The Sunday of this holiday weekend represents the last Sunday sports fans will be without NFL football until the off-week prior to the Super Bowl. At least a mix of baseball, college football and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series keep the daily sports activity flowing for anyone looking for something to watch.
Baseball starts with a big game in the Bronx, as the Orioles and Yankees play the finale of a three-game set at 1 PM ET on TBS. New York has taken the first two games of this series and nudged past Baltimore by a half-game in the AL East. Both teams, along with Cleveland, are in the group that’s circling the outside the playoff picture and hoping for a strong September push. It’s a preliminary playoff battle, if you will, and it’s the biggest TV game of the day.
College football picks up with a pretty good game in its own right at 3:30 PM ET, with Ohio-Louisville on ESPN. Louisville is the heavy favorite to win the American Athletic Conference (the old Big East), considered a dark horse national title contender and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a Heisman frontrunner.
Ohio is a good MAC program, consistently competitive and shown the capacity to upend BCS schools, including last season’s opening day win at Penn State. The Bobcats return a good quarterback in Tyler Tettleton—readers of a certain age will remember a former Detroit Tigers’ catcher Mickey Tettleton, and Tyler is his son.
Prime-time leaves us with more questions than entertainment. The question would be, why did anyone at ESPN think Mets-Nationals was an appropriate choice for Sunday Night Baseball (8 PM ET, ESPN2)? There was never a time all season when the Mets were considered contenders. Has the network chosen, for example, San Francisco-Arizona, I could see the logic and just figure they were unable to change the programming after the Giants fell out of contention. But Mets-Nats, on a day when you have St. Louis-Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay-Oakland? C’mon.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has two races left before its postseason begins and tonight’s action from Atlanta is in prime-time at 7:30 PM ET in ESPN. TheSportsNotebook has coverage of the Advocare 500 and a look at the playoff picture.
Over the course of the next two days, TheSportsNotebook will be closing out NFL divisional previews. The NFC East is all that’s left, and at least some of the four teams will appear online today, with anyone not completed being done tomorrow. Over the course of Monday, we’ll have a complete Labor Day update on everything important in major league baseball. Tuesday is when we’ll start to sort out the college football results from Week 1.