The State of Sports Sept 1st
-College Football- Opening Weekend Previews
-Games to watch-
-California vs. Tennessee
-This non-conference matchup may be what the Vols need to get on track. California on the other hand boosts its highest preseason ranking in quite some time (1952). Will we see another dominant offensive performance by California this saturday? The Bears look strong with the rushing attack in running back Marshawn Lynch and passing with Nate Longshore. Longshore missed last season with a broken leg injury, and inherits a young recieving corps. Look for Cal to run the ball a lot.
Tennessee, on the other hand, looks to rebound after a dismal 5-6 performance last year. Head Coach Brad Fullmer has the advantage of playing such a good team early in the season, to prepare him for Florida (7th in the AP), Georgia (15th in the AP), and LSU (8th in the AP). Last season the problem was getting things going on offense. The Vols ranked 101st in scoring and 90th in overall offense. With second year starter Erik Ainge at the helm, maybe he can be the spark Tennessee needs this season. Last season the Tennessee defense was 2nd in the nation in rushing yards allowed (907 yards).
Although the Vols didnt graduate much on defense, and their rushing defense was really good, California will make this game interresting. California should win by at least a couple of touchdowns.
-Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
-Notre Dame has certainly rebounded with their 9-3 record and Fiesta Bowl appearance last year. The Fighing Irish are certainly hungry for more as senior Brady Quinn returns this season after an impressive Junior year performance. Notre Dame also boosts the return of senior wide recievers Jeff Samardizja and Rhema McNight. Junior running back Darius Walker also returns for the Irish. Last season, Samardizja set a school record 77 receptions and Walker rushed for 1,200 yards and 9 touchdowns. Both look to be keys in an offense that could power the Irish to their first national title since 1988.
Georgia Tech looks to upset favored Irish (GT is -6.5) with the tandem of quarterback Reggie Ball and reciever Calvin Johnson. For the past two seasons Johnson was selected to be on the all ACC team. Last season he was also named an All American, despite being double teamed. He managed to catch 54 passes for 888 yards for the Yellow Jackets.
Last season Notre Dame ranked a mediocre 55th in total defense, and GT may look to exploit this disadvantage. Georgia Techs defense isnt all that good, but with eight starters returning on offense, that looks to be what they will be relying on.
Pick- Notre Dame
-Florida State vs. Miami
-In a rivalry game with so much on the line, both look to prove themselves on the national scene. Florida State comes off a disappointing Orange Bowl loss to Penn State, and boosts the return of sophmore Drew Wetherford. Wetherford led the team with over 3,000 yards passing, last season. He can only hope that the rushing attack is much better this year, as the Seminoles ranked 101st in rushing offense. On defense, Florida State will have a lot of youth, as nine starters were drafted.
After an embarrassing 40-3 loss to LSU in the Peach bowl, head Coach Larry Coker fired four assistants. He decided to shake things up by replacing the offensive coordinator, the offensive line coach, the running backs coach, and the linebackers coach. Hopefully this will do the trick as the Hurricanes have been 32-6 (since '03) and in the top 25, but have produced no championships or BCS apperances since '02.
The Hurricanes return junior David Wright as the quarterback, but he will be short-handed as running back Tyrone Moss, and reciever Ryan Moore are suspended for skipping study hall. This will be the eighth strait meeting in which both teams are in the top 15.
-Pick- Florida State
Arkansas vs USC- USC
Rutgers vs North Carolina- Rutgers
Syracuse vs Wake Forest- Wake Forest
Virgina vs Pittsburg- Pittsburg
-Im glad that the Sox found a way to deal David Wells to a contending team. He really wasnt helping out the cause as the Sox are now 8 games behind the Yankees and 6.5 games behind the White Sox in the wild card. The sox picked up the second best prospect in the Padres organization, George Kottaras. They really didnt have any youth in the catching position, since trading away Kelly Shoppach earlier in the season
-BC should have killed Central Michigan. I just dont know what to say. Then again, I didnt see the game, because of a fantasy football draft, and the Pats preseason game was on. There really is no excuse.
Thanks to ESPN and Yahoo for sources of information on the football previews