TCU-Baylor and Six Other College Football Games That Are Flying Below Radar

Pete Dymeck@PeteDymeckAnalyst IJune 8, 2011

TCU-Baylor and Six Other College Football Games That Are Flying Below Radar

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    WACO, TX - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback Robert Griffin #10 of the Baylor Bears drops back to pass against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on October 4, 2008 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The brouhaha surrounding Ohio State, USC and maybe even Texas is dampening the analytical talking points needed in order for fans to effectively prepare for the season that is inching closer, day by day.

    Once again, another season of potent college football play is upon us. With each year comes incredible matchups.

    This year, we will see Alabama travel to Penn State, Ohio State take on Miami, Florida State bump heads with Oklahoma and Boise State have it out with Georgia.

    Aside from those headliners are a plethora of quality games that you will not want to miss. The quality games involve the likes of TCU, Pittsburgh, Miami and Iowa. These games are the kind that fans circle on their homemade schedules because they could make or break a season.

    No letdowns are wanted in the games that are about to be listed. If a letdown occurs, the chances of playing for a national championship are slim to none.

TCU vs. Baylor

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    LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 30:  Josh Boyce #82 of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs runs for yardage after a reception against Starr Fuimaono #24 of the UNLV Rebels during the second quarter of their game at Sam Boyd Stadium October 30, 2010 in Las Veg
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    When: September 3, 2011

    Where: Waco, Texas

    TCU is fresh off of a Rose Bowl victory. They will look to further their fortune when they kick off the season at Baylor.

    Quarterback Andy Dalton is now in the NFL so the Horned Frogs will have some fresh faces this fall. One name you should remember is wide receiver Josh Boyce. He was a freshman last year and set the turf ablaze with his skills on offense.

    Baylor is a team that could beat any school in the country when they put things together offensively. On the other hand, the Bears look like they could lose to any school at certain times as well. Quarterback Robert Griffin III needs to continue to improve if he wants to live up to the billing as a dark horse for Heisman.

    TCU needs to get their season going in the right direction. Building off of last year's Rose Bowl win and continuing that success into 2011 with a bunch of new faces is necessary.

    Baylor wants to show everyone they are legit. They may have some issues on offense and defense but a consistent performance where they show no signs of letting up offensively could help propel them past TCU.

Arizona State vs. Illinois

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    CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 02: Nathan Scheelhaase #2 of the Illinois Fighting Illini looks for a receiver against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 24-13. (Photo by Jonathan Da
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    When: September 17, 2011

    Where: Champaign, Illinois

    The Fighting Illini will try to rebound from a year ago when they had one of the worst offenses in all of college football. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will lead the offense up against one of the best defenses in the nation, the Arizona State Sun Devils.

    Arizona State is a dark horse to win the first-ever Pac-12 championship. Led by quarterback Brock Osweiler, the Sun Devils are poised to start off with a bang and knock around a Big Ten school for good fortune.

    If Illinois head coach Ron Zook wants to right the ship, a daunting upset of Arizona State will help his cause.

    Is Arizona State wants to prove that they are legitimate BCS contenders, they must walk out of Champaign feeling real good about themselves.

Auburn vs. Clemson

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Andre Ellington #23 of the Clemson Tigers breaks a tackle by Demond Washington #14 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    When: September 17, 2011

    Where: Clemson, South Carolina

    In what will be Auburn's first road game since winning the BCS National Championship last January, the new-look Tigers will have to go into one of the most difficult places to play on a Saturday and come out clean.

    What I mean by clean is with a victory.

    Clemson, like most ACC schools, is known to falter in the heat of the competition against other BCS schools. With Tajh Boyd at the helm, expect to see plenty of fireworks in Death Valley for the Tigers. The biggest question mark will be the defense. Don't forget about running back Andre Ellington either.

    Auburn will be taking on Clemson one week after doing battle with in-division foe Mississippi State. This could be a letdown game for Auburn or it could be a game where they play Clemson with a chip on their shoulder.

    Clemson on the other hand wants the nation to take them seriously. They have been beat down in recent years by SEC opponents. It is time for them to take a stand and grab a big win at home versus the rebuilding Auburn Tigers.

Pittsburgh vs. Iowa

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04:  Tino Sunseri #12 of the Pittsburgh Panthers throws the ball during the Big East Conference game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Pittsburgh won 28-10.  (Photo by An
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    When: September 17, 2011

    Where: Iowa City, Iowa

    Iowa is reeling after a ton of their talent graduated, moved on to the NFL or were arrested and subsequently removed from the football program. Still, many expect Iowa to be a heavy hitter in the Big Ten.

    To prove so, they will have to fend off the pesky Pittsburgh Panthers at home before anyone recognizes Iowa as a legitimate concern in the Big Ten.

    Pittsburgh has a new head coach in Todd Graham. Many are hopeful that Pitt will be able to put 40-plus points on the scoreboard numerous times this year. With a stout defense and a potentially stellar passer in Tino Sunseri, Pitt could shock Iowa.

    Iowa might take a few steps back this year but the Pitt showdown will be a good instrument to measure where the Hawkeyes stand.

    On the other hand, Pitt wants to vie for a Big East title again. They want to return to the BCS so by knocking off Iowa on the road, Pitt could establish some solid footing going forward.

Kansas State vs. Miami

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 20:  Travis Benjamin #3 of the Miami Hurricanes misses a fingertip catch during a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    When: September 24, 2011

    Where: Miami, Florida

    Head coach Al Golden is looking to transform Miami into a powerhouse. Instead of looking back at the great years where the 'Canes had swagger, he is looking towards the future. He wants to install a sound rushing attack which is complemented by a manageable passing assault.

    This game comes the week after Miami's showdown with Ohio State, so either way, Kansas State needs to be on the lookout.

    Kansas State on the other hand is looking to prove that they are not a doormat in the Big 12. A lot of pundits think K-State can be better than advertised but only will pundits be right if the Wildcats can go into South Florida and knock off the Hurricanes.

    This is a statement game for Miami. Let's see where their heads are after the Ohio State game and see which direction they are going to take in 2011.

    Kansas State could prove its might by winning against Miami. They could be a sleeper in the Big 12 but running back Bryce Brown will have to have an effective outing.

Utah vs. Pittsburgh

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 13: Jordan Wynn #3 of the Utah Utes looks for a recevier against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 13, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Utah 28-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Imag
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    When: October 15, 2011

    Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Pittsburgh is likely to run into some trouble at some point in the season but they must continue to try and prove that they are legitimate in the Big East. By doing so, they take on the newest member of the Pac-12 in Utah.

    Pitt must maintain its offensive strategy into October. While it may become predictable, the Utah defense might be susceptible to a highly efficient offense.

    Make no qualms about it, if Utah goes unbeaten, the BCS can't keep them out of a national championship any longer. The Utes have a stiff test at Heinz Field when they do battle with Pitt. This is a stage that Utah must step up on and dominate.

    Pitt's season could be going well or not. Halfway through the season, a battle with Utah might do some good for the Panthers as they look to dip back into their Big East schedule.

    A game at Pittsburgh may appear to be a breather for Utah—a breather in that they get a break from their Pac-12 schedule. Think again.

    Utah has to stay on their toes in order to come out blemish-free.