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Final Thoughts - Matt Zemek

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 29, 2013


Matt Zemek's Final Thoughts Before Week 1 Gets Rolling

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek


NORTH CAROLINA-SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina doesn’t play smoothly or seamlessly in season openers. Ask Vanderbilt last season. Ask East Carolina in 2011. Ask North Carolina State in 2009. North Carolina’s probably not good enough to win this game, but South Carolina’s not airtight enough to deserve “mortal lock status,” either. A win by UNC would be very surprising. A blowout victory for the Gamecocks would be just as unexpected.

TULSA-BOWLING GREEN: If you like defense and good teams, watch this game between two of the better teams from the FBS’s smaller conferences.

UTAH STATE-UTAH: New coaches everywhere! Utah State begins the post-Gary Andersen era under Matt Wells, while a familiar face in the Pac-12, Dennis Erickson, returns to the conference as a co-offensive coordinator for Utah. This will be a chess-match challenge on both sides of the Beehive State divide.

OLE MISS-VANDERBILT: [Don LaFontaine movie voice:] “TWO PROGRAMS HOPING TO MAKE IT BIG. TWO COACHES SEEKING SUPERSTARDOM. ONLY ONE WILL SURVIVE!”

RUTGERS-FRESNO STATE: Lots of pundits seem to think that Fresno State will be better than Boise State this season. No, the Bulldogs won’t face any pressure this season – not at all. Meanwhile, one hopes Rutgers learned how to throw forward passes in the eight months since the Russell Athletic Bowl ended.

USC-HAWAII: Settle down, USC fans. If the Trojans played a Pete Carroll-style schedule – you know, one with a season opener at Nebraska, Auburn, or Virginia Tech – the current lack of clarity on the Men of Troy’s roster would be cause for considerable concern. This year’s first three games give the Trojans a substantial cushion before the season becomes difficult. USC has time to sort out its issues and see which players will take control of various positional battles.