Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Week in College Football: Week 4

Let's get down to business, shall we? As usual, all predictions wrong and all times Eastern.

  • North Carolina State @ Georgia Tech (ESPN): Bright and early once again this week, as GT takes on the conference's best traditional QB by far in Russell Wilson. NC State has looked solid so far this year, though knowing what we know now about this year's edition of Cincinnati there's not a particularly solid win on the resume. The same can be said of GT, of course, and the Jackets feature a bad loss as well. Overall, there are probably worries from all corners except for NC State's offense. While GT's defense got itself together for the 2nd half last week against UNC, it still need to execute better, especially against a quarterback who actually knows what he's doing. The GT offense versus the NCSU defense goes both ways, though. NCSU's defense this year has received an infusion of "TA NOO TA BLITZ" by bringing the man himself onto staff. So GT has to be worried about a crazy, blitzing defenses, while NCSU fans have to be worried because the same defense got torched for like a billion yards at Notre Dame last year when they played Navy.
  • Bowling Green @ Michigan (ESPN2): Michigan.... well, probably.
  • Florida International @ Maryland (ESPNU): Maryland.
  • Austin Peay @ Wisconsin (BTN): Wisconsin.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Tennessee (SEC/Gameplan): Tennessee.
  • Virginia Tech @ Boston College (ACC/Gameplan): Well, this appears to be the only other game on this morning. A very moribund Virginia Tech squad rolls into Boston, who has managed to at least win their patsy games. We don't otherwise know much else, though. VPI should win, but, I mean, how can you pick them here?
12:30: Central Florida @ Kansas State (FSN): K-State had to rally against... Iowa State. (Fun fact: when ISU was in the lead, I IMed a friend of mine "wow, that'll be the first conference win in a long time!" And then I remembered that disaster of a game last year against Nebraska that they won 10-9.) So anyway, I think KSU should still win this one.

  • Alabama @ Arkansas (CBS): This is probably the biggest game of the day. Well, not probably. After an easy 3-0 start, this is probably the most legit threat to Alabama so far this yea. Can Ryan Mallet throw it over the vaunted Alabama D while not getting himself killed? Probably, but I'm not sure it's going to be enough.
  • Stanford @ Notre Dame (NBC): I actually went to the Stanford-Wake Forest game last weekend. (It was really cheap.) Other than the weirdness of going to a football game somewhere that still has free parking within two miles of the stadium (which I think says a lot about Stanford football), I have to say that: a) their offense is terrifying, b) Jim Harbaugh gives no quarter, and c) Wake Forest is not very good this year. Notre Dame is pretty decent, but I think the Cardinal will prevail in this one.
  • Wake Forest @ Florida State (ABC/Gameplan): Oh, yeah, speaking of Wake... yeah, FSU.
  • California-Los Angeles @ Texas (ABC/ESPN/Gameplan): Folks keep referencing the late-90's contest that UCLA won 66-3 in Austin, but as UCLA fans can tell you this isn't the 90's anymore. Texas all the way.
  • Eastern Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC/ESPN): Ohio State.
  • North Carolina @ Rutgers (ESPNU): When I lived in Alabama, we had a saying: "Thank God for Mississippi." Well, as a fan of an ACC school, I can safely say "Thank God for the Big East." UNC should roll.
  • Tulane @ Houston (CBSCS): Houston is missing Case Keenum. That will probably hurt them later in the year. It will not hurt them against Tulane.
  • Temple @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Penn State is a tad better than UConn, I'm pretty sure.
6:00: Oklahoma @ Cincinnati (ESPN2): Based on the way Cincy has played so far this year, I think the Sooners can pretty much name their own score in this one.

  • Kentucky @ Florida (ESPNU): Florida hasn't lost to Kentucky since 1986. I don't think is going to change this year.
  • Akron @ Indiana (BTN): Thanks Big Ten network! I think Indiana will win this though.
  • Georgia @ Mississippi State (SEC/Gameplan): Last week we had Tigers vs. Tigers, so this week we naturally get Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs. Both these sides are coming off two straight losses to other SEC teams, so it's hard to entirely predict what will transpire. I'll have to (very) reluctantly take UGA here.
7:45: South Carolina @ Auburn (ESPN): I would consider these two teams solidly in the "second tier" of the SEC this year, where the first is occupied by Alabama, Florida, and for now, Arkansas. South Carolina is hoping that it finally has the chops to break through and get a big SEC win. The problem is that they're at Auburn, who managed to pull out a tense, overtime win over a decent Clemson squad last weekend. I'll take South Carolina here, but barely.

