What to watch this weekend (Sept. 26-27)

 

This week in college and professional football might finally shed some light on who’s good and who’s not, putting some distance between the contenders and the pretenders.  Below are some of the games you should be watching…

 

christian-ponderSouth Florida at (18) Florida State – (Saturday, 12:00 pm – ESPN – FSU minus 14)

Once upon a time, three mighty giants ruled the sunshine state.  Their names were Miami, Florida and Florida State.  These three football powers accounted for 10 national championships in 26 years.  It was nearly impossible for any smaller state schools to compete with these programs, both on the field and on the recruiting trail.  But that’s exactly what the University of South Florida is trying to do.  They’ll get their chance this weekend as they travel to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles.  FSU is coming off an emotional road win over 7th ranked BYU and looking to get their program back to national prominence.  So is USF, who suffered an unfortunate setback when they lost senior quarterback Matt Grothe for the season to a torn left ACL last week.  Grothe, who was well on his way to another successful season, will be replaced by freshman B.J. Daniels who hails from, you guessed it… Tallahassee.  Don’t expect the Seminoles to throw him a welcome home party.

 

joe_paternoIowa at (5) Penn State – (Saturday, 8:00 pm – ABC – Penn State minus 9.5)

Revenge is a dish best served Nittany.  The Iowa Hawkeyes spoiled Penn State’s run at a national championship last year by stunning them 24-23 in Iowa City.  Joe Paterno’s Penn State Nittany Lions will try to keep their 2009 hopes alive in this conference opener for both teams.  Iowa is on a seven-game winning streak but will have to play in front off 110,000 angry fans who are still bitter over last year’s defeat.  Neither team has yet to be challenged this year, beating their six opponents by a combined 113 points.  With Ohio State’s loss to USC who then lost to Washington, Penn State may not only need an undefeated season, but also some style points in these Big Ten conference games to get a BCS title shot.

 

jacory-harris(9) Miami at (11) Virginia Tech – (Saturday, 3:30 pm – ABC – Miami minus 2.5)

Is the ‘U’ back?  Their fans will find out at about 7pm on Saturday night.  Sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris is the darling of Coral Gables and has brought Miami back into the top ten where the school resided for years.  Harris, who has completed 70% of his passes this season, has already beaten Florida State and Georgia Tech, but winning in Blacksburg is an entirely different animal.  Virginia Tech is the third consecutive ranked opponent for Miami.  The Hokies have already lost a game, their season opener to Alabama, but will still look to stifle the Canes’ newfound success.  The leader will have a leg up in the ACC’s Coastal division but will still be looking up at UNC.

 

jahvid-best(6) California at Oregon – (Saturday, 3:30 pm – ABC – Cal minus 5.5)

What’s to make of the Pac-10 this year?  Washington ranks atop the standings while the USC Trojans are at the bottom, but that’s only after one conference game.  The Cal-Oregon matchup will go a long way in providing some West Coast clarity.  Cal comes in confident and undefeated at 3-0, while Duck fans aren’t quite sure yet how good their team really is.  One thing they do know is that they’re battle tested, having already played Boise State, Purdue and Utah.  If they want to knock off sixth-ranked Cal, they’ll have to come up with an answer for junior running back and early Heisman candidate Jahvid Best.  Best has already rushed for eight touchdowns this season, including five last week against the hapless Minnesota Golden Gophers.  He’s averaging 7.8 yards per carry.  But Cal is not one-dimensional.  Quarterback Kevin Riley has also been lights out.  Oregon is also coming off a high, ending Utah’s 16-game winning streak last week, but the Utes don’t have the rushing attack of the California Golden Bears.

