Penn State at Ohio State
Since joining the Big Ten in 1993, Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions have waged successful battles on every conference foe's home front except one: the Buckeyes'. Ohio State has twice humbled the Nittanies at Ohio Stadium, 24-6 in '93 and 38-7 in '96, and possesses the weapons to do so again. Learn these names now, and you won't have to study before the Jan. 1 final exam, i.e., the Fiesta Bowl: Andy Katzenmoyer, the linebacker who hits like a sport utility vehicle; Antoine Winfield, the corner-back who had more tackles than the Big Kat a year ago; David Boston, the wide receiver who caught a school-record 14 passes in last year's 31-27 loss at State College; and tailback Michael Wiley, whose 9.3 yards per carry is the best such mark in the nation. This one could give JoePa gray hairs.
Baseball Division Series
The National Pastime had its own Conan O'Brienesque Hot List entering the Division Series, which continue Sunday and Monday, if necessary. Shane Spencer: The Yankees' Big Apple-cheeked rookie outfielder clobbered 10 homers in just 67 at bats this season and was the buzz of the Bronx. The Rangers: New York's foe turned the lights out at Edison Field last week by sweeping the Angels. Manny Ramirez: Cleveland's righty slugger hit eight home runs in five games last month and could slay Fenway Park's Green Monster in today's Game 4 (if necessary). Trevor Hoffman: The fat lady takes voice lessons from the Padres reliever (left), whose 53 saves in 54 tries will have the Astros trying to padlock the door of the bullpen.
? ESPN, 1 PM AND 11 PM; FOX, 4 PM; NBC, 7:30 PM
Seahawks at Chiefs
Senator "Tad" Kennedy (D., Mass.) may disagree, but there is a guy in Missouri who dons a red helmet and hits even harder than "Mike" McGwire. Through four games this season Kansas City outside linebacker Derrick Thomas has seven sacks and an early head of steam toward breaking Mark Gastineau's NFL season record of 22. Thomas gets closer to more quarterbacks than Leigh Steinberg. The Chiefs (3-1) are winning in a fashion typical of their coach, Marty Schottenheimer: by being the NFL leader in turnovers forced. On Sept. 20 K.C. harassed Chargers rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf into 1-for-15 passing, two interceptions and three fumbles. Fellow AFC West contender Seattle (3-1) will need all of Warren Moon's 16 years of quarterbacking experience.
? ESPN, 8:15 PM
Vikings at Packers
Blackjack! An offensive player with this much talent still available at the 21st pick—what were the teams that drafted before the Vikings thinking when they passed on... Robert Smith? Rookie wide receiver Randy Moss is not the only ace in the Vikings' 21 Club. Last season Smith, Minnesota's first-round selection in 1993, rushed for a team-record 1,266 yards. Before that, Smith was best known as an Ohio State premed student who was chastised by a school official for being "too serious" about his studies. (Funny how things in Columbus have changed.) Tonight Smith and Moss, who has a team-high 17 catches for 4-0 Minnesota, will oppose another NFC Central unbeaten that possesses one of the league's stiffest defenses.
?ABC, 8:20 PM
Flyers at Rangers
While the fans in Philly will be content with nothing less than their Flyers' hoisting the Cup this season, New Yorkers expect no more than that the Rangers will be wearing cups. New York is one Wayne Gretzky retirement press conference from imploding. Last season Gretzky, 37, led the NHL in assists with 67, despite having no teammate score more than 23 goals. The Flyers have added goalie John Vanbiesbrouck to complement the NHL's best front line of John LeClair (51 goals), Eric Lindros and Dainius Zubrus. On opening night, there's a much wider gap between Philadelphia and New York than New Jersey.
? ESPN, 7:30 PM
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.