  • Oregon State @ Boise State (ABC): Seems to be a fair amount of hype around this game, but to be completely honest I don't really foresee any issues for the Broncos.
  • Baylor @ Rice (CBSCS): Rice is pretty awful this year. I realize that's not saying much in comparison to their recent history but still, Baylor should be able to get halfway to bowl eligibility against them.
8:30: Northern Illinois @ Minnesota (BTN): Why am I even listing all these BTN games? Minnesota.

9:15: West Virginia @ Louisiana State (ESPN2): College football's two craziest fanbases meet in one liquored up brawl down in Baton Rouge. Again, that was the fans. The game itself is likely to be marked by Les Miles's insanity versus Bill Stewart's incompetence. This game will only end in one of two ways: LSU loses due to poor clock management, or WVU loses due to some bizarre coaching decision. Either way, it should be entertaining, in a trainwreck sort of way.

10:30: Oregon @ Arizona State (FSN): And here's your Pac-10 nightcap. It doesn't get any easier this week for the Sun Devils, coming off a close loss at Wisconsin determined by a blocked extra point. Good news for QB Steven Threet is that all his body parts seem to be intact, unlike most of ASU's other recent quarterbacks. Nonetheless, the Ducks should prove too much for ASU in fairly typical "close in the first half, pull away in the second half" fashion.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Weekend in College Football: Week 3

Unfortunately, I was correct last week when I was afraid that Tech would come out a little flat. So, for once, not only were all the times below Eastern, a prediction was, unfortunately, right. So let's hope things get back on course here.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Arkansas @ Georgia (ESPN): Georgia's got problems. Mainly, they can't score points and last week their defense couldn't stop the runaway locomotive that is that Lattimore kid at South Carolina. These days, Arkansas likes to throw it over the top, though, and I suspect that's what we'll see here.
  • Kent State @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN2): I'm not even going to dignify most cupcake games with a summary this week. So Penn State and let's move on.
  • Iowa State vs. Kansas State (@Kansas City, MO; FSN): Well, unless a cupcake plays a cupcake I guess. K-State should still win easily though.
  • Maryland @ West Virginia (ESPNU): I have no idea how WVU almost loses to Marshall, but they almost did last week. Maryland won based mostly off Navy shooting themselves in the foot last week, which is probably what it would take for them to beat WVU. In Morgantown they should be able to take care of themselves, though.
  • North Texas @ Army (CBSCS): Army lost to Hawaii last week, largely for the reasons you'd suspect. North Texas is pretty awful, though, so I think Army stands a fair chance of pulling this off.
  • Massachusetts @ Michigan (BTN): Michigan.
  • Vanderbilt @ Mississippi (SEC/Gameplan): Vandy gets a double-dose of the SEC's two craziest coaches back-to-back, after going through the Les Miles Experience last weekend. Vandy did what they usually did though, which is somehow keep the game close in the first half, and then gradually slip away in the third quarter as your opponent beats you down with their superior size, depth, and speed. That said, Vandy is technically the best team Ole Miss has seen so far this season, and then you remember that the Rebels have already lost once. They should still win, of course, but it could be close until the end.
  • Georgia Tech @ North Carolina (ACC/Gameplan): What the hell is there even to say? I haven't really even fully comprehended the loss last weekend and I'm not sure I want to. We were, simply, bad. Even if UNC's defense is still suspended, if we play like we did last week it won't matter. Oh, and the defense still looks awful, and neither unit was helped by stupid and untimely penalties. Without significant improvement in all phases of the game, this will be a long year for us.
  • Florida @ Tennessee (CBS): You know football season has really arrive when Uncle Vern is back, and this game certainly fits the bill. UF should roll though.
  • Nebraska @ Washington (ABC/ESPN2/Gameplan): Nebraska.
  • Arizona State @ Wisconsin (ESPN2/ABC/Gameplan): Arizona State has, to this point, literally played no one as they've played two DI-AA teams. Neither has Wisconsin, really. So this game is pretty much a toss up to me, but I'll take Wisconsin.
  • Alabama @ Duke (ABC/Gameplan): When I first started thinking about how I would approach this writeup, I was thinking about it along the lines of many old Southern rivalries now broken up by conference affiliation. That doesn't really apply here, though. Because for all the history, these teams have only met three times. Duke won the first meeting, on New Year's Day in the 1945 Sugar Bowl, but it's been all downhill from there, as Bama won the encounters in 1972 and 2006. This the return trip from the latter game. Suffice it to say, Alabama should have a pretty easy go of it. Oh, as for the rootability index of this game, I have to disagree with Orson and say this one is pretty easy: Duke. The Duke fans everyone hates are Duke basketball fans. Since Duke football is such a nonentity they don't really have any fans, and the ones they do have are pretty loyal and definitely not bandwagon fans. Meanwhile, I can't think of anything positive at all to say about Alabama fans.
  • Southern California @ Minnesota (ESPN): As bad USC looks this year, Minnesota is a truly awful team and the Trojans should roll easily.
  • Air Force @ Oklahoma (FSN): This game will probably be fun to watch, but the Sooners should come out ahead in the end.
  • Brigham Young @ Florida State (ESPNU): Remember last year, when no one was talking about FSU after they lost to GT and BYU was one of the major mid-major teams? And then FSU went to Provo and shallacked the Cougars 54-28? Well, this year FSU again has the deflating defeat, but so does BYU with a 35-14 loss to Air Force. While I don't expect a repeat of last year's utter blowout, I do like FSU again.
  • Washington State @ Southern Methodist (CBSCS): A lot of awful major conference teams are on TV today, huh? I have to take SMU here. Yes, I am aware they lost 28-7 to UAB. I think either team is better than Wazzou.
4:30: Baylor @ Texas Christian (Versus): I think TCU is a pretty good team. This isn't your usual truly awaful edition of Baylor, but TCU is still a superior team that would love to show the Texas legislature who should've been muscled into the Big 12 back in the day.