 

mark-sanchezTitans (0-2) at Jets (2-0) – (Sunday, 1:00 pm – CBS – NYJ minus 3)

Will the real Tennessee Titans please stand up?  The team that gave the Pittsburgh Steelers all they wanted on opening night, lost at home to the Houston Texans the very next week.  Starting off 0-3 in the NFL is generally a death knell for any team hoping to make the post-season.  The New York Jets on the other hand appear to be for real.  They are undefeated and coming off an emotional victory over the New England Patriots.  The Jets defense has only allowed 16 points in two games while the Titans have allowed three times that amount.  Could they really miss Albert Haynesworth that much?   Another Titans loss could have fans clamoring for the return of Vince Young.  Meanwhile, rookie head coach Rex Ryan and rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez have Jets fans believing they’re not the only playoff team in New Jersey, er…. New York.

 

matt-ryanFalcons (2-0) at Patriots (1-1) – (Sunday, 1:00 pm – FOX – NE minus 4)

Might we be witnessing a changing in the guard of the NFL?  Matt Ryan marrying a supermodel might just seal the deal.  The only thing more difficult than playing New England in Foxboro is playing New England in Foxboro in December.  The Falcons get a break playing there early in the season but they’ll be facing a New England team still stewing over last week’s division loss to the Jets.  The Pats will look to rebound against an NFC team that is slowly proving they’re no one-hit wonder.  Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has already caught two touchdown passes, joins an already potent Falcon attack with Matt Ryan and Michael Turner.  While the Patriots look to return to championship form, an Atlanta victory in Massachusetts might symbolize a passing of the torch.

27 thoughts on “What to watch this weekend (Sept. 26-27)

  1. Thanks, Moose.

    I’ve already received grief from Gator faithful about not including the Florida-Kentucky game on this list, but I’m trying to leave the homerdom aside for a week.

    Moose’ll be pouring jack and cokes a plenty.

  2. Hey Rev, will the real Seminoles please stand up. What will it be, the team that smoked BYU or the team that barely beat Jacksonville St? I’m pulling for Joe Pa, but it’s going to be hard for the Big 10 to get any love if they don’t go undefeated.

    Take it easy brother and GO GATORS!.

  3. I guess this marks the official transition from baseball, where the occasional skirmish demonstrates how not to kick the shit out of each other, to football, where people are actually paid to kick the shit out of each other (unless the target is the quarterback, in which only nasty looks and noogies are allowed).

  4. Aer… What I do know is, if i see that Kirk Herbstreit/Mack Brown commercial one more time, I may barf.

    You know the one…

    “We’re Texas, just nooooorth of Mexico.
    Home oooooof the armadillo.”

    They’re really trying to make him look like the clown. I’m not sure I get it. Personally, Corso’s the funnier of the two. Herbstreit should stick to being the straight man.

  5. Unc… Baseball is so reactionary. I hear there’s talk, no matter how minimal, of adding a SECOND wild card team in each league because of the lack of quality pennant races at the end of this season.

    Wow, they actually got it wrong ONCE. The league is just top heavy. That’s what happens with no salary cap and only a few teams that can afford to pay players top dollar.

    This is the first season since the inception of the wild card that I can recall that last two weeks of the season not meaning much.

    If they tinker with it again and they’re not careful, baseball might allow TOO many teams into their postseason just like hockey.

  6. As for the salary cap: maybe, but I blame crappy management. What do Pedro Martinez, Mike Hampton, Jose Contreras, B.J. Ryan, Barry Zito, Milton Bradley and countess others have in common? I think you know. Savvy teams don’t need money to be successful; in fact, teams like the Rays can use long-term contracts to tie up young players while they’re minimal risks, letting Einsteins like Omar Minaya and Jim Hendry and even Brian Cashman throw money at expensive, risky talent.

  7. Chris

    Well as I wasn’t invited to ‘Hedly’ Lamar Odom‘s nuptials with Khloe’ Kardashian . I guess I’ll have to sit my black _ss at home then ? Oh I know I’ll , watch Tiger hopefully pull of the win at the Tour Championship . With that comes the $10million annuity prize as well. And then hopefully see Arreola beat the crap out Klitschko.

