What we think we know, and perhaps could know better, veering into one of the final skids of College Football Week 14:
== USC, No. 23 in the latest CFP poll, is done with the regular season, 8-4 overall, 7-2 in the Pac-12, and needs No. 7 Utah (10-1, 7-1) to lose its final conference game to Colorado (5-6, 3-5) on Saturday to not only claim the Pac-12 South title, but also extend things into the Dec. 6 Pac-12 title game against No. 6 (but likely to drop a few critical spots) Oregon (9-2, 7-1).
== UCLA (4-7, 4-4) has extinguished any shot now at a bowl bid so it can use its final Pac-12 game against 6-5/3-5 Cal (Saturday, Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m., FS1) to see if it can clean up nicely and impress its north campus partner
== When the College Football Playoff voters release the third of their six polls (Tuesday, ESPN, 4 p.m.) it should pretty much mirror a Top 5 that has held steady in the AP and coaches’ poll – No. 1 LSU (10-0), No. 2 Ohio State (10-0) and No. 3 Clemson (11-0), then No. 4 Georgia (9-1) and No. 5 Alabama (9-1) as the SEC placeholders to see how the Pac-12 sorts itself out. And Oklahoma (10-1) lurking.
ESPN/ABC wants to stay on this Pac-12 narrative, having carried last Saturday’s Oregon loss at Arizona State in national prime time, and now taking Utah’s finale against Colorado in network prime time as well.
== ESPN’s College GameDay will be at the University of Minnesota (6 a.m., ESPN). According to those who keep track of such things, that leaves only Cal, Maryland, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Kansas, Virginia, Illinois and Duke as schools in the Power Five conference who have not been picked as a GameDay site.
== If we are to consider the validity of the latest ESPN bowl projection, USC is still in play for the Dec. 31 Alamo Bowl, but may also slip to the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl.
Also this week in the Pac 12:
= Washington State at Washington, Friday at 1 p.m., Channel 11
= Colorado at Utah, Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
= Arizona at Arizona State, Saturday at 7 p.m., ESPN
= Oregon State at Oregon, Saturday at 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network
= Notre Dame at Stanford, Saturday at 1 p.m., Channel 11
Also this week of national interest:
Thanksgiving Day Thursday:
= Mississippi at Mississippi State, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
= Virginia Tech at Virginia, 9 a.m., Channel 7
= Iowa at Nebraska, 11:30 a.m., Big Ten Network
= Missouri at Arkansas, 11:30 a.m., Channel 2
= Cincinnati at Memphis, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
= Boise State at Colorado State, 12:30 p.m., CBSSN
= West Virginia at TCU, 1:15 p.m., ESPN
= South Florida at Central Florida, 5 p.m., ESPN
= Ohio State at Michigan, 9 a.m., Channel 11
= Clemson at South Carolina, 9 a.m., ESPN
= Georgia at Georgia Tech, 9 a.m., Channel 7
= Alabama at Auburn, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
= Wisconsin at Minnesota, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
= Texas A&M at LSU, 4 p.m., ESPN
= Florida State at Florida, 4:30 p.m., SEC Network
= BYU at San Diego State, 6 p.m., CBSSN
= Fresno State at San Jose State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
= Army at Hawaii, 9 p.m., CBSSN
= Tulane at SMU, 1 p.m., ESPNU
= Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 5 p.m., Channel 11
= Baylor at Kansas, 12:30 p.m., ESPN
What we still don’t know yet heading into NFL Week 13:
== Week 12 isn’t over. Not until the 7-4 Rams connect with 8-2 Baltimore, winners of six in a row and 4-1 on the road, in this Monday night game at the Coliseum – 5:15 p.m., ESPN. It comes with all the baggage of ESPN programming leading into it.
== The Rams then turn around and go to Arizona (Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11) and will line up head-to-head with the 4-7 Chargers, who are in Denver (Sunday, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2) and haven’t played since the Week 11 Monday night loss to Kansas City.
Going into Week 13:
Thanksgiving Day Thursday:
= Chicago at Detroit, 9:30 a.m., Channel 11
= Buffalo at Dallas, 1:30 p.m., Channel 2
= New Orleans at Atlanta, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
= In the Fox 10 a.m. window: Philadelphia at Miami, Green Bay at N.Y. Giants, Tampa Bay at Jacksonville, San Francisco at Baltimore
= In the CBS 10 a.m. window: N.Y. at Cincinnati, Tennessee at Indianapolis, Cleveland at Pittsburgh, Washington at Carolina
= In the CBS 1:25 p.m. window (not available in L.A.): Oakland at Kansas City
= New England at Houston, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
Monday, Dec. 2:
= Minnesota at Seattle, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
What we haven’t quite figured out in the first month of the NBA season with December looming:
== Will LeBron James ever shoot a free throw in a game again? Someone named Jenna was half the reason why he didn’t take any in their last win.