5:00: Indiana @ Western Kentucky (BTN): Indiana, well, at least I hope so.

  • Clemson @ Auburn (ESPN): I won't make a joke about the Tigers winning here, and just come straight and say that Auburn is going to win this game. Why? It's at home, and Clemson probably just isn't ready after facing North Texas and Presbyterian.
  • Mississippi State @ Louisiana State (ESPNU): LSU, but hey, with Les Miles at the helm you never know.
(AP Photo/Laramie Boomerang, Andy Carpenean)
  • Texas @ Texas Tech (ABC/ESPN2): Okay, there's a lot of hype around this game, but in reality, Texas should win. Tuberville has done a fine job in Lubbock so far (and is still throwing it a lot, surprisingly enough) but Texas is just better.
  • Notre Dame @ Michigan State (ESPN2/ABC): Notre Dame did everything but win last week against Michigan, but without really putting any thought into it the Domers should still win.
  • Boise State @ Wyoming (CBSCS): Unless Boise is just utterly disgusted by Wyoming's home brown unis they should be able to win here. (As someone who always sought to create the ugliest uniforms possible in the NCAA Football games, the Wyoming unis have a special place in my heart, though.)
  • Iowa @ Arizona (ESPN): Begrudgingly, the years of hate towards Iowa on this site have now turned to a sort-of respect. Which means that it's probably about to be betrayed, but whatever, I like the Hawkeys a lot here.
  • Houston @ California-Los Angeles (FSN): Honestly, I'll take Houston here. UCLA looked terrible last weekend against Stanford and there's no reason to think they've suddenly gotten better.
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ Idaho (ESPNU): The main reason I can recommend watching this game is because KIBBIE DOME. That said, these teams both have the records would expect at this point but what the hell I'm taking Idaho because KIBBIE DOME.
11:15: Wake Forest @ Stanford (ESPN2): I'm half tempted to hop the train and go to this game, because, hey, it's not like there won't be tickets or anything, and it's pretty well after most of the other games will have been decided most likely. Also, I always like Wake to make it tough, but The Cardinal should take care of business in the end.