    So we’re now going to have a Russian owner in the NBA ? How comes the NFL can’t even find itself with a minority owner given its makeup ?

    The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming …………..

  8. Chris

    For me this whole Fedex thing is more than contrived. I think it’s asinine to begin with. It adds nothing at all to the season. Much like the NASCAR idiocy of their Chase format. It really doesn’t reward the drivers or in this case the golfers at all. So what if at the end of the day you sit atop of the standings -you end up getting a $10million aunnuity payable over 20 years ? No one remembers that in the annals of golf ! What we as fans remember are the ‘slam events’ and who actually won them -where, when and how they won them.

    It’s odious to begin with and it’s already become a complete bore. Is it any wonder that the attendance and overall viewership is actually down ? And that’s not necessarily because of the economic climate. It’s just that some are seeing this for what really is . Just another way of luring the fans and corporate sponsors to further part with their money.

    The LPGA is already awry with the loss of several sponsor. And the same thing is about to happen with the PGA Tour. Mark my words !

    Alan Parkins

  9. Chris

    Whoop di do ! So Danica Patrick is remaining within IRL ? I guess it’ll mean us seeing more of her bare than being in her fire retardent race gear. I’m not complainin’ at all !

    Why Not Bask In The Limelight Danica Patrick Just Get Busy And Show Us Your …its

    So Vols’ basketbal coach Bruce Pearl was trying to be funny. What’s funny about mocking someone’s racial background in order to get a laugh when in essence you were trying to be serious about a specific issue ? I suppose there’d be humor to be found if one of his daughters were being gang raped ? Now what a novel idea that’d be. What a dumb a_s ! Is that the modicum of intelligence inside University of Tennessee ? Bearly above average if that !

    Alan Parkins

  10. The mighty Bucs of Charleston Southern put Grothe out. Tebow is lucky they didn’t get him in the opener. lol

    Da U is back, baby! Chokies this week…Chokelahoma next week. That is how a champion contender opens a season…not with Charleston Southern, Fla Int, etc.

    Iowa has Joe’s number. 6-1 since 2001 against PSU!

  11. That’s a good comparison, Al.

    The Chase is extremely similar.

    Look, I can understand professional sports trying to modernize their sport or attract viewership but just coming up with an event and telling us that it means something doesn’t make sense.

    Although maybe they said that about the Super Bowl 40 years ago.

    Han, what’s your take on that?

  12. We’ll see what happens with Sox-Yanks in the post-season assuming the two meet each other.

    Tigers and Angels won’t be easy outs…. assuming the Tigers get there at all.

  13. I was actually interested in seeing some of the backlash if Danica joined NASCAR.

    I hear a flu-stricken Tebow took a separate flight to Lexington. Was it his own private Super Jet?

  14. Dude…I was born in S Fla. Dolphins and Canes have always been first with me.

    Of course S Fla is now N Fla.

  15. NASCAR’s Chase was contrived to generate interest late in their season….when they go head-to-head against the NFL.

    Hasn’t generated much excitement in it’s 6 years. This year may be it’s best yet. But last week’s race, the 1st of the Chase, was their lowest rated race of the year.

  16. Chris

    I’ve no problem with Danica doing NASCAR. As long as she’s aware the crap she was allowed to get away with in IRL , won’t be happening in NASCAR. Female or not they’d sooner run her a_s into the wall , rather than look at her.

    But then again if she’s racing in nothing but a two piece sans fire retardent suit I’d dare say the drivers there’d be willng to accept her.

    Milka Duno wants you to share an experience with her . What say you to that ?

    Alan Parkins

  17. Al… I commented on your Florida State piece and have one in the works as well.

    18 first downs to 1 in the Giants-Bucs game? Are you kidding me?

    Maybe they SHOULD start blacking out the Buccaneers games. That way I won’t be forced to watch.

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