Per usual, CFR's This Week's Games section is updated.
Off to an earlier than usual start to the week, tonight saw Fresno State crush Toledo. ESPN or ESPN2 will televise a handful of uninteresting games the rest of the way until Saturday when we have a decent slate of games to look forward to.
The 12:00 bracket starts out with Heisman candidate Vince Young and the #2 Texas Longhorns tackling Brad Smith and Missouri (12th nationally in scoring at 43.7 PPG). #3 Virginia Tech travels down the road to old Big East rival West Virginia. The game everyone will be checking out is #11 Michigan State in a rare role as home favorite against Michigan. The Wolverines need this game badly, having already lost to Notre Dame, the fan base is on the ropes and simply cannot fathom taking one to the gut from the rival Spartans. No doubt Warren from RJYH will have a field day this week getting clinical on the Michigan bloggers' suicide routines. Is it any wonder that Jack Kevorkian was able to get so much work in the great state of Michigan?
Also of some intrigue (HT Bruce Feldman), undefeated Indiana takes on undefeated Wisconsin.
#24 Louisville may be sucking its collective thumb in anticipation of yet another non-big-three Florida school opponent. This time it's Florida Atlantic coming to town. Don't screw it up again, fellas!
A few minutes later, Illinois takes on Iowa. Think the Hawkeyes get Zooked in their own backyard?
At 12:30 #10 Tennessee takes on Ed Orgeron's Mississippi Rebels. I'd pay to see the pregame Orgeron tirade and his references to the girth of Tennessee coach Fullmer. Also, Texas A&M tries to reprogram their memories and avenge a loss to mighty Baylor last year.
After that, nothing of interest happens until 3:30.
ABC and its GameDay show are out in Tempe anticipating some kind of upset (think 1996 ASU 19, Nebraska 0) between #1 USC and Arizona State. I'm just anticipating an interesting game. The Trojan defense was something fierce against Oregon last weekend, and they've long contained Dirk Koetter's teams. Thing is, there's a new sheriff in town, and Sam Keller is a far superior offensive player to Andrew Walter---he can actually move the ball around the field and make deadly weapons out of not one but two tight ends. That said, the Leinart/Bush '05 show will roll on. Great viewing.
CBS grabs an intriguing game between Florida and Alabama at the same time. Hopefully the Gators learned their lesson from the matchup against Tennessee and don't get suckered into the usual SEC mud ball, keep-it-close because I can't win straight-up type games that Alabama loves to play. Both teams are undefeated, so the hype is going to be pretty intense.
Depending on where you live, ABC will also have a trio of snoozers to watch: Syracuse @ #16 Florida State, #18 Minnesota @ Penn State, and #23 Iowa State @ Nebraska. Oh Lord. Pray for Minnesota and their robotic running offense (and Heisman candidate Laurence Maroney) if you can't get the USC game.
At five, Oregon faces Stanford. This game has train wreck value, as Stanford will be making its first appearance since the well-publicized shaming against some nobody from the bowels of the lower division schools.
I'm kind of looking forward to the 7:00 matchup between Arizona and #12 California. The Bears are fun to watch but they're still kinda shaky right now. At this point they need to be getting the last kinks out of the machine before taking on the heart of the Pac-10 slate. Games against UCLA,
ASU and USC are on the horizon, so this should be kind of the tune-up, look your Sunday finest match for them.
Steve Spurrier's South Carolina bottom dwellers also travel to the Plains to take on the Auburn Tigers, full of cupcake crumbs all over their front whiskers. Are they satisfied, or is there room for more?
And in perhaps the strangest national broadcast ever (if I'm reading the ESPN schedule correctly), ABC is televising for a live national audience, a game played in front of maybe 9,000 people between host San Jose State and visiting Nevada. ? ? ? Apparently the Kansas State at Oklahoma game just wasn't worth their time.
As day drifts into night, #13 Notre Dame trips to nearby #22 Purdue for what should be a fairly good game. Both teams have well designed if somewhat creaky offenses. They both hate each other. Both have chips on their shoulders. Cool. Keep it interesting, fellas.
Lastly, South Florida tries to play giant killer again, visiting #9 Miami. Thing is, as much as people hate Miami, if they lost this game, would anybody really care? It kind of bothers me how non-controversial these recent Miami teams have become. College football could use a contending Miami team, but won't get it for at least this season.