COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK ONE COULD DECIDE FATE FOR POTENTIAL BCS BUSTERS

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK ONE COULD DECIDE FATE FOR POTENTIAL BCS BUSTERS
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Look no further than week one of college football this year and you will see the threat of BCS meltdown for Non-AQ schools.  But that is what helps make college football so great. However, that may be ALL football fans will have to look forward to, as opening week of college football will be less exciting than Tuesday night bingo at the Moose Lodge. 

40 teams from the FBS will be playing teams from the FCS during the opening week!  I know we are all looking forward to West Virginia vs Coastal Carolina, Stanford vs UC Davis and Miami vs Florida A&M.

While so many schools are busy chalking up the wins column against "Division II"... potential, BCS busters Boise State, BYU, TCU and Utah will be fighting for their lives. 

 

Pittsburgh vs Utah

On September 2nd, Utah will host Pittsburgh in one of perhaps only three Top 25 matchups the first five days of the season.  Pittsburgh was tough last year almost beating Big East Champion Cincinnati and going on to win their bowl game against a tough North Carolina team. 

 

Do not be surprised if Pitt wins.  They are a very physical team and well coached and they will not be intimidated.  Pitt is my preseason favorite to win the Big East, especially since they play West Virginia at home in the Backyard Brawl.  If I'm not mistaken, the last time Pitt and Utah met was in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.  With Utah joining the PAC-10 in 2011 this will conclude their success as a school fighting to "join the party."

 

Washington vs BYU  

On September 4th BYU will host Washington.  BYU has had lots of success vs the PAC-10, but they've lost so many great and experienced players.  BYU is riding its best 5 years in history with 5 straight Las Vegas Bowls and 4 seasons with 10 or more wins.  Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian played QB at BYU, winning that magical Cotton Bowl over Kansas St in 1996.  He was the QB coach at USC before taking the reigns at Washington. 

 

Remember, Washington beat an average USC team last year and improving quickly.  This will be an extremely tough match for BYU.  Jake Locker is on the preseason heisman watch and is an extremely, versatile quarterback.  The Huskies still have a nasty taste in their mouth after their matchup with BYU two years ago.  After scoring a late touchdown, Locker was called for a controversial, celebration penalty which backed up the extra point.  That was still no excuse for allowing BYU to block the kick and win the game. 

 

BYU brings in one of their best recruiting classes ever, but this may turn out to be just an average season.  That may be just fine for Cougar fans. 

 

Oregon State vs TCU

While BYU is battling with the Huskies, TCU will be hosting Oregon State.  OSU is one of the favorites to win the PAC-10.  Their last game was the Las Vegas Bowl where they got thumped by BYU, a team TCU easily dispatched last season.  This is a different year and Oregon State will have a different attitude.  Plus they return one of college football's greatest tandems, the Rodgers brothers.  With a tough schedule that includes road games at TCU and Boise and also nine PAC-10 matchups, OSU must find ways to win tough games. 

 

TCU crashed the BCS party last year and is returning the majority of its starters.  In order to play in a BCS game or perhaps for a BCS National Championship, they will probably have to win convincingly.  That's a ton of pressure for an opening week.  But if you are TCU, a surprise win is not enough.  You want to win because you are the better team.  And you will have to convince the voters you have the potential to beat anyone. 

 

Boise State vs Virginia Tech

Last of all we have Boise State playing VA Tech at Fed Ex Field in Lanover, MD on the big stage.  This is the national game of the week and will be played on a Monday night.  Both teams could start the season in the Top 10.

 

Located a few hours away from Blacksburg, VA, the Hokies will have an advantage. 

 

Playing on the East Coast against a perennial, BCS power and winning is new ground for the Broncos.  Remember Georgia a few years ago?  In fact this could get ugly for Boise really fast.  Or, they may surprise us once more. 

 

After last year's great season and all the talk of a national championship, Boise will be under some intense pressure.  These football players are really young, many are still teenagers and this may prove to be too daunting of a task than beating TCU in Tempe, Arizona or Oregon in Boise, Idaho.  Boise State returns 19 starters from a team that went 14-0 last year and had Top 10 wins over PAC-10 Champs Oregon and MWC Champs TCU. 

 

All the hype of breaking through to the BCS could be thrown out the window before someone has a chance to yell, "Bingo!"  But it provides for great theatre.  Let's get started!

 

Three other games to watch opening week:  

 

Navy at Maryland in Baltimore on Monday night.  Navy has a chance to make some noise again this year with a great schedule.  They have been one of the best Non-AQ schools the last few years.  This instate game with Maryland will be great for fans.  In fact the Boise/VA Tech game will be played in Maryland the same night. 

 

Purdue at Notre Dame:  How will new coach Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish start off the new season? 

 

 

LSU at North Carolina.  Perhaps the only Top 25 matchup between AQ schools, if North Carolina is ranked.  The Tar Heels have great expectations this year and they can start the season off with a bang by beating LSU in front of the home fans.

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