Before I begin: Sorry for the delay between articles. After writing my third article for Bleacher Report, I went to Canada for a couple weeks without access to any technology, but now I am back.
Anyway, as everyone knows, college football season has officially started (!!!), with the first games last night. Instead of going through a gauntlet of score predictions (which are, at the end of the day, pretty arbitrary), I will instead to try to write a weekly feature predicting some interesting tidbits that could happen in the upcoming weekend slate of games.
It wouldn't be a preview without some game predictions, so those will sneak in there once in awhile, but they will not be the main focus.
Obviously, this is the first installment of this new feature of mine. SO, without further ado, here are 10 Things That Will Happen This Weekend.
1. Not much. At the top, at least. Unlike last year, which famously kicked off with Appalachian State knocking off Michigan in the Big House, the Top 10 teams will all get through Week One with wins.
At first thought, you may think this is a no-brainer. There's a reason they're voted in the Top 10, but as Appalachian State (and Stanford and Pittsburgh, among several others) proved last year, there is no such thing as a no-brainer in College Football.
Missouri kicks off their National Title run against last year's Rose Bowl participant Illinois, and Clemson hosts Alabama (who is, in case you forgot, from the SEC) in what are clearly the two top games of the bunch. At the end of the day, however, all 10 teams will get through.
2. No one will emerge as the Heisman leader. As ridiculous as it is for prognosticators to prognosticate how individuals will play over the course of a season, before the season even begins, it is even more ridiculous to crown one player as the early leader of the Heisman Trophy after one game.
Chris Wells plays Youngstown State, Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford play Georgia Southern, Tim Tebow plays Hawaii, you get the drift.
First of all, these players will not play the entire game. They just won't need to. Secondly, no expert can accurately evaluate one player's performance in a game versus any other player.
Chase Daniel will have the biggest spotlight, with a nationally televised game against Illinois, but even a 400 yard, 5 TD performance against Illinois would not be enough for most (read: somewhat intelligent) analysts.
3. College Gameday will be really boring. For the past month, ESPN has been airing seemingly pointless episodes of "College Football Live," so they've already pretty much already wrapped up all of the interesting plotlines heading into the season and that's if you didn't get enough already through all the internet blogs and magazine previews.
We all know what's going on, yet The Worldwide Leader in Sports is going to drag us through a show that, in my opinion, can occasionally get a little dull even through the interesting parts of the season.
4. Lee Corso will resist the urge to put on an Elephant Head and will instead pick Clemson. There, now you have no reason to watch Gameday. Just sleep in. I know it's the first week, but seriously. Go tailgate or something.
5. Michigan will lose another home opener. It's just not looking good for Michigan. The defense will be decent, but it's hard to say the offense will have a pulse without a QB, RB, WR, or great linemen. This team would lose to Appalachian State again, and Utah is much better than Appalachian State. Not a great start to the Rich Rodriguez era.
6. The best game of the weekend will be Michigan State at Cal. Both teams are looking to move up in their conference, and this nationally televised game is the perfect opportunity.
For Michigan State, a road win against a legitimate Pac-10 team would be huge not only for their ego, but it also would be a Band-Aid for the Big Ten.
Cal, on the other hand, looks to challenge USC again, and a win against up-and-coming Michigan State would be huge for them as well.
I'm not going to pick a winner, but I will say this game might prove as important to the 2008-09 season as the Illinois-Missouri game was to the 2007-08 campaign. Saturday night, 8:00, ABC. Check it out.
7. Terrelle Pryor will not live up to people's expectations. A lot of the talk around Columbus is about the prized recruit, and Tressel has said Pryor will play, despite his third-string location on the depth chart.
He is expected to play some in the second quarter, and then obviously quite often in the second half, but those expecting him to be Vince Young: Part II, will be disappointed. Yes, it's Youngstown State, but this kid is still a freshman.
He may have a cool run or two, but ultimately the fans will leave wanting much more from TP.
8. Joe Paterno will tie Bobby Bowden's win record. This one's pretty easy. Penn State plays Coastal Carolina at home. Florida State doesn't play. +1, JoePa.
9. Armanti Edwards' Heisman Campaign will disappear. I probably should have included this one earlier in the list, but as you could deduce by my first prediction, LSU will beat Appalachian State.
While I do not think upsetting LSU is necessary for Edwards' campaign, I think performing extremely well (400+ all-purpose yards, great TD/INT ratio) is. Edwards will not perform well enough against LSU's defense to keep Heisman credibility, it's just that simple.
10. Duke will start the season 1-0. They play respectable D 1-AA/FCS opponent James Madison at home, and they will emerge with a win. Whether or not it will be convincing enough to earn Steve Spurrier's vote for the Top 25, we shall see. But they will beat James Madison.