General Football

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.

September 01, 2006

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.

August 31, 2006

Kickoff 2006

College football is here once again. Below, Kelly/Shorts Stadium on campus of Central Michigan University, host of the first game of the 2006 season, against Boston College (live now on ESPN2).

Kelly/Shorts Stadium

Top Five Games to Watch in 2006

With kickoff of the 2006 college football season just an hour away, I thought I'd put together a list of what I believe will be the top games of the season, starting with my Top 5.

Top 5 Games of the Year

  1. Ohio State at Texas (Sep. 9 – 8:00 PM ET – ABC) #1 vs. #3 in the second week of the season. This one may very well determine who plays in Glendale on Jan. 8. We know Ohio State's offense will be terrific. But how will the Bucks deal with the departure of nine starters on defense? Gene Chizik will have the Longhorns defense ready to go, but how will UT's offense fair without Vince Young?
  2. Notre Dame at USC (Nov. 25 – 8:00 PM ET – ABC) The 2006 version of this rivalry will have a hard time topping last year's epic battle. There may be 80+ points scored in this game under the lights in downtown Los Angeles. If they stay healthy, the Irish offense may be unstoppable with Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight, and Darius Walker leading the way. But can the Irish defense improve this season after the Fiesta Bowl debacle? How will the Trojans replace replace Reggie Bush, Lendale White, and Matt Leinart? Will John David Booty follow in the footsteps of Carson Palmer and Leinart?
  3. LSU at Auburn (Sep. 16 – 3:30 PM ET – CBS) This early season game should determine the SEC West champion. LSU's JaMarcus Russell should be fully recovered from last season's left shoulder injury and will be electrifying. Auburn's Kenny Irons may be the best running back in the nation this season.
  4. Ohio State at Iowa (Sep. 30 – 8:00 PM ET – TV TBA) The second huge game for the Buckeyes in the month of September will again be in hostile territory. The Hawkeyes will be looking to avenge last season's 31-6 blowout loss to the Bucks. Drew Tate should be healthy this time around, and with a home crowd to rally behind, it'll be interesting to see if they can put up points against a defense less experienced than the one they faced in 2005. Of course, Iowa's defense will have its hands full, having to face Bucks RB Antonio Pittman, QB Troy Smith, and WR Tedd Ginn.
  5. West Virginia at Louisville (Nov. 2 – 7:30 PM ET – ESPN) Without a doubt, this will determine the Big East championship and could possibly have national championship implications. It's entirely possible that both teams could be undefeated going into the first week of November. A Thursday night game on national television, all eyes will be watching this. Has Louisville QB Brian Brohm completely recovered from his ACL injury? If he's healthy, he and RB Michael Bush will be a tough duo to beat for the Mountaineers, who shocked Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last season.

Games to Watch Week-by-Week

  • Week 1 — Florida State at Miami (Sep. 4)
    Honorable Mention: California at Tennessee (Sep. 2)
  • Week 2 — Ohio State at Texas (Sep. 9)
    Honorable Mention: Penn State at Notre Dame (Sep. 9)
  • Week 3 — Michigan at Notre Dame (Sep. 16)
    Honorable Mention: Clemson at Florida State (Sep. 16)
  • Week 4 — Penn State at Ohio State (Sep. 23)
    Honorable Mention: USC at Arizona (Sep. 23)
  • Week 5 — Ohio State at Iowa (Sep. 30)
    Honorable Mention: Auburn at South Carolina (Sep. 28)
  • Week 6 — LSU at Florida (Oct. 7)
    Honorable Mention: Texas vs. Oklahoma (Oct. 7)
  • Week 7 — Florida at Auburn (Oct. 14)
    Honorable Mention: Michigan at Penn State (Oct. 14)
  • Week 8 — Iowa at Michigan (Oct. 21)
    Honorable Mention: Texas at Nebraska (Oct. 21)
  • Week 9 — Florida vs. Georgia (Oct. 28)
    Honorable Mention: Miami at Georgia Tech (Oct. 28)
  • Week 10 — West Virginia at Louisville (Nov. 2)
    Honorable Mention: Fresno State at Boise State (Nov. 1)
  • Week 11 — Georgia at Auburn (Nov. 11)
    Honorable Mention: California at Arizona (Nov. 11)
  • Week 12 — Michigan at Ohio State (Nov. 18)
    Honorable Mention: Auburn at Alabama (Nov. 18)
    Honorable Mention: California at USC (Nov. 18)
  • Week 13 — Notre Dame at USC (Nov. 25)
    Honorable Mention: Florida at Florida State (Nov. 25)
  • Week 14 — USC at UCLA (Dec. 2)
    Honorable Mention: Army vs. Navy (Dec. 2)

