Another big week of college football. It is only Tuesday and I cannot wait. I have a feeling a lot of things are going to be shaken up in the top 25 with conference play beginning for many of the major teams. Sorry Red Raider fans, can't make fun of you until next week.
TOP 25 SCHEDULE
No. 1 USC @ Oregon State
ESPN made a big mistake airing this game because the second half ratings are going to be ridiculously low.
USC 45, Oregon St. 13 (This is very generous for the sake of Beaver Nation.)
No. 24 TCU @ No. 2 Oklahoma
QB Andy Dalton leads potential BCS buster Texas Christian into hostile Norman. TCU handed the Sooners their last loss at home (2005, a down year for OU) and will look to do it again. Oklahoma had a new QB in Paul Thompson at the time who was making his first collegiate start, but this time the Sooners are not down and have gunslinger Slammin' Sammy Bradford at QB.
Look for TCU to keep it close for a quarter and a half but then feel the wrath of the deepest team in college football.
Oklahoma 42, TCU 17
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 8 Alabama @ No. 3 Georgia
A college football fan could not have asked for a bigger game on a bigger stage than 'Bama vs. Georgia. I look forward to watching two SEC heavyweights duel it out between the hedges in Athens. Georgia has won three in a row over Alabama and is looking to make it four.
If you are a big uniform guy like me (I agree with Bobby Bowden—"If you look better, you play better"), Georgia has announced that the 'Dawgs will be wearing their black jerseys, which gave them an added spark in two of last year's games.
The Bulldogs wore black last November against Auburn and again in the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii. Georgia won big in both games.
Look for the 'Dawgs to come out strong and ready to play.
On the other side of the spectrum is the Alabama Crimson Tide, who have done nothing but exceed expectations in their first four games of the season. Winning against a talented Clemson team in Atlanta and a drumming of conference rival Arkansas, the Tide are riding a wave of confidence into Athens.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban says he is not worried about the black jerseys at all and is more concerned with the talent level of the Bulldogs. This being said, Alabama actually matches up well on both sides of the ball with the seven-point favorite Bulldogs.
We all know about Georgia's all-everything RB Knowshon Moreno and the young Alabama defense, but I think the game is going to come down to who can make the bigger plays in the passing game.
Georgia has a much more talented QB in Matthew Stafford (62-102, 919 yds, five TDs, zero INTs), who is coming off a spectacular sophomore campaign and has been nothing short of brilliant once again this season, but lesser known Alabama QB John Parker Wilson has been excellent in big game environments for 'Bama. The two will be looking to their star wideouts (both wearing No. 8), Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones.
In the end, I think Georgia's big game exposure on a national level and home-field advantage is too much for the young 'Bama D. The Bulldogs in their black jerseys win it on a down to the wire last minute TD.
Georgia 28, Alabama 21
Ole Miss @ No. 4 Florida
Ole Miss is a much improved team, but we have yet to see the Timmy Tebow of last season. This should be the game he comes out.
Florida 35, Ole Miss 10
Mississippi State @ No. 5 LSU
The Tigers are bigger, faster, and more athletic—and oh yeah, defending national champs.
LSU 31, MSU 3
Arkansas @ No. 7 Texas
An old SWC rivalry brought back. The game was supposed to be played on the 13th but our friend Ike must have been an Oklahoma fan, giving Texas no bye week before Big 12 season starts. Mack will have the 'Horns ready to play in the new 90,000-plus stadium.
Texas 42, Arkansas 14
No. 9 Wisconsin @ Michigan
Why is Wisconsin only favored by seven? They seem to be the better team in all aspects of the game. Michigan is supposedly good at home I guess. I am not buying into Rich Rodriguez just yet.
Wisconsin 29, Michigan 15
No. 22 Illinois @ No. 12 Penn State
Big Game. Joe Paterno has been questioned over and over again, but he is still one of the best coaches around, and you can bet his boys will be ready for Juice Williams and the Illini. I say Penn State in a close one.
Penn State 27, Illinois 21
No. 13 South Florida @ NC State
South Florida has been tested now. A big win over Kansas two weeks ago may have been the game that proved South Florida to be a legit competitor on a nationwide level. NC State has been disappointing but is coming off a big win over East Carolina. I look for them to upset South Florida and continue to improve.
NC State 38, South Florida 35
Minnesota @ No. 14 Ohio State
A new slate for the Buckeyes with the start of Big Ten play. The return of Beanie Wells lights a spark in the Buckeyes and their fans.
Ohio State 38, Minnesota 14
Tennessee @ No. 15 Auburn
Auburn, coming off a tough loss at home against the defending national champion LSU Tigers, rebounds against a struggling team that can't seem to find a rhythm.
Auburn 28, Tennessee 10
Navy @ No. 16 Wake Forest
Navy is always that scrappy bunch that nobody likes to play, but Wake Forest's defense looked awesome last week against Fla St.
Wake Forest 35, Navy 10
Weber State @ No. 17 Utah
I don't know, I guess...
Utah wins big
Maryland @ No. 20 Clemson
Big ACC game. Clemson is looking to climb back up the rankings after a disappointing start to the season for them. Maryland looked good against Cal two weeks ago and should be able to keep this close, but the edge goes to Clemson with overall team speed and home field advantage. Should be interesting.
Clemson 24, Maryland 21
Houston @ No. 23 East Carolina
East Carolina bounces back and proves they still deserve to be ranked.
East Carolina 28, Houston 17
No. 25 Fresno St. @ UCLA
UCLA comes out with a sense of urgency, but Fresno State is too solid for the young rebuilding Bruins.
Fresno St. 21, UCLA 10