The 2006 Football Schedule Planner: Week 5

June 16, 2006

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    By Adam Caparell



    Adam is's football editor and national football writer.
    E-mail here!

    Over the summer, 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 Friday for the heads-up on what games are shaping up to be the best each week, the worst each week and a few others that have piqued our interest. 


    The absence of any major theme in Week 5 of the college football season doesn't mean there aren't things worth noting, especially as teams around the country begin to settle in for conference play.


    The weekend will get off to an early bang with two great matchups on Thursday night. It'll be must-see TV in the SEC and MWC as the two conferences showcase some of their better teams. And they should have a nice audience with the MLB regular season winding down and the playoffs still a few days away.


    Week 5 also presents a chance to see some pretty good offenses face off. Expect to see some big numbers put on the board Thursday night and again on Saturday afternoon, when two of the premier Big Ten programs square off.


    Game of the Week

    Sat., Sept. 30 - Ohio State at Iowa

    This one will feature a great QB matchup, as the Hawkeyes' Drew Tate and the Buckeyes' Troy Smith will lead two top notch offenses. Iowa doesn't have the toughest Big Ten schedule, so if they can get past Ohio State and avoid any upsets, their road date against Michigan in October will loom rather large. If Ohio State were to lose their game against Texas three weeks earlier, the Hawkeyes could have the pleasure of destroying any national title hopes the Buckeyes have left.


    Games to Watch

    Thurs., Sept. 28 - Auburn at South Carolina

    Auburn should be one of the better teams in the country. So, with lofty aspirations and only four road games, the Tigers have to take care of business. This will be Auburn's second road game, and its toughest besides the annual battle with Alabama in November. But it won't be easy against Steve Spurrier in Columbia. It could be make or break time for the Tigers' SEC title hopes if they come in with a loss from the LSU game two weeks earlier.


    Thurs., Sept. 28 - BYU at TCU (CSTV, 7 pm)

    Great early season matchup in the Mountain West. Getting the Cougars at home makes the possibility of TCU running the table in the MWC a little easier. This one should feature plenty of fireworks - both teams boasted offenses that averaged over 399 yards per game last season. BYU has only four starters returning on defense which could pose a problem trying to slow down the high-risk, high-reward offense of TCU.


    Sat., Sept. 30 - Northwestern at Penn State

    This is Northwestern's chance to make a statement that they're serious contenders in the Big Ten, but it will be a tall order in Happy Valley. Wildcats RB Tyrell Sutton, and one of the better offensive lines in the conference, will face off against Paul Posluszny and the Nittany Lions.


    Sat. Sept. 30 - SMU at Tulane (CSTV, 9 pm)

    This game is significant because it will be the first one played in New Orleans for Tulane since Hurricane Katrina. The Superdome has been undergoing extensive repairs and renovations and should be ready for football season. Good chance to catch Tulane QB Lester Ricard in action, a player many seem to feel could play professionally in the Superdome one day.


    Rivalry of the Week

    Sat., Sept. 30 - Michigan at Minnesota

    It's installment No. 95 of the Little Brown Jug rivalry as these two teams have been playing each other since 1903. While Michigan has pretty much owned the rivalry, Minnesota shocked the Wolverines in Ann Arbor last year for the first time in 19 years.


    Mismatch of the Week

    Sat., Sept. 30 - Sam Houston State at Texas

    Texas gets a break in their schedule and a chance to work out any kinks or add any new wrinkles to their system before next week when Dallas and the Texas State Fair beckon. That means it's time for the Sooners and the Red River Shootout, Rivalry or whatever politically correct moniker the game is going by these days.  



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