Week One Crystal Ball: Trouble for Mizzou, Clemson

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Week One Crystal Ball: Trouble for Mizzou, Clemson

Oh.  My.  God.

One week from today, the first weekend’s worth of college football games still won’t be over!  Can you believe it?

Five straight days of games.

If only every weekend in the fall could be like this.  (Scratch that—every weekend of the year.)

Here’s what next weekend will be like: If college football fans are like heroin addicts—and we are—and have been off the stuff for seven months—and we have—then next weekend will be like getting back into the habit not with a little taste, but with a full kilo of the purest smack you’ve ever seen mainlined into your carotid artery, Trainspotting-style, with a syringe the size of a caulk gun.

THAT’S what next weekend will be like.

By Sunday night, each of the AP's Top 10 teams will have had its first game.  Let’s take a look at what’s in store for them and what we may be talking about one week from tonight.

1. Georgia

Opens easy at home vs. I-AA Georgia Southern, which, already outmanned, has suspended eight players for the Georgia game.  Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno should not see the second half.  Moreno's ill-fated Heisman campaign gets underway.

2. Ohio State

Hosts Mizzou Valley Conference middling Youngstown State.  The Buckeyes should score 40 without breaking a sweat.  Beanie’s ill-fated Heisman campaign gets under way.

3. Southern Cal

Travels to Charlottesville to play the Cavaliers and their we-lolly logo.  The Cavs went an ugly 9-4 last year, barely winning several games.  The Trojans like to travel long distances to put whuppins on early-season foes (see Nebraska, 2007).

4. Oklahoma

I-AA basement dweller Chattanooga is the lucky recipient of a big paycheck and a lopsided loss in Norman.  Let’s just hope no one gets hurt—and by that, I mean OU quarterback Sam Bradford.  If he goes down, the Sooners are cooked.

5. Florida

What, Hawaii didn’t get enough of a taste of top-tier SEC talent in last year’s Sugar Bowl after getting embarrassed by Georgia?  Guess not.  On Saturday they travel to Gainesville.  How bad is it going to be for Hawaii?  Think about it this way: Tim Tebow = Captain Cook.

6. Missouri

Versus No. 20 Illinois in St. Louis.  What a great first-day test to see which of last year’s two most unlikely programs can sustain its success.  This game starts a half-hour after the Clemson-’Bama game.  Punch in one channel, punch in the other.  “PREV” the rest of the night.

7. LSU

We now know that if Appalachian State beats LSU in Baton Rouge, it will not be an upset.  We also know that LSU is starting a guy who was on the Harvard JV last year at quarterback.  But don’t laugh too quickly—quarterback is a judgment/brains position.

8. WVU

Hosts I-AA Villanova.  I’m for warmup games—I just want them to be against I-A teams.  ‘Nova is a respectable I-AA team and may hang for one quarter on sheer emotion and the thrill of playing a Top 10 team in a big stadium.

But then quarterback Pat White will begin his fated Heisman campaign.  Don't expect to see too many gizmos from the new motion-oriented, pass-happy offense.  The Mountaineers can win this game by handing the ball to Noel Devine.

What can't I wait to see?  This gang of super-fast and vicious linebackers sicced on someone besides the WVU offense in practice.

9. Clemson

The ACC favorites play Alabama in the Georgia Dome, which should have an equal number of fans from each team.  Clemson has the edge in skill—starting with their two running backs—but the Tigers also have more to lose.

This would be Nick Saban’s first program-defining win if he could pull it off.  Of the Top 10, Clemson is the most likely Week One upset victim.

10. Auburn

Hosts middling Sun Belt team Louisiana-Monroe.  The first regular season test of Tommy Tuberville’s new spread offense.  (Talk about on the cutting edge!  I bet Tuberville is seriously considering switching from dial-up!)

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