Friday, September 29, 2006

CFB Weekend Preview

Don't forget to drop by the blog all day Saturday for our "Commenting Tailgate." It runs all day long, and you can pop in to analyze pre-game, mid-game and post-game -- or just check out what everyone else is saying.

The biggest game of the weekend, by far, is No. 1 Ohio St at No. 13 Iowa. It is, arguably, OSU's toughest game of the season. (Sorry, Michigan fans.)

I don't see it being easy, but I don't see Ohio St. losing either. (See Auburn's 24-17 win over S. Carolina last night.) Iowa strikes me as a wee bit overrated, and I'm sure there are Big Ten-specialist bloggers who can back me up. (Disclosure: As a Northwestern fan, I sort of loathe Iowa football by rule.)

The thing that impresses me so much about OSU is that the vaunted offense ain't THAT great, but the offseason-dissed D is fantastic. They produce big plays, and just a handful of big plays win big games.

This weekend's picks:

1 Ohio St over at 13 Iowa
3 USC over at Washington St.
5 Florida over Alabama
6 Michigan over at Minnesota
7 Texas over Sam Houston St.
9 LSU over Mississippi St.
10 Georgia over at Mississippi
11 VA Tech over 24 GA Tech
12 Notre Dame over Purdue
14 Oregon over at Arizona St
15 Tennessee over at Memphis
18 Clemson over LA Tech
20 Cal over at Oregon St.
21 Nebraska over Kansas
22 Boise St over at Utah (TRAP)
23 Rutgers over at S. Florida
25 Missouri over Colorado

What's the upshot? I've got no upsets this week. What that means is that STYLE POINTS will be in full effect. HOW a team wins can (and should) matter. It's not about the margin of victory but its quality is important.

Commenters: Aside from the obvious (Ohio St. vs Iowa), what's your most intriguing games/storylines/subplots this weekend?

-- D.S.


whocares said...


Dont worry about the OSU/UM game being a possible 1-2 matchup. If they both go undefeated then the unstoppable rebel force that is ESPN will see to it that they are 1 and 2. No question. Which is total bullshit.

thistlewarrior said...

I have Purdue over ND. I still believe the irish are overrated (MSU handed that game to them on a silver platter) and Purdue has quietly gone undefeated.

jhawkjjm said...

As you can see by the name, I'm interested in the KU-Nebraska game. Last year KU broke the streak and will be looking for 2 in a row. I think the Husker's are overrated and get the "big name" treatment that teams like ND, Miami, FSU etc get.

And I'd have to agree that this is OSU's toughest game. It's on the road whereas they get Michigan at home. Michigan is a better team than Iowa, but they have to go to OSU. That's the reason I'd say this is the toughest game.

I think Colorado will beat Mizzou. Mizzou hasn't played anyone while Colorado has played a couple big games. That and then I can make fun of all the MU coworkers for losing to a team that lost to a 1-AA at home! Unfortunately I think Rutgers may stuggle as USF, but hopefully they will win.

TJ said...

Don't overlook the Rutgers-USF game tonite. Rutgers needs this one to have a real handle on the #3 spot in the Big East, and they'll be out for revenge over USF's win at Rutgers last year.

Not only does Rutgers need this win--the Big East needs it. I'm a shameless USF homer (my brother goes to school there) but I'll admit that since Rutgers now has national respect--and since USF has none--Rutgers winning this game allows the Big East to promote itself as having a "big 3," which is more than the PAC-10, Big 12, or ACC can claim.

All that being said, USF's defense is sick this year. But USF's offense is so bad it's responsible for giving up about as many touchdowns as the defense. If freshman QB Matt Grothe gets into a groove early, look for a close, tight, hard-fought 24-21ish game between two rising programs.

TJ said...

What ludakris means is that USF has won 40 of its last 48 at home. Which is, last time I checked, pretty decent.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Um, I'm not gonna pretend that I'm objective about this, but I am gonna go ahead and say that for probably the first time, you've really lost me.

In the middle of the Notre Dame thrashing in South Bend, some ABC dumbass had the stultitude to say something very similar about Iowa being OSU's 'biggest challenge' or the team OSU 'really has to watch out for.' I thought maybe he didn't have any monitors in studio, so he was missing Super Mario Manningham's clinic and Woodley, Burgess, and Co.'s assault and battery of B. Quinn, who apparently still seems like a good choice for pro teams. I hope the Lions get him so they can finally use Rogers (oops...) and Williams and Williams to one-millionth of their potential.

But how could you, Dan? I thought you watched CFB, I thought you knew this stuff. This is what you had going for you that The Sports Fellow never would. And now you come up with this?

I don't know if you've seen Michigan's Rushing Against numbers, but if you think that Blue is gonna have the Vince Young-Troy Smith-Running-quarterbacks-destroy-us problems that they've had the last two seasons, I'm gonna let you know now that that's not right. And if Troy needs a getaway scramble-touchdown pass to keep his Heisman bid floating during a statistically poor game, I think I might be able to tell you when his Heisman Campaign Train will be derailed.

And I thought you were one of the few people who resists inertia enough to recognize Manningham's potential bid for same trophy. If I can throw a couple more names at you: Mike Hart. Steve Breaston. Plus tons of guys who can make a big play when they need to, especially when there's a lot of attention being paid to some aforementioned jerseys.

