I figured that I would bring an article that I have written in the past for other sites to Bleacher Report, where I basically pick three things that we learned from the previous week, coupled with three games that I will pick for the following week.
Now since this is Week 1, there is nothing to reflect on, so I will pose three questions.
1. If Rich Rod goes 0-2 to start the year, will Michigan pull the plug?
This was posed by my dad to me. First I thought how silly of a question, but after a few seconds of pondering, it is a very interesting question.
The first two games for Michigan this year are home to Connecticut and on the road at Notre Dame. First, 0-2 is very possible; Connecticut is a very well coached team, and Notre Dame seems to have a whole new attitude.
My feeling is that you will hear rumblings, hear names for the job, and maybe even hear rumors of a decision that has been made, but I don’t think that Michigan will pull the plug that early...officially.
2. Will Alabama repeat?
Odds are certainly against them, with road trips to Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, and South Carolina, plus a few interesting opponents at home (Penn State and Florida).
I ask you, though, who of Alabama’s opponents have gotten better since last year? Second, is Alabama a worse team this year than last year? I can’t pick a team that has improved, and I think Alabama this year is as good as last year; thus I do think Alabama heads to the SEC Championship Game with a shot at the national championship.
Where it goes from there, I don’t know—tough to gauge that game without knowing the opponent.
3. Who will win the Heisman?
Well, I always give the reigning champ a seat at the table, so Mark Ingram will be a factor, though the number of games he will be out will certainly affect his chances. Other than that, I think you should look at Case Keenum, who will put up monster numbers at Houston, and I would put Ryan Mallett in that spot too.
But the man who I think has the inside track is Terrelle Pryor, who I believe will put up Tim Tebow-like stats and probably become a nominee of the Heisman Voting Committee.
Three Games of the Week
In this portion I pick the biggest game of the week, a game I find most intriguing, and a game I will put on upset alert.
Now I will state beforehand, just because I put a team on upset alert doesn’t mean I think the upset will happen; more or less I’m saying the conditions are perfect for an upset to occur. Not to pat myself on the back, but I did put Oklahoma on upset alert against BYU last year.
Biggest Game of the Week: (3) Boise State vs. (10) Virginia Tech (played in Washington, D.C.) - Monday, September 6 - 8:00 pm EST - ESPN
This game is basically Boise State’s season, and you could say that it is nearly a road game for them as well. Virginia Tech has a lot to play for as well, but all the pressure is on Boise State to try to break through the final glass ceiling in the BCS. They will not get to the BCS Championship Game if they don’t win this game.
I see this game with Boise State jumping on Virginia Tech early, but I see the home field and the veteran coaching of Bud Foster and Frank Beamer, and probably a running game second only to Alabama, being too much for the Broncos to overcome on the road.
I also see Virginia Tech getting touchdowns off their defense and special teams, pulling away from Boise late and winning.
VIRGINIA TECH 35, BOISE STATE 17
Most Intriguing Game of the Week: (21) LSU vs. (18) North Carolina (played in Atlanta, GA) - Saturday, September 4 - 8:00 pm EST - ABC
First question, will North Carolina have a team to field for this game?
We all know that LSU has talent; the question is if Les Miles can coach them up to their capabilities. In this game I don’t think he will have to. There is so much distraction for Butch Davis right now with agents and now a potential academic scandal. There is just no way you will beat an SEC team with your mind not completely focused on the game.
I think LSU hammers North Carolina, not necessarily being that much better, but with just too many distractions for the Tar Heels to overcome.
LSU 28, NORTH CAROLINA 10
Upset Alert: (24) Oregon St. vs. (6) TCU (played in Dallas, TX) - Saturday, September 4 - 7:45 pm EST - ESPN
No one is paying attention to this game, but if Boise State beats Virginia Tech, this game becomes very important to them. If Oregon State knocks off TCU (basically on the road), it will enhance their strength of schedule in the eyes of the pollsters and computers. Oregon State has a knack for ruining seasons early—remember USC two years ago?
I just have a gut feeling that this one could be an upset to look out for. I can’t pinpoint anything in particular because I think TCU is a better team on paper, but Mike Riley knows how to get his kids ready for games like this.
There you have it—comment, message me, etc.