Let me get it out of the way right off the bat: I love
college football. The pageantry
. The upsets. The day drinking. It has it all. This is the first installment in a series of as many as it takes that will highlight the key games on the college football schedule. Predictions will be based on factual evidence, speculation and deep-seeded animosity towards certain programs.Week 1:11 a.m.: Youngstown State at #2 Ohio State:
Last year we had the biggest upset of the season in the opening week when Division I-AA darlings Appalachian State played the David to Michigan's Goliath
. The Penguins of Youngstown State are, indeed, members of that pesky I-AA division and Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel used to coach at The Other Ohio State University. But none of that means anything when there's such a talent disparity on the gridiron.Feels like: Ohio State 34, Youngstown State 7In real life: Ohio State 43, Youngstown State 0
11 a.m.: Akron at #13 Wisconsin:
- Terrell Pryor made his much ballyhooed Buckeye debut as Ohio State absolutely disrobed the Penguins. Beanie Wells hurt his foot. He'll be OK.
Akron's nickname is the ZIps and it's where LeBron James
would have gone to college if he'd needed to. The Badgers like to jump up, jump up and get down
, but they always seem to let weaker teams hang around longer than they should.Feels like: Wisconsin 31, Akron 17In real life: Wisconsin 38, Akron 17
- The Badgers racked up 404 yards on the ground. P.J. Hill accounted for 210 of them.
11 a.m: Coastal Carolina at #22 Penn State:
I've never even heard of Coastal Carolina. Research tells me they named their mascot after a feisty rooster in Chaucher's Canterbury Tales
. Joe Paterno knew Chaucher, and you, Coastal Carolina, are no Chaucher.Feels like: Penn State 61, Coastal Carolina 3
In real life: Penn State 66, Coastal Carolina 10
- JoePa notches his 373rd career win.
11 a.m.: Syracuse at Northwestern:
In a battle of highly regarded journalism schools
, the advantage always goes to the squad closer to their home newsroom. Plus, the Orange were 2-10 last season.Feels like: Northwestern 24, Syracuse 20In real life: Northwestern 30, Syracuse 10
11:30 a.m.: Hawaii at #5 Florida:
- Can't wait to read Monday's recap in the Daily Northwestern. Out of respect I'll check out the one in the Daily Orange.
The (Rainbow) Warriors were the feel-good story of the year last season as they turned the BCS on its head on their way to the Sugar Bowl. We won't talk about the senseless violence that happened in New Orleans
once they got there. Actually, we should. That's exactly what's going to go down when they invade the Swamp to face Tim Tebow, who functions at a much higher level
than you are I could ever dream of operating at.Feels like: Florida 40, Hawaii 16In real life: Florida 56, Hawaii 10
2:30 p.m.: #3 USC at Virginia:
- This game started at 7:30 a.m. Hawaii time. Tim Tebow > pretty much everyone.
Much-ballyhooed Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez brings the hopefully less itchy
professional team from Los Angeles into Thomas Jefferson's backyard. Cavaliers QB Jameel Sewell can do it with his arm and his legs and possibly other parts. Here's our first upset, folks. Drink it in.Upset special: Virginia 20, USC 19Come back to reality, dude: USC 52, Virginia 7
- Don't.Want.To.Talk.About.It. Mark Sanchez looked pretty good though.
4 p.m.: Appalachian State at #7 LSU:
The team that shocked the Maize and Blue rolls into Baton Rogue to take on the purple and gold. At press time LSU did not have a starting quarterback named. Assuming they field one on Saturday, they should have no problem thwarting the Mountaineers and their dreams of world domination. Feels like: LSU 33, Appalachian State 14In real life: LSU 44, Appalachian State 13
7 p.m.: #24 Alabama at #9 Clemson:
- Thanks to the impending danger of Hurricane Gustav, the good people of Baton Rogue enjoyed a little football for breakfast while LSU Tigers drank App. State's milkshake.
Two ranked teams battling it out south of the Mason-Dixon line in primetime. There's a lot of people in red states
absolutely giddy over this prospect. Since no one seems to like Nick Saban lately, let's blindly throw our confidence behind the Tigers.Feels like: Clemson 22, Alabama 17Roll, Tide: Alabama 34, Celmson 10
- Alabama had 239 rushing yards. Clemson had 0.
AND NOW FOR THE BIG ONES:
Time for the alma maters of both of the non-paid proprietors of this blog.
7 p.m.: Michigan State at California:
Sparty has the opportunity to win nine games and go to a bowl this
season, and the first game in Berkeley will be crucial. The bad news is
that the Golden Bears are going to try their darndest to win the game
as well. Expect copious amounts of Javon Ringer
, myriad personal foul penalties and at least three trick plays
from the Spartans. Also expect a California victory. And some crying.The truth hurts: California 28, Michigan State 24
Reality also hurts: California 38, Michigan State 31
- The special teams were anything but for both teams. Good for the Golden Bears. Seriously, good for them.
7 p.m.: Illinois vs. Missouri:
Kevin Allen has a bit of a man-crush on Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel
, whose Texas high school is going to start serving sushi
at football games. And wide reciever/return man Jeremy Maclin is the
Devin Hester of the Big 12. Illinois will try to replace Rashard
Mendenhall's steady ground work by relying more of the uber athletic
Juice Williams. Drop everything to watch this one.Feels like: Missouri 35, Illinois 31Defense?: Missouri 52, Illinois 42Recap: 8-2.