July 18, 2006

NCAA Football '07

It's finally here. NCAA Football '07. For almost as long as I can remember, it's been a personal tradition of mine to run down to the video game store first thing in the morning the day this game comes out every year. This year was no different. Although, I was a bit put off by Trojan Reggie Bush being on the cover this year, as I was when Carson Palmer graced the cover of NCAA Football 2003. But I was able to quickly remedy this unfortunate occurrence. Now don't get me wrong. I respect Reggie Bush as the greatest player that college football has seen in some time. But, I do hate the Trojans, so this I just couldn't resist.

Reggie Bush BBQ

Reggie Bush on fire

Okay, time to call in the reinforcements.
Lighter fluid

There we go.
Big fire

Reggie Bush gets burned

Anyway, the game itself looks damned cool. Well, really it's pretty much the same as NCAA Football 2006, except that there is now a much more noticeable home field advantage and some of the gameplay and animation seems a bit smoother than in past years. Still, I don't like how Brad Nessler says, "And here comes the Fighting Irish," when Notre Dame takes the field. I also wish I could set the kickoff times for games within the dynasty mode.

April 22, 2006

Jimmy Clausen is Irish

Photo courtesy of NDNation's zaggie1

Jimmy Clausen (Oaks Christian, Calif.), the most coveted high school quarterback recruit in recent memory, chose Notre Dame over Southern California on Saturday. He made his announcement official at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., where he held an 8:30 a.m. press conference.

"I committed to Notre Dame," said Clausen. "I'd like to thank all the other schools and wish them the best of luck and would like to thank coach Weis for having the confidence in me during the recruiting process."

Many had speculated that Clausen was leaning toward Notre Dame since current QB Brady Quinn would be graduating, leaving the roster spot open. At USC, redshirt freshman Mark Sanchez and senior John David Booty are expected to compete for the starting quarterback job. However, Clausen insists that his decision to commit to the Irish had nothing to do with potential competition.

"That's not a factor at all," Clausen said. "Most people are probably going to think that's a factor, but it's not. I'm the kind of guy who likes to compete, and that's what I'm all about, is competing and getting better and stuff like that. ... So, if Mark Sanchez does play this year and that's the place I wanted to go, I'd go there."

Clausen's early commitment should grease the wheels for Irish recruiting, as several blue-chip prospects are in town today for Notre Dame's annual spring game. The new Irish quarterback has pledged to assist in persuading recruits to come to South Bend.

Jimmy Clausen's press conference (Irish Eyes)
Highlight reel of Jimmy Clausen

February 24, 2006

Onepeat Billboard Is up in Los Angeles

The fellows over at have been raising money since early January for a very worthy cause — to put up a billboard right across the street from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The purpose of this ad? To refute USC's claim to a dynasty. According to, USC was never going for a three-peat, as LSU actually won the national championship in 2003, which most people had forgotten all about. And obviously, USC didn't win in 2005 either.

