1. Who gets upset?
There are only three inter-conference games this week, making any upsets come from big out of conference games like Notre Dame/Ga. Tech or, more shockingly, a mid-major beating a BCS team, like Central Michigan's near upset of Boston College.
Some team today will stumble out of the gate, either exposing a weakness that has been hidden, or taking a big program out of the BCS chase from the get go.
I'm not making a prediction on who gets the scare, but there will be one.
2. Hype to Heisman?
Two of many people's top five Heisman finalists have what are considered easier games that will determine how far they go on the golden road to New York. Brian Brohm of Louisville gets a Sunday primetime game against Kentucky. He is coming off a serious injury from last year and gets an incredible audience to make his case that not only he is back, but deserving of the Heisman. If he struggles, or looks human, his hopes go bye-bye.
You can make the same case for Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson. While not on the same national stage as Brohm, he needs huge numbers against UAB at home as the Sooners start their year. Peterson, especially with the quarterback switch, needs also to stay healthy as the offense rides his legs if they are going to go deep in the title hunt. 100 yards and a couple touchdowns are a minimum if we are to think of Peterson long term.
Remember, there are players that we have not thought of for Heisman hopefuls that will have great days this week and next that will push into the picture. Brohm and Peterson must have big days to stay above the swell.
3. Who is on the hot seat?
Michigan needs a solid win over Vanderbilt to keep the pundits, like me, off Lloyd Carr. Last years debacle at the Alamo Bowl needs to be buried and soon.
If Notre Dame gets upset tonight, then the honeymoon the Irish fan base have with Charlie Weis ends. The Irish, along with Louisville, are the most overhyped, bad resume teams, in the country. ND needs some solid wins early to make some of us believers.
Phillip Fullmer must beat Cal. Tennessee must re-establish themselves as SEC contenders early, or the season will be very long. Fullmer will be second guessed to Memphis if they lose.
Cal/Tennessee- Once a week, at least, I'll point to a game that the loser is out of the BCS title game. I'm assuming that Louisville wins and that the loser of the FSU/Miami game will still be in the hunt provided they do not get loss #2.
Cal has an outside chance for Glendale mostly on the strength of the Pac-10. Two losses and they shoot for the Rose Bowl, but a win tonight, they may play Southern Cal with a ton of marbles on the line.
The Vols, on the other hand, will not run the table. They have a very slim chance of going, but they are done with their second loss and the SEC is the most brutal conference in the country. If they have any hope, they must run the out-of-conference table, including Cal.
We'll be back later today to answer those three questions and live blog Cal/Tennessee and Notre Dame/Ga Tech.
Enjoy the day!
As I get ready to take in the bulk of the opening week of the 2006 season, I was racking my head on what to write this morning.
First off, there is no earth shattering news to report before kickoff, always a good thing.
There are three questions I have that I am looking for as the season gets underway.