Well, that's that. Have a great Saturday, folks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Weekend in College Football: Week 2

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • San Jose State @ Wisconsin (ESPN): San Jose State continues their fundraising tour, this time making an appearance in Madison, WI. Badgers win easily.
  • Georgia @ South Carolina (ESPN2): As usual, the good doctor talked about this game much better than I possibly could. But for the heck of it, and the fact I didn't see either of these two teams play last week, I'll take South Carolina.
  • Georgia Tech @ Kansas (FSN): Okay, you're a GT fan. You're psyched up about your team's first regular season game west of the Mississippi for the first time in awhile (since the 2003 BYU game, if I recall correctly). It's also Tech's first game against a current Big 12 school since playing Baylor in 1993. And then your opponent loses 6-3 in its first game to... North Dakota State. So now you doubts. Oh, sure, most outside observers think this is an easy win for you (the line seems to be 13.5 to 14 points at press time), but you're a fan. And not just a normal fan, but a Georgia Tech fan, who within your ability to recall have dropped plenty of games they were supposed to win. (Also, you're probably an engineer of some sort, which is a profession that doesn't generally lend itself to optimists.) For instance, losing to Virginia in Charlottesville every year from 1992 to 2007. Losing to Duke in 2003. Sure, the past two years it hasn't been as bad (the only truly terrible loss of the Paul Johnson era was probably the home game with UVA in 2008), but still, you just can't shake that feeling of dread when you play a supposedly overmatched opponent.
  • Michigan State vs. Florida Atlanta (@Detroit, MI; ESPNU): Sparty rolls. Howard Schellenberger is unfazed.
  • Hawaii @ Army (CBSCS): Tune into this game for some good, old fashioned cognitive dissonance theater. Army may not throw a pass, while Hawaii may not run 10 times. It should be fun and high scoring, provided Hawaii can't stop the option attack. Since that's the only part I'm not sure about, I'll take the figurative warriors over the guys who are more likely to be real ones.
  • Illinois State @ Northwestern (BTN): NU.
  • South Florida @ Florida (SEC/Gameplan): I have to say, as a fan of a school which is not a football powerhouse, it's funny watching fans of said schools fret over their supposed shortcomings. Florida rolls.
  • Duke @ Wake Forest (ACC/Gameplan): It used to be pretty automatic that I would take Wake here, but the past couple of years have seen Wake trending down and Duke trending up, so at this point it's difficult to say which side as superior athletes, especially since Wake lost their 500th-year senior finally. (Seriously, it seemed like Riley Skinner was there forever.) Is this the year Duke's first win over the Demen Deacons since 1999? Sure, why not.
  • Michigan @ Notre Dame (NBC): Honestly, I think Michigan can (and will) take this game. But as with the past few years, I think in the end it'll matter as much as it has the past few years - which is to say, it won't.
  • Florida State @ Oklahoma (ABC/ESPN2): Okay, FSU played Samford last weekend so that doesn't really tell us much. But Oklahoma sure tried mighty hard to lose to Utah State, didn't they? Nonetheless, it's hard to pick against them in this situation, at home against the relatively green Seminoles.
  • Iowa State @ Iowa (ESPN2/ABC): Last year, Iowa finally did what they were supposed to against the Cyclones, which negates my usual post about how surprisingly competitive this rivalry has been since 1998, during which time the Hawkeyes have gone 5-7. Thing is, now most people would just say that Iowa has gone 5-2 since 2003. I have a pretty good feeling they'll get to 6-2.
  • University of Miami @ Ohio State (ESPN): it's a matchup of two schools that like to use the article "the" when referring to themselves. Oh, I guess it's also a rematch of some national title game? Well, if this were those Hurricanes, I would probably like them here, but Tressel seems to have taken the sweatervest reins off of Terrelle Pryor. It may be close, but I think OSU will win in the end.
  • Colorado @ California (FSN): You know what's great about week 2? Despite the fact I missed most of week 1 I still didn't really miss anything because despite the fact these two teams are 1-0 I still have no idea what to make of them. Oh, right, CU is still coached by Dan Hawkins because they couldn't afford to fire him. Bears all the way then.
  • Kent State @ Boston College (ESPNU): BC rolls.
  • Georgia Southern @ Navy (CBCS): Aw, we miss you Jaybo Shaw! While this is one of the rare times you'll get to see the Paul Johnson offense play itself, Navy still has the edge here.
4:00: Brigham Young @ Air Force (Versus): I don't know why people complain about Versus being hard to find. It's right next to the ESPN channels, at least here. Geez. Anyway, I like BYU here.