Yesterday, I was notified via the e-mail newsletter that the billboard was up at the corner of 39th and Figueroa, directly across the street from the Coliseum. Today, I made my way down there (sporting my lucky Longhorns hat) to take a few shots: billboard wide angle shot billboard billboard from directly underneath billboard close-up billboard and Jimbo

Here is a satellite photo showing where the billboard is in relation to the stadium. The location of the billboard has been marked by the red rectangle (far right, middle). The billboard faces south. The USC campus lies approximately 1/4 mile to the north. billboard location aerial view

I also took a 180-degree panoramic shot that shows both the Coliseum and the billboard. Due to its width, I was unable to post it on this page, but try this link (309 KB): 180-degree panoramic photo of Onepeat billboard and Coliseum.

If you think the panoramic shot is neat, check out this movie of the Onepeat billboard and Coliseum (9.5 MB).

Enjoy this post? it!

December 04, 2005

Final BCS Projections

Going into the BCS Selection show (5 p.m. EST), the bowl pairings have become rather predictable. I'll give them first, then explain why.

Rose Bowl: Southern Cal (12-0) vs. Texas (12-0)
Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame (9-2) vs. Ohio State (9-2)
Orange Bowl: Florida State (8-4) vs. Penn State (10-1)
Sugar Bowl: Georgia (10-2) vs. West Virginia (10-1)

These eight teams will be the ones chosen. I can guarantee that. With LSU and Virginia Tech losing their conference championship games, Ohio State leaps from sixth in the BCS to fourth, while Notre Dame moves from eighth to sixth. Under the BCS rules, any school that does not win its conference and places third or fourth in the BCS rankings shall be awarded an automatic bid. So that takes care of the Buckeyes. A second rule states that if any non-BCS conference school or Notre Dame finishes fifth or sixth in the BCS standings shall be awarded an automatic bid. Therefore, there are no at-large openings for Oregon or Auburn.

Let's consider the pairings now. The Rose Bowl pairings should be obvious. With Texas going to the national championship game, the Fiesta Bowl is compensated by receiving the first pick, and they will choose Notre Dame. The Orange Bowl chooses second, and certainly will pick Penn State, pairing the two winningest coaches in history (Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno) against one another. (I had originally thought that the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl might swap the two Big Ten schools to avoid Ohio State making its third trip to Tempe in four years, but a reliable source who communicates with someone on the Orange Bowl selection committee has said that the Orange Bowl refuses to make such a trade.) The Fiesta Bowl then picks again, choosing Ohio State. This leaves the Sugar Bowl with West Virginia.

For better or for worse, the BCS this year will generate some interesting storylines, if not games themselves. The system worked this year, pairing the two undefeateds in the Rose Bowl. Penn State vs. Florida State is a great human interest story, considering the Nittany Lions meteoric rise and the matchup of two college football coaching dinosaurs. Notre Dame vs. Ohio State will be a ratings bonanza. The Fiesta Bowl hit a homerun this time around. Unfortunately, the Sugar Bowl did not. In addition to being relocated from its natural site in New Orleans, this game will be over before halftime. Georgia will crush West Virginia.

November 29, 2005

Fixing the BCS

I received a comment a couple of days ago asking where Oregon might wind up in the annual mass confusion that is our current bowl system. The poster already spewed a little venom at Notre Dame, as he is undoubtedly bracing for his Ducks to be overlooked despite a 10-1 record. If Oregon does not receive a BCS bid, it will be an injustice. Let's be clear about that. But Notre Dame is not the proper target for DuckNation to unleash some angry quacking.

No, the fault lies with the conference commissioners, who have created a system that rewards potential mediocrity. Florida State (7-4) and Colorado (7-4) are still alive for automatic BCS bids, while UCLA and Oregon can both finish with just one loss and be shut out. Why must a conference champion be guaranteed a BCS bid? Winning a conference is a tremendous accomplishment, one that should be capable of standing on its own. If Colorado defeats Texas on Saturday, does anyone really believe the Buffs had a better season than the Longhorns? Isn't it accolade enough to be crowned the Big XII champion without being given the additional honor of being murdered in the Fiesta Bowl?

