Though the NFL is underway, College Football is already heating up with a big time Week 2. People are calling it “Monster Saturday.” And it is sure to be a day that fans will remember in this young season. Each week I am going to pick 3 to 5 of the marquee matchups, give you my predicted winner, and some brief thoughts.
So the matchups of Week 2’s “Monster Saturday” are as follows:
Georgia at South Carolina: This is big time SEC matchup with two of the best coaches in the country going head to head. My gut has been saying all week that Georgia can come in and take care of business in Gamecockville. But my mind is saying to go with the home team. And that is what I am going to do. Both of these teams looked great against powder puff opponents in Week 1 (typical SEC move). But the lack of AJ Green will hurt the Bulldogs. Steve Spurrier is going to ride freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore to a major early season conference victory. Look for this game to go down to the wire, but expect the Gamecocks to pull it out.
Florida State at Oklahoma: What a non conference matchup this is. Talk about two teams showing balls and taking a risk playing a big time non conference foe. You got to love it. Christian Ponder looks outstanding and extremely poised in the pocket. I guess that is what 3 years as a starter does for you. Also do not sleep on Greg Reid returning punts. Special teams always have a large effect on the outcome of big time games. Florida State is starting to trek towards resembling the Seminoles of old. But Oklahoma is no slouch either. Now I know they looked pitiful in their opener. But maybe it was a good thing to play a close football game already (not really)? But DeMarco Murray is the most explosive player on the field when healthy. Ryan Broyles is ready to break out and be considered with the best wide receivers in the country. And Landry Jones, well, he will get better. Though I feel Florida State is a very solid team that could make some noise in the ACC, I got the Sooners running away with this one at home. Look for DeMarco Murray to make his presence felt and launch himself into the Heisman discussion (if he wasn’t already)
Miami at Ohio State: This is the game the whole country has been waiting for. A rematch of the 2002 hotly debated National Championship game. An instant classic. Jacory Harris and the U looked like they had the swagger of the old U last weekend. Ohio State did not look to shabby themselves. But this is a whole new ball game. The athleticism on both sides of the ball will be amazing in this one. Also, this game matches up two of the most athletic quarterbacks in the country (though their styles in the past have been contrasting). Jacory has tended to stay in the pocket though, while Terrelle has always been big on using his legs to gain first downs. Pryor appears to be transforming in front of our eyes though and is utilizing his intelligence and arm, rather than his legs now. It has been an amazing transformation. If this game was being played in Miami, I would give the Hurricanes a chance. But it is no easy task to come into the Horseshoe and win a ball game. Even Lebron James will be there, “staying true to his roots” and rooting for the Buckeyes. I got Ohio State in a very entertaining affair.
Michigan at Notre Dame: Talk about history right? These are your number 1 and 2 ranked programs all time in winning percentage. Plus they are number 1 and 3 in all time wins. This rivalry began in 1887 with some Wolverine dominance. Eventually Notre Dame caught on to the game that people call football. There have been two major hiatus in this rivalry, but this will be match up number 38. Anyways, this game finally has some meaning for the first time since probably 2006. Both teams looked very impressive in their first games and look to be on track towards having solid seasons. There is one major newcomer to this rivalry though. And that is Brian Kelly. This coach has brought with him a whole plethora of tricks and winning knowledge. Not to mention an excitement that South Bend has been lacking for the past few years. Look for Notre Dame to have too much offense in this one, and win a tough game against the rival Wolverines. South Bend will already be praising BK’s name at the end of this one. I will state though, a victory for Rich Rodriguez in this clash would go a long way towards taking him off the hot seat in Ann Arbor.
Penn State at Alabama: Big Ten vs SEC. Same old story right? Sadly, in this case yes. Even if Mark Ingram does not play, Alabama will prove to be too much for an overrated Penn State team. I guess having Richardson is a plus for Coach Nick Saban. Outside of Evan Royster and the emerging senior Brett Brackett at receiver, this Penn State team will be vastly overmatched. Going into Bama with a Freshman quarterback? Can you say “Roll Tide Roll?” I do not care if Alabama has some question marks on defense, they are still mighty fast. Sadly, I see this game being a blowout, but maybe Penn State will hang around for a while.
So there you have “Monster Saturday.” You got to love the Fall.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.