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Archive for September, 2009

Here are your week 4 round up and predictions!

#1 Florida (3-0)  at  Kentucky (2-0)

The Gators have been hit with the flu-bug this week causing key people to miss practices. Urban Meyer is downplaying it but it’s a real issue among teams right now. Last year Florida trounced the Wildcats 63-5, but this is a better Kentucky team this year. It’s hard to think that this will be the rout it was last year, and in fact, at home, Kentucky will want to show something extra. However, it shouldn’t be close, unless all the Gators have the flu on game day.  Gators by 21.

#2 Texas (3-0) hosts UTEP (1-2)

Colt McCoy’s subpar performance last week against Texas Tech, might partly have been explained by the fact that he had the flu.  Fully recovered now, a more focused Longhorn team will set its sites on dominating another non-conference opponent. UTEP got its first win of the season last Saturday, scoring the first 31 points in a 38-12 rout of New Mexico State. Donald Buckram rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and Vernon Frazier also ran for two scores as the Miners compiled 14 more points than they had in their first two games combined. But they’ll need pretty much of a miracle to make any difference this Saturday.  Longhorns by 36.

#3 Alabama (3-0) hosts  Arkansas (1-1)

Bama comes off of a gimme win against North Texas, while the Razorbacks come off of a well-fought loss against Georgia. Arkansas allowed GA QB Joe Cox to throw for 375 yards, so firming up a pass defense should be at the top of their list.  Conversely,  Arkansas passed for over 400 against a pretty decent Georgia defense, so the Tide will have their hands full.  However, we think that Bama offers too broad of an offensive punch, much more than Georgia, to make this too close.  However, the Razorbacks have been known to put it all together for a top 10 game, so if they jump up and beat Bama, don’t say we didn’t warn you.  Bama by 17.

#4 Penn State (3-0) hosts Iowa (3-0)

This will be the first important Big-10 showdown of the young 2009 season.  PSU has played creampuffs, but showed an excellent defense as well as a balance offense.  There has been a tendency to let up off the gas as the game has gone on however. A loss to the Hawkeyes spoiled Penn State’s otherwise perfect regular season in 2008,  so motivation shouldn’t be a factor.   On the other hand, Iowa hasn’t lost since it beat PSU last year, and as usual, they’ll do it with defense. Bad statistic here:  The Nittany Lions have lost six of their last seven games against the Hawkeyes.  We’re putting this one on Upset Alert, but  we’ll lean to the Happy Valley boys this time.  Penn State by 8.

#5 Mississippi (3-0) At South Carolina (2-1)

A key SEC matchup here, and the Rebels need to find a way to gel quickly. In their first three outings they’ve looked shaky and confused at times, especially in the passing game where Jevan Sneed has thrown for  5 TDs but 2 Interceptions. They will be trying to win their first SEC opener since 2003.  The Gamecocks, however, have shown good solid defense, but and inconsistent, error-prone offense.  This one might be closer than it should be.  Mississippi by 4.

#6 California (3-0) At Oregon (2-1)

Cal has certainly proven itself worthy of its ranking early in the 2009 campaign boasting a brutal running attack led by Jahvid Best and a more than adequate passing game led by Kevin Riley who is sporting a QB rating of 117.5. Oregon has improved two straight since their opening night loss to Boise State. It’s hard to think that the Ducks will find enough defense to hold either attack in check, so we’ll tilt this one significantly in favor of the Golden Bears.  Cal by 10.

#7 LSU (3-0) At Mississippi State (2-1)

On the surface this looks to be walk in the park for the Tigers, but not so fast. LSU is still struggling offensively as QB Jordan Jefferson seeks to raise his game.  One thing he has done is increased his accuracy (now in the mid to high 60s) and in 74 attempts he’s thrown only 1 pick and 5 TDs.  So they are going in the right direction.  The defense has given up only 12 points in the last two games.  Miss State has other hurdles. Coach Dan Mullen, who was the offensive coordinator for the Gators’ last two national title teams, has Mississippi State off to a strong start after going 4-8 last year and finishing at the bottom of the SEC West with a 2-6 mark. The Bulldogs won again last Saturday, surprising the Commodores 15-3 on the road as they allowed 157 yards — 33 on the ground.  Look for this to be tight early then LSU pulling away late in a relatively low scoring affair.  LSU by 13.

#8 Boise State (3-0) at Bowling Green (1-2)

We’ve sung accolades for the Broncos in the past touting their remarkable success in the WAC.  But that’s just it…it’s the WAC.  They don’t do themselves any favors this week going up against  a MAC-based Bowling Green. Boise State running back D.J. Harper likely will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He is one of two tailbacks who share carries. However, this probably will make little difference.  Bowling Green is probably a play or two away from a 3-0 start. But notching that second win and the fifth upset of a nationally-ranked team ever in the school’s history won’t be easy against a Boise State team that averaging 39.3 points per game and has won its games by an average of 25.3 points.   Broncos by 17.

#9 Oklahoma (2-1) is Idle.

#10 Miami (2-0) At  #11 Virginia Tech (2-1)

The marquee matchup of the weekend takes place in Blacksburg where  both teams head into the game ranked for the first time since 2005. Miami is averaging 35.5 points and leads the ACC with 465.0 yards of total offense per game. The Canes are looking to win three consecutive games against Top 25 opponents for the first time since 2001. VTech has shown its schizophrenic offensive play under QB Tyrod Taylor, so its hard to judge exactly what’s going to happen with them on any given Saturday. The key here will be the continuation of the wide receiver play for Miami. The game could swing on a special teams play, but we think that the speed and versatility of Miami wins out.  Hurricanes by 6.

#11 Virginia Tech (2-1) hosts #10 Miami (2-0)  – see above.

#12 USC (2-1) hosts Washington State (1-2)

USC aims to rebound after falling in its Pac-10 opener against Washington when it hosts Washington State.  They fell last year to Oregon State in Corvallis, but still managed to put together an impressive season and a Rose Bowl berth. The Trojans will be trying to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since dropping four straight in 2001. Washington State is 8-56-4 in the series, including 4-37-2 in Los Angeles.  No matter who the QB starter for USC will be, this one is a lock for USC.  The line is USC by 45, but we think that might be overzealous.  USC by 27.

#13 Ohio State (2-1) hosts Illinois (1-1)

QB Terrell Pryor came to life last week against Toledo throwing for 262 yards and pacing a 522 total yard day for the Buckeyes.   The OSU defense is also playing exceptionally well. The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 151-40 in winning four straight conference openers, and have won four of the past five overall against Illinois. Starting Illinois LB Montez Wilson is out for the season with a herniated disk in his neck. Not much of a contest here. Buckeyes by 18.

#14 Cincinnati (3-0) hosts Fresno State (1-2)

Say what you want about Fresno State, but they play a tough schedule.  This will be the Bulldogs third top 25 team in a row and on the road to boot this week. Cincy has done nothing but just go out an annihilate their opponents by a combined score of 145-36 in three games. QB Tony Pike threw for over 330 yards in his last game alone. This one could turn into a shootout with both teams ranked in the top 10 in total offense. The Bulldogs are led by the nation’s leading rusher, Ryan Mathew, but have never beaten a top 15 opponent.  Chances are, that continues Saturday.  Bearcats by 17.

#15 TCU (2-0) at Clemson (2-1)

If you have access to this game on TV Saturday, tune in, it should be a heck of a contest. TCU looks to go 2-0 against the ACC when the Horned Frogs take a trip to Clemson. TCU already won easily at Virginia two weeks ago. After falling to Georgia Tech in its ACC opener, the Tigers bounced back with a win over Boston College. These teams haven’t met since Clemson won 3-0 in Death Valley in 1965, the Tigers’ second victory in three all-time matchups. TCU will most likely rely on its running attack, since Clemson allowed over 300 yards rushing against GT.  Statistically, it’s all in TCU’s favor, but don’t count on that.  We like the upset here. Clemson by 3.

#16 Oklahoma State (2-1) hosts Grambling State (2-1)

This is the first meeting of these two teams, as the Cowboys play host to FCS Grambling State.  We’re not really sure how to make this sound competitive, but to say that Grambling State has won its last two games after a narrow defeat in its season opener. The Tigers took a 20-3 lead into halftime of their 27-17 victory over Jackson State last Saturday,  OKST would nearly have to collapse to make this one even close. Cowboys by 40.

#17 Florida State (2-1) hosts South Florida (3-0)

South Florida isn’t the team it was a couple of years ago, but they still can make some noise.  They’ll be on the road at Florida State but it’ll feel like a home game for  Bulls QB B.J. Daniels, who starts his first game for the injured Matt Grothe, as he is from Tallahassee. The Seminoles are coming off their best game of the season, thrashing then-No. 7 BYU 54-28.  The Seminoles are a bit schizophrenic this year, but if QB Christian Ponder gets in a groove, this could get ugly, but in the past this has been competitive.  Florida State by 17.

#18 Georgia (2-1) hosts Arizona State (2-0)

Another cross-conference battle that could prove interesting. After scoring just 10 points in its opener, Georgia has rebounded nicely with 41- and 52-point performances in two SEC games. The Dawgs take a break from the SEC, but won’t get a breather this week when they host Arizona State. The Sun Devils rank No. 1 in the nation in total defense. ASU QB Danny Sullivan boasts a QB rating of 120.79, and that could play havoc with the Georgia pass defense.  Look for this one to be close, but then the Dawgs pull away.  Georgia by 13.

#19 Brigham Young (2-1) hosts Colorado State (3-0)

The Cougars were shocked last week when visited by Florida State and got ambushed by speed and a hot QB. This week the Cougars will have to rebound against Mountain West foe Colorado State, which is off to its best start in 15 years. BYU, which has won 12 consecutive conference games at LaVell Edwards Stadium, has won five straight over the Rams. The Rams are susceptible to the run, allowing 169 yards in last Saturday’s 35-20 win over Nevada.  Although Colorado State had trouble stopping the run, it forced five turnovers, setting up 28 points to help the Rams open a season with three straight wins for the first time since starting 7-0 in 1994. Still, we look for BYU to come back strong this week.  Cougars by 20.