  • Pennsylvania State @ Alabama (ESPN): As we slide on into primetime, we're first greeted with Penn State and Alabama, possibly the most anticipated OOC matchup of the season. That said, I'm not really sure how Penn State wins this game.
  • Oregon @ Tennessee (ESPN2): Tennessee travels west once again. Too bad by the time I wrote this every conceivable joke about their hygiene has already been made, because otherwise Oregon should win easily.
  • Wyoming @ Texas (FSN): Okay, I'm running out of time here. I'm just going to say I wish Wyoming could wear their brown home duds as Texas rolls.
  • Louisiana State @ Vanderbilt (ESPNU): LSU.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Arkansas (SEC/Gameplan): Ar-kansas.
  • North Carolina State @ Central Florida (CBSCS): Okay, NCSU should win this game, but you never know those guys.
  • Southern Illinois @ Illinois (BTN): Illinois.
  • Western Kentucky @ Kentucky (SEC/Gameplan): Kentucky.
9:00: Mississippi @ Tulane (ESPNC->ESPN2): Ole.... wait. Didn't they lose to Jacksonville State last weekend? Even Tulane managed to beat their DI-AA patsy last week. I mean, don't get me wrong, the Rebels should still win, but that certainly adds another dimension to this thing, doesn't it?

  • Stanford @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): Am I seriously picking Stanford to beat UCLA? You betcha. This time last year that would've been unthinkable, but here we are.
  • Virginia @ Southern California (FSN): Okay, USC will still win, but the way their defense played last weekend this could be a lot more interesting than many anticipated.
  • Colorado State @ Nevada (ESPNU): Well, provided the ol' Nevada pistol is still humming a long, they should win rather comfortably, I would think.
All right, time to get some sleep before the 9am kickoff.

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    This Weekend in College Football: Week 1

    Once again, it's time for the following statement!
    As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

    • Southern Mississippi @ South Carolina (ESPN): It's not technically the first college football game (Division II started last week) or even the first DI-A game (Buffalo starts at 7:00), but it's the first one on national TV. Despite Spurrier's inability to pick a quarterback, South Carolina should be able to handle this one.
    • Minnesota @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPNU): With Dwight Dasher, I actually kind of liked MTSU here, but some ill-advised and somewhat illegal financial escapades have landed Dasher in some trouble, the least of which is that he won't be playing in this game. So I'll have to fall back to the safety of Minnesota.
    • Marshall @ Ohio State (BTN): Well, if you can find the Big Ten Network on your dial, this game will be here. Then you'll likely turn it back. Tyrelle Pryor should have a pretty solid effort here.
    8:00: Northern Illinois @ Iowa State (FSN): I wouldn't be surprised if Iowa State lost this game. But they shouldn't. They might though.

    8:30: Pittsburgh @ Utah (Versus): Honestly, this is probably the best game of the night! Of course, once again I probably won't see any of them, but hey, them's the breaks. Also, I have to like the Utes at home here. I think they'll be out to prove that their Pac-10 invite isn't based on some sort of fluke.

    11:00: Southern California @ Hawaii (ESPN): It's USC's bowl game! Have fun, guys.


    8:00: Arizona @ Toledo (ESPN): Well, presumably, there won't be any Toledo fans in t-shirts stating their opinions on swine flu in this game. But still, I don't think Arizona will be able to repeat Colorado's spectacular self-destruction from last year. Also, you're going to watch this, because it's Friday and it's college football dammit.

    • Miami University @ Florida (ESPN): Pro-tip for the rest of the year on this site: U of Miami is the one you care about, and Miami U is the one in Ohio. And that's the one Florida is bringing in for some hot MACtion. And it will be hot, because it's noon in Gainesville.
    • Western Michigan @ Michigan State (ESPN2): Spartans. It's 3:42 AM. Let's speed this up.
    • Samford @ Florida State (ESPNU): I'm not even sure why I listed this.
    • Youngstown State @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): JoePa starts a freshman! Penn State rolls anyway.
    • Louisiana-Lafayette @ Georgia (SEC/Gameplan): Oh hey, it's UGA reppin' the UL-U-Pick 'Em. Word to your mother. Unless she went to UGA.
    12:30: Illinois vs. Missouri (@St. Louis, MO; FSN): Well, this game loses a bit of its luster this year, but it's probably your best bet early this day.

    1:00: South Carolina State @ Georgia Tech ( It's kickoff for GT! And I can't wait. It's going to be an exciting fall here at asimsports, provided the Braves make the playoffs.

