Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Non-Con Games to Watch

Here's a pithy look at some non-conference games to circle on the calendar in both the ACC and around the country:


Aug. 28: NC State at South Carolina
- Both teams have major issues at quarterback. How many different QBs will see the field in this one? Six is a possibility.
Aug. 30: Clemson vs. Alabama (Atlanta)
- Will Clemson's O-line be able to open holes for Davis and Spiller against a quality SEC opponent?
Aug. 30: Virginia vs. USC
- Shouldn't be very close.
Aug. 30: Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina (Charlotte)
- This won't be a gimme. A lot of new faces for the Hokies. A lot of familiar ones for the Pirates.
Sept. 6: Miami at Florida
- Can Miami keep it respectable against Tebow, Harvin & Co. in The Swamp?
Sept. 6: Wake Forest vs. Ole Miss
- The Rebels should be improved under Houston Nutt. But Wake should win this one.
Sept. 11: North Carolina at Rutgers
- Rutgers beat UNC in Chapel Hill, but that was with Ray Rice. This will be the first big test of how good the Tar Heels are.
Sept. 13: Maryland vs. Cal
- Two teams with QB questions.
Sept. 20: Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi State
- The Bulldogs were one of the most-improved teams in the SEC last year. The Yellow Jackets are installing a new offense. Should be fun to watch.
Sept. 20: Miami at Texas A&M
- The Aggies were out-classed by the 'Canes last year. But Texas A&M's new president is desperate for a win over Miami.
Sept. 27: Florida State vs. Colorado (Jacksonville)
- Colorado will be a lot better in 2008. So will the 'Noles.
Sept. 27: Virginia Tech at Nebraska
- See you on O Street.
Oct. 11: North Carolina vs. Notre Dame
- Everyone thinks the Irish will be one of the more improved teams of 2008. We'll see.
Oct. 25: Duke at Vanderbilt
- A road win in the SEC would be a big boost for the Blue Devils.
Nov. 8: Boston College vs. Notre Dame
- Another home game for the ACC against the Irish. BC has the defense. But can they put up enough points?
Nov. 29: Florida State vs. Florida
- A home game for the 'Noles against a Florida team that will be in the hunt for a championship game bid.


Aug. 30: Missouri vs. Illinois (St. Louis)
- Missouri beat rivals Illinois and Kansas last year. The Illini and Jayhawks were selected for at-large BCS berths. The Tigers went to the Cotton Bowl. This made me laugh for a long, long time. Right up until the Hokies lost to KU.
Aug. 30: Utah at Michigan
- Could the Wolvies drop consecutive home openers? It's possible. A win here and Utah is a treat to run the table. They have a very good defense.
Sept. 1: UCLA at Tennessee
- First game for Slick Rick and Norm Chow at UCLA. Tennessee will have a new quarterback.
Sept. 6: Texas Tech at Nevada
- Points. Lots and lots of sexy points.
Sept. 13: Oklahoma at Washington
- Stoops doesn't have good luck with true road games against the Pac 10. Can Jake Locker and the Huskies pull off the upset?
Sept. 13: Wisconsin at Fresno State
- We'll find out how good both teams are in Week 3.
Sept. 20: Georgia at Arizona State
- The 'Dawgs make a trip west of the Mississippi to face one of last year's most improved teams.
Oct. 25: Auburn at West Virginia
- A lot of tough road non-conference games for the SEC this year. Both of these teams will be title contenders.

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