NCAA Top 25
I will give my thoughts on the games that are worth thinking about. I do not feel like typing about how West Virginia is going to destroy Marshall. Boring.
So without further ado...
23 Georgia @ South Carolina
Aaron Murray looked impressive in his first start for the Bulldogs, but even more impressive in Week 1 was the South Carolina offense. Since 2001 these teams have squared off nine times. Of those nine games, seven have been decided by an average of 5 points. Bottom line: look for another close one in Columbia this weekend. I will take Georgia in a close one. Stephen Garcia and the Gamecocks should pull out the upset, but I like Aaron Murray and I think he helps the Bulldogs avoid another early season slip. Also, South Carolina struggles at pulling out victories in close games.
20 Florida State @ 7 Oklahoma
This is the first time these two schools have squared off since the 2001 Orange Bowl when Oklahoma defeated Florida State 13-2 to win the title. Oklahoma's defense as well as quarterback Landry Jones looked shaky in the Sooners' opening week 31-24 win against Utah State. I like Florida State in this game because I think for the first time in several years Florida State has a veteran quarterback who can put up points on the board regardless of the opponent.
Florida State 30-24
9 Iowa vs. Iowa State
This game always is tricky. Seems one year when you are settled on Iowa winning, Iowa State pulls out an upset. It's a rivalry so that happens. I like the Hawkeyes because the game is at home, plus Iowa brings back a defense that was suffocating to say the least.
13 Miami-Florida @ 2 Ohio State
Game of the Week! This is the first meeting between the two teams since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl where the Buckeyes prevailed over the Hurricanes in two overtimes. The game is remembered for the controversial pass interference call. Miami keeps yapping that this is the game they will not only payback Ohio State, but put themselves back on the college football map. I am sure it sounds cute Miami-Florida that you guys are upset and are going to travel to Columbus and win a big game and yadda yadda Miami football is back. Sorry ain't buying it. In the words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend!" Ohio State is a national championship contender and there is a reason for that. Terrelle Pryor made the next big step when Ohio State beat Oregon in the Rose Bowl last year. On the big stage expect Pryor to one up Jacory Harris on the ground and air. Miami does not have the horses to win in a hostile environment.
Ohio State 34-24
19 Penn State @ 1 Alabama
I am getting sick and tired of every media source out there hyping up this game. Two years ago the media hyped up the Alabama/Clemson game. Clemson got embarrassed. Last year the media did the same thing with Virginia Tech. VTech fell in the end. This year the media is trying to build up this game. All that matters is this: Penn State has a true freshman quarterback. Period. The Crimson Tide will roll on Saturday. Alabama has too many weapons and their defense will cause nightmares for Penn State all afternoon.
11 Oregon @ Tennessee
Oregon ran for what seemed like 1,000 yards last week in their 72-0 win over New Mexico. Even with that impressive win and a Tennessee football team that will struggle this year, I still look for the Vols to cause some problems for the Ducks. Tennessee will keep it close for the first half, but ultimately Oregon will push the game away with, gasp, it's running game.
21 LSU @ Vanderbilt
LSU plays Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde football. You really do not know what you are going to get. One game the Tigers play 3 lousy quarters and 1 good quarter, the next week they play 3 great quarters and a lousy fourth. It's a coin flip. I will hope LSU gets everything together, but the Tigers are who they are. The defense will be solid and the offense will get it's points. No style points will be present.
Michigan @ Notre Dame
So what if it isn't Top 25. This is a rivalry game. Sometimes I think it must be hard to be a Notre Dame fan. The instant your team wins ONE GAME the media circus explodes. The Irish looked good in the opening season 23-12 win over Purdue, but again it was Purdue. Michigan on the other hand beat Connecticut, a BCS sleeper. I think Denard Robinson's ability to both pass and run the ball on opposing defenses will be just enough for the Wolverines to sneak out a win in South Bend. RichRod finally has a QB.
Raiders at Titans
Raiders have a new look at quarterback as JaWalrus has been replaced with Jason Campbell. I expect Oakland to be better than in recent years, but I can't see there defense having anyone who can stop Chris Johnson. Campbell and Co. will keep it close but Jeff Fisher and the Titans are set on getting back to the playoffs and beyond.
Panthers at Giants
The Panthers finished strong last season. The Giants finished awful. I think the good feeling Carolina had at the end of last season will carry over to week one. I am unsure of what to think about this 2010 Giants team. I still see them sneaking in the playoffs, but in week one Matt Moore and Co. get the last laugh.
Colts at Texans
The Texans are 1-15 against the Colts. Reread that if you must. Colts will blow open the gates by going up 14-0. Texans will get a couple scores to make it respectable (14-10), but ultimately Indy will bring the hammer down once again on Houston because Peyton Manning is a machine.
