Monday, August 30, 2010

College Football Preview

The adjacent picture is the right way to start of the season. ESPN College Football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit is joined by members of the Alabama Crimson Tide Cheerleading squad as the 2010 season gets underway this Thursday night. Although not a premier weekend to get it started, a few good games will garner the interest of the fans nation wide. Of course the ESPN Thursday night broadcast will once again present South Carolina, this year taking on Southern Mississippi. From one USC to another, the Trojans of Southern California follow with a trip to Hawaii. On Friday another Pac-10 team, Arizona travels to a non-BCS school, Toledo. Saturday brings a very intriguing match-up as Randy Edsall's UConn Huskies travel to the Big House to face Michigan. Then two games round out the weekend with major BCS implications. Saturday night Oregon State takes on TCU in the Horned Frogs back yard of Arlington. On Monday Boise State takes on Virginia Tech in Washington D.C.

A few observations as we enter week 1:
  • There is much pressure on Virginia Tech to prove Boise State does not belong among the nation's elite. When Boise State defeated Oklahoma in the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Broncos had over a month to prepare. This time BSU has had over seven months to come up with a few new wrinkles for the Hokies.
  • Rich Rodriguez would definitely like to start the 2010 season with an opponent easier than that of UConn. The Huskies played the end of 2009 determined and focused. Will that carry over to the season opener? Meanwhile if there is a must-win for the Wolverines, this would be it. Michigan cannot afford to travel to Notre Dame in a week looking for their first win.
  • How different will the Big Ten look in one year when Nebraska joins? There are two names that consistently appear on every one's "Hot Seat" lists. They are Rich Rodriguez and Illinois' Ron Zook. However how safe are Minnesota's Tim Brewster and Indiana's Bill Lynch? The Big Ten has eight bowl tie-ins entering 2010. Will making a lower-tier bowl game be enough to keep any of these coaches from leaving their school?
  • Texas has already named Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp as the Head Coach in waiting--waiting for Mack Brown to step down. It seems Brown has spent more time in ESPN's Bristol's studios this off-season than on the recruiting trail. Has he been auditioning for the ESPN Game Day job currently held by Lee Corso? Corso suffered a mild stroke prior in the spring of 2009, causing his workload to be lessened. I believe it is a matter of when, rather than if.
  • Finally, what is the likelihood the popular ESPN College Game Day makes an early visit to Iowa City? The Hawkeye's game with Penn State has already been slated for 7pm. However there are a list of quality games on the schedule that day. Among them are Oklahoma - Texas, Florida - Alabama, and Stanford - Oregon. ESPN likes to schedule its pre game shows at games of teams with near perfect records. With Penn State making a trip to Alabama in week two, ESPN may find themselves sending Fowler, Corso and Herbstreit elsewhere. But Iowa fans shouldn't be frustrated as it may mean more to have the show on the shadows of the Pentacrest when Ohio State travels to Iowa City on November 20.

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