Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
College football: Boise State vs. Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., 5 p.m., ESPN:
Bring in da Boise, bring in da blue noise. If Boise State is to be among the BCS elitists, it starts here, with more cowbell from last season’s Fiesta Bowl squad, against another preseason Top 10-ranked squad on a “neutral” (non-blue) field. Check your credentials at the door.
MLB: Dodgers at San Diego, 7 p.m., Channel 9:
There was a Vegas line last spring posted that had the over-under for San Diego Padres victories this season at 71 1/2. The Pads passed that in mid August. Not long, in fact, after they split a four-game series at Dodger Stadium by taking a 5-0 win in the series finale — remember, with Andre Ethier finishing the game at first place, Chris Denorfia motoring around the bases on a stupid inside-the-park homer, and George Sherrill making a token inning of relief appearance — 1 IP, 0 ER — to lower his ERA to a cryptic 6.66. For the moment, however, these Padres are in a strange tailspin, having lost 10 in a row. Oh, my. The Dodgers are actually closer to the top of the NL West now than they are to the NL wildcard. Meanwhile, the Padres are supposed to have 22-year-old pitcher Mat Latos on an innings count this season — 170 to 180 this season. To get his 13-5 record and a league-leading 2.25 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, he’s one out shy of 156. In his last 14 starts, he’s given up two runs or less. Since June 5, Latos has only lost once — that was 2-1 to the Dodgers on Aug. 3 at Dodger Stadium. He’s in there tonight.
MLB: Angels vs. Cleveland, Angel Stadium, 6 p.m., FSW:
Sorry, Chief. The first of three against the less-than-.400 winning percentage Indians, and there are no promotional giveaways planned. Good luck with attendance.
Golf: Deutsche Bank Championship, final round, Channel 4, 11 a.m.
Held over for the holiday by popular demand. You can take that to the bank.
Basketball: FIBA World Championships: U.S. vs. Angola, 8 a.m., ESPN2:
Love to watch Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook work the fast break again. What’s Angola’s angle for this one?
MLB: Dodgers at San Diego, 7 p.m., Channel 9:
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has only one victory since the end of July. Seriously. Yet, in going 1-4 with two no decisions in his last seven starts, his ERA has increased from 2.96 to 3.01.
MLB: Angels vs. Cleveland, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:
Do you realize that MLB Properties still sell merchandise with the Indians’ 1948 mascot logo? Not that it’s racist or anything.
MLB: Dodgers at San Diego, 7 p.m., Prime:
With Wade LeBlanc bumped from the starting rotation, the Padres are scheduled to throw 6-foot-4, 215-pound left-hander Cory Luebke (0-1, 7.20) out against Chad Billingsley. Luebke, an Ohio State grad, gave up four runs on five hits over five innings in his major league debut last Friday against Colorado.
MLB: Angels vs. Cleveland, Angel Stadium, 4 p.m., FSW:
Arte Moreno has a pretty solid marriage, right?
NFL: Minnesota at New Orleans, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4:
Kickoff. We have a kickoff. And if we are to believe a report from TMZ Sports, the Lakers’ Derek Fisher has been asked by Saints coach Sean Payton to come to the Superdome and give his team a pre-game speech about how to go back-to-back. Because, Fisher knows something about that. Fisher might also go to the other locker room and tell Brett Favre how to plan for retirement.
MLB: Dodgers at Houston, 5 p.m., Channel 9:
The last time these two played each other, Xavier Paul was the Dodgers’ starting right fielder (as Andre Ethier went on the DL with a broken finger), Russell Martin was in the leadoff spot, Blake DeWitt started at second base, and Garrett Anderson came off the bench to pinch hit in a 7-3 win.
Golf: PGA’s BMW Championship, first round, noon, Golf Channel:
From Cog Hill G&CC, in Lemont, Ill., a quick turn around after the previous event ended on Monday in Boston. Golf Channel has Friday second round; NBC has the third and final rounds Saturday and Sunday.