#20 North Carolina (3-0) at Georgia Tech (2-1)

The Yellow Jackets fell out of the Top 25 last week with their poor showing against Miami, so they’ll be looking for redemption against a North Carolina team that is looking for offensive consistency. Georgia Tech’s triple-option spread offense ranks 16th in the country in rushing while the Tar Heels’ run defense checks in at No. 7. Something will give at Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Tar Heels have lost five straight. The Yellow Jackets have won nine of the past 11 meetings with the Tar Heels. We like the upset here.  Ga Tech by 3.

#21 Kansas (3-0) hosts Southern Miss (3-0)

Quietly, the Jayhawks keep winning, despite a very suspect pass defense.  QB Todd Reesing is consistently throwing well guiding a high power offense, which it needs to make up for its defense. The Jayhawks are looking for their 20th consecutive nonconference home victory, but they’ll face a Golden Eagles team riding the nation’s second-longest winning streak. Kansas is third in total yards on offense, but the Golden Eagles are sixth in run defense. Perhaps more troubling for Kansas Golden Eagles sophomore quarterback Austin Davis has not thrown an interception in his last 128 passes. This actually has some upset potential, but we’re thinking that Kansas might have enough offense to run away.  Jayhawks by 14.

#22 Michigan (3-0) hosts Indiana (3-0)

The Wolverines will be looking for more poise and consistency from  freshman QB Tate Forcier this week as they host the Hoosiers. Michigan is 50-9 all-time against the Hoosiers and 34-7 at Ann Arbor. Indiana finished last in the Big Ten in 2008 with one win in conference play. The Hoosiers averaged 14.5 points against Big Ten opponents while giving up a league-high 41.0 points. They haven’t beaten a ranked team on the road in 6 years. This might be too much to overcome.  Michigan by 22.

#23 Nebraska (2-1) hosts Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1)

Nebraska’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette will mark Memorial Stadium’s NCAA-record 300th consecutive sellout. The next longest streak is Notre Dame’s 207. Nebraska faces its third Sun Belt Conference opponent of the season, both of which were obliterated.  Nebraska had all but beat Virginia Tech until a late  defensive lapse on one play allowed Tech to win the game. The Cornhuskers will have much to prove and would love to send the home crowd into a frenzy.  They probably will.  Cornhuskers by 30.

#24 Houston (2-0) hosts Texas Tech (2-1)

The scoreboard operator could be working overtime when Houston hosts Texas Tech. The Cougars are No. 1 in the nation in scoring, and the Red Raiders are 19th. Both teams have budding stars at QB. Tech’s Taylor Potts is No. 1 in passing yards per game and Houston’s Case Keenum is No. 3. Houston defeated a similar style team in then #5 Oklahoma State with good pass defense.  This is likely to be a close game, with both teams in the mid thirties, so in such games, Tech is  12-10 while Houston is a paltry  6-13.  We’re going to lean on the upset here, but either team could blow this wide open.   Red Raiders by 2.

#25 Washington (2-1) at Stanford (2-1)

Washington is off it’s biggest upset in years taking down a crippled USC team last week, which is significant seeing that last year the Huskies didn’t win a single game. QB Jake Locker sports rating of 138.69,  five TDs and only 1 interception.  The Cardinal won last year in Seattle, but QB Andrew Luck is overachieving with a rating of  153.44 and passing accuracy in the mid 70s.  This one is hard to call, as its hard to know whether Washington is real or not.  The line has Stanford by 7, but we’re tempted to buck that, giving coach Sarkesian the benefit of the doubt. Huskies by 4.

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Week three saw a few upsets, but to be honest, it’s still early in the season to be thinking that they could make that much difference.

Both USC and BYU went down this week, but those of you that following college football know that it’s not real unusual to see USC lose to a Pac-10 opponent early in the year, recover and make the Rose Bowl.  However, USC certainly is in a rebuilding phase this year and Cal looks poised to make that a really competitive race.

BYU’s collapse (5 turnovers) against Florida State really was a bit of a surprise, and perhaps could have permanently hurt their chances for any BCS activity this year.  Anything can happen, but BYU’s schedule doesn’t look to be conducive to helping them out.

The big dogs won and that’s all that was really needed.  The top 10 is a bit rearranged and here comes Oklahoma charging back.  Texas showed vulnerability even in winning.  Thus we have our new Top 25.

#1 Florida (3-0) defeated Tennessee (1-2) 23-13 at home. Next week: At Kentucky (2-0)

Tebow had a rough day passing, and his string of 30 straight games with a TD pass came to an end, but it was a Gator rushing game that racked up over 200 yards that was the difference.  Tennessee managed only 93 yards passing and 115 rushing, a testament to the stingy Florida defense who finally gave up a TD with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the game.  One TD in 12 quarters ain’t bad folks.

#2 Texas (3-0) defeated Texas Tech (2-1) 34-24 at home. Next week:  UTEP (1-2) at home.

Texas again underperformed, and had it not been for a Taylor Potts fumble and generally poor coaching and discipline (14 penalties for 108 yards) on the Tech side of the ball, the Longhorns might have had to work a miracle. The Texas defense gave up 420 yards passing, which is to be expected, but held the Red Raiders to -6 yards rushing. It wasn’t one of Colt McCoy’s better efforts throwing for a little over 200 yards, but he had 2 interceptions.  Texas looked vulnerable, and Tech beat the spread.

#3 Alabama (3-0) defeated North Texas (1-2) 53-7 at home. Next week: Arkansas (1-1) at home.

Always nice to have a gimme game at home, but you have to put away those gimme games too.  The Crimson Tide did just that, throwing up 30 unanswered points in the first half alone.  Bama’s defense held UNT to under 200 total yards, while the offense rolled up 523.

#4 Penn State (3-0) defeated Temple (1-1) 31-6 at home.  Next week: Iowa (3-0) at home.

Another work-man type week for the Nittany Lions,  sporting a balanced offense of 186 yards rushing and 173 yards passing, combined with a smothering defense that held Temple to only 46 yards rushing and 2 field goals. PSU RB Evan Royster carried the ball 19 times for 134 yards and a TD.  Things get harder…much harder next week though.

#5 Mississippi (3-0) defeated SE Louisiana (2-1) 52-6 at home. Next week: At South Carolina (2-1).

QB Jevan Sneed finally got in a groove, going 15/28 for 209 yards passing and 3 TDs to pace a 500 yard offensive effort in the rout of the Lions.  The Rebel defense still looked vulnerably against the pass, however, allowing 216 yards.  The Lions turned the ball over 5 times, however, which pretty much dooms any team to a miserable night.

#6 California (3-0) defeated Minnesota (2-1) 35-21 in Minneapolis. Next week: At Oregon (2-1).

It was pretty much the Jahvid Best show on Saturday as he accounted for all 5 of the Golden Bears’ touchdowns while rushing for 131 yards on 26 carries. QB Kevin Riley was 16/25 for 252 yards.  The Golden Gophers made a game of it keeping the game tied at 21 mid-way in the final quarter, before Best  scored twice within 5 minutes to lock the game away.

#7 LSU (3-0) defeated Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1) 31-3 at home. Next week: At Mississippi State (2-1).

A good solid game for the Tigers all the way around.  The star was DB Chad Jones who had two interceptions, helping a dominating defense overwhelm the Ragin’ Cajuns. LSU has defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 22 times in as many meetings with a combined score of 988-25. Almost isn’t fair is it?

#8 Boise State (3-0) defeated Fresno State (1-2) 51-34 at Fresno.  Next week: At Bowling Green (1-2).

The Broncos needed all four quarters to put away a very pesky Bulldog team. The BSU defense gave up over 500 yards of offense to Fresno State (320 yards of that was on the ground), but used a couple of turnovers to gain the momentum they needed. It was a game of big plays. Jeremy Avery had three plays of  longer than 60 yards, while Fresno State had TD runs of 69, 60 and 68.  All told,  987 yards of total offense was generated by both teams.

#9 Oklahoma (2-1) defeated Tulsa (2-0) 45-0 at home. Next week: Idle.

Look out folks, OU fans are beginning to care less and less about Sam Bradford after a surprise blow out of Tulsa.   We had predicted that this might be a scary game for OU because of their susceptible pass defense, but that wasn’t the case at all.  It’s hard to say “backup” QB Landry Jones now, especially since he set a school record throwing six TD passes on his way to a 336 yard day, while the OU pass defense only allowed 153 yards in the air.

#10 Miami (2-0) defeated Georgia Tech (2-1) 33-17 at home. Next week: At #11 Virginia Tech (2-1).

Georgia Tech found that an option offense has to be able to do more than run if it is to survive and strong defensive front and fast secondary.  Miami’s Jacory Harris is emerging as a QB to watch now, after throwing for 270 yards and three TDs. Miami controlled the game through out and put it away late in the 3rd quarter and coasted in. The Hurricanes are for real, and they will get a chance to prove to everyone in the next two weeks when they go against top 25 opponent Virginia Tech and Oklahoma.

#11 Virginia Tech (2-1) defeated #23 Nebraska (2-1) 16-15 at home. Next week: #10 Miami (2-0) at home.

Credit the Hokies for just never giving up.  Their defense held Nebraska to only 5 field goals all day, and then QB Tyrod Taylor (12/27/192) found Danny Coale streaking down the right sideline for an 80-yard TD pass with 1:11 remaining to set up the winning TD moments later.  Nebraska QB Zac Lee threw two costly interceptions.

12 USC (2-1) lost to Washington (2-1) 16-13 in Washington.  Next week: Washington State (1-2) at home.

The Trojans passed for 110 yards,  the fewest by a USC team in the Pete Carroll era, due to the injury to starting QB Matt Barkley.  Washington QB Jake Locker was 21/35 for 237 yards and engineered a final game-winning drive using Chris Polk, who had 71 rushing and 22 receiving yards. He was instrumental in leading UW into FG range on the final drive.