== Just wondering if any of the players that the Lakers sent to New Orleans in the Anthony Davis trade are still active? The Lakers’ trip to New Orleans (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., ESPN) could still have some interest.
== For those interested in a Sunday NBA doubleheader, the Lakers this time have the early game (1 p.m., vs. Dallas) while the Clippers come in at the end (7:30 p.m. vs. Washington).
== Dallas and Luka Doncic had a 41-point, six-rebound, 10-assist game against Houston the other night, and that was his third-most impressive game of the week. Dallas faces the Clippers and Lakers this week:
How the week unfolds for the Lakers (14-2 for the first time since 2008, No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings):
= At San Antonio, Monday at 5:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= At New Orleans, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
= Vs. Washington, Staples Center, Friday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= Vs. Dallas, Staples Center, Sunday at 1 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
How the week unfolds for the Clippers (12-5, 2 ½ back of the Lakers in the Pacific Division, No. 3 in the ESPN Power Rankings):
= At Dallas, Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
= At Memphis, Wednesday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket
= At San Antonio, Friday at 5:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
= Vs. Washington, Staples Center, Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
What we thought we knew heading into the third week of the college basketball season:
== UCLA and USC decided to blot their perfect start last week by taking losses to Hofstra and Temple respectfully, then taking five-hour plane rides to their next games that involve a high-profile holiday tournament.
== Bill Walton is in Lahaina starting off with Kansas-Chaminade (6 p.m.) and UCLA-BYU (8 p.m.) with Dave Pasch (with Dan Schulman and Jay Bilas on the others). His schedule for the season is here.
== Keeping in mind the Bruins might end up playing local host Chaminade in the Maui Invitational, maybe it’s wise to read up on a new book, “The Greatest Upset Never Seen: Virginia, Chaminade and the Game That Changed College Basketball,” by Jack Danielwicz (University of Nebraska Press). That’s a reference to the Dec. 23, 1982 game when No. 1 Virginia and Ralph Sampson fell to NAIA school Chaminade as they were playing a stop-over game in Hawaii coming back from Tokyo.
== For the first time in four weeks, someone has kept the AP poll No. 1 spot – Duke – after it was given to and relinquished by Michigan State and Kentucky. What does it mean? “I don’t think there’s a dominant team this year,” said Kansas coach Bill Self.
The Pac 12’s representation: No. 11 Oregon (5-0), No. 14 Arizona (6-0), No. 21 Colorado (4-0), No. 23 Washington (5-1). None others in the “others receiving votes” (where Liberty got six votes).
How the week plays out for USC (5-1):
At the ESPN Orlando Invitational:
= Vs. Fairfield, Thursday at 1 p.m., ESPNU
= Vs. Davidson or Marquette, Friday at 1 p.m. or 4 p.m., either ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNEWS
= Vs. TBA (Maryland, Temple, Texas A&M or Harvard), Sunday at TBA (final scheduled for 10 a.m. on ESPN; tipoffs also scheduled at 7:30 a.m. on ESPNU, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
More info: espnevents.com/orlando-invitational
How the week plays out for UCLA (4-1):
At the Maui Invitational in Lahaina:
= Vs. BYU, Monday at 8:30 p.m., ESPN2
= Vs. Kansas or Chaminade, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN or 2 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU
= Vs. TBA (Georgia, Dayton, Virginia Tech or Michigan State), Wednesday at TBA (final game at 2 p.m. on ESPN, other tip off times: 11:30 a.m., ESPN/ESPN2; 6 p.m., ESPNU; 8:30 p.m., ESPN2)
More info: mauiinvitational.com
= Vs. San Jose State, at Pauley Pavilion, Sunday at 5 p.m., Pac-12 Network
How the week plays out for Cal State Northridge (0-6):
= At the Legends Classic in Green Bay, Wisc: At Green Bay, Monday at 5 p.m.
= Vs. Fresno State, at the Matadome, Saturday at 3 p.m.
