The national media brings the hype. This weekend presents seven college football games with teams in the Top 25 going head-to-head. Separation Saturday it's dubbed. With this slate of sexy games, the ESPN College Gameday crew definitely won't need Ashley Judd on this Saturday.
But, Powerhousers, the nationals have failed you. Hell, the locals have as well. Because we know what you want. We know what you need. You need a breakdown of how each and every one of these games can benefit the Longhorns chances to climb back into the BCS race and make an improbable run at the elusive repeat. So here we go:
No. 24 Texas Tech @ No. 20 TCU
I must admit TCU has an emerging place in my heart. This once Southern Baptist, then just Baptist (Sic 'Em Bears), is now part of the Disciples of Christ, giving me a certain affinity for Horned Frogs these days. After all, they are this year's pick to be the BCS buster Utah was a couple of years ago. Tech actually seems to be balancing out its spread offense and has a hot, young quarterback in Graham Harrell who should actually play more than one year in the system. It should be a nice offensive battle but has minimal impact on Texas. TCU will not challenge for a top-2 BCS spot, even if undefeated. And we all know, it's difficult for a 2-loss team to play for the National Championship so Texas just needs to take of business in Lubbock.
No. 15 Oklahoma @ No. 18 Oregon
Oklahoma is sure glad Adrian Peterson is healthy and carries this team. They probably don't miss Rhett Bomar as much as they think, but not because Paul Thompson is better than expected. And Bob Stoops is pretty clever putting teams from the overrated Pac-10 on his schedule to make it look like he has a tough non-conference docket. And as much fun as it is to see OU lose, you want them to win this one. Why? First, because the Horns have to beat them in October to stay in the race. Second, because if USC proves to be down this year you know how weak the Pac-10 is. If Oregon got hot, the Ducks could fake their way into the Top-2.
No. 17 Miami @ No. 12 Louisville
This game will have little, if any, impact. Miami lost to a Florida State team that almost lost to Troy State, so the rep isn't there this year. A 1-loss Big 12 champion should get billing over this year's at least 1-loss ACC champ. Louisville is like one of those overrated mid-major teams. Put them in a real top conference and they maybe join the ranks of Texas Tech. (Get Yer Guns Up!)
No. 7 Florida @ No. 13 Tennessee
Next to Texas, I'm partial to the other UT. But here's hoping Mack Brown isn't the next Phil Fullmer to win a single title only to struggle for the next decade. Both these teams are from the nations' strongest conference so it's unlikely either team emerges unscathed. But it's hard to tell which Volunteer team is for real: the one that embarrassed sexy Pac-10 pick California or the one that was a two-point conversion away from losing to Air Force. Still, you hope for Florida to win because Tennessee is potentially a monster as the year progresses and Florida is almost sure to underacheive again.
(BTW- the SEC by far outweighs the other conferences and yet has only garnered 2 of the 16 BCS title game slots because great teams continually beat each other up. Can you say playoff?)
No. 19 Nebraska @ No. 4 USC
With Nebraska, you once again face the "Texas Has to Beat Them Later Anyway" rule. Also, USC has a solid rep from winning a pseudo co-championship, followed by an outright B_S title, followed by losing in the BCS Championship Game to the greatest college football player ever. Notice, when Texas is in the picture, the "C" isn't silent.
(BTW- Reports are Reggie Bush and his family accepted up to $100k from agents while he played at USC which could retrospectively render Mr. Bush ineligible. This means justice may be served. Vince Young may get his Heisman after all. And Will Ferrell's hearing may have just gotten a lot better.)
No. 11 Michigan @ No. 2 Notre Dame
These are two teams who have spent the last several years proving to be at least a little overrated. But with Charlie Weis at the helm and only one other currently ranked team left on the Irish's schedule, Horns fans want a Michigan upset.
No. 6 Auburn @ No. 3 LSU
This is the big one, Elizabeth. Two SEC powerhouses facing off in week 3. Tommy Tuberville looking for payback two years after being denied a title gig. LSU with a recent trophy and looking to instill inspiration in all of Baton Rouge's New Orleans transplants. This is the one game where the loser may not matter because the winner has a legitimate shot to go undefeated the rest of the way and these teams will not meet again in the SEC Championship Game. But it is the SEC where every game must be earned and upsets are common. But I'll hope for an Auburn victory because playing Georgia twice will be a daunting task.
(BTW-Don't you smile just a little knowing Ryan Perrilloux is third string at LSU right now?)
Well, Powerhousers, this week's session is over. You can wake up Saturday fully confident you know who to cheer for this "Redemption" Saturday.