#13  Ohio State (2-1) defeated Toledo (1-2) 38-0 at Toledo. Next week: Illinois (1-1) at home.

The game ball here goes to QB Terrelle Pryor who threw for a career-high 262 yards (17-of-28) and ran for 110 yards on the way to a 522 total offense day.  The Buckeye defense held Toledo to only 13 rushing yards. Enough said.

#14 Cincinnati (3-0) defeated Oregon State (2-1) 28-18 at Corvallis, OR.  Next week: Fresno State (1-2) at home.

QB Tony Pike completed 31 of 49 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for a TD. The Bearcat defense held down the Oregon State prolific running game to only 104 yards en route to the victory. Cincy snapped Oregon State’s streak of 26 straight nonconference victories at Reser Stadium, dating back to a 67-28 win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 16, 1996.

#15 TCU (2-0) defeated Texas State (1-1) 56-21 at home. Next week: At Clemson (2-1).

RB Joseph Turner ran for 129 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries and Jerry Hughes had three sacks as the Horned Frogs won their home opener. A 21 point fourth quarter by the Frogs expanded14 point lead. The TCU defense held the Bobcats to a mere 30 yards rushing.\

#16 Oklahoma State (2-1) defeated Rice (0-3) 41-24 at home. Next week: Grambling State (2-1) at home.\

QB Zac Robinson was 14/20 for 227 yards and 2 TDs, becoming the QB with the most passing TDs in the team’s history. However, OSU’s passing defense is still a major concerned as it allowed 301 yards in the air. Also, the offense was a very meager 2/9 on third down conversions in the game.\

#17 Florida State (2-1) defeated #19 Brigham Young (2-1) 54-28 in Salt Lake City, UT. Next week: South Florida (3-0) at home.\

The Seminoles were far too fast for the Cougars in this game and scored every time they got inside the 20.  They also forced five turnovers crushing BYU’s BCS hopes.  QB Christian Ponder went 21-of-25 for 195 yards and two touchdowns and ran the ball for 76 yards on 11 carries and a TD. FSU’s offense had the ball 10 minutes longer than the Cougars, making the victory complete.

#18 Georgia (2-1) defeated Arkansas (1-1) 52-41 at Arkansas.  Next week: Arizona State (2-0) at home.

QB Joe Cox threw five touchdown passes, tying a school mark and leading the Bulldogs to a wild victory. Georgia turned the ball over three times in the first half but moved the ball at will in the second.  Arkansas QB Ryan Mallet had a big night also,  going 21/39 for 408 yards and 5 TDs, setting two school records.

#19 Brigham Young (2-1) lost to Florida State (2-1) 54-28 at home.  Next week: Colorado State (3-0) at home.

See above # 17 Florida State.

#20 North Carolina (3-0) defeated East Carolina (1-2) 31-17 at home. Next week: At Georgia Tech (2-1).

Erik Highsmith had six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown while Jheranie Boyd hauled in a 59-yard TD in the second quarter to pace a 433-yard offensive effort. Ryan Houston also ran for a pair of touchdowns, part of a balanced day from a young offense that had been plagued by dropped passes and bad blocking in its earlier games.

#21 Kansas (3-0) defeated Duke (1-2) 44-16 at home. Next week: Southern Miss (3-0 at home.

The star for KU was Dezmon Briscoe who had six catches for 117 yards and a 14-yard touchdown reception. QB Todd Reesing was 28/41 for 338 yards and three TDs.  The Jayhawk defense, however, allowed almost 300 yards passing, which needs addressing pronto considering the likes of Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas and Missouri are all on the schedule.

#22 Michigan (3-0) defeated Eastern Michigan (0-3) 45-17 at home. Next week: Indiana (3-0) at home.

After an amazing game against Notre Dame last week, freshman QB Tate Forcier had a typical freshman outing(7/13 for 68 yards) but got help in the running game from Carlos Brown who ran wild for 187 yards on 13 carries and 2 TDs, including a 90-yard run for TD in the second quarter. The Michigan offense was out possessed by twenty minutes in the game.

#23 Nebraska (2-1) lost to #11 Virginia Tech (2-1) 16-15 at Blacksburg, VA. Next week: Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1) at home.

See # 11 Virginia Tech.

#24 Houston (2-0)  was idle.

#25 Washington (2-1) defeated #12 USC (2-1) 16-13 at home. Next week: At Stanford (2-1).

See # 12 USC above.

Dropped from the T25: Georgia Tech, Utah, Oregon State

On the Bubble: Missouri, Auburn, Pittsburgh

Most Impressive: Cal, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida State.

Least Impressive: USC, BYU, Nebraska

Top 25 Composition: SEC: 5; Big-12: 5; ACC: 4;  Pac-10: 3;  Big-10: 3; MWAC: 2; Big East: 1; WAC: 1; C-USA: 1

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For some, the season starts in earnest this week, as several top 25 teams begin conference play. Still, most of these match-ups aren’t particularly interesting.  But a couple of games could tell the difference in how early conference races may shape up.

Here is our week 3 analysis and predictions:

#1 Florida (2-0) hosts Tennessee (1-1).

Allegations of recruiting violations and big talk from Vols coach Lane Kiffin aside, Tennessee hasn’t won against the Gators since 2004, the year before Urban Meyer became head coach. Kiffin’s group lost last Saturday to UCLA, a team that went 4-8 last year.  Florida is a better team than last year’s National Champion version.  They won 30-6 last year in Knoxville, so we figure a bit more is in order.  Gators by 31.

#2 Texas (2-0) hosts Texas Tech (2-0).

Everyone knows the history here.  Texas is on their way to a National Championship and gets side tracked when Blake Gideon misses a sure interception and Michael Crabtree makes the catch of his life.  That was in Lubbock.  This year’s Longhorn team is better on both sides of the ball, and they are playing in Austin. Not to mention the payback factor. TTU QB Taylor Potts seems like the real thing and has a competent receiving core, but their unbalanced attack will probably prove the death blow.  The key is the Tech Defense and if they’ll be able to stop the Longhorn running game without having to dedicate secondary help to do so.  We doubt it.  This will allow Colt McCoy to  hone his passing  game. We’re being conservative, thinking that Tech might play well in the first half, but this could be really ugly.  Texas by 28.

#3 USC (2-0) at Washington (1-1)

The big news here is that Freshman QB Matt Barkley may miss the game due to a shoulder injury suffered in the Ohio State game.  That determination will be made later in the week, but Coach Carroll indicated that Aaron Corp will take most of the practice snaps. Corp was top on the QB list until he fractured a cracked fibula in camp.  Even with Corp, USC should be ok.  Wash QB Jake Locker looked poor against LSU in Week 1, but better in Week 2 against Idaho. The Washington D however, gave up 349 passing yards last week which seems foreboding.  Trojans by 24.

#4 Alabama (2-0) hosts North Texas (1-1).

We’re guessing that UNT must need some facilities upgrades so they scheduled a big cashed check going to play the Crimson Tide. Bama destroyed FIU 41-14 last week and we can’t see any possible reason it’s any better this week.  Bama by 40.

#5 Penn State (2-0) hosts Temple (1-0).

The only problem I’ve found with PSU this year is that they seem to have no desire to put teams away.  Not that any team has been close, but I keep forgetting that Joe Pa just doesn’t play the big numbers game.  Temple just can’t fire enough weapons and doesn’t have the sheer manpower on defense to stop the Nittany Lion offensive attack.  Penn State by 30.

#6 Mississippi (1-0) hosts SE Louisiana (2-0) at home.

With more than 30 players suffering from flu-like symptoms, Mississippi used its bye week to focus on getting healthy ( over 400 were affected on campus). Southeastern Louisiana is off to its best start in five years but hasn’t played an FBS opponent. The Lions opened with a 41-7 win over Division II Texas A&M-Commerce on Sept. 5 and followed with a 69-20 victory over NAIA-ranked Union (Ky.) College on Sept. 10. Even a pretty sick Mississippi team should cruise this week.  Ole Miss by 40.

#7 Brigham Young (2-0) hosts Florida State (1-1)

BYU will get another big test this week as the Seminoles come to town.  Bowden’s group is fighting underachievement of the worst kind, getting surprised by Miami in week one, and then struggling to get by lowly Jacksonville State last week.  The FSU secondary was torched for 386 yards passing the first week and almost 300 the second.  This doesn’t seem to be a good potion to bring against BYU QB Max Hall who has already toppled OU from the ranks of the unbeaten. We’re thinking that Coach Bobby will need some BC Powder on the plane ride home.  Cougars by 22.

#8 California (2-0) at Minnesota (2-0)

The Jahvid Best show goes on the road to the Gophers new stadium and it might not be a pleasing night in Minneapolis.  Cal has outscored their opponents 111-20 in the first two weeks, with big numbers in the running game (6th in the nation). Minnesota is averaging only 21 points per game so you have to wonder where they’ll find the defense to stop Cal, or an offense to keep up?  Nowhere.  Golden Bears by 28.

#9 LSU (2-0) hosts Louisiana – Lafayette (2-0).

LSU is beginning to find an offense with new QB Jordan Jefferson, but they’re still struggling  for consistency, getting into the red zone five times last week and scoring only 2 TDs.  The Tigers DO have a good defense however and are getting better each week. Louisiana-Lafayette has dropped 10 in a row to ranked opponents, so it’s hard to see this going any differently.  Tigers by 24.

#10 Boise State (2-0) at Fresno State (1-1) Friday night.

BSU will get its first WAC test this weekend, and it won’t be easy.  The Bulldogs took Wisconsin to overtime before losing by a field goal. And hung 468 yards of offense on them. Boise State is heavily favored to take the WAC again after outscoring opponents by an average of 31.1 points in winning all eight league games last year. They’ll rely on QB Kellen Moore who threw for over 300 yards last week in just three quarters.  This one could be really close.  Broncos by 10.

