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

NUMBER 1What we know about the next phase of the “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” Tournament:
== As any network exec will tell you, especially in the sports realm, all they root for it as many shows/games as possible. Ken Jennings has put himself just one hour-long show away from taking the $1 million prize. If Jennings can just coast a little, Brad Rutter can get some things breaking his way on all-in “Daily Double” answers and James Holzhauer keeps the heat on, this could push its way to a seventh-match crescendo on Friday that would rival any major sporting event from viewership numbers – and the event has already been pre-taped.
Game shows aren’t rigged, right? They can’t just figure out the best way to please everyone, tank a little, fix Rutter’s ship and get this whole thing to replay somewhere on ESPN opposite the NFL divisional championships on Sunday.
What is … Mission Not Impossible?
The schedule:
= Tuesday at 8 p.m., Channel 7
= If necessary: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Channel 7


NUMBER 2What we have come to realize about the conclusion of the college football season that started in one decade and went into another — just 16 days, but it seems an eternity:
== This honored match up of 14-0/No. 1 LSU and 14-0/No. 3 Clemson (Monday, ESPN, 5 p.m., with 14 other options on the MegaCast) leans toward a victory by the Tigers.
Of course, both schools have that same nickname. And both lay some claim to play their games in Death Valley, which is no where near the actual Death Valley that gamblers must traverse through on their way from L.A. to Las Vegas.
= NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Saturday at 4 p.m., NFL Network. In the 2019 game, Slippery Rock running back Wes Hills ended up as the MVP. More info: collegiate.nflpa.com
= East-West Shrine Bowl at St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday at 12:30 p.m.,  NFL Network


NUMBER 3Where we stand on the Lakers and Clippers Happy Meal status:
== The Lakers have promoted Rob Pelinka as their Mr. Everything in the absence of Magic Johnson. And he still hasn’t traded away Kyle Kuzma. Probably for the better.
== Before the Lakers and Clippers start their Get Out of Staples Center Tour to allow those setting up the Jan. 26 Grammy Awards to have an ample runway, Cleveland and Orlando come in for a shared two-for-one trip. And maybe Kevin Love gets some love. Maybe Cleveland fires its coach.
== ABC is ready to pick up their first two roadies on Saturday – the Clippers in New Orleans, followed by the Lakers in Houston. The extended trips for both teams will end when the Lakers and Clippers meet up at Staples Center on Tuesday, Jan. 28, for a TNT showdown.

How the rest of the week unfolds for the Lakers (32-7, No. 2 in the Week 13 ESPN NBA Power Rankings even after impressive wins at Dallas and the one at OKC without LeBron James and Anthony Davis):
= Vs. Cleveland, Staples Center, Monday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= Vs. Orlando, Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= At Houston, Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 7
How the rest of the week unfolds for the Clippers (27-13, No. 5 in the ESPN NBA Power Rankings, droping a spot behind Miami)
= Vs. Cleveland, Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
= Vs. Orlando, Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West
= At New Orleans, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Channel 7


NUMBER 4What’s left to know about the NFL’s conference championships with the exit of Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson behind us:
== The Sunday schedule:
= AFC: Tennessee at Kansas City, noon, Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo)
= NFC: Green Bay at San Francisco, 3:40 p.m., Channel 11 (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman)
== Are they still trying to figure out where the yellow line is for that Green Bay first down? Norman Chad explains. Again.