MLB: Dodgers at Houston, 5 p.m., Prime:
Whatever became of the Astrodome? the city won’t allow it to be demo’d because of concerns it might mess up the surrounding structures. Historical preseverationists would also protest such a move, even though it isn’t on any National Register of Historic Places lists. Over the last two years, it has been cited with numerous code violations, meaning only maintenance workers and security guards are allowed in. Someone wanted to convert it into a luxury hotel with a big glass roof (pictured here). Another thinks it could be made into a movie production studio. What, to film another “Bad News Bears”? Whatever. It’s not the Astros’ problem any more.
MLB: Angels vs. Seattle, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:
Another three games against the Mariners.
College football: USC vs. Virginia, Coliseum, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
The two schools played each other just two years ago — a 52-7 Trojan victory in Charlottesville, Va. The USC quarterback at the time, redshirt junior Mark Sanchez, dislocated his kneecap three weeks earlier and had limited practice before this one, but completed 26 of 35 passes for a career-best 338 yards and three TDs. Talk about some hard knocks.
College football: UCLA vs. Stanford, Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m., ESPN:
The Cardinal’s 24-16 win over the Bruins a year ago in Palo Alto wasn’t so much luck-related. Stanford freshman QB Andrew Luck had just 14 of 20 passing for 198 yards, without a TD or a pick. The difference was from running back Toby Gerhart (29 carries, 3 TDs). Bruins kicker Kai Forbath had three field goals and a PAT.
MLS: Galaxy vs. Columbus, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
It’s the game David Beckham has targeted for his return from a torn achilles tendon back in March, which kept him out of the World Cup. “The doctors’ original date was October 1, but I always kind of said I want to be ready before then,” Beckham said. “I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hopefully will play in part of the game here against Columbus. … hopefully I’ll get on the field for 15-20 minutes.That’s what I’m looking at.”
Tennis: U.S. Open, women’s final, 5 p.m., Channel 2; men’s semifinals, 9 a.m.:
No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniack, born in Denmark, lives in Monaco, could walk onto center court for this one and no one would recognize her. Or would they?
MLB: Dodgers at Houston, 4 p.m., Channel 9:
Jeff Kent’s living in H-town, from last we heard. If he knows the Bush family could come down and sit behind the backstop, would Kent stop by for some face time?
MLB: Angels vs. Seattle, Angel Stadium, 6 p.m., FSW:
Felix Hernandez, again. Not good. He threw seven shutout innings against the Angels on Aug. 31, but didn’t get the win. Again, his 11-10 record is deceiving, considering he leads the AL in innings pitched and strike outs, is second in ERA and third in WHIP and complete games. He’s given up just one earned run in his last 45 innings pitched over six starts.
Tennis: U.S. Open, men’s final, 1 p.m., Channel 2:
Guaranteed not to be here: Andy Roddick. The top-seeded Bryan Bros should also be here, somewhere, competing for the men’s doubles final. Again.
NFL: Dallas at Washington, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:
New Redskins QB Donovan McNabb has been critical of his performance in coach Mike Shanahan’s offense. After he suffered an ankle injury in the second exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens, he hasn’t practiced or played since. If he starts the opener against Tony Romo and the Cowboys, how sharp will he be? “I don’t think anyone has to worry about Donovan,” wide receiver Devin Thomas said. Just don’t let McNabb answer the door if Michael Strahan is standing there with a pizza and a Dr. Pepper.
NFL: Oakland at Tennessee, 10 a.m., Channel 2:
Two places where Lane Kiffin isn’t allowed within 500 feet of a football stadium, sports bar, or sewage treatment center.
NFL: Carolina at N.Y. Giants, 10 a.m., Channel 11; San Francisco at Seattle, 1 p.m., Channel 11:
Pete Carroll, let’s see what you’ve got.
MLB: Dodgers at Houston, 11 a.m., Prime:
At last they won’t have to face Roy Oswalt again here.
MLB: Angels vs. Seattle, Angel Stadium, 12:35 p.m., Channel 13:
This series over yet? OK, kids, run the bases.
Basketball: FIBA World Championships, final: 11:30 a.m., ESPN:
The Americans could be here. They should be here. But then, worse things have happened along this routine trip before. It may behove U.S. player Andre Iguodala to take more pictures of this trip, so it’ll last longer. The game repeats at 4 p.m. on ESPN2 for anyone who was watching football during the original airing.