Broncos at Jaguars
This is an interesting game because, well, I do not think either team is particularly good. Both teams have QB issues (Tebow isn't ready) and both have suspect defenses at times. David Garrard has not progressed like the Jacksonville organization has hoped. The Jaguar team is Jones-Drew and that's it. Denver will gut out a win in a game that will surprisingly be one of the weekend's most exciting.
Falcons at Steelers
Pittsburgh does not have Big Ben for four weeks. Atlanta is being talked about as the team on the rise. This is a recipe for Atlanta to make a statement. Pitt has a defense, but Dennis Dixon is going to struggle against an improving Atlanta defense. Matt Ryan will make viewers forget about his sophomore slump.
Dolphins at Bills
I feel bad for Buffalo fans. For the past ten years the Bills have stunk. Despite move after move the team does not seem to be getting any better. Even with new head coach Chan Gailey I do not see things changing at all. The opposite can be said about Miami. Chad Henne is maturing fast and Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are ready to cause opposing defensive coordinators head aches with the Wildcat offense.
Lions at Bears
The Lions made a lot of adjustments this offseason on the defensive side of the ball. The Bears made adjustments on the offensive side by bringing in offensive guru Mike Martz. I like the Lions in an upset because I think Detroit is optimistic about the future while the Bears are sort of waiting for the house to collapse. Jay Cutler is a coin-flip quarterback. You never know what you are going to get with him. If he starts to play bad it always seems to snowball.
Bengals at Patriots
How good is this new Bengals offense going to be? They drafted well, but they did pick up Team Obliterator aka Terrell Owens. Tom Brady just signed a monster contract, but unfortunately this offseason the Pats have been hit hard by the injury bug. I should pick Cincy to upset the Pats. It makes sense, but at the end of the day I have a very difficult time picking against Belichek in Week 1.
Browns at Buccaneers
Both of these teams struggled immensely last year, but Cleveland more so than any other team with a losing record really finished strong in 2009. I know Tampa Bay beat the Saints in Week 16, but for some reason I like Cleveland in this game. I think we see the old Jake Delhomme for most of the game. He will get enough scores for the Browns to move to 1-0.
49ers at Seahawks
I have no idea what to expect from the Seahawks. Pete Carroll has always been an average NFL coach, but maybe this time is different. San Fran on the other hand is talking about Alex Smith finally being ready to take the next step and be an efficient, effective QB week in and week out. This game is a crap shoot because no one knows which Matt Hasselback will show up: the recent Matt or the Super Bowl Matt.
Packers at Eagles
Both teams have high expectations. First, Green Bay is the popular Super Bowl pick for the 2010 season and Mr. Aaron Rodgers is every one's MVP. On the other end Kevin Kolb is the face of the Philadelphia Eagles. With McNabb gone it is officially his team. Kolb was good in his two games last year, but Rodgers is better. Green Bay is going to have a New Orleans-like offense this year. Philly is not capable of hanging with that.
Cardinals at Rams
Hmmm. One part of me says, "Arizona is in disarray at the QB position, plus St. Louis looked alright in the preseason. Pick St. Louis in the upset." The other part of me says, "The St. Louis Rams stink. That was preseason. Sam Bradford is a rookie. Be realistic." What the hell. Arizona runs Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower to a victory.
Cowboys at Redskins
Cowboys have the weight on the world on their shoulders. Super Bowl or death. The Redskins on the other hand are just looking forward to being a good team again. With McNabb, keep an eye on the 'Skins. If Dallas has a better offensive line they should win this game before the fourth, but Albert Haynesworth is $100 million man so I expect him to make an impact and keep Washington in the game. Ultimately, Dallas prevails behind Romo's arm.
Ravens at Jets
Game of the Week! This was a good game until Ray Lewis and Darrell Revis started talking. Now it's a great game! How much more pumped are you for this game after all the trash talking!? Maybe I have something wrong with me (I'm sure I do), but trash talking makes me anticipate the game that much more. Ray Lewis loves running his mouth, but the thing about him is he backs it up. This game will come down to quarterback play. I feel Joe Flacco will do much better against the Jets' defense than Marc Sanchez will do against the Ravens' defense. This will be a game till the end.
Chargers at Chiefs
Year Two in the Matt Cassel experiment kicks off on Monday. Unfortunately, the Chiefs go against the Chargers. Kansas City has some good young talent in Jamaal Charles, but Phillip Rivers is one of the league's best quarterbacks. Kansas City will surprise people by keeping it close for a half with defense, but Rivers will push the game away in the late third with some backbreaking drives.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
NCAA Top 25