College football: Game week is here
This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. College football is back.
Games in Norman and Stillwater on Saturday night. Games on television Thursday through Monday. I know I harp a lot on the mismatches of September (Ohio State-Marshall, Florida-Miami (Ohio), Texas-Rice, OU-Utah State, I can go on all day), but there also are a good number of watchable games.
Thursday night, Southern Miss at South Carolina (Larry Fedora U. at Steve Spurrier State), Pitt at Utah in a Fiesta Bowl rematch from six years ago and USC at Hawaii (Lane Kiffin goes to the beach).
Friday night, Arizona plays at Toledo (mini-Bedlam: Mike Stoops vs. Tim Beckman).
Saturday, Colorado-Colorado State, Northwestern-Vanderbilt, Notre Dame-Purdue, Michigan-Connecticut, Kentucky-Louisville, Kansas State-UCLA, BYU-Washington, TCU-Oregon State, LSU-North Carolina and Fresno State-Cincinnati.
Sunday, two games of great Oklahoma interest: Tulsa-East Carolina and Texas Tech-SMU.
Monday, Boise State-Virginia Tech.
I have no idea how this ranks as an opening weekend historically, but it will do for me until we get rid of all the arranged victories.
Anyway, here’s what I consider the top 10 games.
1. Boise State-Virginia Tech: A national title contender is eliminated on Labor Day night, on a not-really neutral field (FedEx in suburban D.C.).
2. TCU-Oregon State: Another not-really neutral field, this one in Arlington. Which is 15 miles from Fort Worth and 2,036 miles from Corvallis. But the winner gets a huge boost, the Frogs back into BCS contention and the Beavers stamped as Rose Bowl contenders.
3. LSU-North Carolina: A true-neutral field in Atlanta gives Butch Davis a chance to make a national statement with his Tar Heels.
4. Pitt at Utah: The Utes are the most underrated program in America. In the ’00s, Utah went 86-36, including 8-0 in bowl games and 2-0 in BCS games.
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