Week Five: Friday
Thoughts on who the stars of the weekend will be.
Game of the Week- Florida at Alabama- This could be a preview of the SEC Championship Game. Both quarterbacks are looking to earn that respect that only comes from winning big games consistently. Brodie Croyle and Chris Leak could both have big games. The two defenses are among the best in the SEC, if not the two best. This game would put Alabama back on the map in the college football world. Yes, they've been moving slowly up the rankings, but they haven't really generated all that much talk so far. A win against the Gators and Urban Meyer would do just that. This is Meyer's first major SEC road test (Kentucky last week doesn't count). We'll see how the team responds.
Upset Special- Ole Miss at Tennessee- This is again not necessarily a game that I would pick the upset, but I'm just saying that the Rebels are going to keep this game very close and have a shot to win in the fourth quarter. The Vols played Monday night, pulled off one of the great comebacks in Tennessee football history, and went into overtime. Now, they are playing on Saturday in an early game. They really just had a few days to get ready for this game. The Rebels are not a particularly good team, but they will be playing in the perfect situation for them. Do not let the second half against LSU fool you. The Vols still have major problems on offense that need to get resolved. If the Rebels can play just enough offense to keep it close, then they should have a shot in the fourth.
Team of the Week- Florida State Seminoles- The Seminoles should rock the Syracuse Orange this weekend. The Orange and the 'Noles both have great defenses, but the fact is that Florida State and Drew Weatherford are itching to get out there and show that they have solved the teams offensive woes. For at least one game, they will look like they have this week against Syracuse. The Orange are very ineffective on offense and should struggle moving the ball, thus giving the ball to Florida State in good field position. That will mean that the 'Noles will eventually wear out the Syracuse defense and put up a bundle of points in the second half. Florida State should look very good this week.
Players of the Week-
1) Matt Leinart, USC- The Sun Devils defense gave up a load of yards to JaMarcus Russell. Arizona State will have a shot in this game because of their explosive offense (they better score more than the 13 that Oregon scored early in the game last week). But Leinart will absolutely have an incredible game. He didn't play all that well against the Ducks last week and will be looking to right the ship, so to speak.
2) Vince Young, Texas- This looks like a Heisman ballot, doesn't it? Well, who doesn't expect Young to have a monster game against Missouri? The Tigers have an OK defense, but their strength lies in their offense. Young ought to put up good numbers and run well on the Tigers defense.
3) Brandon Kirsch, Purdue- The Irish could score points in buckets this week against the Boilermakers, but something tells me that Kirsch will be putting up quite a few points against the Irish secondary as well. Kirsch will probably not implode like Chad Henne did when the Irish played Michigan a couple of weeks ago. Look for Kirsch to burn the Notre Dame secondary several times.
4) Brian Calhoun, Wisconsin- The Badgers are playing Indiana this week, and Calhoun should run wild on that defense. Calhoun will eventually see his numbers fall off a bit, particularly since he is bound to get tired from all the work, but look for Calhoun to put up a ton of yards this week against the Hoosiers.
5) Derrick Williams, Penn State- If the Nittany Lions are going to upset Minnesota this weekend, they need the big play freshmen to step up and make some plays. Williams is the most dangerous of all the freshmen. He can make some huge plays. It is this sort of game that the Nittany Lions recruited Williams to change the game with his playmaking ability. The freshmen have been good so far, but it is time to see what Williams and the Nittany Lions can do against a very good Gophers team.
Very quick recap of Thursday's games.
Colorado State 41, Air Force 23- The Rams gashed the Falcons defense with Kyle Bell running the ball for 197 yards. Bell and the Rams looked better than Utah or Wyoming did against the Falcons. The Falcons defense is beginning to get exposed. The Rams have to be considered a serious contender for the Mountain West title.
Incredibly basic previews of tonight's game.
Pittsburgh at Rutgers (8:00 ESPN2)- The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will be on TV in front of a captive audience! This is a huge game for their program. The Knights are 2-1, while the Panthers are 1-3. Brian Leonard and Ryan Hart are two of the more underrated skill position players in the country. Watch this game if for no other reason than just to watch them.