State at Utah, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Also nationally
Friday:
Ohio State at Northwestern, 5:30 p.m., FS1
Pitt at Syracuse, 4 p.m., ESPN
Saturday:
Michigan at Penn State, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
Tennessee at Alabama, 6 p.m., ESPN
Kentucky at Georgia, 3 p.m., ESPN
LSU at Mississsippi State, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Florida at South Carolina, 9 a.m., ESPN
Clemson at Louisville, 9 a.m., Channel 7
West Virginia at Oklahoma, 9 a.m., Channel 11
Purdue at Iowa, 9 a.m., ESPN2
Temple at SMU, 12:30 p.m., ESPN2
Baylor at Oklahoma State, 1 p.m., Channel 11
Kansas at Texas, 4 p.m., Longhorn Network
Michigan at Penn State, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
Tennessee at Alabama, 6 p.m., ESPN
Boise State at BYU, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2
Air Force at Hawaii, 8 p.m., CBSSN

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NUMBER 4What we know, and what we think we know, and what we’re trying to forget heading into this next phase of the Major League Baseball playoffs:
= As soon as the Dodgers experienced a Nationals Day of Mourning on their home field in Game 5 of the NLDS, new odds came out Thursday morning for the rest of the playoffs from BetOnline.ag:
To win the World Series:
Houston: 7/4
N.Y. Yankees: 2/1
Washington: 13/4
St. Louis: 9/2
Tampa Bay: 20/1
They were revised on Friday morning once Tampa was eliminated:
Houston: 13/10
N.Y. Yankees: 5/2
Washington: 4/1
St. Louis: 5/1
We don’t pretend to know how this works. Or that we know where to find the NLCS — Fox Channel 11 or FS1?
We just give you the rest of the schedule and see how things fall leading into the Fall Classic, set to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 22:

NLCS: St. Louis vs. Washington (Cardinals lead, 2-0)
Game 3: At Washington, Monday at 4:38 p.m., TBS
Game 4: At Washington, Tuesday at 5:05 p.m, TBS
Game 5: At Washington, Wednesday at 4:08 p.m., TBS*
Game 6: At St. Louis, Friday at 5:08 p.m., TBS*
Game 7: At St. Louis, Saturday at 5:08 p.m., TBS*

ALCS: N.Y. Yankees vs. Houston (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: At New York, Tuesday at 1:08 p.m., FS1
Game 4: At New York, Wednesday at 5:08 p.m., FS1
Game 5: At New York, Thursday at 5:08 p.m., FS1
Game 6: At Houston, Saturday at 1:08 p.m., FS1*
Game 7: At Houston, Sunday at 4:38 p.m., FS1*

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NUMBER 5After the Kings’ uneven back-to-back home opening weekend, with or without a Taylor Swift banner curse resolution, and with Jonathan Quick giving up 19 goals in 92 shots in three games thus far, there’s three more guaranteed appearance to keep them anchored at Staples Center – including a special one Thursday that marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of now iconic arena:

How this week shapes up for the Kings (2-3-0):
Vs. Carolina at Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
Vs. Buffalo at Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
Vs. Calgary at Staples Center, Saturday at 7 p.m., FSW

How this week shapes up for the Ducks (4-1-0):
At Boston, Monday at 10 a.m., Prime Ticket
Vs. Buffalo at Honda Center, Wednesday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
Vs. Carolina at Honda Center, Friday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
Vs. Calgary at Honda Center, Sunday at 6 p.m., Prime Ticket

More* The Lakers and Clippers have one more official week of exhibitionism before they open the regular season up against each other on Oct. 22. For those interested for whatever obtuse reasons:
= Lakers vs. Golden State, Monday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Staples Center, Spectrum SportsNet
= Lakers at Golden State, Chase Center in San Francisco, Friday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= Clippers vs. Dallas at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Note: The Clippers also plan a open practice at USC’s Galen Center on Tuesday from 6-to-7:30 p.m. More info: www.clippers.com/openpractice.

* College basketball exhibition already: USC vs. Villanova, at Galen Center, Friday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Net

* Weather has forced the NASCAR Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway to take place Monday at 11 a.m. on NBCSN.

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