Despite the fact that it seems the generally accepted theory that USC will meet the winner of the SEC Championship in the BCS title game automatically, we should have learned from last year that a lot can happen in just a few weeks. Every year the BCS prays for two and only two undefeated teams from two major conferences to make the title game choice clear, but more than likely that won’t happen. We have only begun conference play and there is a long road to go. Still, the Trojans made their statement last Saturday and no one can deny that a spot in the title game is theirs to lose. Due to the margin of defeat which, depending on who you talk to, may or may not was due to Beanie Wells not playing or a few questionable calls the Buckeyes have only the goal of the Rose Bowl to look to. In the fans’ minds and the pollster’s opinions they have had their shot in previous years and this year, and will not be given a second chance. Right or wrong, its Pasadena or bust for Ohio State. But let us leave the gloomy outlook of Columbus and take a look at this week’s match-ups.
East Carolina @ NC State, 12:00
The Pirates almost had their ship sunk all of a sudden in the Superdome last Saturday but held on for the win over Tulane. They turn now to another team they should beat, but the Wolfpack will not go quietly. NC State played a competitive game with Clemson in death valley last week showing no quit at any point. Despite the fact a new injury seems to occur every quarter for State, Tom O’Brien will keep them fighting. The crowd should be raucous in Carter-Finley and if the Wolfpack win I definitely expect the goal posts to come down and the bill won’t be sent to ECU.
Iowa @ Pittsburgh, 12:00
The Hawkeyes took care of Iowa State last week in a revenge game and they now travel to the home of the very beatable Panthers. Pitt lost at home to Bowling Green and got a test from Buffalo. The stache is suddenly getting a lot of heat after being named a sleeper team in the Big East. This is the chance for Iowa to make a statement for their own sleeper chances in the Big Ten while at the same time making the statement that Wannstedt and company were not as good as advertised, but we already knew that.
Mississippi State @ Georgia Tech, 12:00
The theme for our CFB coverage has been the reputation of the conferences, and this game plays to that. Paul Johnson has led the Jackets to a win at BC and had Virginia Tech beat until they gave away the game. They appear to be an upper crust team in the ACC from these performances while Mississippi State has had some bad losses including scoring only 2 points last week. The ACC needs this one more than the SEC does.
Boise State @ Oregon, 3:30
Oregon came back to steal a win at Purdue despite Bob Griese’s best flag-waving efforts. And once again they did it while wearing hideous uniforms, I mean seriously Phil Knight. This game should be fun to watch and it is definitely a trap game for the Ducks. I look for the Broncos to come out strong and Oregon again to have to play catch-up. If Boise State wins, they make their claim as a possible BCS Buster again.
Florida @ Tennessee, 3:30
Many people have asked me to write something on the Gators running up the score on Miami(and by many I mean Catfish and two other people) but I already stated before the game that Meyer was going to do that so it did not shock me no matter how I feel about it, I’m sure you can guess but I’m a little more discreet than Warren Sapp. Anyway, there is no one that really thinks the Vols can win this game right? Exactly why I think it will be close and Tennessee might even throw a wrench in the “Tim Tebow Happy Self-righteous Fun Tour”.
Notre Dame @ Michigan St., 3:30
Charlie Weiss, after he got his knee injured, got a Gatorade shower from his team for beating Michigan in a game in which the Wolverines had 403 fumbles. Premature moisture in my opinion, but I can understand the Irish excitement after the pathetic performances of last year. However, the Spartans are a better team than Michigan and this time Notre Dame goes there to play. The Irish defense better strap it on or it is going to be a long, dry day for Weiss and company.
Northeastern @ Syracuse, 3:30
99.9 percent of the CFB viewing audience won’t be watching this game, if it’s even televised but this is the only winnable game I see left on the Orange’s schedule. Seriously, they will be an underdog in the rest of their games and if Greg Robinson is not fired after this season there will be riots at the Acropolis. I am rooting for the Cuse in this one because I saw a screening of “The Express” last night, which I will write a few review for in the coming weeks, and I would prefer them not to go 0 for the season.
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina, 3:30
Catfish has the particulars but simply put, it is show me something time for the Tar Heels. Contender for the ACC crown or pretender? They have the Hokies at home, coming off a few extra days rest, no excuse for the Butch-wagon.
Utah @ Air Force, 4:00
BCS-Buster watch game. The Utes want to prove that they are the team from Utah that will break into the BCS, not those silly Mormons. But first they have to play in the elevation against Air Force.
Appalachian State @ James Madison, 7:00
In the FCS, this game is huge. I do not know what the capacity of James Madison’s stadium is but whatever it is it will be rocking as they face the three-time defending champions from the Division I football sub-division that actually, you know, has a playoff. The Mountaineers always have the target on their back even when they play FBS teams, so they better bring it.
Wake Forest @ Florida St, 7:00
Last I heard, FSU was a 4 point favorite in this game. I am not a betting man, so I guess the oddsmakers know something I don’t. The Seminoles still have a portion of the roster suspended for their academic fraud last year. They have beaten Western Carolina and Chattanooga so far this year which has given them credibility somehow. Considering the blowouts Florida State has suffered at home in recent years and the ability for the Wake D to force turnovers I have no clue why so many people are backing FSU. Until I see otherwise, the Deacs are still the best team in the ACC.
LSU @ Auburn, 7:45
Last year LSU won this game on one of the dumbest play calls I have ever seen. Luckily for Les Miles, it was great execution. After that everyone was willing to look past their two losses and send them to the Sugar Bowl where they won the title game. Auburn’s new spread offense has looked like a fat kid trying to run the 100 meter hurdles so far this year. Considering LSU has the best defense Auburn has faced this year, I think Auburn needs to pull out all the gimmicks in order to score in this one. Auburn’s defense is stout and they have the home crowd so LSU shouldn’t run away with it. This series has not had a lot of scoring to being with, so if you like defense….guarantee Mike Patrick says that at least once tomorrow.
Georgia @ Arizona St, 8:00
This game lost a little luster when Arizona lost to the Sharks, err Running Rebels last week. Everyone is making a huge deal about Georgia traveling west and if they lose, a stigma will develop in conjunction with the Ohio State loss that East Coast and Midwest teams can’t handle the travel. Well when you look at what Maryland did to Cal, I guess it works both ways. If a time zone change and cacti can defeat the Bulldogs, then they are not ready to win it all. UGA looked less than impressive last week against the Gamecocks, but ASU’s defense won’t be as stout. The Devils are so worried about Knowshon that I think play action, especially early, can be effective. I honestly have no idea how this game will turn out, but I do know that ASU fell flat on their face last year in their big home game against USC. Georgia better stay hydrated, it gets dry out there.