Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009—From The Bleacher Report:
Today should be a national holiday! The dog days of summer are behind us, the images of Erin Andrews on our TV screens will not be the result of a crime, and big time college football is back.
I must admit, NUT that I am, I am all cracked up over week one.
Typically unheard of in the first week or two of the season, 2009 is starting off with a bang.
There are several games that could have national implications, four pitting ranked teams, a top-seven matchup, a few upset specials, and even a couple of must-win games.
It’s like going cold turkey in reverse. Seven months of nothing and then BAM—let’s get this party started!
ESPN 7:00PM - South Carolina @ NC State
Time to get off the pot meets time to get off the pot.
Head Coach Tom O’Brien, entering his third year leading the Wolfpack, is looking for his first winning season. Fourteen returning starters, an improved offense, and eight home games have the pack faithful expecting a big step forward.
On the other sideline the Ole' Ball coach (Steve Spurrier), after four mediocre years in Columbia, has everyone scratching their head.
This is probably the make or break season. With UGA and Ole Miss coming up in two of the next three games, the Gamecocks must get off to a good start so this is a must-win game.
If so. QB Stephen Garcia can be more consistent and finally give Spurrier a signal caller to run his show. The fighting roosters could move up in the pecking order.
ESPN 10:15 PM – No. 16 Oregon @ No. 14 Boise State
Pac 10 Heir-Apparent Meets BCS Buster—Loser Go Home.
Jr. QB Jeremiah Masoli has been named to several preseason watch lists and could be special if he remains healthy. First year Head Coach Chip Kelly is counting on it, as his Ducks face their hardest road test on the Blue Turf at Boise
If they get by this one and can navigate a favorable conference schedule, the Ducks could be swimming in Pasadena.
The Broncos have Pasadena plans of their own, if second year starter-so. QB Kellen Moore can lead the Broncos past Oregon.
Look for an unbeaten season and another BCS snub.
ABC 3:30 PM—No. 13 Georgia @ No. 9 Oklahoma State
Rebuilding and Underrated Meets Returning and Over Rated – or Vice Versa?
This one’s hard to call; UGA should have the talent and experience to replace Stafford and Moreno but will they step up in Stillwater?
A very potent Cowboy offense is back but defense—that is the question...
Both teams have national aspirations but face daunting conference foes down the road.
The loser can forget Pasadena, and the winner still has a long row to hoe.
NBC 3:30 PM—Nevada @ No. 23 Notre Dame
Don’t Bet on Touchdown Jesus—Gambling is Just Not Right!
Twenty-fifth year super coach Chris Ault brings an experienced and upset minded Wolf Pack into South Bend.
The Irish should be able to handle the test, but should things go south, Charlie Weis may be available before the NFL season starts if anyone needs a coordinator.
ABC 3:30 PM—Western Michigan @ Michigan
If the coaching thing doesn’t work out you can always sell condos.
Bottom line, there’s only one way this week could have been any worse for Rich Rodriquez...Don’t say it!
ESPN 7:00 PM - No. 20 Brigham Young vs. No. 3 Oklahoma (@ Arlington)
Fifth-year Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall has good reason to be excited about the Cougars’ prospects this year.
QB Max Hall should have an outstanding senior campaign, despite losing a lot of starters from last year but the defense, which returns eight starters, will be tough.
BYU should be the class of the Mt. West.
Oh well, they can start that phase of the season next week.
Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Demarco Murray, and a ton of returning talent from last year's national runner-up could take away a little Cougar confidence. This will not be a Big Game Bob bust.
ABC 8:00 PM—No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech
Game of the week—Beamer Ball against the Machine
Both of these teams should have lights-out defense, thrive on turnovers, and play quality special teams.
The question is: Which offense can step up?
‘Bama is breaking in a new QB and filling several holes, while Virginia Tech lost superstar RB Darren Evans for the season but has a deep backfield. Tech should have fewer questions.
ESPN 10:30 PM No. 11 LSU @ Washington
That was then, this is now meets the theory of relativity
Both teams look to rebound from a disappointing 2008 Season, disappointment is a relative term. UW (0-12) may need to postpone the bounce back plans.
Playing against Idaho looks like it will be the more competitive game next week.
LSU (8-5) has made the moves and is poised to compete in a fierce SEC Western division.
Other ‘Must See’ TV
ESPN - Sunday 3:30 PM - No. 8 Mississippi @ Memphis
Is Ole Miss for real? The Tigers may provide first test
ESPN - Monday 4:00 PM - Cincinnati @ Rutgers
This one could decide the Big East
ESPN - Monday 8:00 PM - Miami (FL) @ No. 18 Florida State
Bitter rivalry returning to competitive form?