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September 5, 2006 It has finally arrived. The new season of college football kicked off with a bang. Starting on Thursday, college football fans got five straight days of great games. Saturday, the busiest day, had some marquee matchups. Notre Dame, Southern Cal, California, Tennessee, and Oklahoma all had tough games. Some impressed, like Tennessee and USC, while some disappointed, like California and Oklahoma.

It's never too early to be talking about bowl games, and we'll be updating our postseason projections every week after the games are played. Ohio State and Texas were very dominant in their wins on Saturday, and if I had to choose two teams, they would be in my national championship game. However, they will be playing each other this coming weekend. You will be able to see who I pick in that game by who I keep in the national championship slot in this week's projections. Everything will become clearer as the season progresses, but I am up for the challenge.

Dec. 19 Poinsettia BYU vs Navy
Dec. 21 Las Vegas UCLA vs TCU
Dec. 22 New Orleans Arkansas State vs. Southern Miss
Dec. 23 New Mexico San Diego State vs. Nevada
Dec. 23 Birmingham Houston vs. South Florida
Dec. 23 Armed Forces Utah vs. UTEP
Dec. 24 Hawaii Hawaii vs. Arizona
Dec. 26 Motor City Northern Illinois vs Northwestern
Dec. 27 Emerald Arizona State vs. Virginia
Dec. 27 Independence Kansas vs Arkansas
Dec. 28 Holiday Oklahoma vs Oregon
Dec. 28 MPC Computers Fresno State vs Maryland
Dec. 29 Champs Sports Georgia Tech vs Wisconsin
Dec. 29 Music City Mississippi vs. Boston College
Dec. 29 Sun Cal vs. Nebraska
Dec. 29 Insight Michigan State vs Texas A&M
Dec. 30 Alamo Minnesota vs Texas Tech
Dec. 30 Liberty UCF vs Alabama
Dec. 30 Meineke Car Care Pittsburgh vs. Wake Forest
Dec. 30 Chick-fil-A South Carolina vs Miami (Fl)
Jan. 1 Gator Virginia Tech vs Louisville
Jan. 1 Cotton Iowa State vs. Georgia
Jan. 1 Outback Iowa vs. LSU
Jan. 1 Capital One Tennessee vs. Michigan
Jan. 1 Rose [BCS] Penn State vs USC
Jan. 1 Fiesta [BCS] Boise State vs. Texas
Jan. 2 Orange [BCS] Notre Dame vs. Florida
Jan. 3 Sugar [BCS] Auburn vs. Florida State
Jan. 6 International Toledo vs Rutgers
Jan. 7 GMAC Tulsa vs. Akron
Jan. 8 *BCS TITLE* Ohio State vs. West Virginia


  • Randy Walker Game - Former Northwestern Coach Randy Walker got the ceremony and the game that he would have wanted. After suffering a fatal heart attack two months ago, the Randy Walker game took place. Hundreds of people showed up before the game to remember the Miami (OH) alum. Northwestern won 21-3, and Walker's widow got the game ball.

  • Division 1-AA - Not one, but two BCS conference teams lost to Division 1-AA teams on Saturday. Duke was shut out by Richmond 13-0. Even more embarrassing, Colorado, led by new coach Dan Hawkins, was stunned at home by Montana State. Other Division 1-AA teams came close to upsets. Northwestern State failed a two-point conversion that would have given them a win over Kansas State, while Indiana State scored 35 points on Purdue's defense in a 64-35 loss. Maybe teams won't be so quick to schedule these 1-AA opponents.

  • Arizona - Arizona's win over Brigham Young wasn't as impressive as it could have been, but Mike Stoops seems to have the program turning a corner. UA sold out Arizona Stadium Saturday night as Nick Folk kicked a 48-yard game-winning field goal. 58,450 fans attended the win, the 9th largest crowd in history. If Arizona can pull off the huge upset and beat LSU this weekenkd, the Cats could turn into a player in the Pac-10.

  • Tennessee - Whether you picked Cal or Tennessee to win, no one expected what happened this past weekend in Knoxville. UT steamrolled past the Bears, dominating in every aspect of the game. Coach Fulmer now has the fans behind the team, and may have raised his job security immensely.


  • Colorado - When Dan Hawkins left WAC powerhouse Boise State for Colorado, he never imagined losing his first game of the year. That is because Colorado's first opponent was Division 1-AA Montana State. Is this as devastating as getting blown out last year by Texas in the Big XII title game by a score of 70 to 3? Possibly, but both losses show what is happening to a once proud program.

  • Duke - Nobody expected Duke to have a good football team this year. Still, they were shut out by Division 1-AA Richmond. Yes, you heard right. An ACC team could not score at all against a Division 1-AA team. Duke's leading rusher had 22 yards, and they only had 158 passing yards between two quarterbacks. Thank your lucky stars Duke, basketball season is almost here.

  • MAC - The Mid-American Conference went 3-9 in Week 1. Ball State beat Eastern Michigan by 18 in the only conference game of the week. Toledo was the only impressive team, taking Iowa State to overtime before losing 45-43. Buffalo was the only other team who won an out-of-conference game, as they beat Temple 9-3 in overtime. This Temple team will soon be joining the MAC in 2007. The MAC failed to pull off a week 1 upset, and doesn't look as if it will be as strong as previous years. Central Michigan played a tough game against Boston College, but blew their chance to win when they tried a trick play with time running low, which resulted in an interception.

  • New Clock Rules - Maybe with time, no pun intended, college football fans will embrace the new rules. Then again, probably not. The shortened games made it feel as if the game was totally different. Sooner or later, a team will lose a game because of the new rules. When will the NCAA do something that the die-hard college football fan can enjoy?

  • Louisville - Yes, Louisville did beat rival Kentucky quite handily. However, Heisman hopeful Michael Bush broke his leg in the 3rd quarter and will likely be out for the year. The running back already had 3 touchdowns and losing him will hurt Louisville's national title hopes in a big way.

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