But yeah. Iowa should be pretty tough. They really gave it to Illinois.

TBender said...

The Georgia Institute of Technology versus Virginia Polytechnic and State University. As a previous commenter said, the winner RSVPs for the ACC Championship Game.

Another, slightly off the Top25 game to watch, Houston vs Miami. (Not to be confused with Miami vs Houston happening on Sunday.) Are the Canes done? Is UH for real?

Doug said...

I agree with Manninghaheisman that Michigan will be a tougher opponent. However, he's dead wrong about how Iowa "nearly lost to Iowa State" -- that game had a close score, but Iowa was in control from the 2nd qtr on. As for the Syracuse game, Iowa used a 2nd-string QB on the road who had never started before and he was predictably shaky.

Iowa's offense has sputtered this year and KF's reputation may be what's lofting them in the polls.

In spite of all that, I think Iowa and Michigan will beat OSU.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

To back up a little bit and address the issue of Iowa actually being a challenge:

Yes. I think (I'm afraid) that Iowa can definitely beat OSU. I'm hoping for an undefeated matchup in November, but I think this is one of the most likely stumbling blocks to that scenario's fulfillment. Well, that and Ball State.

Why Columbus this year?? I was in the 4th row last year in Ann Arbor! I don't even want to try to predict the eventual price of tickets to The Game.

Jake C said...

I think Michigan will be a tougher challenge. But, as for intriguing matchups this week...look no further than the ACC. GA Tech has a real chance at upsetting VA Tech. If Reggie Ball can play a half decent game, that defense may pull them through.

Badass Of The Year said...

I'm thinking this is the week the Hokies go down, I got a feeling Calvin Johnson will make SportsCenter's Top 10.

Iowa is gonna be tough for OSU, but the hype of the Michigan game, plus the Henne-Hart-Manningham trifecta will make it interesting, the only thing that makes this easier and gives OSU the edge there is that they get the friendly Shoe surroundings. I can't wait to peep ebay and see what the tkts are going for on that.

You can't discount Iowa based on the Iowa St. game. That's an instate rivalry that always gives them fits, that's Iowa State's super bowl. Like Texas vs. A&M or OU, even if you are having a craptastic year, that's the game you really go balls out to win.

But as a Longhorns supporter, I gotta say, "Go Bucks!"

Unknown said...

In conference games are always tougher. Iowa will stay close, but will lose.

Houston and Miami is interesting. I'm a small-school fan, so I probably have more faith in the little guys. If the Miami offense is truly terrible, they'll haev a tough time as Houston will put up a few points.

Virginia Tech is terribly overrated. I work here at VT, I've seen them 3 times so far in person, and there just isn't much to them. Their schedule has been pathetic. The whole Lane Stadium crowd deal...meh. Georgia Tech wins a close one, but convincingly.

Trent said...

I'm looking forward to Navy/UConn. I want to see 600 combined rushing yards with 4 completed passes. Its like a 1889 game all over again.

jhawkjjm said...


As others have mentioned, Nebraska is a HUGE name in college football. Granted one of their national championships was a going away present to Osbourne when the coaches voted Nebraska over Michigan that year. I don't know the exact number but I'm sure Husker fans will, but they had some ridiculous streak of 9 win seasons that ended just two or three years ago. Oh and if this was basketball, then KU would be the marquee name, not Nebraska.

Maher said...

As a Buckeye fan I am *afraid* of Iowa.

Maybe not as afraid of the team as I should be, but certainly afraid of the night game on the road during the Big Ten season. Reminds me too much of the game at Wisconsin a few years ago.

Drew Tate has always looked good, and every year I hear how Ferentz is so great he should be in the NFL.

I'm still worried about Michigan in the distance, but please don't tell me how you are going to contain Troy Smith *this* year.

2005: QB rating of 105 v. Michigan
2004: QB rating of 121.8 v. Mich

be realistic. this year is going to be a shootout with scoring similar to FSU/UF or a random Pac10 game.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

a) that looks like a significant decline, hope that's not a trend! Is that what you were trying to demonstrate?


2) I'm pretty sure my point was that UM's D is different this year. And better.

In any case, we'll see.

Anonymous said...

I'm with generik. Notre Dame has looked too shaky and has been rallying too hard to get W's. They're due for a big letdown.

Jen said...

chris maher: I have been thinking about the SAME Wisconsin game all week. Ugh, I think I had about 4 coronaries and 10 heart attacks. I don't think I watched the whole game either.

I can't wait until tomorrow night, and I think it's going to be a close game, but Ohio State will cover.

Jen said...

Purdue/ND is always a great game. I'm looking forward to that one.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Ohhhh, he was talking about that game.

I think Jim Sorgi was having some kind of health problems during that game too...

Oh yeah, Robert Reynolds choked him.

Did they burn down Columbus after that one, too?

Buck the Fuckeyes! Haha, suckers!

Ok, I'm done.
For now.

BobbyStompy said...

3 USC over at Washington St.

WSU ain't just gonna roll over.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Umm.. is the CFB Tailgate hiding from me? Wha Happen?