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So the college football season is off to a roaring start.
We have pundits calling for the Auburn Tigers to make the College Football Playoff despite the fact that they simply didn't pass the eye test against the Louisville Cardinals. We have David Pollack proclaiming that the Ohio State Buckeyes will have the most prolific offense in NCAA history because they were able to move the ball against a middle of the pack ACC team in the Virginia Tech Hokies. And we have Danny Kanell and Joey Galloway declaring the imminent rise of the UCLA Bruins based on the performance of a freshman QB against a godawful Virginia Cavaliers squad. I should also mention that, as usual, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are poised to make a title run because they beat a truly terrible team (the Texas Longhorns). I somehow thought the Irish butt-kissing would end with Lou Holtz leaving ESPN. I was clearly wrong.
That's right folks... its Week 2 and histrionics and hyperbole are the name of the game. You could listen to a bunch of guys who are paid to get page views and stir up controversy... or you could just watch the games yourself and draw your own conclusions*. To that end, here are the contests worthy of your time this weekend:
I guess? Your Thursday options are pretty limited. Don't fret though. Soon the ACC will be here to provide your Thursday night entertainment.
I can't imagine a more vanilla in-state rivalry than this, but at least Utah seems to be a quality team and presumably there is some kind of ill-will between the two schools. That should be enough to get you moderately enthusiastic this early in the season.
I don't know that this will be much of a game, but it may be the best of the early bunch. USF looked surprisingly solid in their opening game (albeit against lesser competition), so this one should at least be interesting early.
Georgia should dominate and Chubb should run wild, which I will very much enjoy. Vanderbilt is in a rough spot here as they simply aren't very good. On the plus side, at least the beating they are destined to endure will be less embarrassing than losing to Temple.
Its hard not to recommend an in-state rivalry game (especially this early in the season). Even though neither team may be a title contender, its always a blast to watch kids battle it out for the pride that comes from being the best in the state.
Let's find out how legit Tennessee is, shall we?
Undoubtedly the best game of the week, Michigan State needs to make a statement to improve the status of the Big 10. Another major loss for the conference and all the progress they made last year will be seriously diminished. While that may be silly in the context of a quality contest like Oregon v. Mich. St., such is the nature of the battle for conference superiority.
Can BYU pull off another last minute upset? Probably not, but let's all stay up until 1 am and find out!
As the weeks go on, the landscape should begin to clarify itself. And you have the added benefit of being able to look back on some of the claims that are being made now and mercilessly mock "the experts" who are so sure that they have everything figured out. I've been watching college football religiously for more than a quarter century and the one certainty of the sport that I've come to understand is that it cannot be effectively predicted. You'd think that "professionals" would've figured this out by now.
That's all for this week folks. Until next time...
*In case you can't tell, I don't have a great deal of respect for the sports media. As such, I avoid the AP Poll and use the Coaches Poll rankings because, flawed though they may be, I have at least a little bit of confidence that the voters there know what the hell they're talking about.