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Old 09-21-2006, 07:36 PM   #1
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Saturday, Sept. 23
Penn State at Ohio State
The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes welcome Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions to the Horseshoe on Saturday, Sept. 23. QB Troy Smith, RB Antonio Pittman and electric WR Ted Ginn Jr. are the key cogs in the Buckeyes offensive attack, while the defense is faced with replacing 9 starters from the nation's fifth ranked defense. JoePa’s squad only returns five starters on offense and four on defense, so the new starters will have to step up and play well quickly. Many sportsbooks have the Buckeyes challenging for the national championship, and the Buckeyes will be betting favorites in this game.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Wisconsin at Michigan
QB Chad Henne and the Michigan Wolverines host the Wisconsin Badgers in a Big Ten battle on Saturday, Sept. 23. Michigan hopes that Henne and returning RB Mike Hart can help the Wolverines improve on their 7-5 record and avenge a 23-20 defeat to Wisconsin last season. Wisconsin finished 10-3 last season, and many sports betting fans believe the Badgers have an outside shot at challenging for the Big Ten title. The Big House is a very tough place to play, and the Wolverines will be solid sportsbook favorites in this matchup.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Kentucky at Florida
The Kentucky Wildcats travel to Gainesville on Saturday, Sept. 23 to face Chris Leak and the Florida Gators. Kentucky finished last year with a 3-8 record, including a 49-28 thrashing by the Gators at home. If Kentucky hopes to hang with Florida, its offense, ranked 107th last season, will need to play much better. Urban Meyer’s teams have a history of dramatic improvements on offense in his second season, and many sports betting fans are counting on just that. The Gators are nearly impossible to beat in The Swamp, and the Gators will be huge sportsbook favorites to beat the Wildcats.

Saturday, Sept. 23
North Carolina at Clemson
Tommy Bowden and the Clemson Tigers will host the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday, Sept. 23. The Tigers finished a respectable 8-4 last season, including a 19-10 victory over Colorado in the Champs Sports Bowl, but face the daunting task of replacing their all-time leading QB Charlie Whitehurst. However, with 8 returning starters on offense and 7 returning starters on defense, many sportsbooks are projecting Clemson to finish high in the ACC title chase despite an early loss to Boston College. North Carolina finished 5-6 last season, and most sportsbooks are predicting a similar finish this year. Clemson will be solid sportsbook favorites in this game.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Arizona State at California
The Arizona State Sun Devils hit the road to face the Cal Golden Bears. Arizona State went 7-5 last season was involved in a bunch of high scoring shootouts, as the Sun Devils' offense was ranked No. 2 in the nation, but their defense struggled. Many sportsbooks are predicting a similar finish for Arizona State this year. California is a trendy pick to challenge USC for the Pac-10 title this season, but the Bears will need to play better than they did in their blowout opening loss at Tennessee. Cal will be solid sportsbook favorites to beat Arizona State at home.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Alabama at Arkansas
Head coach Houston Nutt and the Arkansas Razorbacks welcome the Alabama Crimson Tide and stud RB Kenneth Darby to town on Saturday, Sept. 23. Darby rushed for 1,242 yards last season and is looking to improve upon that number this year. Alabama’s defense finished last season ranked No. 2 in the country, but only has four starters returning to that squad. If Bama’s defense can quickly come together, the Tide could challenge for the SEC title once again. Look for Alabama to be slight sportsbook favorites on the road.

