Weekend Primer

Publish date:

Your guide to the weekend, SIOC style.

2008 Pumpkin Launch Competition, University of Rochester, 2 p.m.Halloween isn't just a day for girls to wear revealing Sarah Palin outfits. It's also a time to recklessly launch bowling ball-sized vegetables as far as they'll fly. Nobody knows when the tradition of pumpkin launching began, but I believe it goes back to the War of 1812, when U.S. soldiers, short on ammunition, used pumpkins to repel British forces from Fort McHenry. And that's how Halloween began.

Final Day of the Pac-10 Fitness ChallengeSo what exactly is the Pac-10 Fitness Challenge? Good question. Over a span of five days, Pac-10 schools compete to earn the title of "most active" by having students go online and log their minutes of physical activity. Alternatively, since the competition works on the honor system, students can also go online and log however many minutes they want regardless of their actual physical activity. Think about that. The winner of the Fitness Challenge will likely be the school whose students spend the most time on the computer. That's good news for Washington State, which has a commanding lead in the contest and appears to have finally found a physical competition (typing takes muscles) in which it doesn't always lose 69-0...

NCAA Women's Bowling: Friday Night Invite, Fairleigh DickensonThe days of watching college football simply to pass the time are over, because NCAA bowling season is finally here. The inaugural tournament features top-ranked Maryland Eastern Shore (the defending champions) and No. 2 Vanderbilt (the 2007 champion), as well as No. 7 FDU. Let the rolling on Shabbos commence.

NCAA Football: Brown at Penn, 12 p.m.With the investment banking industry crumbling to the ground, the gridiron's now the key battlefield in the fight for Ivy League supremacy. At 3-0, both Brown and Penn sit atop the conference, so watch to find out who will be J.P. Morgan and who will be Bear Stearns.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at No. 3 Louisville, 1:30 p.m.No, not Georgetown University, Georgetown College. Nevertheless, the 1,300 student NAIA powerhouse (which went 35-1 last year) nearly beat Louisville two years ago, and could once again have Rick Pitino pulling out his hair gel.

NCAA Football: No. 8 Florida vs. No 6. Georgia in Jacksonville, 3:30 p.m.It's the world's largest outdoor cocktail party ... featuring mostly beer. Although this long anticipated matchup doesn't quite have the BCS implications it had ... uh ... in the offseason, it's still worth tuning in to watch Matthew Stafford and Tim Tebow compete to finish fifth in the Heisman Trophy race.

"Extreme Sportswriting," University of Pennsylvania, 4:30 p.m.This panel discussion about the future of sports and journalism features renowned blog-hater and high school drama-creator Buzz Bissinger, Scrabble maven (that's Scrabble, not Scrabulous) Stefan Fatsis and SI's own Jon Wertheim. I'll assume my invitation was lost in the mail.

Rockapella Performs at Syracuse, 2 p.m.A Rockapella showand the release of a Kevin Smith movie featuring Seth Rogen, all in the same weekend? Some Gen-X heads are about to explode with excitement.