Brain freeze, brain freed, or brain fried? Chasing clarity in the cold

As we all prepare for the first fierce Nordic blast of splinter (we don’t really have winter, it’s a blend of spring and summer and what most of America knows as “late fall”), my thermostat is set at 64.

Cool temperatures are said to be good for using the ole noggin.

Or, for consuming eggnog from Maggio’s drive-thru as my hometown prepares to officially flip on the Christmas lights Saturday night.

Which is happening at this moment? You decide if you read further.

TOPIC:  Louisiana Tech’s football team is winless, 0-6, on the road this year, a sense of much frustration for first-year coach Sonny Cumbie and the Bulldogs’ faithful. 

REAX: Tech goes to Charlotte for Saturday’s game. The 49ers have an interim head coach and are 0-5 at home. Somebody’s walking off happy, for a change. The Bulldogs ought to be barking at the end of this one. 

TOPIC:  Northwestern State is again playing for at least a share of the Southland Conference championship Saturday, this time at home, but against Top 10-ranked Incarnate Word, an overwhelming favorite.

REAX:  The Demons have beaten two other ranked UIW teams in the past three seasons, when NSU wasn’t as competitive as it is this season in conference play. This would be the biggest shocker since their 2014 win at Tech if the Demons outscore these Cardinals. It will not be a defensive slugfest.

TOPIC:  Grambling is open this week, with coach Hue Jackson tuning up the Tigers for next weekend’s epic Bayou Classic in New Orleans against Southern. 

REAX:  The halftime show will undoubtedly be the best Grambling performance of the day in the Caesars Superdome, well worth the price of admission. The Jaguars are solid favorites to avenge last year’s upset loss to the G-Men.

TOPIC:  LSU moved up to No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings announced Tuesday night. 

REAX:  If you didn’t realize SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has a stranglehold on the CFP rankings, you should now. LSU’s having a shockingly good season, but the Tigers have overachieved. They escaped a mediocre Arkansas team last week only because true freshman Harold Perkins Jr. showed why he will be a leading Heisman Trophy candidate next season. 

TOPIC: Like far too many college coaches, Tech’s Cumbie does not allow freshmen players to be interviewed, denying us the chance to hear from Calvary product Landry Lyddy, who will start again at quarterback against Charlotte. 

REAX:  They can vote. They can defend our nation in the military. They are considered adults. College freshmen, most 18 if not older, ought to be able to field questions from the media.  Lyddy handled interviews at Calvary like he shredded opposing defenses. No need to muzzle him, or any other freshman. What’s the harm in it? 

TOPIC:  Northwestern State delivered one of the bigger early-season surprises in college basketball Monday night with its 64-63 upset win at No. 15-ranked TCU. 

REAX:  It’s an historic feat, the Demons’ second-ever Top 25 win. But TCU was ranked only on preseason hype and last year’s success, which is why polls at this stage of any season are a farce. The Frogs were missing their top two players, one regarded as the likely Big 12 Player of the Year. A week earlier, TCU was a 33-point favorite at home against UAPB, and trailed by 20 before escaping, 67-66. The Demons will face tougher tests. Winning a guarantee game is impressive, but this was not a Top-25 caliber win, although it says so on paper.

TOPIC:  Kim Mulkey is a brilliant coach and tactician – especially when it comes to building a non-conference schedule.

REAX:  While she fits new pieces together with her second Tigers’ team, and awaits the arrival next season of Parkway’s extraordinary student-athlete Mikaylah Williams, Mulkey’s non-conference schedule is softer than your pillow.  Her team will face tougher tests during fall semester final exams.

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