#11 Oklahoma (1-1) hosts Tulsa (2-0)

Even though OU never loses in their own stadium (well almost never) they will have their hands full this week against Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes led the nation in total offense each of the past two seasons and is one of only 11 teams with at least 10 wins in both of those years, so this is no Idaho State coming to town. Tulsa has allowed only 23 points in two games also.  OU wins, but remember that last week a C-USA knocked another team from Oklahoma from the top 5.  Sooners by 15.

#12 Ohio State (1-1) at Toledo (1-1)

Here’s another one that we can’t take too lightly.  The Buckeyes concern should be a Rockets’ offense that’s scored 85 points in its first two games behind Aaron Opelt. The senior quarterback is third in the nation with 742 passing yards and has thrown seven touchdowns passes. Four of those came last Friday against Colorado in a 54-38 win. However, OSU did play the #3 team in the nation to within 3 points, moved the ball reasonably well and played stingy defense. Plus OSU still rules in Ohio.  Buckeyes by 18.

#13 Georgia Tech (2-0) at #22 Miami (1-0)  Thursday night.

Compared to a year ago, the ACC has quite a crowd in the Top 25 and two of them square off this week.  The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a sizeable lead last week against Clemson, but had to step up the defense to hold off a Tiger rally. Miami had the week off after knocking Florida State out of the Top 25 the first week.  As with most teams in the ACC, consistency seems to be the key.  GT seems to have it though, while we’re just not sure about Miami yet. QB Josh Nesbitt completed only 21% of his passes against Clemson last week, and that won’t cut it against GT. Miami has lost four straight against Georgia Tech, matching its longest skid in the series.  This probably won’t change.  Georgia Tech by 15.

#14 Virginia Tech (1-1) hosts #17 Nebraska.

This inter-conference game should be a fun one to watch.  Virginia Tech is the epitome of schizophrenia depending on the performance of its enigmatic  QB Tyrod Taylor. The last two years he’s at times been brilliant both  running and passing, but other times just plain awful.  Nebraska QB Zac Lee completed 27 of 35 passes for 340 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cornhuskers’ 38-9 win over Arkansas State last Saturday after throwing for 213 yards and two TDs in a season-opening 49-3 victory over Florida Atlantic. Virginia Tech has a  home winning streak over non-conference opponents of 31.  We’re picking an underdog win here.  Nebraska by 6.

#15 TCU (1-0) hosts Texas State (1-0)

TCU fields one of the pre-eminent defenses in the country each year and this year is no exception They held Virginia to only7 first downs and 177 yards of total offense last week, and a bunch of those came late in the game when the contest was decided. Texas State represents an FCS opponent that is still trying to establish their program. The Bobcats defeated Angelo State 48-28 at home in its opener Sept. 5. Bradley George threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Cedric Alexander scored on a 10-yard reverse and added a 48-yard TD reception.  The biggest question in this game will be how many points TCU will choose to put up.  Horned Frogs by 28.

#16 Utah (2-0) at Oregon (1-1)

Oregon started the year as a preseason Top 20 team in most polls and proceeded to drop off after dropped their season opener to Boise State in which they were held to their lowest yardage total in nearly 15 years. RB LeGarrette Blount was suspended for the year the next day for punching a BSU player in a post-game altercation. However,  they bounced back to beat Purdue 38-36 last Saturday, totaling 356 yards and stopping the Boilermakers’ two-point conversion with 1:01 left. Utah struggled last week, but extended its winning streak to 16 in a row, the longest such streak in the nation, and they still sport a tough, stingy defense.  Oregon seems poised to make this a game, especially playing at home.  Utah QB Terrance Cain and RB Matt Asiata will want to pound the ball at the Duck Defense which has been good against the run.  We’ll tip this slightly toward the Utes but this one is ripe for an upset.  Utah by 2.

#17 Nebraska at #14 Virginia Tech

See analysis above.  Nebraska by 6.

#18 Oklahoma State (1-1) hosts Rice (0-2)

After playing a stellar game on prime time TV against Georgia  in week 1, the Cowboys threw one away last week against Houston.  The OSU secondary must be giving Coach Gundy all kinds of heartburn allowing almost 400 yards against the Cougars.  Rice is in a re-building year and lost badly to unranked Texas Tech 55-10 last week allowing over 500 yards passing.  The OSU offense isn’t similarly suited to run those kinds of numbers, but using a decent running game along with the Xac Robinson to Dez Bryant combo, should allow OSU to get back on the winning track.  Look for this one to get ugly at the end.   Cowboys by 33.

#19 Georgia (1-1) at Arkansas (1-0)

It’s been a real struggle for Mark Richt’s  Bulldogs the first couple of weeks.  They lose to Oklahoma State then have to rely on a last second defensive tip to hold on and beat South Carolina. Georgia’s defense gave up 427 yards but stiffened in the red zone after allowing two first-quarter touchdowns. That was despite an exhausting day in which the Gamecocks ran 30 more plays than the Bulldogs. the Razorbacks, who set a team mark with 447 passing yards in a 48-10 victory over Missouri State on Sept. 5. Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, who sat out last season after transferring from Michigan, completed 17 of 22 passes for 309 yards and a TD  and backup Tyler Wilson threw for 138 yards and two TDs. The Razorbacks’ 591 yards marked their highest total since they had 651 in a win over South Carolina on Nov. 3, 2007.  With a vulnerable defense, this could be another long night for the Dawgs.  We’re looking for the upset.  Razorbacks by 4.

#20 Cincinnati (2-0) at #25 Oregon State (2-0)

The Bearcats keep showing us some really good stuff, which makes it hard to place them in the Top 25 right now. Arguably we could have put them as high as 14th, but we need to see how they perform against another Top 25 opponent, and they get that chance this week against a good Oregon State team lead by RB Jacquizz Rogers. Rogers ran for 166 yards last week against UNLV and paced the Beaver offense to over 400 total yards.  Cincinnati though has been solid so far in their first two weeks scoring 117 points while giving up only 18. This won’t be a cakewalk, but seeing that Cincy has given up only a little more that 100 yards rushing in two games, we lean that way.  Bearcats by 10.

#21 North Carolina (2-0) hosts East Carolina (1-1)

The Tar Heels really had a tough time last week against UConn, needing a 4th quarter comeback to snatch a victory, relying on a 233 yard passing game.  The defense is for real however. C-USA opponent East Carolina has built a solid program under Skip Holtz, but the defense is suspect.  While this game makes for good rhetoric, North Carolina looks to have a big game.  Tar Heels by 20.

#22 Miami (1-0) hosts #13 Georgia Tech (2-0)

See above. Georgia Tech by 15.

#23 Kansas (2-0) hosts Duke (1-1).

Kansas has shown that its offense can certainly generate the yards, just as it did last year.   Last week against UTEP the Jayhawks generated 576 yards of total offense and almost half was on the ground.  The week before, they generated 528 and 328 of it was on the ground. With a quality QB like Todd Reesing, this seems really  odd, but this year’s version of the Jayhawk offense could be better than previous years.  Duke, known for its roundball and Medical School, and for not offering Reesing a scholarship, doesn’t look to have much of anything that can throttle the their opponent’s high-power offense.  Kansas by 35.

#24 Michigan (2-0) hosts Eastern Michigan (0-2)

Michigan QB Tate Forcier is coming of age quickly, showing play beyond his years in the upset of Notre Dame last week. He threw for 240 yards and 2 TDs against the ND defense, the last TD winning the game with 11 seconds left. The Wolverine defense has been bend-not-break in its first two games. Eastern Michigan scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie Northwestern last week with 2:40 left, but the Wildcats kicked a 49-yard field goal to escape with a 27-24 win. Barring a huge hangover from last week, this looks to be another Michigan win.  Wolverines by 22.

#25 Oregon State (2-0) hosts #20 Cincinnati (2-0)

See above.  Cincinnati by 10.

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The Marquee game of the week was USC and Ohio State and it didn’t disappoint.  The game turned out to be much more of a defensive affair than anyone thought, but USC put together an outstanding drive at  the end of the game to pull the victory.  They did show, however, that they are mortal and certainly have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. However this will most certainly come.

Of particular note were two key upsets.  Houston went on the road to Stillwater and  toppled Oklahoma State soundly.  We had made a comment that it had been hard to tell if that OKST secondary had proved when the Cowboys beat Georgia last week.  Apparently it has not.  This certainly doesn’t bode well for them when they take on the likes of Texas and Texas Tech.

Michigan, coming off spirited win last week, showed both character and poise in their defeat of Notre Dame.  Despite what Lou Holtz was expounding on ESPN,  the Irish weren’t about to play for the National Championship, but now they’ll be out of the top 25 perhaps when the new polls are released.

Outside those little nuances, everything was mostly in line.

#1 Florida (2-0) defeated Troy (0-2) 56-6 at home.  Next week: Tennessee (1-1) at home.

No real surprise here. Florida managed to show up at their stadium and worse, so did Troy. The hosts took it easy in the first quarter, only leading 7-3, but then poured on 28 unanswered points and never looked back. Gators QB Tim Tebow threw four touchdowns and ran for another — the 45th rushing touchdown of his career, tying him for third in SEC history. Another day in the office.

#2 Texas (2-0) defeated Wyoming (1-1) 41-10 at home. Next week: Texas Tech (2-0) at home.

The was a bit of a surprise if you consider that the Longhorns led only 13-10 at halftime. But then, the Cowboys never scored another point. Colt McCoy got the offense in gear in the second half then finished 21/29 for 317 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Shipley had another big week with 8 catches for 180 yards.  It’s pretty hard to see where Texas is going to lose a game this year.

#3 USC (2-0) defeated #12 Ohio State (1-1) 18-15 in Columbus. Next week: At Washington (1-1).

