10 College Football Teams That Need Better Septembers in 2010

Rick PowellContributor IAugust 10, 2010

10 College Football Teams That Need Better Septembers in 2010

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    The leaves begin to change, and the hoodies begin to make their first appearances.

    College football has started, and the way teams play in the month of September will set the standard for how their seasons go.

    Many college teams schedule cupcakes during this time of year to shake the rust off from the offseason, but there are several high profile matchups every September.

    The teams that come up on the wrong side of these anticipated matchups automatically find themselves on the outside looking in and needing to string together multiple conference wins to salvage the season.

    Here's a look at 10 teams that need to play better in the month of September so they don't have to claw their way through the rest of the season.

10. Texas A&M

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    Texas A&M was stunned in 2008 when it dropped an August game to Arkansas State.

    After winning on the road at New Mexico, Aggie fans were once again dismayed when their squad was crushed by Miami 41-23.

    A victory over Army may have salvaged their September, but their 2008 season was on the chopping block after the two early losses, and that's how the team reacted for the rest of the season.

    The 2009 season saw the Aggies get off to a much better start in September, and those three games proved to be the difference maker when it came to bowl eligibility.

    New Mexico, Utah State, and UAB all came to College Station, and none left victorious.

    The Aggies are taking a similar approach for the 2010 season, as they have scheduled three very winnable games for the month of September.

    Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech, and Florida International will be the teams making the trip this year, and if Texas A&M wants to have a shot at a bowl game this year, they need to beat each of them.

    Prediction for September 2010: 3-0

9. Michigan State

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    The 2008 September season was quite promising for Michigan State.

    After dropping an August game to California, the Spartans rattled off wins against Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, and Notre Dame.

    The 2009 season, however, wasn't quite the walk in the park that Spartans fans enjoyed the previous year.

    Michigan State started off with a lopsided victory over Montana State but couldn't manage to pull off a victory for the rest of September.

    Central Michigan came into East Lansing and left with a win, and the Spartans couldn't manage to overcome the tough crowds at Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

    The Spartans open up their 2010 season with a more than manageable September.

    Western Michigan starts the season off and is followed by a "neutral" game in Detroit against Florida Atlantic.

    Notre Dame has to come to Michigan State this year, and Northern Colorado will also make the trip.

    With essentially four home games to open the season, Michigan State is primed to put their September woes behind them.

    Predictions for September 2010: 4-0

8. Arizona State

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    Arizona State has made the list for two reasons:

    1. It usually plays well against the teams that it should beat in September but then drop the high-profile contests despite their efforts.

    2. It has scheduled two FCS teams to play this September to offset tough games against Wisconsin and Oregon.

    The Sun Devils opened up 2009 with two dominating wins over Idaho State and Louisiana-Monroe before dropping a close contest to Georgia, 20-17.

    The 2008 season wasn't as successful for coach Dennis Erickson and his crew.

    Technically the Devils opened their season in August with a win over Northern Arizona and supplemented their start with their first and only September win against Stanford.

    UNLV kicked a field goal in overtime to beat ASU, which subsequently got beaten thoroughly by a tough Georgia team.

    ASU plays Northern Arizona and Portland State at home to open its 2010 season, then travels to Wisconsin, and then back to Tempe to play the Oregon Ducks.

    Prediction for September 2010: 2-2


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    UCLA overcame its 2008 September woes last year by sweeping its non-conference schedule.

    The Bruins beat San Diego State and Kansas State at home and beat a tough Tennessee team on the road.

    The 2008 season, however, was more than enough to put the Bruins onto this list.

    2008 saw the Bruins and coach Rick Neuheisel drop three out of four September games, two of which were at home.

    After pulling off the upset in overtime against Tennessee, UCLA was shut out by BYU and dominated by Arizona.

    Fresno State closed out the month, beating UCLA 36-31.

    UCLA has its work cut out for them this September as well, as it opens at Kansas State and close out the month in Austin playing the Texas Longhorns.

    UCLA gets Stanford and Houston at home in between the two away games, and the Bruins will have to play well at home this year if they are going to return to a bowl game.

    Prediction for September 2010: 1-3

6. Oregon State

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    The 2009 season saw the Oregon State Beavers split their September games, going 2-2 during the month.

    The Beavers started off the season with a convincing win over Portland State and squeaked out a win over UNLV but dropped back-to-back home games against Cincinnati and Arizona.

    The 2008 season was more of the same for the Beavers, but in reverse.

