Labor Day Weekend College Preview
Weekend Six-Pack: In this section I will attempt to correctly predict the winner of 6 college football games through foolproof methods such as rolling dice, flipping coins, and ascertaining the position of heavenly bodies. I will dutifully make sure all of the 6 BCS conferences are represented. Typically, the game I choose to predict will be the ‘marquee’ game in that conference for that particular week.
ACC Game: Miami at Florida St.
I’m as surprised as anyone that Wake/Vandy is not the ACC’s top game this weekend. Miami, to put it simply, owns Florida St. The Seminoles have not beaten the ‘Canes since I was a senior in high school. Back then, Y2K was still several months away, Britney was still wholesome, and Lancaster did not have a Taco Bell. Florida St. will take the collar against Miami for my college career as they lose their 7th in a row in the series.
Big East Game: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
The Irish battle the Panthers in a prime time tilt to open the season. Pittsburgh QB Tyler Palko and WR Greg Lee are the best players on the field and will prove to be the difference in a closely contested game.
Big 10 Game: Bowling Green at Wisconsin
Bowling Green goes into Camp Randall Stadium with Omar Jacobs, one of the top QBs in the nation. Bowling Green has played in hostile environments before, having lost by only 16 points last year at Oklahoma. No Erasmus James means no pass rush, so Jacobs will have time to throw against the Wisconsin defense. Wisconsin relies on its defense to win games and will not be able to win a high-scoring affair.
Winner: Bowling Green
Big 12 Game: Texas A&M at Clemson
In a courageous move, Texas A&M will travel to Clemson to open the season in prime time. The Aggies dominated last year’s game 27-6, but Charlie Whitehurst and the Clemson offense are simply too good to have another season where they struggle to score. Clemson also has a new offensive coordinator which should heighten their ability to put points on the board. Clemson wins a close one and gains momentum for the difficult schedule that lies ahead.
Pac 10 Game: Arizona at Utah
Mike Stoops looks for improvement in his second year as coach of the Wildcats, while Utah looks to continue its winning ways under new coach Kyle Whittingham. While Utah will certainly not be as dominating as last year, a win over a lower-level Pac 10 team should be the norm, especially at home.
SEC Game: Georgia Tech at Auburn
Auburn will roll at home over the Yellow Jackets despite the loss of their entire offensive backfield. Their defense is simply too tough, and the home crowd will be too much for QB Reggie Ball.
This section has 2 parts: Close but no Cigar and Upset City. Pretty self-explanatory.
Close but no Cigar:
Boston College at BYU: Provo is never an easy place to play, and despite the fact that BYU has been down in recent years, they should still give BC all they can handle.
Maryland Vs. Navy (Baltimore): Maryland’s offense got their struggle on last year finishing 109th in scoring offense. Their defense was the sole reason they won 5 games, including an upset over Florida St. Navy has shown steady progress under Paul Johnson (winning 2, 8, and finally 10 games in his 3 seasons), but never beating a legitimate team from a BCS conference (Duke and Vandy do not count). Navy will keep it close, but they simply lack the manpower to finish the job.
Miami (Ohio) at Ohio St.: MAC schools always seem to put a scare into their Big 10 brethren (Ohio St. beat Marshall on a last second FG last season) and occasionally beat them (Bowling Green over Purdue in 2003). Ohio St. has an uncanny knack for playing close games and this should be no different.
Northern Illinois at Michigan: Ditto. Joe Novak is a heckuva football coach, but winning in Ann Arbor will be a monumental task. His Huskies will keep it close, but succumb to Michigan’s superior athletes.
Minnesota at Tulsa: After this game, Glen Mason and his Gophers will indeed be livin’ on Tulsa time. Check out a few posts back and see how the Gophers struggled away from home last season. Tulsa, while certainly not a powerhouse, is just one year removed from a bowl berth so they are no patsy either. Tulsa in a shocker.
Boise St. at Georgia: If Boise is gonna win a road game at a BCS school, this is it. Georgia will be breaking in QB David Greene’s successor. They will also have to replace DE David Pollack, LB Odell Thurman, and S Dr. Tom Davis. Boise on the other hand returns 17 starters and will not be rattled by the atmosphere. Is Mark Richt worried? Boise ever.
Bowling Green at Wisconsin: See 6 Pack.
Enjoy the weekend.