I'm subbing for Corey this week and as luck would have it, I get to talk about perhaps the least exciting weekend of this college football season. Seriously, not one compelling matchup nationally or in the Big Ten. Thankfully the Buckeyes kickoff early this week, because it's shaping up as a Saturday to actually get something done after things close in Champaign.
I suppose the OBC's return to Florida is worthwhile because it does pit two ranked teams, but is there anyone that doesn't think Tebow of Nazareth will guide the Gators to a 30+ point victory?
So now that I have you totally stoked, here's what's on deck tonight and this weekend.
Virginia Tech @ Miami, Thurs. 7:30PM ET - ESPN
Both the Hokies and Hurricanes are tied with North Carolina at 3-2 atop the ACC Coastal division and this game is the first of many over the next three weeks that will help whittle the six to eight teams left in contention down to the two that will meet in the conference championship game. The Canes are riding a four-game winning streak, but will be without the services of starting left tackle Jason Fox. That should make my sworn lifetime mission statement of rooting against Miami all the easier.
#22 Cincinnati @ Louisville, Fri. 8:00PM ET - ESPN2
Chances are you know a Bearcat fan pretty well. You may even have one in the family. Always the little brother in the state, they now have something to crow about after a thriller in Morgantown last weekend. With that win, Cincinnati avenged one of their three losses last season. They'll get a chance to avenge their loss to Louisville this weekend will have a chance at the third team to beat them last season, Pittsburgh, next week. If Kelly takes this team to a BCS Bowl, he'll likely be somewhere else soon -- just in case any of you are starting to get antsy about a potential Buckeye state recruiting nuisance.
#13 Georgia @ Auburn, Sat. 12:30PM ET - ESPN360
After entering the season ranked #1, it's been a rough ride for Mark Richt's Dawgs. The thumpings at the hands of Alabama and Florida have Georgia battling for 2nd place in the SEC East and an invitation to a 2nd tier bowl (don't scoff -- your beloved Buckeyes might end up playing them). Auburn has been nothing short of terribly mediocre this season, staring down a 5-5 record after also entering with high hopes. They won't get the relief they're seeking this week as Georgia will probably be in the mood to take out some frustrations.
#24 South Carolina @ #4 Florida, Sat. 3:30PM ET
Florida has looked as good as anybody lately and on paper, this game shouldn't be close. But Gator fans are finding reasons to be nervous and Spurrier usually has something special cooked up for games like these. With a win, Florida would then just need to finish off Citadel and Florida State before their epic showdown in Atlanta with Alabama on December 6th.
Troy @ #21 LSU, Sat. 8:00PM ET - ESPN360
No, this game should not be a good one. And no, you can't project hypothetical matchups based on how teams play against a common foe, but I'm going to tune in anyway to see what maybe, might, kinda happen if the Buckeyes and Tigers were to play again this season.
Big Ten Games
Northwestern @ Michigan, Sat. 12:00PM ET - ESPN2
How low has your program fallen? Low enough to not even rate a full preview from the WWL -- just the stats, thank you. Northwestern has a history of giving the Wolverines fits in years they shouldn't and this year, they're about as evenly matched as they ever will be. The game is in Ann Arbor and the Wildcats are still banged-up, but Sheridan the Great will be at the helm, so all bets are off.
Purdue @ Iowa, Sat. 12:00PM ET - BTN
The Hawkeyes will be attempting to build on that big win against Penn State last weekend and should have no problems with Purdon't. The only questions are whether future Silver Football winner Shonn Greene will top a hundie again (he will) and whether the fine Boilermaker blogs in the Big Ten will completely shift to basketball coverage without saying another word on the 2008 football season.
Minnesota @ Wisconsin, Sat. 3:30PM ET - ABC
The coaches don't like each other. The players don't like each other. And a sharp object is up for grabs this weekend in Madison. The Gophers will be without Eric Decker and might be playing with a little bit of a hangover after dropping a tough one to Michigan last week while the Badgers should be coming in on a high after racking up 55 on Indiana. Sure, it's Indiana, but 55 in a Big Ten game is worth noticing.