Setting the Stage for One Crazy Saturday
Long before I was a California Golden Bear, I was a football fan. Although my first love was the NFL and my beleagured Bills, because I lived in Florida, college football eventually integrated into my viewing patterns. Although its power has faded to the point that SOUTH FLORIDA is now the top honcho in the peninsula, back in the day every game seemed to matter–watching the Gators battle in the Swamp, Daunte Culpepper in my backyard throwing his way into the NFL, the U score the occasional upset–things seemed to happen in the fall. If there’s anything I miss about that crazy-ass state, it’s the live-die attitude Florida fans have with their football teams.
So with the Bears off this week, you think I’m about to ignore a full slate of awesome football (including an unprecedented SEVEN matchups between top 25 teams)? Hell no. As Action Jackson would say, “It’s ACTION!”
With Cal’s success, I haven’t had time to judge the relative talent around the league (except for Kentucky-South Carolina, which I’ll examine briefly). Today’s my chance to find out. So there will be a running diary of Saturday’s events, broken up into at least three parts, dedicated to about 10-12 of the biggest football games. Expect this diary to kick off at around 10:30-11 (halftime of the early games). Here is the informal schedule, with brief background info on each one.
Early games (primary games in bold, secondary games italicized, the rest are in case of emergency)
#5 Wisconsin @ Illinois, 9 AM, ESPN (the power of Ron Zook, this is an upset watch)
Kansas @ #24 Kansas St., 9 AM, FSN (can the Wildcats harness their upset of Texas and beat their cross-state rivals?)
Miami @ UNC, 9 AM, ESPN2 (only if the other games are routs or on commercial)
#10 Oklahoma at #19 Texas, 12:30, ABC (can’t really decide which of these schools I hate more)
#12 Georgia at Tennessee, 12:30, CBS (the thought of the Vols going down the drain in an unbelievably talented SEC East makes me a little uneasy. We might know if our win really meant anything–from a talent standpoint, not psychological of course–this afternoon.)
#18 Arizona State at Wazzu, 1:00, FSN (I’ll be glancing at this game because I’m not sold on the Sun Devils, and Washington State seems to always play ten times better at home.)
#15 Va. Tech at #22 Clemson, 3:00, ESPN (The only big matchup I’m not enthused about. Clemson managed 3 points against Georgia Tech of all teams. Don’t know what it is about the ACC, but I haven’t been impressed by any team in that conference.)
Stanford at #2 USC, 4:00, Versus (I will only look at this game if the Trojans are trailing. The moment they take the lead, I switch channels.)
#9 Florida at #1 LSU, 5:00, CBS (By default.)
#4 Ohio State at #23 Purdue, 5:00, Sopcast–only because regional action forces us to watch…
Notre Dame at #25 UCLA, 5:00, ABC (Only if something bizarre happens. Which is not entirely out of the question.)
#20 Cincinnati at #21 Rutgers, 5:00, ESPN2 (I will glance.)
#25 Nebraska at #17 Missouri, 6:15, ESPN (Most likely will pass.)
It is likely these series of posts will turn me into the Tim McCarver of live blogs (let’s hope it’s more like Cris Collinsworth). But I’ve convinced myself to believe that this will be really really fun and insightful. We shall see.
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