    • Purdue @ Notre Dame (NBC): I feel like I have to take Notre Dame here. But hear me out! If they lose, Brian Kelly will not have my trust again.
    • Kentucky @ Louisville (ABC/Gameplan): I keep forgetting how astronomically bad Louisville was last year. In a way, it's almost like they weren't even there, which was kind of true in a literal sense as well. I'll take Kentucky for now though.
    • California-Los Angeles @ Kansas State (ABC/ESPN2/Gameplan): Woooo - does UCLA's Socal trust busting begin on the plains of Kansas? Perhaps. Both these teams are rebuilding big time, but I think UCLA is a little further ahead than the Wildcats.
    • Connecticut @ Michigan (ABC/ESPN2/ I'm still not entirely sure Michigan even has a quarterback, but I'm going to roll with them anyway.
    • Texas vs. Rice (@Houston, TX; ESPN/ Well, I already spent my smart-guy JFK reference in the Big 12 OOC Schedule Preview, so I don't really have anything here other than wish they could play it actually at Rice and not in some fancy NFL stadium. And Iron Bowl should still be played at Legion Field, and the Cotton Bowl should still be played at.... you get the idea.
    • North Texas @ Clemson (ESPNU): Clemson.
    • Jacksonville State @ Mississippi (SEC/Gameplan): Ole Miss.
    • Washington State @ Oklahoma State (FSN): Oklahoma State may be rebuilding here, but I'm pretty sure their metaphorical gun has a few more bullets than Wazzou's.
    • Memphis @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): I'm not really sure that Miss State will win here, but they should. Wait, did I use that gimmick already? Well, guess what, I just did it again! What are you going to do about it, huh? Yeah. That's what I thought.
    • Washington @ Brigham Young (CBSCS): Does Jake Locker exact vengeance on the bogus personal foul call from a few years ago? (By the way, those could get a lot more bogus next year. More on that later.) Anyway, I don't think so. I still like BYU here.
    • Arkansas State @ Auburn (SEC on FSN/Gameplan): WHOOPS (when I originally wrote this I didn't see the "State" in "Arkansas State"). Auburn rolls.
    7:30: Northwestern @ Vanderbilt (SEC/Gameplan): Godspeed, Robbie Caldwell. Now hopefully your games are as entertaining as your press conferences, as you'll probably only begin to realize the magnitude of your task here (a.k.a., realize why Bobby Johnson just woke up one morning in the middle of this summer and said "I quit!"). Oh, and I'll take NU here.

    7:45: Texas Christian vs. Oregon State (@Arlington, TX; ESPN): It's the first edition of football schedules in the Intergalactic Space Palace, and it should be a doozy. I like TCU here, but Oregon State should put up a great fight.

    8:00: Louisiana State vs. North Carolina (@Atlanta, GA; ABC): Well, I can't say I liked Carolina much before this "academic fraud" business started because I still have no idea how they will score any points. Now, I'm not sure how LSU is going to score points either, but they seem to have gotten pretty far in spite of themselves. I think the EDSBS Live! folks summed it up best - this will either be a "cynical game" with a final score of 8-6 or a 3-2 "thriller" a la that Auburn-Miss State game from a couple of years ago.

    10:00: Cincinnati @ Fresno State (ESPN2): Cincy has a great chance to prove they can still win without their greatest coach ever, but it won't be easy. I think they hold court in THE VALLEY, though.

    11:00: Wisconsin @ Nevada-Las Vegas (Versus): Wisconsin.

    2:00: Tulsa @ East Carolina (ESPN2): Here's some good early season C-USA goodness for ya. There should at least be a lot of points. And remember, you probably have Monday off! So just sit around and enjoy some more football. Also, I like Tulsa. (Is it just me, or am I picking a lot of away games? Hrm.)

    3:30: Southern Methodist @ Texas Tech (ESPN): Texas Tech begins their shameful OOC schedule run against the Mustangs, who at least are actually better than when TTU originally scheduled this game.

    4:00: Navy vs. Maryland (@Baltimore, MD; ESPN): I like this game, despite the fact there's a very real chance Maryland will embarrass the ACC by losing it. And I actually think they will. It's just hard to see what Maryland will be able to do this year, as one of the trio of schools with coaches who more closely resemble zombies than head football coaches.

