Steve McDevitt
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September 15 - Weekend Football Preview

As mid September welcomes us, the 2007 College football season is beginning to take some
shape, and with that we are presented with some great match-ups in week three. While some teams
find the shape of their team similar to a prized through bread racehorse (USC, LSU, Oklahoma),
others find their shape parallel with a four hundred pound-bearded lady eating Cheetos (Notre Dame,
Michigan). The NFL season has also begun and this week will feature a couple highly anticipated

Nothing beats the sights and sounds of attending a professional or college football game. The roar of
the crowd, cheerleaders, marching bands and peanut shells tossed from rows above safely finding
their final resting place in the hood of your sweatshirt are all experiences you miss while on your
couch at home. However, you can still make the home watching experience worthwhile. I’m not
saying to just go out and grab the first clarinet-playing, peanut-throwing cheerleader you can find
though. I gave that a go and came to find out they aren’t as readily available as one might think. Just
find a comfortable chair and stock your fridge with cold drinks and your weekend at home will be
nothing short of pure bliss.

Here are a few can’t miss games for the upcoming weekend…

Send the women and children to the park and lock yourself in the basement: (please make sure your
basement has an operating TV and ample oxygen)

#1 USC vs. #14 Nebraska (Saturday 8pm ET ABC, ESPN)

John David Booty will lead the #1 ranked Trojans into Memorial Stadium for what Cornhusker fans
are calling the biggest weekend in Lincoln ever. (I think they may be forgetting the weekend when
aliens visited them and embedded crop circles in their cornfields - may have been the movie “Signs” I’
m thinking of so I’ll check my references again). Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller faced USC in
2004 while at Arizona State but was intercepted five times in a 38-28 defeat so he will have revenge
and a Top 10 ranking on his mind. Nebraska should make a game out of this early but the Trojans
should come out victorious. Don’t overdo the cold beers in the first half – you’ll find yourself fast
asleep, drooling uncontrollably, and breathing stertorously once USC puts this one away early in the
4th quarter.

#22 Tennessee vs. #5 Florida (Saturday 12pm ET CBS)

Erik Ainge and the Vols' visit Tim Tebow and the Gators at the swamp in Gainesville. Tebow and
Ainge have put up great offensive numbers thus far and this game will be a good test to see if the
trend continues. Florida’s stingy defense has surrendered only 17 points a game in two games this
season while Tennessee’s defense has literally surrendered. No white flag has been waived but
after giving up 45 points to Cal two weeks ago it probably should have. This good ole’ fashioned SEC
shootout should provide ample excitement so keep the red bull and vodka on ice. You won’t need it.

New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers (ESPN, Sunday night football)

For Bill Belichick, this game will be like facing your mom at the family dinner table after she uncovered
your Playboy collection earlier in the day while cleaning. Dressed in his usual horrendous looking cut-
off Patriots sweatshirt, an embarrassed Belichick will have to face America’s most feared running
back in LaDainian Tomlinson without spy cams, tape recorders and a Patriots pen that doubles as
GPS device. Unless he’s managed to imbed a subliminal voice recorder into quarterback Phillip
River’s helmet that randomly whispers “pass it to Bruschi,” during play or a hidden camera in Norv
Turner’s Gatorade bottle he will have to coach football the old fashioned way; by not cheating. If all is
fair, this battle could be one of the best games of the season and a potential AFC Championship
preview. Make sure to stay glued to the TV for this one.

Take the deadbolt off the basement door and keep the remote within one club’s length:

Notre Dame vs. Michigan (Saturday 12:30pm EST)  

This could either be the best game of the year or the ugliest If one team gets blown out it will be as
embarrassing as Joe Namath’s inebriated attempt to kiss ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber in
2003 as one team falls to 0-3. Both teams badly need a win to revive their season and their pride.
This will not be a game between two elite schools to see who is better, but more of a battle to see
who is worse. Michigan has been embarrassed two weeks in a row, first losing to Appalachian State
and then to Oregon. Notre Dame, although facing more formidable opponents in Georgia Tech and
Penn State have been beaten easily in both contests. The Wolverines have yet to fix the ship that is
sinking fast this season with old-timer Lloyd Carr at the helm. Ten Lee Corsos, Eight MIT professors
and thirty Mel Kuipers wouldn’t be able to explain how Michigan could bring back three explosive
offensive weapons in Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Mario Manningham from last season and yet not
win. They did lose key starters on defense to the NFL however one of the problems may be the
spread offense of Oregon and Appalachian State, which put slow Michigan defenders in state of
bewilderment. The blame could also be pinned on Henne who now probably couldn’t land a starting
job for St. Josephs Boy’s Choir flag football team. Freshman Ryan Mallet will start in Henne’s place
this weekend due to injury. Notre Dame will again start freshman Jimmy Clausen, but not strictly
based on merit; game one starter Demetrius Jones somehow missed the team bus to Ann Arbor.

#21 Boston College vs. #15 Georgia Tech (Saturday 5pm EST, ESPN 2)

This ACC match-up will be a great test for both teams and an exciting viewing experience. Georgia
Tech has outscored their opponents this season 102-17 however they haven’t faced a quarterback
like Boston College senior Matt Ryan who has thrown for 550 yards and 6 touchdowns in two games.
Ryan will have his hands full however with Tech’s blitz and stunt defense which sacked Notre Dame
quarterbacks nine times two weeks ago.

Crack the basement door and keep the last tivoed “The Hills” episode on quick change. (For the girls
of course, gotta love that LC):

NY Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 4:15pm EST, CBS)

Both of these 2006 playoff teams enter this contest with the fear of starting the season 0-2. Baltimore
should come out fired up after losing to Cincinnati Monday night and New York will get to play their
first game of the year without opposing coordinators knowing their every play. If Chad Pennington
plays this should be a good game, otherwise Baltimore should win in landslide.

#24 Hawaii vs. UNLV (Saturday 6:30pm EST)

Colt Brennan and the Warriors of Hawaii will take their offensive juggernaut on the road to Las Vegas.
On paper Hawaii should crush the Rebels, but UNLV hung with 5th ranked Wisconsin last week for
most of the game before losing 20-13. Hawaii’s defense is the polar opposite of their offense,
surrendering 44 points to lowly Louisiana Tech in last week’s 45-44 overtime victory. Brennan has
passed for almost 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in just two games so UNLV’s only line of defense
will be to control the ball on offense and keep him off the field.

Best of luck and happy football watching this weekend!