College Football Week One 2009 Preview
Ah, my life is complete once again. College football, how I’ve missed you. Sure, we have the draft in the spring, but it just isn’t even to satiate my yearning for the clash of helmets on the field.
Week One is usually not very exciting, unfortunately. My favorite team, Penn State, plays Akron, so although this game means they’ll likely be able to keep a high rank, it won’t actually be that fun to watch. Actually, I don’t even think the game is being televised… Maybe I’m selling Akron short. *shrug*
In any case, despite all of the easy non-conference games we’re seeing during Week One, there are some games to watch as well. The season officially starts on Thursday at 7:00 PM EST, when a number of teams kick off, but the real start to the season, in my opinion, is at 10:15 PM EST when #16 Oregon takes on #14 Boise State. The games on ESPN, and you bet I’ll be watching. Boise State has a lot more on the line than Oregon, since it will be harder for them to be bowl eligible as a WAC team than it will for Oregon as a Pac-10 team. It’s also at Boise State, and Kellen Moore is a solid quarterback, so I give them the edge in this game.
Another game to watch? San Jose State at #4 USC, with a kickoff at 3:30 PM EST on Saturday. Now, no one here expects this to be a close game. In fact, if USC doesn’t run all over San Jose State, I think you’ll have to pick my jaw up off of the floor. I want to see the freshman golden boy quarterback play, though. People put so much emphasis on Pete Carroll’s choice to play true freshman Matt Barkley instead of returner Aaron Corp. This game will really test him to see if he can handle the pressure of being the leader of such a popular team. Will Corp get any playing time at all? We’ll see.
The USC game isn’t nationally televised, so I’ll have to keep up with it online…but that’s ok, since my eyes will be glued to the 3:30 PM EST game on ABC: #13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State. My heart is with Oklahoma State on this one, but it isn’t going to be an easy game by any means. They’ve lost Matt Stafford, but if Joe Cox, their new quarterback, really steps up, they could be the surprise of the SEC this year. Florida who? This game is going to set the stage for Georgia for the entire season, so I feel like they’ll fight tooth and nail for it, but Oklahoma State isn’t going to just bend over and take it. They have a huge number of returning starters and are also looking to set the stage for a surprising season. Otherwise, they’ll never be competitive in the Big 12.
On a side note, I’ll also be checking in with the 3:40 game, Missouri versus Illinois. The teams aren’t ranked, but I think it will be an even match up and a good game. Big Ten love!
At 7:00 PM, another possibly great game hits ESPN – #20 BYU versus #2 Oklahoma. Ok, I may be going against the grain a little here when I say that I think BYU is overrated. I do love that they’re helping to make a name for a non-BCS conference, which pushes the issue of a playoff system. Do they have a good enough offensive line to beat Oklahoma? What about receivers? They may have the defense they need to keep Oklahoma’s numbers down, even though OU has some amazing returners like Sam Bradford, but you can’t win if you don’t put any points on the board. My vote for winner definitely does to Oklahoma. Sorry, BYU, better luck next year.
Just an hour after the BYU-OU game starts, #5 Alabama meets #7 Virginia Tech on the field, the game televised on ABC. This is a tricky game to predict, in my opinion. The Hokies may take the ACC, and Tyrod Taylor is back at quarterback. Is that enough to top Alabama? The Crimson Tide are replacing great offensive players like Andre Smith, and they have a new quarterback, but players like Mark Ingram could make the difference in this game. Like with Georgia, Alabama needs to win this game to set the stage for the season if they’re going to be competitive in the SEC.
It’s going to be a great Week One – better than we’ve seen in quite a few seasons. I’ll also be interested to see how Notre Dame does against Nevada – an easy win for the Fighting Irish, maybe, but I want to see is quarterback Jimmy Clausen can really put up numbers. Also on my radar is Maryland at #12 California, which starts late Saturday night and Miami at #18 Florida State which is on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST on Monday.