    8:00: Boise State vs. Virginia Tech (@Landover, MD; ESPN): By far the biggest game of opening weekend. Both these teams think they have a shot at the national title, and the loser is out, as neither has room for error. It should be fun, it should be intense, and it should be close. But in the end, I think VPI just a better team - their offense is sketchy, of course, but their defense is just so good. While of course Boise has had time to prepare, well, it's not Bud Foster has been sitting on his thumbs all summer, you know?

    Anyway, I'd like to wrap up this column with a little feature looking back at 20 years ago in college football. Now, the season in 1990 didn't actually begin until next weekend, but a few teams had played in the old "kickoff classics" the weekend before. One of them being the Colorado Buffaloes, who tied Tennessee 31-31 down in Anaheim in one of those games. They were ranked #5 in the pre-season AP poll, and would move down to #6 20 years ago this Monday. Georgia Tech was, at the time, unranked and had not yet played a game.

    At any rate, enjoy the first weekend! This should be a very interesting year of college football.

    Rating the 2010 Non-Conference Slate: Epilogue

    Editor's note: parts of this post have been shamelessly ripped-off from last year's. Sorry, but I don't have a lot of time right now.

    Before we can properly dive back in to college football, let's examine our treatment of the best, and worst, of college football scheduling this year. Unlike the previous editions, this has a bit of subjectiveness to it, after all, no one really cares what kind of schedule Duke plays - the point here is to reward or shame programs that should, well, know better.

    First, let's look at the worst OOC schedules in college football, this time sorted by their "legit average".
    Dis-honorable mentions: Virginia and Arizona State. While their 0.25 legit averages are too "high" for the below, they were the only two teams in major college football to schedule 2 DI-AA teams this year. So way to (not) go!

    The following teams had a 0.125 legit average, but they weren't even the worst in their conferences so I felt bad about pointing them out each, so I'll just list them here in no particular order: Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, and Arkansas. So without further adieu, here's the top 6 worst schedules in major college football:
    6. Rutgers (0.5 legit, 1 DI-AA): Norfolk State, @Florida International, North Carolina, Tulane, N-Army. The reason why they rate lower than the above with 1 BCS team is because of the 5 out-of-conference games (which is taken into account for the average). Nonetheless, this is a bad schedule. But it gets worse!
    5. California (0.25, 1): California-Davis, Colorado, @Nevada. With only 3 OOC games, it's hard for Pac-10 teams to appear here, but Cal managed to pull it off because there is nothing here. Perhaps you can cut them some slack because, hey, why would Colorado be this bad? Well, them's the breaks.
    4. Oklahoma State (0.25, 0): Washington State, Troy, Tulsa, @Louisiana-Lafayette. I didn't have much to say the first time I saw this schedule. I still really don't. It's just a poor effort by OSU. You'd think with all that money they could get some decent OOC scheduling, but hey at least it's not as bad as the next three.
    3. Mississippi State (0, 1): Memphis, Alcorn State, @Houston, Alabama-Birmingham. Last year's worst schedule, er, "winner", is vaulted to the top of the "0" heap thanks to the away game at Houston. The next two aren't so lucky.
    2. Mississippi (0, 1): Jacksonville State, @Tulane, Fresno State, Louisiana-Lafayette. They were the worst last year, but they've swapped places with Texas Tech for now. Still not great, though. Hopefully Fresno will give them the what-for.
    1. Texas Tech (0, 1): Southern Methodist, @New Mexico, Weber State, Houston. Seriously, is Texas Tech even trying? They were #2 last year, and I think this schedule is actually worse. Geez.

    With that over with, let's take a look at teams who decided to entertain all of us and perhaps helps themselves a little in the process. This is a little more stringent than the above, as I wanted to focus on teams that played more than 1 BCS school and interesting inter-regional matchups.5. Miami (1.75 legit, 1 DI-AA): Florida A&M, @Ohio State, @Pittsburgh, South Florida. Miami-Pitt reunite in a battle of former Big East foes, and Miami also travels to the Shoe in a rematch of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl that decided the national title.
    4. Pittsburgh (2.75, 1): @Utah, New Hampshire, Miami (FL), Florida International, @Notre Dame. They should be #1, but the average hurts them again with the 5 OOC teams. Nonetheless, this is a great schedule, even if they do play ND every year.
    3. Florida State (2.5, 1): Samford, @Oklahoma, Brigham Young, Florida. This is a good schedule as well, but they do have the rivalry game factor here that perhaps should push Miami or Pitt above them. Nonetheless, solid.
    1. Washington (1.75, 0): @Brigham Young, Syracuse, Nebraska. Well, I'll do now what I should've done earlier this week, which is consider Oregon State and Washington a tie for first. These are both good schedules and benefit from the average and not having any DI-AA teams on the schedule.
    1. Oregon State (1.75, 0): N-Texas Christian, Louisville, @Boise State. Nonetheless, Oregon State does have its two biggest OOC games away from home. That's definitely a factor in their favor.

