Wednesday, September 12, 2007

College Football Weekend Preview

The NFL gave us lots of ammo for discussion this week, but truly passionate football fans are into college ball, playoff or no. There’s nothing like a rabid obsession combined with large sums of student loans. Here's a look at what I think are some of the more memorable games for this weekend:

No. 5 Florida vs. No. 22 Tennessee

The SEC looks to continue to deliver on quality teams that will play prominent roles on the national. Tim Tebow looks like he might be worth more hype than his coach. Looks for the at-home Florida to roll over an 85th ranked Tennessee Defense. Why watch? It's Florida and Tennessee at the Swamp. Even though the Vols are on their way out of the top 25 with a bullet, it's still the type of big-name matchup we like to see.

No 10. Ohio State at Washington

Last week the Buckeyes only rolled up a $20 bill on lowly Akron while all Ty's Huskies managed was ending Boise State's former nation's longest winning streak. The Buckeye's still have a stingy, talented defense, but Washington might just have the type of athletic quarterback to break contain and give it fits. Why watch? If Washington wins this game, looks for the Irish fan base to start making things hot for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

No. 16 Arkansas at Alabama

Heisman trophy favorite McFadden versus former shit-hot, national championship winning, recently failed in NFL, everyone's favorite liar, Nick Saban. Why watch? Who wouldn't want to see a great kid run all over the Tide in Tuscaloosa?

No. 19 Oregon vs. Fresno State

The Ducks just humiliated Michigan. The Bulldogs almost humiliated Texas A&M (some say they succeeded). If the Ducks win big, keep an eye on them the rest of the season. Remember that Pat Hill's Bulldogs are a quality coached team with plenty of athletes. Why watch? If the Ducks win big at home, this could cement them as a contender for the Pac-10.

No. 15 Georgia Tech vs. No. 21 Boston College

Best matchup of the week. Number four rushing offense (GT) versus number four rushing defense (BC). Both teams have looked solid so far this season. Winner here could be headed up the polls on a rocket towards an ACC title. Why watch? On paper, teams look evenly matched and so far this year, in the top 25, all we've seen are over ranked teams getting exposed. These two teams are legit.

Game of the Week - No. 1 USC at No. 16 Nebraska

All the real drama for this game is squarely on Big Red's sidelines. Attention-starved Husker fans are desperate for hope and vindication that may signal a return to national prominence. USC hasn't played squat and needs to justify their number one ranking or continue losing votes to LSU and Oklahoma. If Nebraska wins, relevance returns to the Big XII North and the Big XII in general. Why watch? Make no mistake, USC is more loaded than many NFL teams. There's a real possibility that they blow out the Huskers a la the Ducks and Michigan or Cal and Tennessee. If the Huskers get desperate and leave it all on the field, it could be a classic.

Drama of the Week - Unranked Michigan vs. Unranked Notre Dame

This bowl should be sponsored by Tabasco. We'd like to see the losing coach sent straight to unemployment purgatory. The reality is the only one of the two coaches likely to genuinely lose their job is Lloyd Carr. Charlie Weis just signed a monster extension last season and is doing a decent enough job recruiting to turn things around. Michigan has no excuse. Why watch? The black coaching fraternity as well as most African Americans is still pissed about how Notre Dame treated Tyron Willingham. If Ty wins Saturday and Weis (who's only won with Ty's recruits) goes downhill, look for this to become a major sports opinion theme that will carry throughout the rest of the season. Quite frankly, I really don't care who wins, there's so much good drama to go around.

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