Before The Sept. 25 Games
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- This might be the ugliest slate of Big Ten games ever. It's MAC Week, and when the best game on the lot is Central Michigan at Northwestern,
it's okay to spend Saturday morning
acknowledging your kids' existence. This is a no-win situation for the league. Any loss will get magnified
on a national scale.
- With that said, watch out for a few close calls and at least two MAC upsets over the Big Ten. Northern Illinois needs to beat a bad Minnesota team and Toledo will give Purdue a push.
- No, this isn't the year Temple gives Penn State a game.
- No, it's not.
- Virginia Tech at Boston College is one of the most important games of the weekend. I've thought BC is for real for the last six months. Now I want to see it.
- That goes for you, too, NC State, with your trip to Georgia Tech.
- If Denard Robinson doesn't get a rest in the second half against Bowling Green, he never will.
- UCLA, come reasonably close to doing what you did offensively against Houston
this week at Texas, and then it'll be time to start paying attention.
- Between GameDay and the primetime broadcast, I'm just not ready for a seven-hour Boise State informercial.
We all get it. Boise State can beat anyone and it's going to obliterate Oregon State. The schedule still sucks.
- No, don't root for Oregon State just because you want to see Boise State step out of the way. Don't be lazy. Don't be that guy.
- Beating Oregon State isn't any big whoop. Now, if Boise State could blow up Oregon, then that would be a thing.
- Pitt already got embarrassed by Miami. With Rutgers facing North Carolina, Cincinnati dealing with Oklahoma at home, and with West Virginia's date at LSU, after this weekend, expect at least 13 articles about how the Big East doesn't deserve a BCS slot.
- And you will read two of them.
- I hope one is mine.
- Colorado State, you can't lose to Idaho at home in a blowout. You can't.
- Air Force is fantastic right now, but Wyoming has to play well at home. The Cowboy offense has to show a sign of life now that it doesn't have to deal with Texas and Boise State.
- With Nevada leaving the WAC and BYU bolting to go independent, Mountain West higher-ups will have their Wolf Pack pom-poms out. There might be more loyalty if the Cougars were off to a good start, but it would do the league a world of good if Colin Kaepernick and the Pack rushing attack go ballistic.
- The Kentucky – Florida game isn't getting any attention, but it's going to be a game to keep an eye on Saturday evening. All the focus is on Alabama at Arkansas, but if the Gators play like they did over the first three games, this air-tight Cat team that doesn't give the ball away could pull out the
SEC season-changing upset.
- After all the crappy flicks I've been forced to sit through, I'm going to break something tasteful if Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps isn't totally and completely awesome.
- The game you have to pay attention to, but won't: Arkansas State vs. Troy. Neither team can play pass defense and the two quarterbacks are on fire. ASU's Ryan Aplin should bomb away for 400 yards in a wild shootout.
- Speaking of shootouts, I love, love, LOVE late night Hawaii games. Save the gripping defensive slugfests for the big BCS games; for a game like Charleston Southern at Hawaii, I want a bazillion passing yards and a pinball game, and it's going to happen. Chaz South can
chuck it all over the yard, while Hawaii should put up 450 passing yards and at least 45 points.
- Yeah, Georgia, you still don't have A.J. Green. If you can't beat Mississippi State,
not having Green won't be the reason.
- Oh gee, there's a stunner. Brett Favre would rather sext pictures of Little
No. 4 and wear Wranglers than go to training camp, and
now he can't figure out why he's not on the same page
with his receivers.
- What does it say that it would be a shocker if Fresno State doesn't beat Ole Miss in Oxford?
- Even before the near-miss in the heartbreaking
loss to Missouri, San Diego State was on the verge
of being a thorn in everyone's side in the Mountain
West. If it's really that good, it blows away Utah
State at home before diving into the date at BYU two
weeks from now.
- LSU is in the national title chase, even if no one knows it. The style points won't be there, but the Tigers will beat West Virginia handily.
- If Louisiana-Lafayette beats Middle Tennessee the Sun Belt title will come
down to the date with Troy on October 16th.
- By the way, USC is 3-0, and it's going to be 5-0 after beating Washington State and Washington. The last time the Trojans were 5-0? 2006.
- Be careful, Maryland. FIU has a swarming defense and a former SEC quarterback in Wesley Carroll.
- I can't wait to see what Ryan Mallett can or can't do against Alabama, but also on the NFL scout radar is Nick Foles against California. The Arizona quarterback boosted his stock after his performance against Iowa, and
now he's on the verge of being the hot quarterback of the 2010 season not named Denard.