    Oregon State dropped the first two away games to Stanford and Penn State before dominating Hawaii and upsetting USC at home.

    Coach Mike Riley and his squad only play three games in September this year, but they are three of the toughest non-conference games in the country.

    Oregon State opens on a "neutral" field in Arlington against Texas Christian before playing Louisville at home and Boise State in Idaho.

    Prediction for September 2010: 1-2

5. Arkansas

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    The Arkansas Razorbacks have not had the best of luck when drawing their SEC opponents for the month of September.

    In 2009 the Razorbacks got a nice warm-up win against Missouri State but then had to play Georgia at home and travel to the eventual national champions' turf to play Alabama.

    Both games were double-digit losses, and the Razorbacks started their SEC season having to dig out of a hole.

    The 2008 September season started with two wins over Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe but ended with overwhelming losses to Alabama and at Texas.

    The 2010 season looks to be much of the same at Arkansas, as it once again has to play Georgia and Alabama in September.

    Luckily for the Razorbacks, they still get their two warm-up games against Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe before their real season begins.

    Prediction for September 2010: 2-2

4. Tennessee

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    Tennessee started off its 2009 season with a dominating win over Western Kentucky but then dropped a game at home to UCLA and got beaten at Florida.

    The Volunteers rounded out their September schedule with a win over Ohio, but that left them without any sexy victories entering the rest of SEC play.

    The 2008 season started off with heartbreak for Tennessee, losing to UCLA in overtime.

    A victory over UAB at home wasn't enough to get the Volunteers over the rough start, as they played and lost to two of their tougher opponents, Florida and Auburn.

    Tennessee will get to play UAB again this September, but it will at the end of the month this year.

    After opening against UT Martin, Tennessee gets some true tests against Oregon and Florida at home.

    Predictions for September 2010: 2-2

3. Washington

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    Washington struggled for the entire 2008 season, but a slow start in September definitely got the ball rolling.

    After losing a game in August to Oregon, the Huskies lost a heartbreaker on a controversial celebration penalty to BYU.

    After playing a tough BYU team closely, the Huskies were noticeably deflated the rest of the season.

    Oklahoma and Stanford both came to Seattle, and both beat Washington to force them to 0-4 to start the season.

    Washington rebounded in 2009 under new coach Steve Sarkisian.

    After opening the season with a loss against a tough LSU team, the Huskies beat Idaho in convincing fashion and then proceeded to shock the college football nation by upsetting USC.

    Despite having so much momentum heading into the final game of September, Washington dropped the contest to Stanford 34-14.

    The Huskies will get their much anticipated rematch with BYU to start the 2010 season and round off the month with games against Syracuse and Nebraska at home.

    Prediction for September 2010: 1-2

2. Purdue

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    Purdue started off the 2009 season with a solid win over Toledo.

    That win was the only one for the month of September, however, as the Boilermakers proceeded to lose three straight.

    Purdue went to Oregon and almost beat the Ducks in Autzen Stadium but couldn't pull off the upset.

    Northern Illinois and Notre Dame both came to West Lafayette, and left with victories to finish Purdue's disappointing month.

    Purdue also struggled against Oregon (in double overtime) and Notre Dame in 2008, as they lost to both those teams in the month of September as well.

    They pulled off victories over Northern Colorado and Central Michigan to go 2-2 for the month.

    The 2010 season will once again give the Boilermakers a chance to make some noise early, and once again Notre Dame will be looking to silence them.

    The Boilermakers open their September in South Bend before getting Western Illinois, Ball State, and Toledo at home.

    Predictions for September 2010: 2-2

1. Virginia

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    Virgina has really struggled to win in the month of September the last two years.

    In 2008 the Cavaliers opened at home against USC and were crushed 52-7.

    Virginia managed a win the following week against Richmond but then dropped its next two away games.

    Connecticut and Duke both beat the Cavaliers, who went 1-3 for the month of September.

    The 2009 season was even worse for Virginia fans.

    When the Cavaliers penciled William & Mary into their 2009 schedules, very few penciled an "L" for loss next to that game.

    Unfortunately, Virginia did lose that game and then dropped the rest of its games in September—a home game against TCU and an away game against Southern Miss—to go 0-3 for the month.

    The 2010 season once again features Richmond, Virginia's only September win for the last two years.

    The Cavaliers also travel to Los Angeles to play USC and end the month against Virgina Military Institute.

    Predictions for September 2010: 1-2