10.28.19: Five things for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

NUMBER 1What we really don’t know about how the 36th Breeders’ Cup, hosted by Santa Anita for the 10th time, will fall into place:
== 188 horses are pre-entered for 14 races, down from 221 last year at Churchill Downs.
== There are 11 so far the $6 million 1 ¼ mile Classic (Saturday, 5:44 p.m., Channel 4) that looks like a showdown between Bob Baffert-trained McKinzie, Code of Honor and Midnight Bisou, the filly that may instead run instead in the Distaff.
== Baffert, a 15-time winner at this event earning more than $28 million, says of the recent controversy about 34 horse fatalities at the track over the last 11 months: “It was tough on everybody … We changed some things here for the better. The surface — they are working on that. I think it was a wake-up moment for racing. We need to do a better job and I think trainers and everybody involved are being more conscientious than before. … Everything is going to be good. We’re going to get some good, positive vibes out of this whole thing.”
== How does NBC prepare for the broadcast and the track’s recent record of horses who have been euthanized? We asked.

== The two-day schedule:
Friday (all on NBCSN):
= $2 million Juvenile, 4:03 p.m.
= $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, 3:12 p.m.
= $2 million Juvenile Fillies, 2:32 p.m.
= $1 million Juvenile Turf, 1:52 p.m.
= $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint, 1:12 p.m.
Saturday (all on NBCSN unless noted):

= $6 million Classic, 5:44 p.m., Channel 4
= $4 million Turf, 4:40 p.m.
= $2 million Distaff, 4 p.m.
= $2 million Mile, 3:20 p.m.
= $2 million Sprint, 2:36 p.m.
= $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, 1:54 p.m.
= $1 million Dirt Mile, 1:10 p.m. (Officially known as the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile)
= $1 million Turf Sprint, 12:30 p.m.
= $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint, 11:55 a.m.


NUMBER 2What we know, and what we think we know, heading into College Football Week 10:
== Somehow, USC (5-3., 4-1) and UCLA (3-5, 3-2) control their own path toward a Pac-12 South title — win out, and they’re in the conference title game.
= For the Trojans, the critical match up against No. 7 Oregon (7-1, 5-0) (Coliseum, Saturday at 5 p.m., Channel 11, Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt) could be a preview of that Dec. 6 conference title matchup. The teams haven’t met since Sam Darnold led the Trojans to a45-20 win at the Coliseum in 2016, when Ronald Jones ran for four touchdowns.
= For the Bruins, a divisional matchup against Colorado (3-5, 1-4) (Rose Bowl, Saturday at 6 p.m., Pac 12 Network), after the Buffaloes had the Trojans on the ropes last Friday in Boulder, Colo.

Also this week in the Pac 12:
Utah at Washington, Saturday at 1 p.m., Channel 11
Oregon State at Arizona, Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Pac 12 Network
Bye: Arizona State, Cal, Stanford, Washington State

Also this week of national interest:
West Virginia at Baylor, 5 p.m., ESPN
Georgia Southern at Appalachian State, 5 p.m., ESPNU
SMU at Memphis, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
Cincinnati at East Carolina, 4 p.m., CBSSN
Michigan at Maryland, 9 a.m., Channel 7
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame, 11:30 a.m., Channel 4
Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Army at Air Force, 12:30 p.m., CBSSN
Mississippi at Auburn, 4 p.m., ESPN
Boise State at San Jose State, 7:30 p.m., CBSSN
Miami at Florida State, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Bye weeks: LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State


NUMBER 3What we know, and what we think we know, and what the NBA season is already about just one week into it:
== The Clippers are first in the ESPN Power Rankings Week 2 and the Lakers are ranked No. 5 …
== LeBron James may have other stuff on his mind this week (see above).
== The Golden State Warriors (0-2) may not win a game all season.
== Atlanta’s Trae Young (38.5) may end up as the league’s top scorer, unless Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving (38.0) decides to score 50 or more a game every other night.

How the week unfolds for the Lakers  (2-1):
= Vs. Memphis, Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= At Dallas, Friday at 6:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
= At San Antonio, Sunday at 4 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet

How the week unfolds for the Clippers (2-1):
= Vs. Charlotte, Staples Center, Monday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
= At Utah, Wednesday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket, ESPN
= Vs. San Antonio, Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
= Vs. Utah, Staples Center, Sunday at 6 p.m., Prime Ticket


NUMBER 4What we pretty much know for sure about the MLS playoffs:
== The LAFC’s journey to the Nov. 10 MLS Cup has one more hurdle — the Western Conference final against Seattle (Banc of California Stadium, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.,  ESPN). During the regular season, LAFC has never lost to Seattle in four meetings, going back to a 4-1 decision last April.  Sounders striker Raul Ruidiaz didn’t play in either match against LAFC this year due to a heel contusion, but is available now. Seattle pulled off a 1-1 draw in Seattle on April 28 as the Sounders played a man down for more than 70 minutes when midfielder Cristian Roldan got a red card.
Also this week:
Eastern Conference final: Toronto at Atlanta, Wednesday at 5 p.m., FS1


NUMBER 5What we know, and what we think we know, heading into NFL Week 9:
= The Rams (5-3, winners of two in a row) get a bye week.
= The Chargers (3-5 after surviving in Chicago) have a decidedly non-home field advantage, in Carson, because Green Bay (6-1) comes into town (Sunday, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2). And the Associated Press’ Tim Dalberg has recently addressed it (see tweet above).

Finishing up Week 8:
= Miami at Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Going into Week 9:
= San Francisco at Arizona, 5:20 p.m., Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
= Houston vs. Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium in London, 6:30 a.m., NFL Network
= In the Fox 10 a.m. window: Washington at Buffalo, Minnesota at Kansas City, Chicago at Philadelphia
= In the CBS 10 a.m. window: N.Y. Jets at Miami, Indianapolis at Pittsburgh
= In the Fox 1:05 p.m. window: Tampa Bay at Seattle
= In the CBS 1:25 p.m. window (blacked out in L.A.): Cleveland at Denver
= New England at Baltimore, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
Also a bye week for: Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans



What we know, and what we think we know, heading into the World Series crunch time with the Astros needing just one of two wins at home to wrap this up — a feat they couldn’t accomplish in Games 1 and 2:
= Game 6: Tuesday at Houston, 5:07 p.m., Channel 11
If necessary: Game 7: Tuesday at Houston, 5:08 p.m., Channel 11

How this week shapes up for the Kings (4-8-0):
= Vs. Vancouver, Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
= Vs. Chicago, Staples Center, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
How this week shapes up for the Ducks (7-6-0):
= Vs. Winnipeg, Honda Center, Tuesday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
= Vs. Vancouver, Honda Center, Friday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
= Vs. Chicago, Honda Center, Sunday at 5 p.m., Fox Sports West

* PGA Champions Tour: $2 million Powershares QQQ Championship at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Friday-Sunday, Golf Channel. This leads into the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix (Nov. 7-10).

* Rugby World Cup final: England vs. Wales, Saturday morning at 2 a.m., Yokohama, Japan, NBCSN; replayed Saturday at 11 a.m., Channel 4

* The 49th New York City Marathon, Sunday at 6 a.m., ESPN2
(highlights: 1 p.m. Channel 7)

* Formula One: U.S. Grand Prix, Austin, Tex. (Sunday, 11 a.m., Channel 7)

* UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden, Saturday at 7 p.m., PPV: The welterweight main event is supposed to feature Nate Diaz (20-11-0) against Jorge Masvidal (34-13-0) with a middleweight co-main event with Kelvin Gastelum (15-4-0) vs. Darren Till (17-2-1).


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