How the week plays out for Long Beach State (2-3):
At the Wooden Legacy Tournament in Anaheim Convention Center:
= Vs. Providence, Thursday at 11 a.m., ESPNU
= Vs. Wake Forest or College of Charleston, Friday at 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
= Vs. TBA (Arizona, Pepperdine, UCF or Penn), Sunday (title game: 6 p.m., ESPN, other tip offs at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
More info: espnevents.com/wooden-legacy
How the week plays out for Pepperdine (3-3):
At the Wooden Legacy Tournament at Anaheim Convention Center:
= Vs. Arizona, Thursday at 8 p.m., ESPN2
= Vs. Central Florida or Penn, Friday at 6 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.
= Vs. TBA (Long Beach State, Providence, Wake Forest or Charleston), Sunday (title game: 6 p.m., Sunday, ESPN, other tip offs at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
More info: espnevents.com/wooden-legacy
How the week plays out for Loyola Marymount (2-3):
= Vs. Southern Utah, at Gersten Pavilion, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Games of national interest this week include:
Georgia vs. Dayton, 11:30 a.m., ESPN2
Virginia Tech vs. Michigan State, 2 p.m., ESPN2
Kansas vs. Chaminade, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City:
Stanford vs. Oklahoma, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2
Stephen F. Austin at Duke, 6 p.m., ACC Network
Alabama vs. North Carolina at the Bahamas, 11:30 a.m.
Gonzaga vs. Southern Miss at the Bahamas, 4 p.m., ESPNU
Oregon vs. Seton Hall at the Bahamas, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2
Winthrop at Duke, 4 p.m., ACC Network
UAB at Kentucky, 4 p.m., SEC Network
UC Davis at Utah, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Utah State at Saint Mary’s, 8:30 p.m., ESPNU
Round II of the Mater Dei-St. John Bosco battle of the Catholic high school powers — the CIF-Southern Section Division I championship. It’s12-0 Mater Dei vs. 11-1 St. John Bosco at Cerritos College, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket — a rematch of Mater Dei’s 38-24 Trinity League win on Oct. 25. Mater Dei has defeated St. John Bosco in the 2018 and 2017 division final, when both teams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country by MaxPreps.com. Their rankings have held that way to this game as well.
Could they meet again in the state championship? It doesn’t work that way.
Also: Division 2 final: Sierra Canyon at Chaminade, Friday at 8:30 p.m., Prime Ticket (delayed from 7:30 p.m. kickoff); Division 3 final: Corona del Mar vs. Grace Brethren at Newport Harbor High, Friday at 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West
Also: CIF-L.A. City Section Open Division Championship: 7-4 Birmingham vs. 7-4 Banning, at El Camino College, Friday at 7 p.m.
** What we don’t pretend to have figured out a quarter of the way into the NHL season:
== The N.Y. Islanders (16-3-2) have a franchise-record 17 game point streak, coming off an overtime loss in San Jose last Saturday, but still trail Washington and Boston for the most points in the Eastern Conference.
== The Toronto Maple Leafs, 11-10-4 by week’s end, have already fired head coach Mike Babcock, one of seven head coaches in NHL history with at least 700 victories.
How this week shapes up for the Kings (9-13-1, last in the Western Conference)
= Vs. San Jose, Staples Center, Monday at 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West
= Vs. N.Y. Islanders, Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West
= At San Jose, Friday at 1 p.m., Fox Sports West
= Vs. Winnipeg, Staples Center, Saturday at 7 p.m., Fox Sports West
How this week shapes up for the Ducks (10-11-3, third from the bottom in the Western Conference)
= Vs. N.Y. Islanders, Honda Center, Monday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
= At Arizona, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Channel 13
= Vs. Winnipeg, Honda Center, Friday at 1 p.m., Prime Ticket
** NCAA women’s soccer playoffs: National quarterfinals/Elite Eight — USC (17-4-1) at North Carolina (22-1-1), Friday at 3 p.m., ACC Network; UCLA (17-4-1) at defending NCAA champion Florida State (18-5), Friday at 11 a.m. UCLA defeated Florida State 2-1 in the second week of the season at UCLA. If both USC and UCLA win, they advance to the national semifinals of the College Cup at Avaya Stadium in in San Jose on Dec. 6 (on opposite ends of the bracket). The final is Dec. 8. More info: www.ncaa.com
** Women’s volleyball: UCLA at USC, Galen Center, Friday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network