The first two weeks of the college football season have been entertaining, but this weekend could already mean the end of national championship hopes for some teams.
(2) Georgia Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks:
Georgia is a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the preseason #1 ranked team in the country. The Bulldogs won their first two games this season by a total of 63 points and all that got them was being dropped to the #2 ranked team in the polls. Coach Mark Richt will have his players ready for revenge since the Gamecocks came to Georgia last year and upset the Bulldogs.
South Carolina is also a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). On the defensive side of the ball, the Gamecocks are very strong and will provide a big test for Georgia. The offense is another story though. With seven turnovers in the first two games of the season, the South Carolina offense has been really smelly; and by the way, that is the name of their quarterback, Smelley. After a 24-17 loss to Vanderbilt last week, expect Coach Steve Spurrier to demand better play from his team this week.
(5) Ohio State Buckeyes at (1) University of Southern California (USC) Trojans:
The Buckeyes are members of the Big Ten Conference and are ranked # 5 in the polls. Ohio State defeated Ohio University last week 26-14. With the superior talent that Buckeyes possess; this team competed in the national championship game each of the last two years; many considered this to be a lackluster performance. The starting running back, Chris “Beanie” Wells, will be back for this game after sitting out last week with a toe injury. Coach Jim Tressel will open up the playbook this weekend and show USC that the Buckeyes were playing “possum” during the first two games.
USC is a member of the PAC-10 Conference and currently ranked #1 in the country. The Trojans travelled to Virginia during the first week of the season and dismantled the Cavaliers 52-7. Mark Sanchez, the starting quarterback, will likely throw the ball to Arkansas transfer, Damian Williams, early and often in this high-powered passing attack. USC’s defense appears to be one of the best in the country, but we will see after they are tested by the Ohio State defense.
Arkansas Razorbacks at (8) Texas Longhorns:
There is no official word yet, but it looks like Hurricane Ike is going to wash out this game. Both the Longhorns and the Razorbacks have open dates on the 27th of this month, so hopefully the game can be made up then if it is cancelled. It won’t hurt the Razorbacks to have a couple more games under their belt before facing this Texas team.
With the first week of the NFL behind us, here are just a few observations:
- Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, went down with a season ending knee injury thus ending New England’s run at another Super Bowl.
- Brett Favre is still Brett Favre, a great quarterback that just wins.
- The Dallas Cowboys look like a playoff-bound team; maybe they can actually win a playoff game this year.
- The Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons made some improvements in the offseason and will at least be competitive this year.
- The Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns appear to be two very over-hyped teams based on last weeks performances.
Now, for the NFL games of the week:
New England Patriots at New York Jets:
With the top-rated quarterback in the league, Tom Brady, going down for the season with a knee injury, the New England Patriots must refocus and place their Super Bowl dreams in the hands of backup QB, Sam Cassel. Even though Cassel played quarterback in college at USC, he was relegated to a backup role and has not actually started a game since 1999 when he was a senior in high school. Brett Favre played very well in his debut as the Jets quarterback, throwing for 194 yard and two touchdowns, but it still remains to be seen if he has the talent surrounding him to make a run at the playoffs. The edge goes to the Jets as they have the veteran Favre while Cassel remains unproven.
San Diego Chargers at the Denver Broncos:
San Diego lost to the Carolina Panthers on the last play of the game last week, while Denver totally destroyed the Oakland Raiders Monday night. The Broncos quarterback, Jay Cutler, served notice that he should be considered one of the premier quarterbacks in the league as he threw for 299 yards even though his premier WR Brandon Marshall was serving a one-game suspension. The Chargers two time defending NFL rushing leader, RB LaDainian Tomlinson (aka LT), could possibly be hampered by an injured toe as he was seen limping slightly after the game. Expect a hard-fought game, but unless the Chargers improve on the defensive side of the ball, San Diego could start their season with two straight losses.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys:
Even though both of these teams are coming off dominant wins last week, a win on Monday night will not come nearly as easy. QB Tony Romo threw for 320 yards and one touchdown to WR Terrell Owens in their 28-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Dallas’ RB Mario Barber ran for 80 yard and two touchdowns before leaving the game with bruised ribs in the 3rd quarter. Don’t worry; he will be ready to play the Eagles under the lights on Monday night. Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb lead his team to a 38-3 win over the St. Louis Rams last week by throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles’ RB Brian Westbrook rushed for 91 yard and one touchdown. Both defenses were impressive in their opening games but should each face a more formidable opponent this week. This will be the best NFL game of the week and your guess is as good as mine as to who is going to win.
Have fun with the “Grid-Iron Challenge” this week and good luck.
Week One Picks