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September 23, 2006

My Week for Game 4: Notre Dame at Michigan State

Destination: East Lansing, Michigan.

Spartan Stadium

My pick: Notre Dame 33 - Michigan State 28

In today's other "big" game, Penn State-Ohio State, I'm picking the Bucks 42-3.

September 15, 2006

Fowler on GameDay's Location Decision for This Week

Chris Fowler in his column today touched on ESPN's decision to send College GameDay to Los Angeles, when clearly there are better games in Auburn and Notre Dame on Saturday. It seems he is just as disappointed in the decision as I am:

For 13 seasons, the locations of the GameDay road shows have been editorial decisions based on the college football landscape. The basic principle was to (almost) always come from the site of the "biggest game," or occasionally, "the best story."...

Now, the philosophy has been rethought by upper management. For the first time, the competitive landscape of football programming is a frequent consideration. Serving the needs of ABC's new prime-time package of games is often a priority. The decision on GameDay's site is less a clear-cut "best game" philosophy now and is more complicated, made on a landscape where terms like "synergy" and "branding" live.

Please know this: Lee, Kirk and I have no say in decisions on GameDay's location. But as host of the show for 17 years, I am mainly concerned with the show's specific legacy, not the global college football landscape.

Let's hope that ESPN can get it right in the future. It reflects poorly on ESPN to only showcase ABC's games. Hey, I know there's a game on ABC on Saturday night. You don't need to hold a two-hour-long show at the game's site to inform me. Go to the site of the best game!

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My Game for Week 3: Michigan at Notre Dame

Michigan at Notre Dame in 2002

I'm heading to South Bend in less than an hour for the Michigan-Notre Dame matchup tomorrow. Should be an interesting game, as it will most likely be the stiffest test for each team until their final games of the season. (Michigan closes at Ohio State and Notre Dame closes at USC.)

My pick: Notre Dame 21 - Michigan 20.

Showdown Saturday

Tomorrow is Showdown Saturday. There are seven games that feature AP Top 25 teams going head-to-head. Teams from seven conferences plus Notre Dame will take part in those games. For some odd reason (or perhaps because it's the best game on ABC tomorrow), ESPN College GameDay is headed to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Nebraska-USC showdown, even though it was voted as the 3rd most popular game this week in an ESPN user poll. I suppose they didn't want to hype a game on CBS (LSU-Auburn) or NBC (Michigan-Notre Dame). It's a shame that they can't go to a better game though. Anyway, here are the games with my score picks (with rankings in parentheses):

(2) Notre Dame 21 - (11) Michigan 20
(3) Auburn 15 - (6) LSU 9
(12) Louisville 27 - (17) Miami 24
(18) Oregon 31 - (15) Oklahoma 17
(20) TCU 38 - (24) Texas Tech 31
(4) USC 42 - (19) Nebraska 21
(7) Florida 20 - (13) Tennessee 14

September 13, 2006

Jimbo's Top 25 - Week 2

RkTeamRecResultPvs
1Ohio State2-0W at Texas, 24-77
2Auburn2-0W at Miss St, 34-04
3Notre Dame2-0W vs. Penn St, 41-175
4Southern Cal1-0idle2
5Florida2-0W vs. UCF, 42-011
6LSU2-0W vs. Arizona, 45-310
7West Virginia2-0W vs. E Wash, 52-38
8Georgia2-0W at S Car, 18-013
9Louisville2-0W at Temple, 62-09
10Virginia Tech2-0W at UNC, 35-1019
11Oregon2-0W at Fresno St, 31-2421
12Texas1-1L vs. Ohio St, 7-246
13Tennessee2-0W vs. Air Force, 31-303
14Florida State2-0W vs. Troy, 24-171
15Michigan2-0W vs. C Mich, 41-1716
16Boston College2-0W vs. Clemson, 34-33 (OT)NR
17Nebraska2-0W vs. Nicholls St, 56-714
18Iowa2-0W at Syracuse, 20-13 (OT)17
19Miami1-1W vs. Florida A&M, 51-1015
20Georgia Tech1-1W vs. Samford, 38-623
21Boise State2-0W vs. Oregon St, 42-14NR
22TCU2-0W vs. UC-Davis, 46-13NR
23California1-1W vs. Minnesota, 42-1725
24Texas Tech2-0W at UTEP, 38-35 (OT)20
25UCLA2-0W vs. Rice, 26-1622

