There’s a whole wide world of football – good football – beyond Georgia, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, USC, and West Virginia. Here are four interesting games you can watch this week, one for each game day of the week and two on Saturday.
North Carolina State at South Carolina – in Columbia (Thursday night)
This could be Steve Spurrier’s year in Columbia. He begins by whupping up on the Wolfpack. The dominatrix who scheduled this game should be subjected to her own punishment. Why? N. C. State is not going to have a good season in 2008. Too many losses from a losing team call for rebuilding. If you’re the ‘Pack, you don’t want to start the journey against South Carolina. The Ol’ Ball Coach has everyone back on defense, with so much hope that the Gamecock fans are looking for double-digit wins. Watch this game to get in early on the eastern version of USC football.
Southern Methodist at Rice – in Houston (Friday night)
This is an old rivalry taking it back to the leather helmet Southwest Conference days. Who would have thought then these two proud programs would be fighting it out in an out-of-the-mainstream conference with four wins between them? Forget about all that. SMU will be an improved team with an exciting brand of June Jones football. Rice, returning sixteen, is not going to make it easy for their staunch enemy and will also put the ball up. This is great entertainment. Better than Bill Clinton-Barack Obama.
Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina – in Charlotte (Saturday)
Virginia Tech is coming off an 11-3 2007 campaign, but they have to rebuild a defense that returns only four starters. Still, bright prospects are ahead for the Hokies, if they get by the outstanding athletes of East Carolina. The Pirates missed the ’07 C-USA championship game by one lousy loss to Marshall and they’d like to launch 2008 off on the right rocket by winning in Charlotte. I think you’ll see a good game.
Northern Illinois at Minnesota – in Minneapolis (Saturday)
Minnesota is hardly the class of the Big Ten, but Northern Illinoisstill wants to put a BCS conference win on its resume. The Huskies need to be a much improved team, which is saying a lot for last year’s 2-10 squad. Not to be outdone, the Golden Gophers stunk up the Midwest with a 1-11 record, so why am I recommending a game between two teams with three wins? Northern Illinois returns everybody. I’m guessing they learned to play football in 2007, and if they remember how, this game could be the beginning of something special.