Opening Weekend in College Football! Victory Screech!
Written by Curt Popejoy on 09/03/2009
Am I the only one who feels like a heroin addict who finally got a fix because football is back? I didn’t think so. Every week I am going to give you college football fans a pack of games that promise to be a lot of fun and a great matchup. This week I am going to give you a pack of 4 for the start of the season as well as a few quick hits.
First big game of the opening weekend and I do mean first game is a huge matchup. Oregon travels to the blue turf in Boise to take on the Broncos. On paper Oregon is the better team, but in the past 6 years the Broncos are 38-1 at home. That can’t be a coincidence. Both these teams have BCS aspirations but this game means very different things for each team. If Boise State loses, their chances of making it into the BCS will be a steep climb even early in the year. They will slip in the polls and have lost to the best team they have on their schedule. If Oregon loses, they will still have home games against Utah, Cal and USC. A one loss Oregon team that wins those looks much better than a one loss Boise State team that loses this one. I am going with talent over any sort of magic juju the Broncos have at home. Oregon wins in a shootout.
Next up Virginia Tech versus Alabama
This is a huge game for Alabama because if they have any hope of winning the SEC they can’t have a non-conference loss. Virginia Tech is the best team in the ACC but a win like this would cement that. The game is being played on a neutral field in Atlanta so the gratuitous home field advantage these two teams get in their respective stadiums is negated. Alabama has a ferocious middle to their defense with Mount Cody at DT and LBs Don’t’a Hightower and Cory Reamer. On the other side of the ball things are not so rosy with key losses along the offensive line and at quarterback. Virginia Tech on the other hand return 19 starters including quarterback Tyrod Taylor. I know Alabama has a lot of cache’ being in the SEC and Va. Tech is part of an ACC that is much maligned. But I think Tech is just a better football team early in the year. This game happens in November I give the edge to Alabama but opening weekend I am calling for Tech and their gritty defense to pull out a close low scoring game.
Next up Oklahoma versus BYU
There’s a part of me(probably the OU fan part of me) who almost didn’t include this game, because it’s not unlikely that OU runs away and hides with this win in the first half. But the game is in Arlington, where some UT fans will show up just to boo the Sooners, and let’s not rule out that BYU is ranked 20th. BYU will score, probably late in a comeback, but I think they will keep it close long enough to keep it interesting. This will be a game where OU can work out the kinks in 4 new offensive line starters but Sam Bradford should have his way with the BYU defense and makes this game not close late.
Next up is game of the week Georgia at Oklahoma State
The “at” above is huge for this game. If this game weren’t being played in Still water I’d have a hard time giving the Pokes much of a chance. Their defense isn’t particularly stout particularly in terms of a pass rush, and their offensive line is a bit of a work in progress. But they have the 3 headed monster of Zac Robinson at QB, Kendall Hunter at RB, and Dez Bryant at WR. On the other side, Georgia lost it’s veteran starting QB and Rb to the NFL. Early in the season it’s all about what teams are playing the best together and you have to assume Oklahoma State’s more veteran group of skill players have the edge. The one advantage(well two) that Georgia has is, their offensive line is veteran and really good. If they can control the game and allow Georgia to put together some long scoring drives it’ll keep that threesome off the field. Their second advantage is their front 7 is probably stout enough to keep Hunter from killing them on the ground. But I’m not sure they have a cornerback who can run with Dez Bryant and there’s not doubt Robinson will find him early and often. I predict a huge game for the Robinson/Bryant combo and Oklahoma State gets off the snide(0-3 against Georgia lifetime) and wins comfortably.
A few quick hits
Game to not watch of opening weekend-Charleston Southern at Florida-The Gators starters would probably get a better workout going against their own no. 2’s. And if their no. 2’s playing CS they’d be 3 touchdown favorites. Pass this one buy unless you are a sadist or just really curious to see how Florida’s third team looks.
Small School spotlight
(8) Chadron State(1-0) at (5) Pittsburg State(1-0)
Anytime you can get two of the ten best teams in the country squared up, you know it’ll be good and this game promised to be a slugfest. The Gorillas have completely re-tooled their offense but answered a lot of questions about their future last Saturday laying the wood to Central Oklahoma 42-13. UCO was ranked in the top 20 at the time. But Chardon themselves took care of business with a convincing opening win over University of Mary(ND). These two teams squared off last year and it was a battle right to the wire with the Gorillas edging them 38-31. The Eagles are coming to the Jungle this year for revenge.
Player to watch
Case Keenum, QB Houston-Lots of big claims this year about breaking records in passing offense and I expect them to take games like this one against Northwester State to pad their stats. Keenum could have a massive game.
Most hyped game that won’t matter
Miami (FL) at Florida State
I know I know tons of tradition. But irrelevant programs are irrelevant. I will Tivo it and break it down like I do all the games, but as a fan who used to drool at the showcase of athletes in this game, it can be nothing but disappointing to see where these programs are now.
Last Edited: 03/04/2010