BCS selection should be entirely at-large. To avoid undue controversy (for instance in selecting two 9-2 teams like Notre Dame and Ohio State over a one-loss team like Oregon), there should be air-tight selection criteria. Starting next year, there will be five BCS bowls. So why not send the top two teams to the championship game and 3-10 to the other four games? If you win your conference and finish outside the top ten in the BCS, you're likely to be murdered in a BCS game, anyway.

Here's what the BCS might look like this year under my suggested format.

(Note: This projection assumes that all favorites win this weekend's games. I am using the current BCS selection order of Orange-Fiesta-Sugar. Where possible, I have selected teams with traditional tie-ins to the bowl in question. I have avoided scheduling rematches.)

Rose Bowl
#1 Southern California (12-0) vs. #2 Texas (12-0)

Orange Bowl
#8 Notre Dame (9-2) vs. #5 Virginia Tech (11-1)

Fiesta Bowl
#3 Penn State (10-1) vs. #7 Oregon (10-1)

Sugar Bowl
#4 LSU (11-1) vs. #6 Ohio State (9-2)

This scenario would obviously upset Big East champion West Virginia. However, in this situation I think this would be a good thing. For any program or conference that feels slighted by my BCS system, there is only one solution: schedule tougher out-of-conference games to impress the voters and computers. Ohio State clearly is being rewarded for its close loss to Texas. Despite its opponents' combined record, Notre Dame always is rewarded for filling its schedule with names like Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Michigan and Southern Cal. Any system that forces more schools to surrender their record-padding ways in favor of scheduling great matchups is a good system in my book.

November 15, 2005

Bowl Projections

I've projected the remainder of all bowl eligible teams' schedules to come up with the final conference placings, and having done so I must say I respect the work done by those ESPN guys. My picks were compiled without comparing to Ivan Maisel's or Pat Forde's, but I'll list all three so that you can compare. Let's see who winds up coming the closest come bowl season...

Bowl Ivan Maisel Pat Forde Gerry Meskill
USC (12-0)
Texas (12-0)
Penn St
Penn St
Miami (11-1)
Penn St (10-1)
W Virginia
W Virginia
LSU (11-1)
W Virginia (10-1)
Notre Dame
Ohio St
Notre Dame
Va Tech
Notre Dame (9-2)
Va Tech (10-1)
Capital One
Michigan (8-3)
Auburn (9-2)
Va Tech
Florida St
Louisville (9-2)
BC (8-3)
South Carolina
Ohio St
Ohio St (8-3)
Alabama (9-2)
Tx Tech
Tx Tech (8-3)
Georgia (9-3)
Ga Tech
Iowa St
Col St (6-5)
Nebraska (6-5)
Ga Tech
UTEP (11-1)
Fresno St (10-2)
Car Care
So Florida
So Florida
So Florida (7-4)
Ga Tech (6-5)
Florida St
So Carolina
Florida St (7-5)
So Carolina (8-3)
Iowa St
Florida (8-3)
Missouri (7-4)
UCLA (9-2)
Iowa (7-4)
Music City
Wisconsin (9-3)
Tennessee (6-5)
Oregon (10-1)
Oklahoma (7-4)
Col St
Navy (7-4)
BYU (7-4)
Tx Tech
Nwestern (7-4)
Colorado (8-4)
Boise St
Boise St
Boise St (9-3)
Clemson (6-5)
Cal (7-4)
Rutgers (7-4)
Maryland (6-5)
Iowa St (8-3)
Motor City
Minnesota (7-4)
Toledo (10-2)
Fresno St
Southern Miss
Fresno St
Nevada (7-4)
Tulsa (10-2)
Fort Worth
Virginia (6-5)
Houston (7-4)
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico (7-4)
W. Michigan (7-4)
Las Vegas
Arizona St
Arizona St
Arizona St (6-5)
TCU (10-1)
C. Florida
C. Florida
C. Florida (8-4)
Miami-OH (9-4)
New Orleans
La. Monroe
La. Lfyette
So. Miss
Arkansas St (6-5)
So. Miss (6-5)

November 01, 2005

Paths to Conference Championships

Championships are won in November. (Well, nowadays, I suppose they're won in December.) Heading into the final month of college football's regular season, here is how things are shaping up in each of the major conferences. Each conference still has at least two teams that control their own destinies. Several other teams are also still in the conference race but need some additional help. Next to each of these teams that need help, I have listed one of perhaps several ways that it can still win a title in December should that team win its remaining conference games.