    Well, that's that. Now, it's time to play the game and not talk about them! TV schedule should be up shortly.

    Rating the 2010 Non-Conference Slate, Part 6: SEC

    Let's hastily conclude our survey of the 2010 non-conference schedules with the Southeastern Conference.

    1. Louisiana State (1.5 legit, 1): N-North Carolina, West Virginia, McNeese State, Louisiana-Monroe. Well, that UNC game's lost a little lustre in the past two weeks, with the entire starting Carolina defense potentially ineligible. Otherwise, WVU-LSU matches perhaps two of the most inebriated fanbases in college football, with the rest of the schedule consists of the requisite DI-AA sacrifice and a Sun Belt team.
    2. Florida (1.5, 1): Miami (OH), South Florida, Appalachian State, @Florida State. Nope, wrong Miami! At any rate, when a rivalry game and USF propel to a tie for first place in your conference's OOC schedules, well, that's pretty bleak I'd say. Let's soldier on.
    3. Georgia (1.25, 1): Louisiana-Lafayette, @Colorado, Idaho State, Georgia Tech. Well, in fairness, there were points in the past 10-15 years in which Colorado would rate above a 0.25. This is not that time, as most observers would say that Dan Hawkins is only around because the university can't afford to fire him, and that they may even have to delay their entry to the Pac-10 due to money issues. As for UGA, well, they do have both "halves" of the 1990 national title on their schedule, so that's interesting, even if they play half of that every year anyway.
    4. Alabama (1.25, 1): San Jose State, Pennsylvania State, @Duke, Georgia State. Penn State: good! The rest of this schedule: horrendous! I'm sure someone will wax poetic about the olden days of the SIAA or whatever by visiting Wallace Wade. Nonetheless, I think Georgia State traveling to Tuscaloosa to cap off their inaugural season will make the time Bill Curry had a brick tossed through his window seem pleasant by comparison.
    5. Vanderbilt (1, 0): Northwestern, @Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, Wake Forest. This is a pretty solid Vandy schedule, and if they have a good year they could win all these games. Or they could lose three of them. Them's the breaks when you're Vandy.
    6. Tennessee (1, 1): Tennessee-Martin, Oregon, Alabama-Birmingham, @Memphis. Tennessee throws Memphis a bone by traveling to the Liberty Bowl, otherwise, there's not much to see here except for Tennessee's bi-annual West Coast roadtrip.
    7. South Carolina (1, 1): Southern Mississippi, Furman, Troy, @Clemson. Them's pickin's? Yeah, they're starting to get slim.
    8. Auburn (1, 1): Arkansas State, Clemson, Louisiana-Monroe, Tennessee-Chattanooga. Well, at least Auburn-Clemson isn't an annual rivalry. Nonetheless, USM pushed South Carolina over the edge in terms of a tiebreaker. But, hey, Tigers-Tigers, woo!
    9. Arkansas (0.5, 1): Tennessee Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, N-Texas Agricultural and Mechanical, Texas-El Paso. Outside of the now-annual rivalry matchup at Jerry Jones's Intergalactic Space Palace, there's not much to see here. An easy schedule for a potential SEC/national darkshorse.
    10. Kentucky (0.5, 1): @Louisville, Western Kentucky, Akron, Charleston Southern. Noir Rich Brooks thinks your schedule is weak, weak like the firing pin of a gun that's been fired one too many times.
    11. Mississippi State (0, 1): Memphis, Alcron State, @Houston, Alabama-Birmingham. Okay, Houston is probably worth more than "0", which is what broke the tie with their cross-state comrades down at...
    12. Mississippi (0, 1): Jacksonville State, @Tulane, Fresno State, Louisiana-Lafayette. Well, okay, Fresno State is perhaps roughly equivalent to Houston, but still, come on! It's like half this conference isn't even trying, but then again, ESS-EEE-CEE! WOO!
    That's all I got for now. I'll put together a slapdash epilogue as well, just give me a minute.