As mentioned above, this game was everything it was billed to be, except more defensively than anyone thought. USC drove 86 yards for  TD and got the two-point conversion with 1:05 remaining, then held OSU to gain the W.  A lot of kudos go to freshman QB Matt Barkley who merely went on the road to Columbus, fought through a shoulder injury and led the team in a come-from-behind win. The USC defense allowed only 88 total rushing yards to OSU.

#4 Alabama (2-0) defeated Florida International (0-1) 41-14 at home. Next week: North Texas (1-1) at home.

Not a lot to say here really.  FIU isn’t exactly the premier level football team, but Alabama struggled in the first quarter. They got on track behind QB Greg McElroy (18/24 for 241 yards and 1 TD) and RB Trent Richardson (15 carries/ 118 yards 2 TDs). The Tide Defense allowed ONE  yes UNO  yard rushing by FIU all night.

#5 Penn State (2-0) defeated Syracuse (0-2) 28-7 at home. Next week: Temple (1-0) at home.

Business as usual for the Nittany Lions, but somewhat unimpressive, even though they scored one TD in every quarter and held Syracuse to just 65 yards rushing and 200 overall. QB Daryll Clark paced a passing attack that was 20/31 for 240 yards and 3 TDs. However PSU again turned the ball over three times,  up one from last week. That’s a trend that they need to stop.

#6 Mississippi (1-0) was idle.  Next week: SE Louisiana (2-0) at home.

#7 Brigham Young (2-0) defeated  Tulane (0-2) 54-3 at the Superdome. Next week: Florida State (1-1) at home.

The Cougars ran and passed for 527 yards of offense while holding the Green Wave to 162 total yards. QB Max Hall was 24/32 for 309 yards, 2 TDs and 1 Interception. BYU took advantage of Tulane’s 3 fumbles and 1 interception to run away in the second half.

#8 California (2-0) defeated Eastern Washington (1-1) 59-7 at home. Next week: At Minnesota (2-0).

Division II teams don’t often match up well to their Div 1 opponents, and this was no exception. Cal used RB Jahvid Best (17 carries, 144 yards) to pace a 342 yard ground game. The Golden Bear defense limited the Eagles to just 14 yards rushing.

9 LSU (2-0) defeated Vanderbilt (1-1) 23-9 at home. Next week: Louisiana-Lafayette (2-0) at home.

The Tiger’s needed a late TD to put away a stubborn Vandy, but played outstanding defense holding them to 122 rushing and 88 passing yards on the game. The LSU offense was consistent, balanced and  had the ball 13 minutes more than the Commodores.

#10 Boise State (2-0) defeated Miami (OH) (0-2) 48-0 at home.  Next week: At Fresno State (1-1) (Friday night)

The Broncos never let the Red Hawks into the game running up 441 yards of total offense, paced by  QB Kellen Moore’s 16/26 for 207 yards and 4 TDs.  WR Austin Pettis was the leading receiver posting four catches for 115 yards and a TD.

#11 Oklahoma (1-1) defeated Idaho State (0-2) 64-0 in Norman.  Next week: Tulsa (2-0) at home.

After getting embarrassed on prime time TV by BYU and losing their starting QB, the Sooners reminded us that they have plenty of depth. The OU defense only allowed 6 first downs all night, while Oklahoma’s backup quarterback Landry Jones looked sharp in his debut, going 18-of-32 for 286 yards and three scores.  The telling statistic? Idaho had negative yardage on the ground and only 44 total yards of offense.

#12 Ohio State (1-1) lost to #3 USC (2-0) 18-15 at home. Next week: At Toledo (1-1).

For the Buckeyes, it was another big-game disappointment, maybe the toughest one yet. Ohio State has now lost six straight against top-five teams, including two national title games and last season’s 35-3 loss to USC in Los Angeles.

#13 Georgia Tech (2-0) defeated Clemson (1-1) 30-27 at home.  Next week: At #22 Miami (1-0) (Thursday).

Credit Clemson for a tough, hard fought game, which we should have remembered.  The last few games of this series have been very close and this one was no different. Yellow Jacket kicker Scott Blair threw a 34-yard TD pass in the first quarter, but his last-minute clinching field goal was what sealed the win for Tech. RB Anthony Allen rand for 127 yards on 5 carries, including an 82-yard TD in the first quarter.

#14 Virginia Tech (1-1) defeated Marshall (1-1) 52-10 at home. Next week: #17 Nebraska (2-0) at home.

VT literally ran away with this one chalking up 444 yards of their 605 on the ground. For the first time in school history, two Hokies rushed for 160 or more yards as Ryan Williams (169 yards) and David Wilson (160 yards) led the Virginia Tech rushing attack. Tyrod Taylor, largely ineffective the week before against Alabama, had a much better night going 9/16 for 161 yards and 2 TDs.  But it was hardly needed.

#15 TCU (1-0) defeated Virginia (0-2) 30-14  at Charlottesville, NC.  Next week: Texas State (1-0) at home.

TCU scored 30 unanswered points, while letting their defense dominate. Virginia managed just seven first downs,  three of them coming in the final quarter, and two on long touchdown passes after the outcome had long been decided. The Cavaliers finished with just 177 yards of total offense, and 83 of those came on Jameel Sewell’s late TD passes.

#16 Utah (2-0) defeated San Jose State (0-2) 24-14 at San Jose. Next week: At Oregon.

The Spartans, who lost badly in their season opener to USC 56-3, played much better and gave the Utes all they could handle. This game was knotted at 7-7 going into the final quarter, but two TDs within 4 minutes sealed the outcome for Utah. The Utes offense was impeccably balanced (251 rushing, 248 passing) but repeatedly had trouble finishing drives until the 4th.

#17 Nebraska (2-0) defeated Arkansas State (1-1) 38-9 at home.  Next week:  At #14 Virginia Tech.

Nebraska jumped out to a 24-6 lead in the first half and never looked back. The Huskers’ D allowed Arkansas State just one field goal in the second half. QB Zac Lee went 27-of-35 by spreading out the offense to 11 receivers. He threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns.

#18 Oklahoma State (1-1) lost to Houston (1-1) 45-35 at home. Next week: Rice at home.

After a brilliant first week performance that saw the Cowboy defense control Georgia’s running game, that same defense showed the same vulnerabilities it did in 2008. Despite a very decent 18/31 for 240 yards by Zac Robinson,  the defense allowed unranked Houston to pile up 512 yards of total offense, mostly in the air (366 yards). Baylor and Texas Tech could be licking their chops.

#19 Georgia (1-1) defeated South Carolina (1-1) 41-37 at home. Next week: At Arkansas.

LB Rennie Curran broke up Gamecock QB Stephen Garcia fourth-down pass from the 7-yard line with 22 seconds remaining, and the Bulldogs got away with the narrowest of victories. Georgia QB Joe Cox completed 70 percent of his passes for 201 yards and two scores. Oddly enough SC controlled the ball for nearly 10 more minutes and picked up 10 more first downs than the Dawgs.

#20 Cincinnati (2-0) defeated SE Missouri State (1-1) 70-3 at home. Next week:  At  #25 Oregon State (2-0)

What’s to say other than when Cincinnati was left off the preseason Top 25 polls, they might have been really upset.  The Bearcats have taken it out on their opponents, outscoring them 117-18 in two games. The offense racked up 578 yards of offense and the defense allowed 54 yards of rushing and 7 first downs. Ouch!

#21 North Carolina (2-0) defeated Connecticut (1-1) 12-10 at East Harford, CT. Next week: East Carolina (1-1)  at home.

Behind most of the game, the Tar Heels, Connecticut’s Dan Ryan was flagged for holding defensive end Robert Quinn in the end zone with 1:32 left in the game giving the No. 19 Tar Heels a safety and a 12-10 comeback win over the Huskies. The Huskies had led 10-0 going into the final quarter. North Carolina’s offense recorded 233 passing yards, compared to a mere 35 rushing yards.

#22 Miami (1-0) was idle.  Next week: #13 Georgia Tech (2-0) at home (Friday).

#23 Kansas (2-0) defeated UTEP (0-2) 34-7  at El Paso, TX.  Next week:  Duke (1-1) at home.

The Jayhawks accumulated 576 yards of offense, but what was surprising was that 255 of it was on the ground. QB Todd Reesing had his normal outstanding day going 25/41 for 260 yards and a TD, but RB Jake Sharp ran for 104 yards and scored three touchdowns. They also got two big punt returns from Daymond Patterson. UTEP managed only 4 yards rushing on the night.

#24 Michigan (2-0) defeated Notre Dame (1-1) 38-34 at home. Next week: Eastern Michigan (0-2) at home.

The Wolverines waited until the last possible second to put away the Irish. QB Tate Forcier’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds left capped a game-winning drive that thwarted a 4th quarter comeback by Notre Dame.  Forcier was 23/33 for 240 yards and 2 TDs while RB Brandon Minor ran for 106 yards on 16 carries and a TD.

#25 Oregon State (2-0) defeated UNLV (1-1) 23-21 in Las Vegas. Next week: #20 Cincinnati (2-0) at home.

Beaver RB Jacquizz Rogers ran for 166 yards on 26 carries as Oregon State snuck by a pesky UNLV team. The Beaver offense generated almost 400 total yards, but the defense gave away 310.  Justin Kahut’s 33 yard FG with 0:07 on the clock completed the come back win.

Most impressive: USC, BYU, Cal, Cincinnati

Least impressive: Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, North Carolina.

Dropping out: Notre Dame, Missouri

On the Bubble: Missouri, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh

Top 25 Composition: SEC: 5, Big-12: 5; ACC: 4; Pac-10: 3; Big-10: 3; MWAC: 3; Big East: 1; WAC: 1.