Note that this list is in no way exhaustive of all of the possible outcomes. There are still millions of possible combinations of events that can transpire in the season's final five weeks. This is just a fun exercise to get us thinking about some of the possibilities. Enjoy!


Teams that control their own destinies
Florida State
Virginia Tech

Teams that need help
Boston College - Needs Florida State to lose its final two ACC games.
Georgia Tech - Needs Virginia Tech to lose its final three games.

Big 12

Teams that control their own destinies

Teams that need help
Iowa State - Needs Colorado to lose an additional game, Missouri to lose two games.
Texas Tech - Needs Texas to lose two games.
Oklahoma - Needs Texas to lose two games.
Texas A&M - Needs Texas to lose an additional game.
Nebraska - Needs Colorado to lose an additional game, Missouri to lose two games.

Big East

Teams that control their own destinies
West Virginia

Teams that need help
South Florida - Needs Pittsburgh to lose once.
Rutgers - Needs West Virginia to lose twice.

Big Ten

Teams that control their own destinies
Penn State

Teams that need help
Ohio State - Needs Penn State/Wisconsin winner to lose once.
Michigan - Needs Penn State and Iowa to beat Wisconsin, Michigan State to beat Penn State.
Iowa - Needs Michigan to lose once, Ohio State to lose twice, Penn State to lose twice.
Northwestern - Needs Wisconsin and Michigan State to beat Penn State, Iowa to beat Wisconsin, and Michigan to lose once.


Teams that control their own destinies

Teams that need help
Oregon - Needs USC to lose two Pac-10 games, needs UCLA to lose once and fall behind Oregon in the BCS standings.
California - Needs Stanford to beat USC, UCLA to lose their remaining three games.
Stanford - Needs California to beat USC, UCLA to lose their remaining three games.


Teams that control their own destinies

Teams that need help
Auburn - Needs LSU to lose once.
Florida - Needs Georgia to lose one SEC game.
South Carolina - Needs to win out, including non-conference game against Clemson, Florida to beat Vanderbilt, Florida State to beat Florida, Georgia to lose their remaining three games.

October 23, 2005

And Then There Were Six

Through eight weeks, six teams remain undefeated in college football. It is possible that there will still be six unbeatens going into the last day of the regular season, December 3. After that day, at most, there will be four teams that could remain perfect. The following is a list of the remaining undefeated teams and their remaining opponents. FIve of the six teams have five games left. UCLA has the fewest obstacles in their path, as they play only four more games.

#1 USC (7-0)
10/29: Washington State (3-4)
11/05: Stanford (4-2)
11/12: at #24 California (6-2)
11/19: #22 Fresno State (5-1)
12/03: #8 UCLA (7-0)
Opponents' Combined Records: 25-9

#2 Texas (7-0)
10/29: Oklahoma State (3-4)
11/05: at Baylor (4-3)
11/12: Kansas (3-4)
11/25: at Texas A&M (5-2)
12/03: Big 12 Championship vs. Colorado (5-2) or Missouri (5-2) or Nebraska (5-2)
Opponents' Combined Records: 20-15

#3 Virginia Tech (7-0)
10/27: #13 Boston College (6-1)
11/05: #6 Miami (5-1)
11/19: at Virginia (4-3)
11/26: North Carolina (3-3)
12/03: ACC Championship vs. Florida State (6-1) or Boston College (6-1) or Maryland (4-3)
Opponents' Combined Records: 24-9

