College Football Week One Preview
Written by Curt Popejoy on 09/04/2010
*** Firstly a note from the Editor - My apologies for the late arrival of this article. The Pitt/Utah game is already in the books but we've had some technical issues and we hope to give you a major site announcement very soon as well. A lot's been happening in the background in the run up to Week One but I can promise you we didn't re-write this article. Now over to Curt ***
College football is finally here and thank God. It couldn't come soon enough. This has been the longest offseason. I've had to deal with so much crap. From Lebron James and Tiger Woods to World Cup Soccer and all the whining that is Major League Baseball. Normally I can just tune out all the minutia but this year it was just too much to turn off.
And so, for all of us who've been patient we are being rewarded, starting tonight, with some great opening weekend matchups. I tell you this every year, but honestly if you live close enough to take in a college football game at the stadium, you really must do it. There's literally nothing like it. And if you are fortunate enough to live near a bigtime program where the ceremony is as much a part of the event as the game, you are even more fortunate. I am lucky enough to live just a few blocks from my alma mater Pittsburg State University. A DII program that is always among the elite in the country. Gameday at the Jungle rivals that of any DI program. Facilities are great, the tailgating and fanbase are passionate and the team never fails to thrill win or lose.
This week, there are 4 games that really jump out at me,as must watch affairs so for those of you who aren't going to get out and catch a game in person (or if you are and got the Tivo thingy), this is what to tune into, and w00t we get three days worth of games.
Tonight kicks off with No. 15 Pittsburgh at Utah. Utah isn't going into the season ranked, but that really doesn't matter much this early in the year. The Utes are always a tough out, especially at home, and the Panthers "need" this win way more than Utah. Being ranked in the middle of the Top 25 means they have some work to do, and with their schedule, a win here could mean more in November than it does now, assuming Utah wins a lot of games like they do every year.
For Pitt all eyes will be on Dion Lewis on offense and Greg Romeus on D. But the guy this season hinges on is the QB. Tino Sunseri is a redshirt Freshman and he'd better get acclimated quickly to the college game, if they have a shot against a Utah team that is using this season as their resume' for next season's move to the PAC-10. Some have said that Utah isn't going to take this season as seriously because of next year's move, but I think it's just the opposite. Next season's preseason ranking will be huge for them, as they enter a conference with an automatic BCS bid.
I am calling for the upset here, as Pitt still has some things to work out and they are going into hostile territory early in the season. I appreciate not shying away from a game like this, but it bites them in the butt.
2 games on the Saturday Sked I really want to see. And for very different reasons.
First is No. 24 Oregon State traveling to NO. 6 TCU. I know I'll catch some heat for this, but TCU has no business being ranked this high after their supreme choke job in their BCS Bowl last season. They have significant losses particularly on defense and I see no scenario where they are going to be able to maintain this spot in the polls. Two reasons for that is Saturday and both their last names are Rogers.
If you love watching dynamic athletes, the Beavers is who you should be watching. Quizz and James are the fuel that drives this high powered Oregon State offense, and I'm not sure that TCU has the athletes on defense to hang. Losing 4 defensive starters is something they can recover from, but opening weekend against the Beavers? Nah, give me Oregon State is another upset as they travel to Cowboys stadium and rack up the points on the Horned frogs.
The other Saturday game to watch is LSU at North Carolina. I'm glad I waited to write this because my initial thought was that LSU is going to walk in there and get stone walled by an elite Tar Heels defense and be lucky to come out with their lives. But with all this scandal going down, there is talk that as many as 16 players for the UNC defense will be suspended. So as Lee Corso says, "not so fast my friend". If what ESPN's Joe Schad is Tweeting is true, the Tar Heels are going to be blown up on defense and minus all their viable running backs. Anyone who knows me knows I hate Les Miles and everything he's about and was excited to pick against him here. But if this really goes down, LSU has too many athletes to lose to half a football team. I hate you Les Miles but I'll take your Tigers to beat up a ravaged Tar Heel football team on the road.
Whew the weekend is over, right? NO WAY! The biggest game of the weekend doesn't even come until Monday. The No.3 Boise State Broncos travel cross country to take on the No. 10 Virginia Tech Hokies at neutral FedEx Field in Landover, MD. Don't kid yourself about the neutral field thing though. It's 280 miles to Blacksburg and 2,385 to Boise.
But that doesn't even matter to me. You all know that I am full on board with Boise winning the National Championship this year, and piggy backed on that is Kellen Moore winning the Heisman. So it all starts here. Coach Frank Beamer will have his Hokies ready to play. Their offense is impressive with QB Tyrod Taylor and Running backs Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. So, when it comes to moving the ball, I can see the Hokies doing alright.
The problem will be when the Broncos have the football. They are stacked at the Skill positions and the Hokies are replacing 7 starters. In November that won't matter so much, but in September it's gonna hurt. Moore has some serious weapons out there and that offensive system is potent, if they get up early I am not sure that Va. Tech will be able to play themselves back in it. For me this game is an easy pick. I expect the Broncos to come out and start their BCS Championship run with a big win.
Oh, so I don't forget 2 other lesser games I want you guys to think about. First is Coach Brian Kelly's debut at Notre Dame as they take on Purdue. Purdue isn't that good, but Kelly brings that high powered spread passing game and the Fighting Irish have the best group of skill players for it in the nation. Should be a nice preview for what to expect later as their QB position gets more settled.
The other game is Washington at BYU. Both these teams have been in the news, BYU for making the decision to become an independent in football for next season, and Washington for their golden boy Jake Locker. Locker needs to hit the ground running this year if he wants to early all the accolades people are already putting on him, and the Cougars are a nice opening week test. For BYU, if they are going to remove themselves from a conference, show us the product is going to be worth it.
Everyone enjoy this first weekend of college football. For fans like me, God gave us this, and we all meet for service on Saturday.
Last Edited: 09/04/2010