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Not much to get too excited about in Week 2.  An early season showdown will pit USC and Ohio State in Columbus, but plenty of time for either team to falter or recover no matter what the result.  LSU- Vanderbilt could be interesting seeing that LSU wasn’t exactly convincing in their opening game. Georgia-Tech- Clemson on Thursday night should be an early tell for the their respective ACC divisons.

Other than that, most teams in the T25 are either idle or have pretty easy opponents.

#1 Florida (1-0) hosting Troy (0-1).

Another scrimmage game for the Gators who dominated Charleston Southern last week.  Troy is a better team than  Charleston, but not by much. The Trojans have dropped eight straight against ranked opponents, and it will take a near miracle for that streak not to jump to nine. Gators by 45.

#2 Texas (1-0) At Wyoming (1-0).

Colt McCoy was 21/29 for 317 yards and 2TDs, while Jordan Shipley caught 8 passes for 180 yards against La-Monroe last week. The Longhorn running game added another 199.  It just works that way.  Which one will be established first is immaterial. The Cowboys’ offense sports a new, no-huddle spread that could present a challenge to the Horns’  D, but we seriously doubt it.  Texas by 40.

#3 Alabama (1-0)  hosts  Florida International (0-0)  at home.

The Tide’s offense was just good enough to beat Va Tech last week but will be much more than enough to take on Florida International.  Alabama wasn’t perfect last week by any stretch, but FIU won’t provide much threat. Look for the Bama D to want a good solid game after giving up plays to VT to keep them in the game.  It won’t take much.  Alabama by 32.

#4 USC (1-0) At #8 Ohio State (1-0).

Ohio State will definitely need to be better defensively than they were last week against Navy The Navy OL pushed the Buckeyes around the field all day long.  If it was that bad against Navy, it could be downright scary against USC. OSU will have to decide whether to put 8 in the box to stop McKnight and his fellow stable of RBs, and leave QB Matt Barkley to throw all day, or drop back and cover the pass, and see  USC do another Navy.  Barring major mistakes, this one could get out of hand. USC by 18.

#5 Oklahoma State hosts Houston (1-0) .

The Cowboys used a balanced offensive attack  and a stingy defense to dominate the Georgia last week.   But Houston amassed 538 yards of total offense last week, 447 of that was in the air.  OSU has a fast defense, but last year their secondary  was pretty suspect. They didn’t get much of a chance to show anything against ground-based Georgia team.  This shouldn’t be close, but watch out!  Cowboys by 24.

#6 Mississippi (1-0)  Idle.

#7 Penn State (1-0)  hosts  Syracuse (0-1).

The Nittany Lions didn’t get a lot of a test of their team against a pretty mediocre QB and defense at home against Akron.  They scored all their points in the first half and then cruised, in fact.  That might be a bit troubling.  Syracuse will be a better test.  They hung in all the way to overtime before losing to a pretty good Minnesota team by a FG.  Daryll Clark and company will have a tougher test this week.  PSU by 14.

#8 Ohio State (1-0) hosts #4 USC (1-0).

See above analysis.  USC by 18.

#9 California (1-0) hosts Eastern Washington (1-0).

California beat up Maryland in its season opener, and the Bears expect to do the same against Eastern Washington. The game will give Jahvid Best & Co. an opportunity to pad their stats before Cal’s conference schedule begins. Cal by 42.

#10. Brigham Young (1-0) At Tulane (0-1).

After upsetting Oklahoma last week, BYU’s biggest challenge in Week 2 will be avoiding the victory’s hangover.  If the offense can move the ball without turnovers, the Cougars’ defense shouldn’t have problems with a Tulane offense that managed just 16.7 points per game last season. BYU by 31.

#11 Boise State (1-0) hosts Miami (OH) (0-1).

Boise State survived the toughest part of its schedule, defeating Oregon 19-8 in Week 1 in an exceptional defensive effort. Miami (Ohio) was shut out by Kentucky 42-0. It doesn’t get easier for Mike Haywood’s team, as Boise State boasts the ninth-ranked rushing defense in the country. Broncos by 32.

#12 Oklahoma (0-1) hosts Idaho State (0-1).

Sam Bradford or no Sam Bradford, this should be a laugher.  Idaho State lost its first 11 games of 2008 before capping the season with a win over Sacramento State. It opened the 2009 campaign with a 50-3 loss at Arizona State last Saturday, committing five turnovers and managing 37 yards — zero in the first half.  That defeat was Idaho State’s 16th straight on the road. Oklahoma, meanwhile, has the nation’s longest active home winning streak at 24. The Sooners are one home win shy of the team record, a run that ended with a season-opening loss to Notre Dame in 1953.

#13 TCU (0-0) At Virginia (0-1).

After losing to William & Mary in Week 1, Virginia is looking to save face (W&M isn’t Div I). The good news is that the Cavs play at home. The bad news is that they’re hosting TCU in its season opener. The Horned Frogs have won their past six games and didn’t give up a touchdown in their past two.  Ouch.  TCU by 21.

#14 LSU (1-0) hosts Vanderbilt (1-0) .

LSU begins its SEC schedule by playing host to Vanderbilt.  LSU gave Tiger fans hope last week after showing signs of having an offense.  After finishing worse than .500 in conference play last season,  LSU hopes to make a statement. Vandy, on the other hand, had no offensive woes, running up 620 total yard in their season opening against Western Carolina, and their defense held them to only 115 total yards.  This might be a tough game with possible upset in the making.  LSU by 8.

#15 Notre Dame (1-0) At Michigan (1-0).

Both teams lived up to the hype against their less-than-stellar Week 1 opponents. The true test comes in this week. Irish QB Jimmy Clausen needs to show that he can throw 315 yards against a real defense like he did against Nevada. Michigan will need a solid offensive effort and a tighter defense.  The Wolverines gave up 301 total yards against Western Michigan.  Irish by 17.

#16 Utah (1-0) At San Jose State (0-1).

The nation’s longest winning streak is on the line at San Jose State, as the Utes go for victory No. 16.  The Utes showed a balanced offensive last week led by Matt Asiata’s  156 yards on 36 carries.  San Jose State on the other hand, was demolished by USC. Utah should have a relatively easy week.  Utes by 31.

#17 North Carolina (1-0) At Connecticut (1-0).

North Carolina beat up on The Citadel in Week 1, and if the Tar Heels’ defense plays as well against UConn, it could be a long day in East Hartford. The Huskies won their opener against Ohio, but the offense was ground oriented 259 yards of the 386. If UConn has any chance at an upset, it will need an improved performance from QB Zach Frazer. Tar Heels by 20.

#18 Virginia Tech (0-1) hosts Marshall (1-0) .

The Hokies offense was  pitiful against Bama last week managing only 155 total offensive yards. Herd QB Brian Anderson made a statement in Marshall’s win against Southern Illinois, completing 75 percent of his passes.  Marshall may make this one competitive, but Tyrod Taylor should have an easier defense to work against. Hokies by 18.

#19 Nebraska (1-0) hosts Arkansas State (1-0) at home.

Suspect for the Cornhuskers, was the fact that they gave up 358 yards of offense against Florida Atlantic. The Red Wolves posted a 61-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State, scoring 40 points in the first half, so Nebraska may have to work at not being embarrassed.  Huskers by 20.

#20 Georgia Tech (1-0) hosts  Clemson (1-0) Thursday.

After a sloppy performance against Jacksonville State that included five fumbles, Georgia Tech looks to prove it has the mental toughness to compete for a division title. With C.J. Spiller back in the lineup for Clemson, the Yellow Jackets’ defense will have to contribute.  Georgia Tech by 13.

#21 Kansas (1-0) At UTEP (0-1).

Todd Reesing was a one-man show  going 13/20 for 208 yards (2 TDS)  and carried the ball 13 times for 79 yards and 2 TDs.  UTEP will just have no answer for anything that Kansas does.  This one truly could get nasty. Jayhawks by 40.

#22 Cincinnati (1-0)  hosts Missouri State  (1-0).

With a  564 yards of total offense on the road at Rutgers, Cincy proved that they were ready to establish that they are the team to beat in the Big East.  Don’t look for Missouri State to even be a speed bump here.  Bearcats by 38.

#23 Georgia (0-1) hosts South Carolina (1-0).

In losing to Oklahoma State,  the Bulldogs managed only 95 rushing yards on the day. That’s going to have to change really fast.  SC’s defense is fast, but there isn’t much offensive punch.   Look for Georgia to establish the run, and get substantially more than 95 yards in their home opener.  Dawgs by 10.

#24 Miami (Fla) (1-0) Idle.

#25 Missouri (1-0)  hosts Bowling Green (1-0) at home.

Missouri trounced Illinois in Week 1, and the young Tigers shouldn’t have any problems with Bowling Green. Missouri is very young, but if sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert continues to manage the game well, the Tigers should even the series with the Falcons. Tigers by 21.

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Week one of the 2009 campaign, resulted in a few interesting turns of  events, but it was largely punctuated by predictable wins (even predictable upsets), terrible officiating and some really bad broadcasting. I’m not sure if I’m just getting more critical in my old age, but my goodness, if you work for someone like ESPN you should be expected to speak distinctly, comment on games without using a list of clichés, and for heaven’s sake ask intelligent halftime questions to coaches! I digress…

Obviously the biggest story out of week one was the injury to Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford’s shoulder. Much speculation was going around about how serious it was and how long he would be out. ESPN was reporting that similar injuries called for 3-4 weeks of rest. The fact is that as of 9:00am Wednesday its unknown other than the fact that its a 2nd or 3rd degree sprain. Or so they are saying. What is known, is that Sam Bradford’s exit from the game was hardly a factor. While he WAS in the game the OU offense put up a whopping seven points. After his departure, they put up six… so…OU fans, quit whining.

Florida, Texas, USC, Penn State and Cal all had impressive first week wins, but only in the sense that they did what they were supposed to do. There were a few top 25 matchups and their results really don’t’ change things that much. A few disappointments and surprises dropped out a couple and we added a couple…such is the way of college football!