#4 Georgia (7-0)
10/19: vs. #16 Florida (5-2) (in Jacksonville)
11/12: #19 Auburn (5-2)
11/19: Kentucky (1-5)
11/26: at Georgia Tech (4-2)
12/03: SEC Championship vs. Alabama (7-0) or LSU (5-1) or Auburn (5-2)
Opponents' Combined Records: 22-11

#5 Alabama (7-0)
10/29: Utah State (2-4)
11/05: at Mississippi State (2-5)
11/12: #7 LSU (5-1)
11/19: at #19 Auburn (5-2)
12/03: SEC Championship vs. Georgia (7-0) or Florida (5-2)
Opponents' Combined Records: 21-12

#8 UCLA (7-0)
10/29: at Stanford (4-2)
11/05: at Arizona (1-6)
11/12: Arizona State (3-4)
12/03: at #1 USC (7-0)
Opponents' Combined Records: 15-12

October 22, 2005

Week 8: Unbeatens in Action

Coming into the eighth week of the season, only seven teams remain perfect:

#1 USC at Arizona
#2 Texas vs. #10 Texas Tech
#3 Virginia Tech defeated Maryland on Thursday
#4 Georgia vs. Arkansas
#5 Alabama vs. #17 Tennessee
#8 UCLA vs. Oregon State
#10 Texas Tech at #2 Texas

Because Texas and Texas Tech play each other, after today, at most, there will be six undefeated teams. And while USC and Georgia should roll big over their opponents, I expect visiting teams Tennessee and Oregon State to seriously challenge their hosts Alabama and UCLA, respectively. I wouldn't be too surprised if this weekend considerably shook up the top ten.

October 10, 2005

Nine Remain Perfect

Northwestern upset Wisconsin. Texas Tech slipped past Nebraska with a last minute touchdown pass. UCLA came back from a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat California. And now the number of perfect teams is down to nine (AP rank listed):

1. USC (5-0)
2. Texas (5-0)
3. Virginia Tech (6-0)
4. Florida State (5-0)
5. Georgia (5-0)
6. Alabama (5-0)
8. Penn State (6-0)
12. UCLA (5-0)
13. Texas Tech (5-0)

While last week featured two games between undefeated teams (Texas Tech over Nebraska; UCLA over Cal), only four such matchups could potentially occur through the remainder of the regular season:

10/22 - Texas Tech at Texas
12/03 - UCLA at USC
12/03 - Alabama vs. Georgia (SEC Championship Game)
12/03 - Florida State vs. Virginia Tech (ACC Championship Game)

October 02, 2005

Conference Championship Predictions

WIth six weeks of the 2005 college football season behind us, it's time for my conference champion predictions:

ACC: Virginia Tech over Florida State
Big 12: Texas over Colorado
Big East: West Virginia
Big Ten: Wisconsin & Ohio State (tie)
C-USA: Southern Miss over UTEP
MAC: Bowling Green over Central Michigan
Pac-10: Cal
SEC: Alabama over Tennessee
Sun Belt: North Texas
WAC: Fresno State

12 Teams Remain Undefeated

Four conferences have teams with perfect records. The Big 12 and the Pac-10 lead the way with three each, while the Big Ten and the SEC have two each. Eleven of the 12 undefeated teams will be in action this Saturday, with Alabama having a bye before traveling to Ole Miss on October 15. Two games this Saturday will feature head-to-head matchups between unbeatens (Texas Tech at Nebraska; Cal at UCLA). The following is the list of the remaining unbeatens and their current AP ranking through six weeks and their next oppenent:

Big 12
Nebraska (NR) vs. #15 Texas Tech
Texas (2) vs. Oklahoma (in Dallas)
Texas Tech (15) at Nebraska

Big Ten
Penn State (16) vs. #6 Ohio State
Wisconsin (14) at Northwestern

Cal (10) at # 20 UCLA
USC (1) vs. Arizona
UCLA (20) vs. #10 Cal

Georgia (5) at #8 Tennessee
Alabama (7) at Mississippi (Oct 15)

September 11, 2005

My Hero Ivan Maisel

On September 6, 1997, I attended both the Tennessee - UCLA game and the Florida State - USC game. Two games in one day. Not a bad way to kick off the 1997 season. But that was easy. The Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum are separated by a mere 16 miles.

