2007 Schedule Planner: Week 1

Tennessee-Cal featured game of college football's first week of season

May 24, 2007

By Adam Caparell




Adam is CSTV.com's football editor and national football writer.
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Over the summer, CSTV.com will be taking a look at the college football schedule, highlighting the top matchups, the can't-miss games and the storylines that make certain contests so intriguing. Check in every Thursday for the heads-up on what games are shaping up to be the best each week, the top offensive matchups, Heisman showcases and a few others that have piqued our interest. 


After a long hibernation, college football officially returns on the first weekend of September - well, technically the last Thursday in August, but anyway you look at it, it's one long, long weekend of football. So you can expect the usual fanfare, anticipation and excitement as game time approaches, just don't expect a whole lot of fireworks. The scintillating matchups are still a week or two away as the majority of teams warm-up with an FCS sacrificial lamb. But while the weekend might lack quantity, it's not without quality.




Games of the Week

Thursday, Aug. 30 - LSU at Mississippi State

The season once again kicks off on a weeknight and the best game on the schedule comes from the nation's best conference: the SEC. The Bulldogs are clearly out-classed in this matchup, but it's still an intra-division meeting and early on in the season, you never know. LSU, will probably be No. 2 in the polls for this one. The Tigers haven't lost to the Bulldogs since 1999 - and they historically own them - but if you're going to lose, lose early.


Saturday, Sept. 1 - Wake Forest at Boston College

Can Wake repeat the success it had in 2006? Why not, as the Demon Deacons return a bevy of difference makers who Jim Grobe hopes can stay healthy this time around. If they are, then look out because Wake will compete for a second straight Atlantic Division title with Boston College, the cream of the division. These two teams faced off late last season with Wake winning it take first place in the division. This year, the game's just as important, only a whole lot earlier.


Saturday, Sept. 1 - Kansas State at Auburn

Stern test for the Wildcats in their opener as they start year two of the Ron Prince era at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It's going to be a difficult spot for K-State, with the Wildcats up against that Tigers defense and the Tigers faithful, but there's no better place for Josh Freeman to put that awful spring game performance behind him.


Monday, Sept. 3 - Florida State at Clemson

The Bowdon Bowl gets an early date this year as the traditional meeting - at least over the past few years - between FSU and Miami has been pushed back to late in the season after some complaining from both sides. Clemson's dynamic duo of C.J. Spiller and James Davis will be featured prominently on national television. We'll see if the Seminoles rushing defense, one of the nation's better units last year, is up to the early challenge. Let's hope for more offense in this Labor Day contest than last year's (182 yards combined).


BCS Buster Special of the Week

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Arizona at BYU

Aside from TCU, the Cougars are probably the only team in the MWC with legitimate BCS potential entering the season. They plan on being right there with the Horned Frogs for the conference title, but that's going to depend heavily on John Beck's successor. If Max Hall steps up, then the Cougars chances of earning an invite to a more prestigious bowl than the Poinsettia will be greatly improved and beating an improved Arizona team at home is an obvious must.


Heisman Showcase Game of the Week

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Tennessee at Cal

Think revenge is going to be on the mind of the Bears in this one? Cal was undressed in last year's season opener in Knoxville and Jeff Tedford and company would love nothing more than to return the favor. Both teams should be ranked in the Top 25 entering the game. Can Nate Longshore and the Bears offense exploit a Volunteers secondary that many consider to be rebuilding? This game has all the makings for a Tennessee undressing. Let's hope the Vols don't forget how to tackle like the Bears did in last year's game. The two other names to look out for in this one are the Bears' DeSean Jackson and the Vols' Erik Ainge.


Rivalry of the Week

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Colorado vs. Colorado State - Denver

Being that this is a traditional rivalry game, we'll go with the Rams and Buffalos to butt heads at Invesco Field with state bragging rights on the line. You'd figure Colorado will put its miserable 2006 season behind them - a 2-10 campaign that included a 14-10 loss to the Rams in the second game of the season. This has been a pretty even series since 1999 and figures to be a good one.