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Tribal Fever's Weekend Slate (10/6/2007)

Posted: Oct 06, 2007

Let's start with this week's College Football Preview from Athlon.  Swampland's own Patrick Snow hosts each week. 

(Read Patrick's new column on the state of baseball in the Footprint.)


Thursday's game:  Kentucky lost its first game last night 38-23 at South Carolina.  This was to be expected.  Kentucky has made incredible strides with its football program over the last two seasons, but it is still a year behind the Gamecocks.  The talent on the field may be about equal, but Rich Brooks and crew haven't played in as many big games as the Gamecocks and Spurrier.  That matters.  Wildcat fans should look at 2007 as the year that the foundation was laid for future titles.

LSU-Florida:  A little of the hype is gone thanks to the Gators loss to Auburn last weekend.  However, this is LSU's first big test of the season.  Beating the defending National and SEC Champs would be the statement that the rest of college football is looking for the Tigers to make.  Like any good SEC matchup, this one might be too close to call.

Tennessee-Georgia:  A perfect matchup of teams that appear to be at the same level with Georgia trending up and Tennessee trending down.  The home teams haven't had a lot of success in this series as of late.  The winner will stay in the SEC East hunt.  It might be Fulmer's last stand.  TF isn't sure he can survive losing to both the Gators and Bulldogs with South Carolina yet to come.

Auburn-Vanderbilt:  Auburn has already shown themselves as vulnerable against the teams they are expected to beat.  Vandy is sitting with only one loss.  Winning here would speak volumes to the new direction in Nashville.  This might be closer than one would think.



The ACC is still looking for a conference identity.  This has been another lackluster year so far for the conference.  There are 5 conference matchups today which will go a long way towards defining this season.

Clemson-Virginia Tech:  This is the big game for the ACC, but it shows how far the conference has to go.  Neither of these teams is fooling anyone.

North Carolina-Miami (FL):
  The Butch Davis Bowl kicks off what could be a fiesty yearly rivalry.  Miami better take the wood to the Heels now.  Randy Shannon must know that Davis will be trying to get back into the South Florida recruiting market.

Florida State-North Carolina State:  Welcome to the Chuck Amato Bowl!  I'm sure that Bobby Bowden would like to win one for his friend Amato, and he probably will.  Expect O'Brien to have NC State back on the map in a couple of years.

Maryland-Georgia Tech:  This is the credibility game.  Both teams are coming off of surprising wins. 

Duke-Wake Forest:  Duke looked decent against Miami last week.  Wake has taken a step back.  Wake needs to keep Duke below them.

Big 12

The Big 12 also looks a bit lackluster.  Texas wasn't really fooling anyone, but Oklahoma's loss was a little shocking.  Texas A&M is still down as well.  The only bright spot could be Mizzou.  They must win against Nebraska tonight.

Texas-Oklahoma:  The Red River Rivalry!  It might have lost a little bit by having both Texas and Oklahoma lose last week, but now it is a must win for both teams.  There's more at stake if that's possible.  I guess we shall see who the pretender of this duo is.
Missouri-Nebraska:  Here's the big battle in the North.  We'll be rooting for our Footprint team, Mizzou.  Time for this team to send Nebraska back to corn country.

Texas A&M-Oklahoma State:  Here is a battle for credibility.  Franchione is on very thin ice at A&M.  He needs this. 

Texas Tech-Iowa State:  Tech lost a heartbreak to OSU.  Look for them to take it out on the cyclones.

Baylor-Colorado:  The who cares game.  Will Baylor ever be a factor?

Big East

As we've already written about, the conference alignments in the South are a mess.  The Big East has one thing going for it - its automatic BCS birth.  There are no rivalries that matter as of yet, and it seems like it will be years before any develop.  The only one that might have a little juice in the coming years could be Cincy-Louisville.  Again, rivalries are all about geography, and this conference is literally all over the map.

Last night, Louisville fell again to mark a disappointing season.  Utah already had upset UCLA, so things looked a little scary for Cardinal Nation.  It is looking more and more like Louisville has been more lucky than good.  They had a couple of very good years against a very bad football conference.  Bobby Petrino is also a very good coach.  Now, Petrino's in Atlanta and the Big East has gotten a little better across the board.

Rutgers-Cincinnati:  Cincy is a great story.  Brian Kelly has this team playing with fire.  Rutgers should be looking at their second straight loss this week.

Syracuse-West Virginia:  WVa better not be napping like Louisville was against the Orangemen.  We think they'll be ready.

Conference USA

There already have been two intra-conference games played this week.  Memphis beat Marshall 24-21 in an emotional game after the shooting of a team member.  Rice also beat Southern Miss 31-29 in a bit of a surprise.

UTEP-Tulsa:  This has become the big western division game in Conference USA's short history.  Expect fireworks on the offensive end.

East Carolina-UCF:  Except for USF's amazing run into the top 10, UCF would be the story in college football in the state of Florida.  UCF came within an eyelash of beating Texas, their only loss.  The Eastern half of C-USA looks pretty shaky.  UCF could be ranked by the end of the year.

Sun Belt

The Sun Belt is still emerging.  This conference needs to find its footing.  There are some good teams emerging from this conference, but it is still a few years away.

Florida International-Troy:  Troy is one of the better teams in the Sun Belt.  FIU has a ways to go.

Louisiana-Monroe-Arkansas State:  Ark State scared Texas early in the season.  Along with Troy, they are one of the best Sun Belt teams.

Louisiana-Lafayette North Texas:  This is a battle of two cellar dwellers. 


Tribal Fever's Inter-Swampland "beat down" games

SEC-Conference USA:  

Alabama - Houston:  Saban gets back on track. 

Miss St-UAB:  Get ready to be "Croomed"

SEC Rest

Arkansas-UTChattanooga:  Houston Nutt needs an easy win.

Ole Miss- Louisiana Tech:  So does Ed Orgeron.

ACC-Sun Belt:

Middle Tennessee-Virginia:  Is Al Groh finally turning the corner?  The ACC is down and maybe Groh will take advantage of the situation.  Don't look past MTSU.  They kept Vandy out of a bowl game last year.

Big East-Sun Belt:

Florida Atlantic-South Florida:  Howard Schnellenberger invented program-building in the modern era having rebuilt both Miami and Louisville's programs from the dead.  FAU is probably one of the Sun Belt's best teams.  USF should destroy them, but Schnellenberger knows that this is all part of the process - playing good teams.


Boston College-Bowling Green:  Like Virginia, BC is an ACC surprise.  Also like UVA, BC better be careful this week.

Conference USA

Army-Tulane:  Tulane has been a mess since Katrina.  Let's hope they come up with a win this week.

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