NUMBER 5The latest we seem to know about the college basketball season:
== The first of two LMU-Pepperdine head-to-head contests happens in Westchester on Thursday.
== The latest Top 25 rankings keeps West Coast Conference leader Gonzaga (18-1, 4-0, 10-0 at home, 3-0 vs. AP Top 25 teams) in the No. 1 spot. Even though No. 2 Baylor (13-1) got more first-place votes (31-to 30). Undefeated Auburn (15-0) moved up one spot to No. 4 and San Diego State (17-0) stayed at No. 7.
== The Pac-12 is meekly represented by No. 8 Oregon (14-3) and No. 20 Colorado (13-3) after Arizona (11-5) lost twice in Oregon and has lost four of their last five and five of their last seven.
== The second installment of the USC-UCLA women’s basketball Pac-12 head-to-head meeting lands on Friday (Galen Center, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network). UCLA prevailed in the first meeting, 83-59, at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 29 behind 21 points each from Michaela Onyenwere and Japreece Dean. USC’s Alissa Pill had 28 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

How the week plays out for USC (13-3, 2-1)
= Vs. Cal, Galen Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
= Vs. Stanford, Galen Center, Saturday at 3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
How the week plays out for UCLA (8-8, 1-2)
= Vs. Stanford, Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network
= Vs. Cal, Pauley Pavilion, Sunday at 5 p.m., ESPNU

How the week plays out for Cal State Northridge (6-12, 1-1)
= At UC Riverside, Thursday at 7 p.m.
= Vs. UC Davis, Matadome, Saturday at 3 p.m., ESPN3
How the week plays out for Long Beach State (6-12, 1-1)
= Vs. UC Davis, Walter Pyramid, Thursday at 7 p.m., ESPN3
= Vs. Cal State Fullerton, Walter Pyramid, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

How the week plays out for Loyola Marymount (7-10, 1-2)
= At Pepperdine, Thursday at 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= At University of San Francisco, Saturday at 1 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
How the week plays out for Pepperdine (8-9, 1-2)
= Vs. LMU, Firestone Fieldhouse, Thursday at 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= Vs. Saint Mary’s, Firestone Fieldhouse, Saturday at 1 p.m., CBSSN

Games of national interest this week include:
Duke at Clemson, 4 p.m., ESPN
DePaul at Villanova, 5:30 p.m., FS1
Kansas at Oklahoma, 6 p.m., ESPN
San Diego State at Fresno State, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Seton Hall at Butler, 3:30 p.m., FS1
Virginia at Florida State, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Colorado at Arizona State, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Santa Clara at Gonzaga, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Wisconsin at Michigan State, 4 p.m., FS1
Michigan at Iowa, 6 p.m., FS1
Baylor at Oklahoma State, 9 a.m.
Seton Hall at St. John’s, 9 a.m., Channel 11
Auburn at Florida, 10:30 a.m. Channel 2
Oregon at Washington, 12:45 p.m., Channel 2
Louisville at Duke, 3 p.m., ESPN
Nevada at San Diego State, 5 p.m., CBSSN
BYU at Gonzaga, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Bill Walton’s schedule:
= Colorado at Arizona State, Thursday at 6 p.m., ESPN
= Utah at Arizona State, Saturday at 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network


== And as far as the NHL in Southern California is concerned:
How the week plays out for the Kings (18-25-4, 40 points, second to last in the Western Conference, as a five-game, 10-day road trip continues into the All-Star break:
= At Tampa Bay, Tuesday at 4 p.m., Fox Sports West
= At Florida, Thursday at 4 p.m., Fox Sports West
= At Philadelphia, Saturday at 4 p.m., Fox Sports West
How the week plays out for the Ducks (17-23-5, 39 points, last in the Western Conference), as their five-game, eight-day roadie continues:
= At St. Louis, Monday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket
= At Nashville, Thursday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket
= At Carolina, Friday at 4:30 p.m., Prime Ticket

== The Australian Open starts Sunday (ESPN2, 4 p.m.)
== The PGA Tour swings through La Quinta/PGA West Stadium and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West for the 61st incarnation of the Desert Classic/The American Express (Thursday through Sunday, Golf Channel, noon-to-4 p.m. each day). Phil Mickelson serves as the tournament host.
== AMA Supercross returns to Angels Stadium, Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
== Did you know: Dodger Stadium is the site for the new Cirque du Soleil – Volta show starting Saturday and running through March 8? For real.

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