Dropped from rankings: Clemson (12), Penn State (18), South Carolina (24)

Week 2: Notre Dame 41 - Penn State 17

Notre Dame didn't dominate this game from the start, but certainly took control of the game in the second and third quarters, capitalizing on Penn State miscues and making big plays. Some photos taken during the weekend:

Friday, 3:36 p.m. EDT — Indiana I-80 Eastbound Exit 77:
Exit 77

6:38 p.m. EDT — Pep Rally. I estimated the crowd at around 35,000. Less than last year's USC game, but still pretty big:
ND Pep Rally for Penn State game

7:03 p.m. EDT — Me with Touchdown Jesus and football:
Jimbo with Touchdown Jesus on eve of 2006 Notre Dame vs. Penn State

Saturday, 1:21 p.m. EDT — ND players walk from the basilica to the stadium:
Jeff Samardzija

Brady Quinn

Darius Walker and Ambrose Wooden

2:10 p.m. EDT — Notre Dame Marching Band:
Notre Dame Marching Band

2:52 p.m. EDT — Goodyear blimp over Notre Dame Stadium:
Goodyear blimp over Notre Dame Stadium

4:29 p.m. EDT — Jeff Samardzija makes a catch in the second quarter:
Jeff Samardzija catch against Penn State

4:43 p.m. EDT — Notre Dame lines up against Penn State in the second quarter:
Notre Dame vs. Penn State

7:04 p.m. EDT — Final score, Notre Dame 41 - Penn State 17:
Notre Dame 41 - Penn State 17

September 12, 2006

Week 1: Notre Dame 14 - Georgia Tech 10

I returned from Atlanta over a week ago, but haven't found the time to make this post until now. I was extremely nervous for the first 59 minutes of that game, much longer than I thought I would be. Georgia Tech has quite a defense. Quinn looked very shaky, especially in the first half. But the Irish came away with the W, which is all that matters. Here are some photos from what I call Marathon Saturday.

6:58 a.m. EDT — College GameDay Set. Three hours til live:
College GameDay set on Georgia Tech's campus

10:17 a.m. EDT — Buzz gets a bit close for comfort:
Buzz

11:42 a.m. EDT — Touchdown Jesus in Atlanta (I'm the one holding it up):
Touchdown Jesus on GameDay in Atlanta

11:51 a.m. EDT — I make an appearance on ESPN:
Jimbo on GameDay in Atlanta

5:19 p.m. EDT — Inflatable Buzz in front of Bobby Dodd Stadium:
Inflatable Buzz

5:57 p.m. EDT — Brady Quinn departs ND's team bus:
Brady Quinn gets off bus at GT

6:12 p.m. EDT — Me with Touchdown Jesus mockup:
Jimbo with Touchdown Jesus Mockup at GT

7:19 p.m. EDT — Bobby Dodd Stadium from section 214, row 33:
Bobby Dodd Stadium before kickoff

11:32 p.m. EDT — Final score, Notre Dame 14 - Georgia Tech 10:
Notre Dame 14 - Georgia Tech 10

11:43 p.m. EDT — Bobby Dodd Stadium after the game:
Bobby Dodd Stadium postgame

September 08, 2006

Games for Week 2

Oh boy, we had some technical difficulties over the last few days, so I'll have to get up my GT summary and photos when I get back on Sunday. But right now, I'm out the door for South Bend to see Penn State vs. Notre Dame, the first meeting since the famed Snow Bowl of 1992. Weather looks like it should be in the mid-70s with a chance of rain this time around. No snow, sadly.