Last night, I wondered to myself whether it could have been possible for someone to have crossed the Michigan-Ohio state line to attend both the Notre Dame - Michigan game and the Texas - Ohio State game. After all, the game at the Big House in Ann Arbor ended at roughly 3:30 p.m. EDT and the game at the Horseshoe in Columbus wouldn't be kicking off until after 8 p.m. EDT. The drive is just under 200 miles and could probably completed in roughly four hours, even with some stadium traffic. Sure, it was possible, but I didn't think anyone had actually done it.

That is until I read Ivan Maisel's column. Instantly I became engulfed with jealousy and admiration. ESPN even arranged to have a Town Car transport Maisel between the games. You, sir, are a professional. My hat is off.

September 08, 2005

Return of the Intersectional Football Rivalry

September 28, 1996 was the last time two non-traditional rivals both ranked in the top five met during the regular season: #4 Ohio State defeated #5 Notre Dame 29-16 in South Bend. Nine years later, college football fans once again will be treated to such a high-profile game when #2 Texas takes on #4 Ohio State in Columbus in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

Stewart Mandel of points out that scheduling these types of intersectional rivalries between elite teams has become somewhat of an endangered species lately. He points to some of the intersectional rivalries of the past that made college football classic, Notre Dame - Army of the 1940s, USC - Alabama of the 1970s, and Notre Dame - Miami of the 1980s. Lately, many athletic directors have strayed from these types of games because they require a home and home contract that requires the sacrafice of a home game every other year.

But with schedule strength being a determining factor in getting Oklahoma to the BCS title game over USC and Auburn in each of the last two years, we're beginning to see the return of the intersectional rivalry to college football. Consider: Ohio State and USC will play in 2008 and 2009; Miami and Ohio State (remember that 2002 Fiesta Bowl?) in 2010 and 2011; Nebraska and USC in 2006 and 2007; Cal and Tennessee in 2006 and 2007; Florida State and Oklahoma in 2010 and 2011; Notre Dame and Oklahoma in 2012 and 2013.

Texas head coach Mack Brown, however, has indicated that the Longhorns will shy away from tough non-conference scheduling after the Ohio State series is over next year: "At places like ours, we're going to fill up our stadium regardless of who we're playing, so we'd actually make more money playing another game at home, getting our guys ready for our conference schedule. So I don't see this continuing."

Read more: Bring on the big boys

September 04, 2005

Sunday Morning Notes

What better way to celebrate your 21st birthday than with a game-winning field goal against intrastate rival Colorado State? Colorado place kicker Mason Crosby did just that, striking a 47-yard field goal to give the Buffaloes a thrilling 31-28 victory at the end of a wild final 2:32 of the fourth quarter, during which the two teams combined for 20 points.

September 03, 2005

We're Up and Running

Well, the domain name resolved at midnight this morning, the first Saturday of the college football season. Big day tomorrow: ESPN College GameDay is in Pittsburgh, where the Panthers play host to Notre Dame. As for me? I'll be heading listening to the Irish in my car as I travel south from Los Angeles to San Diego for tonight's game between UCLA and San Diego State. But for now, it's bedtime before the big day really starts.

September 01, 2005


This is the newest weblog from Jimmy Atkinson. I call it the College Football Blog. Now I'll just patiently wait for our new domain name to resolve and then we'll be all set to go. Today is the first day of the 2005 college football season. It is my hope that I can use this blog this season and for many seasons to come to voice my opinions on what I find interesting, funny, profound, or whacky in the world of college football. Thanks for visiting!