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Old 03-12-2009, 07:05 PM   #1
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Default That's Right ... Week 1 College Football Preview

2009 Week 1 College Football Preview

By Kevin Beane

Before I get to the most interesting games of week 1, a couple of general notes:

* Will have to wait a few days more for college football this year. No August games. The Thursday night that traditionally starts the season will be September 3rd.

* People dump on the SEC for the poor non-conference schedule and unwillingness to travel. They're getting better, though. Of the 11 SEC teams in action opening weekend, five are on the road (although that includes a neutral site game). The six SEC home games leave a lot to be desired, though — the opponents are Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky, and four 1-AA teams (yes, I still refuse to call it the Football Championship Subdivision).

Here are the games I have my eye on early. I'm not going to bother with kickoff times because so few are set:

South Carolina @ North Carolina State (Thursday) — For the second year in a row, the season kicks off with this clash of the most mediocre the SEC and the ACC have to offer.

Nevada @ Notre Dame — Notre Dame awarded Nevada with this game because a few years ago, Nevada rearranged their schedule to the benefit of Notre Dame and BYU. This is also why Notre Dame played San Diego State last year. The difference is Nevada has a shot against Notre Dame (although the SDSU game was close, too). It would be a program-defining milestone for a Wolf Pack program that has already been on the uptick for several years.

BYU vs. Oklahoma @ Dallas — In Dallas? Someone help me with some sort of Red River Shootout/Mormon pun. I'm sure the BYU traveling faithful will be shocked by the big city excesses and decadence of Dallas, and would find Norman much more their speed. But money talks. Should be a very good game, though ... and actually I'm just angling for Mormons to leave angry comments.

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech @ Atlanta — You would think a game matching the defending SEC regular season champ vs. the ACC champ on a neutral field would be an exciting prospect, but somehow I feel like I am including this game only out of obligation.

Oregon @ Boise State — Boise State won 37-32 in Eugene last year and I feel like the over/under on this game should be about 100, particularly taking place in week 1 as it does.

Georgia @ Oklahoma State — This, and not Alabama/Virginia Tech, is the most compelling SEC game, and maybe any game, of opening week. Can Oklahoma State join Missouri and Texas Tech as elite opposition to the traditional Big 12 powers? Seems that every other year they are on the brink of doing just that, and then they regress.

Minnesota @ Syracuse — Minnesota is another school with a reputation of scheduling light. You know these games are set years and years in advance, and Syracuse used to be pretty good. Do you suppose the Gophers inked this game and said, "Ah ha! Now they'll respect us!"

Missouri vs. Illinois @ St. Louis — This game has evolved into the best annual opening week game. Sorry, Colorado/Colorado State.

Maryland @ Cal — Wow, did I take a bath last year when the Terps, who looked atrocious to that point, beat Cal, who had looked excellent. My money is staying far, far away from this one.

LSU at Washington — See "Minnesota @ Syracuse."

Miami @ Florida State (Monday) — These teams usually battle it out Labor Day night, but last year, they played in midseason and we got Tennessee at UCLA instead. Glad to have this one back even though the teams are a shadow of their former selves. It's a tradition.

Never too early ... what game are you looking forward to?
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by KevinBeane
Can Oklahoma State join Missouri and Texas Tech as elite opposition to the traditional Big 12 powers?
Why Missouri over Kansas?

Originally Posted by KevinBeane
Missouri vs. Illinois @ St. Louis — This game has evolved into the best annual opening week game. Sorry, Colorado/Colorado State.
I disagree. Missouri vs. Illinois has been the most overhyped opening week game by sports pundits, while the Colorado/Colorado State match-up never gets any national attention yet rarely disappoints. I'd rather watch the Buffs and the Rams.

I am most excited for the Kansas State/UMASS game in Manhattan. Because that's where I'll be. For the return of Bill Snyder.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Florida State vs. Miami is hardly a Labor Day tradition, it is more a marketing scheme by the ACC. Traditionally FSU and Miami played each other around Columbus Day before the Canes joined the ACC.
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