2007 Schedule Planner - Week 5

Weekend starts early, but could ultimately belong to Pac-10

June 21, 2007

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    By Adam Caparell

    CSTV.com



    ADAM CAPARELL

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

     

    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. 

     

    There are some great matchups as we head into the final weekend of September, but some of the best action could very well come during the week as Thursday and Friday nights feature two intriguing contests, one of them being a great non-conference tilt between two non-BCS conferences and one from the Big East. But this weekend could ultimately belong to the Pac-10 which features two can't-miss games. 


     

     

     

    BCS Buster of the Week

    Thurs., Sept. 27 - Southern Miss at Boise State

    Here's the great non-conference matchup between two of the perennial best non-BCS schools. Southern Miss did have a propensity to give up yards via the run last year which would play right into the hands of the Broncos, who will boast one of the best offensive lines in the country this year. But the Golden Eagles are bringing back three starters from that defensive line so improvement should be expected up front. You can't underline the battle between Damion Fletcher and Ian Johnson enough.  

     

    Games of the Week

    Fri., Sept. 28 - West Virginia at South Florida

    The first high-profile Big East matchup of the season pits two of the top four teams in the conference. Remember back to last season and how USF pulled off the upset over West Virginia late last year.The Bulls were five-point winners that afternoon in Morgantown because USF did the unthinkable - they held Steve Slaton and Pat White in check. West Virginia ran for only 132 yards that afternoon, roughly half its average. A good majority of that defensive unit is back for the Bulls, including what could be the Big East's best secondary, meaning don't put it past USF to hold White and Slaton down again, and win another big game.

     

    Sat., Sept. 29 - Alabama at Florida State (Jacksonville)

    The Seminoles welcome Nick Saban back to the state of Florida for a meeting in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium - formerly Alltel. The two schools haven't played since 1974 so a neutral site is only fitting for two of the South's most popular - and successful - programs to get together again. And here are two teams who will feature vastly different coaching staffs this fall. Saban obviously came aboard the Crimson Tide and brought in Major Applewhite to be his offensive coordinator while Bobby Bowden hired almost an entirely new group of offensive assistants as well as former N.C. State coach Chuck Amato on defense.

     

    Sat., Sept. 29 - UCLA at Oregon State

    Two programs who are middle-of-the-row teams in the Pac-10 meet in Corvallis, but they're two very good teams nonetheless - both teams have Top 25 talent on their rosters. Can Oregon State get to recently crowned UCLA starting quarterback Ben Olson? You'd figure so if the Beavers want to win. They led the nation in sacks last season but in their matchup against the Bruins then, the tables were turned as UCLA sacked Oregon State five times in a 25-7 win in Pasadena. 

     

    Heisman Showcase of the Week

    Sat., Sept. 29 - California at Oregon

    The man who needs to get more pub heading into this year's Heisman campaign is DeSean Jackson. The insanely talented Bears wide receiver who can run right by a defender in the blink of an eye is arguably the nation's best punt returner to boot. The junior torched the Ducks for two touchdowns in last year's 45-24 Cal victory that saw him score on a 36-yard pass from Nate Longshore and a 65-yard punt return.  No receiver has won the Heisman since 1991 and the winner that year was, of course, Desmond Howard, who also just happened to have a knack for returning kicks.  

     

    Rivalry of the Week

    Sat., Sept. 29 - Auburn at Florida

    The only team to hand the Gators a loss last season? It was Auburn and the Tigers did it with defense at home thanks to a blocked punt, a fumble and an interception. The inspired defensive play in the second half propelled the Tigers to the upset win over the then No. 2 Gators. Auburn's going to have another stacked defense this season, especially with Quentin Groves back for his senior season and never under estimate Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers coach has more SEC wins the past six seasons than any other coach in the conference.