So, I was walking outside yesterday evening, and I realized that at around 8:20 pm EST, the sun was almost gone and there was the slightest hint of a breeze outside. It’s bearable outside and the sun was almost down?? In my line of work, that is what we call a CLUE. Folks, it’s officially here…FOOTBALL SEASON! NFL’s pre-season is finally winding down and entering it’s last week, and teams are making cuts to whittle their roster down to the mandatory 53 man roster. College teams are finishing up fall camp and are getting ready for the season. With that being said, each week we will take a look at five intriguing NFL and College football match ups that could change the landscape of the season. Since the NFL is finishing up the pre-season, this week will focus on college football.
Alabama vs. San Jose St. – Admittedly, not the most intriguing match up by any means, however this is the Crimson Tide’s first game in defending their National Championship. Heisman winner Mark Ingram returns at running back to make an attempt to become the first two-time Heisman winner since Archie Griffin of Ohio State did it in 1974 and 1975. How will backup running back Trent Richardson fare after a huge game in last year’s National championship game? Can Julio Jones re-establish himself after a relatively quiet sophomore year and separate himself as one of the nation’s elite wide receivers.
TCU vs. Oregon State – One of three Top 25 match ups in the opening weekend which is a treat for all NCAA fans this early in the season. TCU is one of two teams (Boise St.) that are looking to be BCS busters again this season. Oregon State looks to begin the season off with a bang with Heisman hopeful, the diminutive Jacquizz Rodgers running the ball this season. Will this be the start of another magical season for the Horned Frogs, or will a loss to the Beavers give more fodder for pundits that feed the “small schools don’t belong with the big boys” argument?
UNC vs. LSU – While there may not be any big name offensive stars in this game, the defensive players on both sides could be headed for potentially big NFL paydays (yeah, yeah, yeah, don’t remind me about the pending LOCKOUT). UNC is under NCAA scrutiny due to possible academic fraud and will possibly be without standout players, LB Bruce Carter and DE Robert Quinn. LSU CB Patrick Peterson and LB Kelvin Sheppard lead the way for LSU’s vaunted defense. LSU head coach, Les “The Hat” Miles has been slowly losing favor with the LSU faithful since their National championship victory over Ohio State in 2008 due to back to back average seasons (by LSU standards). A win against a top 20 team may take a bit of heat off him, but a loss will only add fuel to the flame.
Boise St vs. Va Tech – The marquee match up of the opening weekend has Boise St. traveling to Washington D.C. to take on Virginia Tech at FedEx field. Boise St. QB Kellen Moore will be entering his junior season with a gaudy starting record of 39-1 and is on pace to become the NCAA leader in victories, passing the recently drafted Colt McCoy. Virginia Tech will enter the season with perhaps a stronger offense than defense for the first time in years as QB Tyrod Taylor enters his senior season. He will be joined in the backfield by Ryan Williams and Darren Evans who is returning to the team after tearing his ACL early in practice last season. If Boise St. can manage to pull off the victory, it would go a long way towards their march to the National Championship game as they will only have one other ranked opponent all season (home game against Oregon St). A win by Va Tech will be only the beginning as the Hokies will have to play ranked Georgia Tech, UNC, and Miami (FL) and if the Hokies get thru that gauntlet, they will still have to win the ACC conference championship.
Georgia State vs. Shorter College – While not a major match up, Georgia State University will be fielding a collegiate football team for the first time in the school’s existence. They will be coached by Bill Curry (former head coach of Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Kentucky). As a proud alumnus of Georgia State, this game has the most meaning for me and I look forward to cheering the Panthers on to victory.
Ok, we have covered the first week of football that actually counts for something! I will be tweeting live from the Georgia St vs. Shorter College and LSU vs. UNC games!
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