#1 Florida (1-0) defeated Charleston Southern (0-1) 62-3 at home. Next week: Troy (0-1) at home.

This one was over the moment that the Gators were allowed to take the field. They amassed 624 yards of total offense, 255 in the air and 369 on the ground. Florida ran by committee with eight different rushers carried the ball. The Gator D only allowed 228 total yards.

#2 Texas (1-0) defeated Louisiana-Monroe (0-1) 59-20 at home. Next week: At Wyoming (1-0).

Colt McCoy was 21/29 for 317 yards and 2TDs, while Jordan Shipley caught 8 passes for 180 yards. The Longhorn running game added another 199. Both teams were somewhat sloppy, committing 3 turnovers each, but, like Florida, this one was decided early.

#3 Alabama (1-0) defeated #18 Virginia Tech (0-1) 34-24 in Atlanta. Next week: Florida International (0-0) at home.

The Crimson Tide showed just enough offense to win, but the story of the game was the lack of same from Va Tech. The Hokies maintained a 17-16 lead into the 4th quarter but the Alabama running game took over. Mark Ingram had 150 yards rushing on 26 carries, while QB Greg McElroy was a respectable 15/30 for 230.

#4 USC (1-0) defeated San Jose St. (0-1) 56-3 at home. Next week: At #8 Ohio State (1-0).

For those that were wondering how Freshman QB Matt Barkley would do, the stats pretty much say it all: 620 yards of total offense, 15/19 for 233 yards, 1 TD, no interceptions. USC started slow, but kicked in into gear in the second quarter and never looked back. Joe McKnight had 145 yards on 14 carries.

#5 Oklahoma State (1-0) defeated #23 Georgia (0-1) 24-10 at home. Next week: Houston (1-0) at home.

The Cowboys used a balanced offensive attack (135 rushing / 172 passing), and a stingy defense to dominate the Bulldogs. OKST used their trio of Zac Robinson (11/22 for 135 and 2 TDs), Dez Bryant (3 catches, 76 yds and 2 TDs), and Kendall Hunter to keep Georgia’s offense off the field.

#6 Mississippi (1-0) defeated Memphis (0-1) 45-14 at Memphis. Next week: Idle.

For more than three quarters, Memphis kept it close, down only 24-14 with a little more than nine minutes to play. The Rebel defense was the key to the game, holding Memphis to 14 points and getting three interceptions. Jevan Sneed had a tough game going 12/22 for 175 yards and 2 TDs but also 2 INTs.

#7 Penn State (1-0) defeated Akron (0-1) 31-7 at home. Next week: Syracuse (0-1) at home.

If you left at half time, you didn’t miss much since all the scoring for PSU was done then. It was disappointing to see the Nittany Lions not finish the game out, but there was more than enough points to go around. QB Daryll Clark was 29/40 for 353 yards, 3 Yds and 1 INT. Evan Royster added another 61 on the ground. The defense held Akron to under 200 total yards.

#8 Ohio State (1-0) defeated Navy (0-1) 31-28 at home. Next week: #4 USC (1-0) at home.

It was touch and go for the Buckeyes against a Navy team that just didn’t know the meaning of the word quit. The game wasn’t decided until Brian Rolle intercepted a two point Navy try that would have tied the game. Disturbing was the OSU defense that gave up 342 yards of offense. Navy turned the ball over 3 times, otherwise, this might have been very bad for OSU.

#9 California (1-0) defeated Maryland (0-1) 52-13 at home. Next week: Eastern Washington (1-0) at home.

Jahvid Best ran for 137 yards on 10 carries and 2 TDs, while QB Kevin Riley threw 17/26 for 298 yards and four TDs. They amassed 542 yards of total offense helped along by WR Marvin Jones (3 catches/74 yards).

#10. Brigham Young (1-0) defeated #12 Oklahoma (0-1) 14-13 in Dallas. Next week: At Tulane (0-1).

In maybe the biggest shocker of the week, not only does BYU beat the then #3 in the rankings, but they knock out Heisman QB Sam Bradford for a few weeks with a sprained AC-joint. BYU did it mostly on the strength of its defense. Sam DID play the first half and managed to get only 7 points. This is the same offense that put up over 700 last year, an NCAA record. BYU QB Max Hall over came 2 INTs to finish 26/38 for 329 yards including the game-winning TD with 3:03 remaining.

#11 Boise State (1-0) defeated Oregon (0-1) 19-8 at home. Next week: Miami (OH) (0-1) at home.

It was a low scoring game, but the Broncos’ defense limited Oregon to 151 total yards and 6 first downs, while the offense played ball control, possessing the ball over 42 minutes of the 60 total minutes of  the game. Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount was suspended by the university for the rest of the season for throwing a post-game punch at a Boise State player.

#12 Oklahoma (0-1) lost to #10 Brigham Young 14-13 in Dallas. Next week: Idaho State (0-1) at home.

There was little to be happy about going back to Norman after losing to BYU. A Sam Bradford offense generated 7 points, then he’s knocked out of the game and his replacement leads them to 6. The pass defense looks worse than it did last year, which is saying something, and your tight end is out now for an unknown period of time. Holding BYU to 14 points might be something to build on, but giving up 329 yards passing is something to be scared of when you have to play Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

#13 TCU (0-0) Did not play. Next week: At Virginia (0-1).

#14 LSU (1-0) defeated Washington (0-1) 31-23 at Seattle. Next Week: Vanderbilt (1-0) at home.

It wasn’t the run away that most thought it would be, but a road win is a road win for Les Miles’ crew. For a first game, LSU does show some sign of QB life with Jordan Jefferson going 11/19 for 172yds and 3 TDs. WR Terrance Tolliver was the star receiver picking up 4 receptions for 172 yards. Troubling for LSU was the fact that the defense gave up 321 passing yards. This bodes no good for SEC play.

#15 Notre Dame (1-0) defeated Nevada (0-1) 35-0 at home. Next week: At Michigan (1-0).

The Irish recorded their first shutout in seven years taking advantage of a uninspired Nevada team. QB Jimmy Clausen finally looks like the real thing going 15/18 for 315 yards and 4 TDs. WR Michael Floyd finished with 4 carries and 189 yards and 3 TDs. The ND defense also picked off 3 INTs on the day.

#16 Utah (1-0) defeated Utah State (0-1) 35-17 at home. Next week: At San Jose State (0-1).

This vintage of Ute football started with a balanced offensive punch of 286 yards in the air and 233 yards on the ground. Matt Asiata ran for 156 yards on an astonishing 36 carries. Of particular concern tho: three turnovers made this game closer than it should have been.

#17 North Carolina (1-0) defeated The Citadel (0-1) 40-6 at home. Next week: At Connecticut (1-0).

RB Shaun Draughn rushed for 118 yards on 20 carries while QB T. J. Yates threw for 2 TDs to lead the Tar Heels in their home opener. The Defense looked impressive holding The Citadel to 156 total offensive yards, 8 first downs and only 30 yards rushing.

#18 Virginia Tech (0-1) lost to Alabama (1-0) 34-24 in Atlanta. Next week: Marshall (1-0) at home.

Stat of the game: 498-155. The Crimson Tide ended the night with 498 total yards compared to the Hokies’ 155. QB Tyrod Taylor looked like he hadn’t learned much over the off-season going 9/20 for 91 yards.

#19 Nebraska (1-0) defeated Florida Atlantic (0-1) 49-3 at home. Next week: Arkansas State (1-0) at home.

It was a good news – bad news game for the Cornhuskers. Good news was that they open with a lopsided win at home where QB Zac Lee went 15/22 for 213 yards and 2 TDs. RB Roy Helu, Jr. rushed for 152 yards on 16 carries and 3 TDs. The bad news was the hopefully-improved defense allowed 358 total yards, but got 2 INTs.

#20 Georgia Tech (1-0) defeated Jacksonville State 37-17 at home. Next week: Clemson (1-0) at home.

Georgia Tech rushed for 335 yards and totaled 497 yards en route to an easy win. Twelve different players ran the ball for Georgia Tech. RB Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 95 yards on seven carries for the Yellow Jackets. Seventy four of those yards came on a TD run in the first quarter.

#21 Kansas (1-0) defeated Northern Colorado (0-1) 49-3 at home. Next week: At UTEP (0-1).

The star of the show was Todd Reesing who was 13/20 for 208 yards and 2 TDs, but he also carried the ball 13 times for 79 yards and 2 TDs. We wished we had fantasy players like that! Nuff said.

#22 Cincinnati (1-0) defeated Rutgers (0-1) 47-15 at Rutgers. Next week: SE Missouri State (1-0) at home.

The Bearcats generated 564 yards of total offense on the road with QB Tony Pike going 27/34 for 362 yards and 3 TDs. The Cincy defense was tough on the ground game allowing the Scarlet Knights only 30 total rushing yards in the game.

#23 Georgia (0-1) lost to #5 Oklahoma State (1-0) 24-10 in Stillwater, OK. Next week: South Carolina (1-0) at home.

Georgia lost its second consecutive regular-season game (lost to Georgia Tech last November) and fell to 30-5 in true road games under Mark Richt. While QB Joe Cox had a reasonably decent day (15/30, 162 yds, 1 TD), the Bulldogs managed only 95 rushing yards on the day.

#24 Miami (Fla) (1-0) defeated Florida State (0-1) 38-34 at Gainesville. Next Week: Idle.

Probably the best game of week one in terms of pure competition and enjoyment. There were 7 lead changes and the game wasn’t decided until the last play of the game which was reviewed. The Canes and Noles combined for 43 first downs and 880 yards in the shootout. QB Jacory Harris was 21/34 for 386 yards and 2 TDs in the mild upset.

#25 Missouri (1-0) defeated Illinois (0-1) 37-9 in St. Louis. Next Week: Bowling Green (1-0) at home.

Blaine Gabbert threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth in a stellar starting debut to lead a rebuilding Missouri Tiger team over the Illini. Danario Alexander led Tiger receivers with 10 catches and 132 yards.

