Second Thoughts: Good to know that some things never change

Wonder what Notre Dame thinks about its decision to basically join the Atlantic Coast Conference in football. Instead of playing (and losing) Saturday in catfish conditions, the Irish could’ve scheduled a school like, say, Purdue. Like they did for years. Tough to feel sorry for ND.

It’s never too early to talk about Ohio State-Michigan. And after watching the Buckeyes sputter early against Indiana, perhaps Urban Meyer’s guys are already looking ahead. What we have to look forward to on Nov. 26 is an early kickoff. In a nod to tradition, the Big Ten announced that the game at Ohio Stadium will commence at high noon.

What national brands do that anymore? Ohio State-Michigan, and Oklahoma-Texas. I’m sure the TV types prefer a primetime showdown, but this rivalry has enough clout to stick to its guns. It’s good to know some things never change.

The MLB playoffs are off to a strong start. The postseason has three-plus weeks to go, and in that time the field will be whittled to two teams. Also, temperatures will drop from the 70s to the 40s, maybe even the 30s. I’m hoping for a Cubs-Indians World Series. Game 7 is scheduled Nov. 2, which surely would expose the stupidity of a season that lingers longer than the unwanted relative at Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the Tribe, I want to cheer for them because they’re based in Ohio, but it’s not easy. If I don’t have a defined rooting interest, I usually back the team that has the more loyal fans. Cleveland pretty much ignored the Indians this season. Average attendance: 19,650. That was 28th of 30 big-league teams, and worse than the Reds.

Madison Bumgarner is the man I’d want on the mound if my mortgage depended on the outcome of a baseball game. Scoring on Bumgarner in the postseason is as tough as picking winning lottery numbers. Great competitor. The big lefty also doesn’t strike me as a guy who chats up the opponent during batting practice.

Trending up: Tom Brady, Isaiah Crowell, Edwin Encarnacion. Brady returns to the gridiron today, rested and ready to shred the NFL. The Patriots are 3-1, so Deflategate didn’t hurt them. First up on Brady’s hit list: the Browns. Just Cleveland’s luck. Brady might be the greatest fantasy football play in the history of fantasy football.

Trending down: Kostas Antetokounmpo, Jeurys Familia, Charlie Strong. Archie Miller tried to get Antetokounmpo in a Dayton uniform this season, but the NCAA balked. Now the skinny Greek will cool his heels for a year, practice and eat steak. Twenty pounds of muscle would serve him well. The present and future look great for the Flyers.