September 29, 2005

What to Watch…October 1st

Michigan at Michigan State, Noon, ABC
Well someone gets to tell me about this one. In a rare oddity, the Lexington market will receive the Big 12 match-up (Texas at Missouri) instead of the Big Ten. Interesting.

I can’t see Michigan 2-3. Its hard to imagine, but then again, with the ease that Notre Dame sliced through the Wolverines on their first drive in Ann Arbor, the Spartans will have no problems at home cutting through. Drew Stanton officially launches the Heisman campaign with a huge day.

Michigan State 35, Michigan 20

Florida at Alabama, 3:30, CBS
Alabama is finishing up their probation scholarship reductions and looking for a chance to showcase to the nation that they are back. Urban Meyer brings in his bunch after a blowout of the Cats. This game is the typical offense vs. defense battle. The Gators think they hit their stride last week, but the difference between UK and Alabama is as wide as an ocean.

Brodie Croyle vs. Chris Leak is your matchup here. I think Bama announces to the world they are back indeed with strong defensive play setting up some short scores.

Alabama 24, Florida 13

USC at Arizona State, 3:30, ABC
Again, who is at the controls at ABC in Lexington? We get this game over the ACC-Big East dud (Florida State vs. Syracuse) and the undefeated Big Ten showdown (Minnesota at Penn State). This guy needs a raise.

You know the adage that the media lives to build you up and then tear you down? The Trojans are in the crosshairs. Some in the media pointed to last week’s 45-13 win over Oregon as a sign of the Trojans weakness being exposed. Excuse me? A 32-point win is a weakness? The catch phrases going into Eugene were about how loud Autzen Stadium is and how the defense of Oregon could use that to their advantage. They did, for a half.

Now the buzz is about Arizona State’s potent offense. ASU’s Sam Keller is enjoying a fantastic season and hung points all over the field against LSU as well, however, this is a team that can exceed the Devils in scoring. Last year’s game was 42-0 at the half, USC. Either that is a point of focus for the Devils or a point to be made about ASU’s defense.

I think USC will make a point per minute. ASU’s offense is explosive? You haven’t seen anything yet. USC gets another “ho-hum” 32-point win.

USC 63, Arizona State 31

Notre Dame at Purdue, 7:45 p.m., ESPN
For more intelligent Irish fans, this is the critical game for the Weis era at Notre Dame. Lose this and your 3-2 heading into USC with zero momentum. Good luck. Win this and your 4-1 with two weeks to prepare with all the momentum in the world.

Weis is no dummy, he knew from day one that the USC game would need extra preparation. The Irish last week benefited from running an offense that was designed to just win versus Washington. The play calling was bland and yet effective. The defense surrendered yards in buckets but was stingy on giving points away.

Purdue played terrible against Minnesota save a late drive and interception return. 28-20 Purdue had me worried they would have the downward momentum heading into this game. However, with Minnesota bludgeoning them with Maroney, expect Darius Walker to get his fair share of carries.

This game is big because the Irish need to get back to making this game an automatic. Quite frankly, I am tired of Joe Tiller and the Boilers looking like a better coach and team against the Irish. Its time to return the ND superiority over the Engineers. I want payback for last year.

Notre Dame 41-16…okay, I wish, but here is what I think:

Notre Dame 34, Purdue 23

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