Daily Sports: A Big Thursday Night Awaits

Thursday is going to be a great night to be a sports fan, as the daily sports TV schedule is awash with great games, and it starts with a big college football doubleheader.

Oklahoma visits Baylor (7:30 PM ET, FoxSports1) in a game where the Bears can validate themselves as a national title contender, and the Sooners can keep themselves in play for the Big 12 championship. Then, a little bit later at 9 PM ET over on ESPN, it’s one of the really big games of the college football regular season. Oregon visits Stanford.

The winner takes the Pac-12 North, likely hosts the conference championship game, and it has a mammoth impact on the national title picture, with Oregon likely to take control of the race for #2 with a win, and Stanford able to put themselves squarely in the discussion.

Thursday night also means the NFL Network will foist a mediocre game upon the public, but at least this time it’s a game with some real star power, as Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins travel to Minnesota to play Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. Washington has won three of its last five, and though the record is 3-5, a win keeps them right on the heels of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

TheSportsNotebook has previews of all three games up online. Stanford-Oregon stands as a separate post, one part of what’s been a week of Pac-12 focus in our college football coverage. And given that RG3 went to Baylor while Peterson went to Oklahoma, we’ve tied the game between their alma maters into the same post as the preview of their game against each other. It’s undoubtedly the biggest night in the history of the Baylor-Oklahoma rivalry.

These games alone would make for a great night of action, but for the diehard there is still more. ESPNU will carry Troy-UL Lafayette. Before you laugh, Lafayette is leading the race for the Sun Belt title, with Troy at 5-4 and hoping to get bowl-eligible. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM ET for those who love midmajor college football.

Finally, even though it’s early, there are two compelling games on TNT’s standard Thursday night NBA doubleheader. The first is compelling for the best of reasons. The Clippers-Heat game from South Beach could be a preview of the NBA Finals. The nightcap is Lakers-Rockets, notable for soap opera reasons, as Dwight Howard faces his old teammates. Tipoff from Miami is at 7 PM ET and the game in Houston immediately follows that.

Have the DVR controls and the remote ready for a big night on Thursday.