Anyway, onto the predictions for Week 2:

In my game... Notre Dame 27 - Penn State 20
In the big game... Texas 34 - Ohio State 31

I'll be back Sunday.

September 05, 2006

South of the Border? No, it's Glendale

Over at College Football Nation, I've got an interesting analysis of a new restaurant at the new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., home of this year's BCS National Championship Game. Check it out: South of the Border? No, It's Glendale.

Jimbo's Top 25 - Week 1

My Top 25 after Week 1 may look a little unorthodox, but what I've done is rewarded teams who have actually proved something so far this season. In my opinion, Florida State's 13-10 win at Miami is a heck of a lot more impressive than Texas' 56-7 win at home against North Texas. Wins at home against inferior opponents, especially against Division I-AA schools, don't impress me much. I like seeing wins against solid teams, especially wins on the road in tough environments. Notre Dame won on the road in a tough environment against Georgia Tech but it was a sloppy win, so I knocked them down from #1 to #5. Florida State and Southern Cal both won on the road. Tennessee won at home vs. California against the odds and a lot of adversity.

RkTeamRecResultPvs
1Florida State1-0W at Miami, 13-1017
2Southern Cal1-0W at Ark, 50-149
3Tennessee1-0W vs. Cal, 35-18NR
4Auburn1-0W vs. Wash St, 40-142
5Notre Dame1-0W at GA Tech, 14-101
6Texas1-0W vs. N Texas, 56-73
7Ohio State1-0W vs. N Ill, 35-125
8West Virginia1-0W vs. Marhall, 42-108
9Louisville1-0W vs. Kentucky, 59-287
10LSU1-0W vs. LA-Laf, 45-34
11Florida1-0W vs. S Miss, 34-715
12Clemson1-0W vs. FL Atlantic, 54-611
13Georgia1-0W vs. W Kentucky, 48-1213
14Nebraska1-0W vs. LA Tech, 49-1016
15Miami0-1L vs. FSU, 10-1310
16Michigan1-0W vs. Vandy, 27-712
17Iowa1-0W vs. Montana, 41-714
18Penn State1-0W vs. Akron, 34-1619
19Virginia Tech1-0W vs. Northeastern, 38-020
20Texas Tech1-0W vs. SMU, 35-322
21Oregon1-0W vs. Stanford, 48-10NR
22UCLA1-0W vs. Utah, 31-10NR
23Georgia Tech0-1L vs. ND, 10-1418
24South Carolina1-0W vs. Miss St, 15-0NR
25California0-1L at Tenn, 18-355

Dropped from rankings: Boise State (21), Arkansas (23), Fresno State (24), Arizona (25)

September 01, 2006

My Game for Week 1: Notre Dame at Georgia Tech

Later this afternoon, I'm flying from Chicago to Atlanta for the ND-GT game. Then Saturday morning, the fun begins: College GameDay is broadcasting live from Tech campus starting at 10:00 AM ET and the game doesn't kickoff until 8:08 PM ET, so it will be a marathon start to the college football season for me. It will be my 174th college football game for which I've been in attendence. But it will be my first time ever seeing Georgia Tech, and consequently, my first game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in downtown Atlanta.

Bobby Dodd Stadium

Expectations of Notre Dame are higher than they've been in over a decade. I have the Irish ranked #1 in my preseason Top 25. But, are the Yellow Jackets capable of stunning the Irish in the opener? While Calvin Johnson is an All-American wide receiver, quarterback Reggie Ball is just too erratic and the Jackets' secondary is thin and inexperienced. Brady Quinn should have a field day throwing the ball downfield to Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight.

My Pick: Notre Dame 42 - Georgia Tech 13

College Football Blog Turns One Year Old

Sep. 1, 2005 marked the first day of the 2005 season. It also marked the start of College Football Blog. Since then, we've come a long way, posting 100 items in the first year. And now we are at the beginning of yet another season of my favorite sport. And tomorrow night, I'll be attending my 174th college football game. More on that in a bit.