NCAA Football: This Saturday’s Planner

By James Pearce, WSOE Sports

If you’re luckier than I am, and don’t have to work all day tomorrow, I’ve made a little guide of every game you need to spend vour dav watching.

And if you have the time, catch Pitt/Louisville tonight on ESPN2 at 8:00.

10:30am, ESPN: College Gameday, obviously.  But for some reason this week, they’re at FSU/Boston College.  There are 3 top-25 matchups they could have gone to in Berkley, Miami, or Athens, all great atmospheres.  Instead they choose a game between the fastest-falling programs in the country’s 5th-best conference, at a school known nationally for its poor fan support, in one of America’s worst-weather cities.  Oh well.

Noon: Wisconsin at Minnesota, ESPN
Pickings are slim early.  Especiallv if you dont have ESPN-U or a connection to  I try to keep my picks here for people like me with basic cable and spotty internet.  I gave you this game because your other choice is Arkansas State at Iowa.  Exactly.  But this year’s battle for Paul Bunyon’s Axe should be a good one.  These are two programs that seem to be back on the right track after being in the dumps the past 2-3 seasons, and dont forget Minnesota will be looking to use the magic of their (very nice) new stadium to reclaim the axe for the first time since 2003.  WIsconsin has dominated recently, winning 12 of the last 14 matchups.

3:30pm: Washington at Notre Dame, NBC-
The intriguing bit of this matchup is the quarterbacks.  Jake Locker and Jimmy Clausen are two of the nation’s best.  Most mock drafts for next year (2011) have these guys alternating 1/2 (assuming Sam Bradford leaves after this season) at the quaterback position.  Not since the 2006 Rose Bowl (Lienart and young) have 2 probable top-10 guys faced off, and not in the regular season since 1985 when Vinny Testaverde’s Miami Hurricanes took on Kelly Stouffer’s Colorado State Rams.  And we all remember that one, right?  Aside from the ability to watch two future stars in action, the teams themselves are fascinating.  We know verv little about both, as both have big wins and bad losses, but will learn a whole lot on saturday.

PS Don’t expect Golden Tate to try to jump in to any more opposing bands…

During the same time, don’t forget to flip around and check on #4 LSU at #18 Georgia.  LSU had quite the scare in Starkville last week, with Mississippi State only losing by a few inches.  This is the most likely game this weekend to see a top-5 team fall.  The number 4 team each week is only 2-2 this year.  Look for LSU to have trouble scoring, and UGa to pull off a big one here.

7:30pm, Texas A&M at Arkansas, in Little Rock, ESPN2
Nothing great here, but two traditional programs will be able to hold you over till the big games later

8:00pm, #8 Oklahoma at #17 Miami, ABC
There are two great games during this time slot, with the easter half of the country getting this one, and the western half watching #6 USC at #24 Cal.  Two teams with an outside shot at the national title traveling to dangerous opponents that started fast but will be looking for redemption after both got blown out last week.  None of these four teams can afford a loss if they want to stay relevant on the national stage, so look for a lot of fight in the nightcaps.  If Sam Bradford was still plaving, we’d have 5 of the best players in the country here as well (Joe McNight, Javhid Best, Jacory Harris, and Matt Barkley being the others).  Too bad everybody will only get one of these games.  But whichever you get, its your number 1 cant miss of the week.

Worst game of the week: Temple at Eastern Michigan
Lock of the week: Boise State over UC Davis
Upset Alert: Georgia over LSU
Wouldn’t this have been great ten years ago: tie, Clemson at Maryland, Oregon State at Arizona State

Contact Information:
James Pearce
WSOE Sports


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