September 08, 2005

Week 2's Crystal Ball

Texas at Ohio State, 8:00 p.m., ABC
The Buckeyes don’t know who will start at QB and coach Jim Tressel isn’t forthcoming with details, but the Buckeyes will face a stiff test in Texas QB Vince Young. The game being in Columbus certainly helps Ohio State’s cause, however, Texas has the more talent on the field. The key for this game will be Seylvn Young’s running for Texas versus the quarterback play that Ohio State gets from whoever starts. Ted Ginn will need touches to make Ohio State dangerous. In the end I like Texas only because of the QB situation. This game will go down to the wire.

Texas 23, Ohio State 16

Notre Dame at Michigan, Noon, ABC
The Irish win over Pittsburgh has been talked out and Michigan’s scrimmage against Northern Illinois provided no glimpse into how the Wolverines can truly play. The Irish offense looked impressive and the defense made plays and kept Tyler Palko and Pitt in check. The intangible is that this game is in Ann Arbor. The last trip to Ann Arbor for the Irish resulted in a 38-0 loss. That score won’t happen again, but I think the revenge factor from last year’s game for the Wolverines will be the difference. Expect a good game and the loss might do wonders to curb the Irish fans enthusiasm from getting out of hand.

Michigan 24, Notre Dame 22

LSU at Arizona State, 9:15, ESPN
All of the trusted websites previewing this game say they don’t know what to expect with the game changing venues and the LSU players dealing with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. I would agree. ASU had no problems with Temple, but that was expected. LSU had to cancel their game with North Texas. Those two facts might favor the Devils, now playing at home. Les Miles’ debut suddenly goes from a scrimmage at Tiger Stadium to a tough road game. I think the tragedy in the state will have an effect on the Tigers and the rust they will display will give ASU the win.

Arizona State 27, LSU 23

Wake Forest at Nebraska, 7:00, TBS

I pick the top five games based upon the games I feel bring the closest match-up to the table. The Demon Deacons will be motivated after dropping their home opener against Vanderbilt. The Huskers 25-7 win over Maine didn’t’ instill confidence about the changes in Lincoln, this is still a team that will struggle. Nebraska lost to Southern Mississippi at home last year, so this would not be an upset of epic proportions. This game will be important for the Callahan regime as a loss would get the natives a bit restless when compared to the leaps and bounds that Charlie Weis is making at Notre Dame. The Big Red might not stay too patient with mediocrity. I think Nebraska wins, but it won’t be a rollover.

Nebraska 27, Wake Forest 21

Clemson at Maryland, Noon, ESPN
Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson’s quarterback, is on a personal comeback tour after throwing 17 interceptions last year. Maryland’s program lost some steam after missing out on a bowl last year, the first time under coach Ralph Friedgen. Maryland survived Navy last week, winning 23-20, while Clemson capitalized on Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione’s bonehead decision to not go for two to put the Aggies up three midway through the fourth quarter, winning 25-24. One program will advance onward to a nice season with a win while the other will see their luck of the first week run out. I am taking Clemson, who will then have a showdown with Miami on the 17th.

Clemson 26, Maryland 21


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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.