October 27th (Saturday)
USC at Arizona
Michigan is in the thick of BCS predictions in 2012. Wouldn’t it be something if the pre-ordained Trojans were sunk by the ousted, never-really-liked Wolverines head coach? Just for the thought of it, Lane Kiffin plans to go for two in the fourth quarter…six times.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma
All too rare, traditional college football powers meeting in non-conference play suffered under the BCS system. Brian Kelly could use a signature victory. I don’t think he gets it but I am hoping his face matches the Sooner crimson at some point during the game.
Tennessee at South Carolina
Steve Spurrier chided Phil Fulmer for years and though he won’t admit it, I bet he misses his old Volunteers foil. In penance, his Gamecocks will attempt to send oddball Derek Dooley back to the legal sector.
TCU at Oklahoma State
The Horned Frogs’ schedule sets up so that a 7-0 start isn’t implausible. Winning in Stillwater, even against a true freshman quarterback as injuries and the grind of their first Big 12 season plague the depth chart, would be impressive.
Texas A&M at Auburn
My crystal ball tells me this matchup pits two programs fighting for fourth place in the 2012 SEC West. Lose and you’ll be grouped in with those Mississippi schools, eating at the table in the back, having your lunch money stolen.
UCLA at Arizona State
Two coaches that have history of planting their feet firmly in mouth. Jim Mora’s take on murder locales and Todd Graham’s experience in HR fiascos probably overshadow two teams with upward Pac 12 mobility. If I’m guessing which sleeping giant finally bats an eyelash, I’ll tab the Bruins.
BYU at Georgia Tech
As an independent, the Cougars stand outside athletic department offices and badger administrators until one finally tosses a home-and-home contract out the window. Paul Johnson made a paper airplane and signed in blood when he pulled this stunt.
Florida v. Georgia (Jacksonville)
Cocktails, end zone celebrations, time outs rubbing victory in the face of Mark Richt. This SEC tilt is appointment viewing in 2012 because the Gators’ defense should thrust them toward respectability and I’m bullish on Aaron Murray’s sleeper Heisman chances.
Michigan State at Wisconsin
While the Wolverines possess reason to interject, this matchup may be a prelude to the Big Ten championship. If Sparty isn’t intimidated by that “Jump Around” business, and by God how can you avoid the fear, Mark Dantonio’s team pushes to the top of the conference.
Ohio State at Penn State
I have a hard time being objective on the Nittany Lions. The cynic in me wants to see Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes not let of the gas until the clock runs out. That’s embarrassing to the Penn State players though and probably a bit much. Doesn’t stop Braxton Miller from throwing and running for 200 yards.
Michigan at Nebraska
Taylor Martinez, seemingly earning his Ph.D at Nebraska, returns under center for the Cornhuskers. He had trouble with Greg Mattison’s defense in 2011 en route to an easy Wolverines victory. I can only imagine the profanity escaping the Nebraska locker room last year after Bo Pelini’s squad allowed 45 points in Ann Arbor.
UNLV at San Diego State
Included for personal reasons alone, I always use one of these two schools first on Dynasty mode of whatever year of NCAA Football I happen to be playing. An appearance in a decent bowl and the type of recruiting class the Rebels and Aztecs never see is followed by my electronic coaching avatar bolting for a bigger job.