Dropped: Oregon, Iowa

On the Bubble: Oregon State, Iowa, Michigan State

Performances of the Week: BYU, Oklahoma State, Alabama,  Boise State, Miami

Disappointments of the Week: Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Oregon

T25 Composition: Big-12: 6, SEC: 5, ACC: 4; Big Ten: 2; Pac-10: 2, MWAC: 2; WAC: 2, Big East 1; Ind: 1

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This is week 1 of the 2009 College Football Season and it couldn’t get here fast enough!  Be sure to check out the post just before this one that highlights our Preseason Top 25!

As usual, most teams are in smoothie mode the first few weeks, which usually means big mismatches and a chance for the premium teams to test talent and roll up points at the expense of lesser teams. However a few games this week pit presesaon top 10 and top 25 foes  which could set the tone for everything to follow.

#1 Florida  (0-0)  vs. Charleston Southern (0-0). Gainesville, FL.

Florida will begin the defense of their National Championship Saturday hosting the Buccaneers from Charleston Southern.  The Bucs were  7-5 last year in the Big South Conference (FCS),  winning their final four games.  The Gators probably will work this game much like a scrimmage, giving a lot of players time on the field, and allowing Tebow to work a little, then rest. Just because they’re expected to, the Gators will win big:  Florida by 43.

#2 Texas (0-0) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (0-0). Austin, TX.

The Warhawks from La-Monroe come to town and will, as usual, field a very athletic team. With all that talent, they’ve yet to really put a competitive team on the field, however.  Look for Texas RBs Fozzie Whittaker, Vondrell McGee and Cody Johnson to have a lot of chances early especially to get some work for the Offensive Line. With this successful, LA-Monroe will most likely throw more men in the box, which should open the flood gates for McCoy.  Because Florida will win big, Texas will too. Texas by 45.

#3 Oklahoma (0-0) vs. #21 Brigham Young (0-0). Norman, OK.

This is will a nice test for both teams. OU will be forced to test out the pass defense that tended to let them down in big games, and BYU will be seeing how their new offensive line holds up.  Look for Max Hall to test the secondary.  Look also for OU to try to get out to a quick start. Sooners at 60-2 at home, so it’s pretty easy to choose them.  How much is the question.  Sooners by 24.

#4 Alabama (0-0) vs. #6 Virginia Tech (0-0).  Atlanta, GA (Georgia Dome)

This will perhaps be the most interesting game of the week and most important to these two teams.  Virginia Tech is a defensive machine that also has a knack for special teams. Alabama will be testing out whether they cane replace key offensive players.  This is liable to be a low scoring affair, and perhaps a game of turnovers.  Look for both QBs (Tyrod Taylor for VT and Greg McElroy) to be the key to the game’s flow.   Alabama by 3.

#5 Ole Miss (0-0) vs. Memphis (0-0). Memphis, TN (Liberty Bowl) (Sunday)

Hard to believe that Houston Nutt won’t have his Rebels ready to play, but history tends to prove out that Memphis does very well against ranked teams, especially with a big audience.   The Tigers will employ a tough defense, but it’s very hard to fathom that Mississippi won’t run wild.  Rebels by 27.

#6 Virginia Tech (0-0)  vs. #4 Alabama (0-0).  Atlanta, GA (Georgia Dome)

See above under #4 Alabama. Alabama by 3.

#7 Ohio State (0-0) vs. Navy (0-0). Columbus, OH.

The Navy ground game averaged almost 300 yards/game in 2008 and there’s not much reason to believe that that will change in 2009, however, the Navy defense was scored on at will by just about anyone that showed up. While Navy will probably get themselves another bowl game this year, it won’t start well.  Ohio State by 28.

#8 USC (0-0) vs.  San Jose State (0-0). Los Angeles, CA.

The Trojans are 28-1 straight up against WAC conference opponents all-time, but the Spartans of late have overachieved .  In 2000 they only lost 21-10, and in 2001 only  lost 31-21. This might be another opportunity for Pete Carroll to run through lots of people.  USC by 24.

#9 Oklahoma State (0-0) vs. #14 Georgia (0-0). Stillwater, OK.

The OSU Cowboys play host to a very tough opening day opponent in the Bulldogs.  A new Quarterback and RB tandem is needed with Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno safely entrenched in the NFL.   OSU brings back Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant for a repeat of 2008, but with a much improved defense.  Expect that the Dawgs will test that 110th ranked Cowboy defensive secondary to see how improved it really is.  Cowboys by 14.

#10 California (0-0) vs. Maryland (0-0).  Berkeley, CA.

The Golden Bears are again set this year to be the team that knocks off USC, and they’ll try to do so with a new QB (Kevin Riley) and returner Jahvid Best at RB.  The Bears are hoping for a much better passing efficiency  than last year’s 51%, and a better defense.  The Terps look to  re-establish their passing game, so this shouldn’t be a blow out, but should be comfy.  Cal by 21.

#11 LSU (0-0) vs. Washington (0-0).  Seattle, WA.

With the offense scheduled to improve, and the defense in familiar form, the Tigers take a formidable team to Seattle to battle the Huskies, who are fighting a string of four consecutive losing seasons under Ty Willingham (11-25). Huskie QB Jake Locker (Soph)  will attempt to right the ship, but with a shallow OL and DL it will be challenging.  This game will be interesting to watch how far the LSU offense has come.  Tigers by 24.

#12 Oregon (0-0) vs. #15 Boise State (0-0). Boise, ID (Thurs)

Another good game for week 1 as both teams get a good test to see where they are.  Oregon looks to pickup from last year with Masoli at QB and Blount at RB, but the question will be the offensive line, so this will be a good tell for 2009.  The key to the game will be if Oregon’s pass defense has gotten any better. It will be a good test for both clubs, as BSU has a lot of new faces in the lineup.  Keep in mind that BSU holds the best home field advantage of any team over the last 10 years. This will be a fun one to watch.  Oregon is the favorite, but this could easily be an upset.  Ducks by 6.

#13 Penn State (0-0) vs. Akron (0-0). State College, PA.

Penn State always chooses creampuffs for their non-cons, so having the Akron Zips come in for an opener is not surprising.  Even if they didn’t have Darryll Clark and Evan Royster returning, and even if they graduated their top four receivers in school history, this shouldn’t be anything but a nice check to Akron for coming in and having a scrimmage.  Nittany Lions by 30.

#14 Georgia (0-0) vs. #9 Oklahoma State (0-0). Stillwater, OK.

See above.  Cowboys by 14.

#15 Boise State (0-0) vs. Oregon (0-0). Boise, ID. (Thurs)

See above.  Ducks by 3.

#16 TCU (0-0) Idle.

#17 Utah (0-0) vs. Utah State (0-0). Salt Lake City, UT (Thurs)

The Utes look to try to build on the momentum of an undefeated season last year that included a Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama.  They’ll be testing out a lot of new players on Offense, but will still have the tough, fast defense.  Utah State?  Well,  the Aggies are 6-29 for coach Brent Guy, and he got a vote of confidence.  Enough said.  Utah by 24.

#18  Notre Dame (0-0) vs. Nevada (0-0). South Bend, IN.

Notre Dame looks to be vastly improved this year under Charlie Weiss, and the defense should be faster.  Nevada has one of the premier QBs in the country in Colin Kaepernic who sported a 132.10 rating last year and threw for almost 3000 yards. While we’re willing to say this won’t be a blow out,  the Irish should prevail well enough to get the home folk excited.  Notre Dame by 14.

#19 North Carolina (0-0) vs. The Citadel. Chapel Hill, NC.

With a much improved offense, and another strong defensive year, the Bulldogs should be on the run most of the evening.  Look for a big game from QB T. J. Yates and not much from The Citadel.  Tar Heels by 30.

#20 Iowa (0-0) vs. Northern Iowa (0-0).  Iowa City, IA.

The last time Iowa lost to  Northern Iowa was in 1898. It’s the first meeting between the two schools in 14 years.  Northern Iowa however advanced to the FCS semifinal championship game and won a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title last year, so the Panthers aren’t exactly a push over.  Sr. QB Pat Grace is returning from a 2700 yard season and Iowa will be without starting tailback Jewel Hampton.  Still this looks like a mismatch.  Hawkeyes by 28.

#21 BYU (0-0) vs. #3 Oklahoma (0-0). Norman, OK.

See above.  Sooners by 24.

#22 Nebraska (0-0) vs. Florida Atlantic (0-0). Lincoln, NE.

FAU loses eight starters this year from a defense that ranked #92 nationally last year.   However their starting QB, Rusty Smith, threw for over 3000 yards last year,  so getting pressure on him will be a key. Nebraska has won 23 straight season openers, and shouldn’t have any problem making it 24.  Huskers by 27.

#23 Georgia Tech (0-0) vs. Jacksonville State (0-0).  Atlanta, GA.

Remember Ryan Perrilloux, the dismissed QB from LSU?  Well he won’t be playing  because of a, surprise, suspension due to team rules. So the  Gamecocks will be hard pressed to score much.  GT is quicker and more versatile on offense, but there may be work to do on Defense.  In any case, bank on an easy win.  Tech by 35.

#24 Kansas (0-0) vs. Northern Colorado (0-0).  Lawrence, KS.

Kansas could be in a very good position to challenge Nebraska for the Big-12 North title this year, especially with returning QB Todd Reesing. This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams, but there should be no problem in handling the FCS foe.  Keys to watch will be how well the Kansas defense is introducing a new 4-2-5 scheme.  Jayhawks by 30.

#25 Oregon State (0-0) vs. Portland State (0-0). Corvallis, OR.

OSU has won its past 25 nonleague home games at Reser Stadium without a loss in Mike Riley’s eight previous seasons as head coach.  They have played PSU twice and won 51-14 and 41-14.  That should continue this week.  Beavers by 35.

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