Saturday, Sept. 23
USC at Arizona
Pete Carroll and the USC Trojans will face a stiff early season test as they travel to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats and their Desert Swarm defense. QB John David Booty appears ready and able to fill the shoes of departed QB Matt Leinart, and his play could be the key to the Trojans’ success this season. Arizona head coach Mike Stoops always preaches defense first, so look for the Wildcats to attack Booty from the very first snap. If Booty plays well, many sportsbooks predict USC could challenge for another national title. USC will be sportsbook favorites to win this game, although it could be closer than many experts think.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Notre Dame at Michigan State
Heisman trophy front-runner Brady Quinn and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel to Spartan Stadium to face Michigan State on Saturday, Sept. 23. Notre Dame is hoping to avenge last year’s thrilling 44-41 loss in South Bend, which was the highlight of the Spartans’ season. Michigan State returns only 6 starters from last year’s defensive corps, so another high scoring shootout is a distinct possibility. Many sportsbooks have listed Notre Dame as one of the favorites to win the national championship, and the Irish will be college football sportsbook favorites to win this game on the road.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Minnesota at Purdue
A traditional Big Ten rivalry will take place once again at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 23 when Purdue hosts Minnesota. Purdue’s offense ranked 25th in the country last season, and the Boilermakers are hoping new QB Curtis Palmer can keep up the production. Minnesota will need to replace RB Laurence Maroney, who gained 1,464 yards last season, and hope that QB Bryan Cupito can continue his steady play. Minnesota is projected by many sportsbooks to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten, and the Gophers should be slight college football betting sportsbook favorites in this game.

Saturday, Sept. 23
UCLA at Washington
The UCLA Bruins, led by freshman QB Ben Olson, will travel to Husky Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 23 to face the Washington Huskies. Washington finished a dismal 2-9 last season, including 1-8 in the Pac-10, and head coach Tyrone Willingham is preaching patience to the Husky fans. UCLA must be salivating at the chance to play against Washington’s defense, which ranked 94th in the country last season. Many college football betting fans are betting on another dismal season by the Huskies, who will be sportsbook underdogs at home against the Bruins.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Iowa at Illinois
The Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Champaign to face the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday, Sept. 23. Iowa won last year’s matchup 35-7 and hopes to produce a similar result this year. Illinois finished the 2006 season with a 2-9 record, including 0-8 in the Big Ten, and many sportsbooks predict Illinois will finish in the cellar of the conference once again. Look for the Hawkeyes to be college football betting favorites on the road.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Colorado at Georgia
The Colorado Buffaloes travel in between the hedges to face SEC power Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 23. Colorado finished a mediocre 7-6 last season, but has taken a step back this year, as they lost their first two games of the season, including one to I-AA Montana State. With Joe Tereshinski hurt, Georgia head coach Mark Richt will turn freshman QB Matthew Stafford. If the talented Stafford matures quickly, many sportsbooks predict Georgia could challenge for the SEC East division title. The Bulldogs will be solid college football betting favorites at home.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Iowa State at Texas
The defending national champion Texas Longhorns, led by new starting QB Colt McCoy, host the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday, Sept. 23. Texas will need for McCoy to continue his impressive opening game play, although he struggled in a loss to Ohio State. Iowa State finished last season with a 7-5 record, but with 10 starters returning on offense, Cyclone fans are optimistic about challenging for the Big 12 North division title. Many sports betting fans were wagering on a Texas return to the national championship game, which may be unlikely after the loss to the Buckeyes, but the Longhorns will be huge college football betting favorites at home in this game.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Boston College at North Carolina State
The Boston College Eagles travel to Carter-Finley Stadium to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday, Sept. 23. The Eagles finished tied for first in the ACC Atlantic Division with a 9-3 record last year and are looking to duplicate that success in 2006. BC and NC State played last year in Chestnut Hill, with the Eagles prevailing 30-10. NC State lost stud DE Mario Williams to the NFL and has many other holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Boston College is projected by many sportsbooks to finish second in their division, and the Eagles should be slight college football betting favorites to beat the Wolfpack.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Tulane at LSU
The Tulane Green Wave will pay a visit to Death Valley on Saturday, Sept. 23 to face the LSU Tigers. Tulane finished 2006 with a 2-9 record, which is amazing considering the chaos inflicted on the program by Hurricane Katrina. LSU had an excellent 2006 campaign, winning the SEC West division title and finishing ranked No. 6 in the final polls. This year’s Tigers squad will have to find a replacement for RB Joseph Addai and six new starters on defense. Many college football betting fans have penciled LSU into the SEC Championship Game, and the Tigers will be huge sportsbook favorites over Tulane in this game.
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:43 AM   #2
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Good post and info. Thanks.
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