- Arizona State was shockingly physical on both sides of the line against Wisconsin last week making the home date against Oregon a very, very interesting test for both teams. If the Ducks win in a blowout, it'll really and truly be time to include them in the discussion for the national title.
- 1-2 Ohio (whose one win was against Wofford) vs. 0-3 Marshall might be the most boring bowl game rematch in the history of college football. A Twinkie on the way if you can name the bowl the two played last year and the entire package if you know who won.
- Oklahoma's last eight games outside of the state of Oklahoma: 31-27 over Stanford; 41-13 loss at Texas Tech; 10-3 loss at Nebraska; a loss to Texas in Dallas; 35-13 over Kansas; 21-20 loss at Miami; 14-13 loss to BYU; 24-14 national title loss to Florida.
That's 2-6 away from the Sooner state, while the last loss in the borders was to TCU in the 2005 season opener. That 14.5 point spread over Cincinnati seems awfully large.
- New Mexico at UNLV might be the worst Mountain West matchup since the league was formed.
- If Temple stuns or even hangs with Penn State in Happy Valley, does Al Golden immediately succeed JoePa following the post-game press conference?
- When Toledo picks off Purdue, don't label it a major upset. The Rockets have been a pleasant surprise, and the Boilermakers are as ripe as a week-old plantain.
- Arkansas won't beat Alabama because the offensive line isn't good enough to handle the front seven of the Tide.
- If the improbable happens and the Hogs do beat the Tide, Alabama still has as good a chance as any other school in America of running the table and playing for a national championship.
- It's time to start paying more attention to Dan Persa, the next in a long line of underrated Northwestern quarterbacks to make accurate throws and a lot happen with his feet.
- By mid-October, former third-string Houston QB Terrance Broadway will be a household name in Conference USA circles. At this school, it's the system that makes the man, not the reverse.
- With Notre Dame this week and Oregon next Saturday, Stanford QB Andrew Luck has the platform to be in the Heisman lead by the midway point of the season.
- Oregon State painted a practice field blue in preparation for this week's trip to Boise State. That's the definition of getting in the other team's head prior to kickoff.
- QB Geno Smith is a budding superstar at West Virginia ... just not this week versus an LSU defense that's getting better with each passing week.
- You get the feeling that playing in so many lopsided games will come back to haunt Oregon at some point this season? It won't happen this week in Tempe, but down the road, the Ducks will have to prove their mettle in a four-quarter battle, which will be completely foreign to them.
By Matt Zemek
- Virginia Tech-Boston College: So, Hokies, are you finally over that 18-day hangover caused by Boise State? Can you play a good first quarter for the first time this season?
- Oregon State-Boise State: How will the media paint this matchup? Who will score more points in the orange paint of the end zones at Bronco Stadium? Hey, Oregon State didn't paint orange end zones on its practice field, did it? GAME OVER.
- Stanford-Notre Dame: Will Brian Kelly intentionally let Andrew Luck score a touchdown in the final minutes so his team can get the ball back with a chance to tie? Know your recent history, folks.
-USC-Washington State: Watch Lane Kiffin go for two when up 36-0. Yeah, he should have been up 42-0 at the time, but he missed his first six 2-point conversions. Gotta get some of those points back – right, Lane?
- Temple-Penn State. The over-under for sentences containing "Al Golden" and "Penn State" cannot be high enough.
- North Carolina-Rutgers: The "Programs-In-A-Ditch Bowl." Say, that should be the name of the bowl game between losing teams. Wait, WHAT?!
- Tulane-Houston: At least Houston gets a small bit of cosmic and karmic compensation for losing two quarterbacks in one game: Tulane is the landing pad the following week. It could have been SMU.
- Alabama-Arkansas: The Razorbacks' stadium should be called Gorky Park in honor of Bobby Petrino. Renee Gork will be pulling hard for the Tide in this game.
- Nevada-Brigham Young: The most interesting game of week four that will be seen by the smallest number of people.
- West Virginia-LSU: Could easily threaten the 2009 LSU-Ole Miss game as the worst-coached FBS football game of the past decade.
- California-Arizona: Can Arizona stand prosperity? Can Cal not trip over its own shoelaces in a key road game? Something amazing is going to happen in Tucson; expect zany developments whenever the two most snake-bitten football programs in the Pac-10 get together.