The 2006 Football Schedule Planner: Week 6

June 23, 2006

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    By Brian Hardy




    Brian is an assistant editor for and contributes on a regular basis.
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    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.


    Week six of the college football season sees many teams in the thick of their conference schedule, as some crucial matchups in the Big 12, ACC, Big Ten, and SEC highlight the weekend action.


    A few of the more intriguing matchups on this weekend include Oregon visiting Cal in a contest between two Pac-10 heavyweights, while Penn State hits the road for a conference showdown with Minnesota, and Tennessee, who hopes to rebound from its disappointing 2005 season, takes on Georgia in an SEC tilt.


    Game of the Week

    Sat. Oct. 7 - Texas at Oklahoma

    The Red River Rivalry takes center stage once again at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, as the Longhorns and Sooners meet for the 101st time in their storied rivalry, which recently saw the two schools agree to a new contract keeping the game in Dallas through 2010. Last season saw Texas win convincingly over Oklahoma, 45-12, ending a five-game losing streak to the Sooners - their longest losing streak in the series since the 1970s. Before last year's drubbing by UT, the Sooners had won their last five meetings with the `Horns by a combined score of 189-54. But last year, a Vince Young-led squad was finally able to turn the table, as Young threw for three touchdowns, passing 14-of-27 for 241 yards while rushing for 45 yards. But while Young won't be here for the Longhorns this year, OU's Adrian Peterson will be. Peterson will be looking to rebound from last year's performance. He rushed for only 10 yards on just three early carries before being unable to continue because of a sprained ankle.


    Games to Watch

    Thurs. Oct. 5 - Florida State at N.C. State

    The Seminoles will have revenge on their minds in this one, as the Wolfpack stunned FSU in Tallahassee last season, 20-15. Surprisingly, N.C. State has had the upper hand in this series over the past five years, winning three of the last five meetings. `Noles QB Drew Weatherford is back for his second season, and he'll be looking to put together a better performance against N.C. State this time around. In last season's loss, Weatherford threw three picks and was benched in the fourth quarter.


    Thurs. Oct. 5 - TCU at Utah

    If anyone from the Mountain West Conference is going to challenge the Horned Frogs, it may just be Utah, and this road test for TCU figures to be its toughest in-conference matchup. The Horned Frogs finished 11-1 last year and edged Iowa State in the Houston Bowl. They are a legitimate contender for a BCS Bowl berth with the NCAA's change to guarantee one spot in the BCS to a non-BCS automatic qualifier. Meanwhile, Utah quarterback Brian Johnson hopes to bounce back from knee surgery to lead the Utes in '06.


    Sat. Oct. 7 - LSU at Florida

    The scene shifts to the swamp this year after last year's 21-17 home win by LSU. JaMarcus Russell will be looking for another big game, after completing 14-of-22 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns in last season's matchup. On the other side, Florida QB Chris Leak is back for his senior season and will be looking to put forth a stronger performance after throwing 11-of-30 for just 107 yards and no touchdowns


    Sat. Oct 7 - Nebraska at Iowa State

    The Cornhuskers took a big step in the right direction last season, finishing the year with three straight wins, including that thrilling 32-28 victory over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl, to close out the season with an 8-4 record. A win at Iowa State won't come easy though. The Cyclones lost just once at home last season and with a visit to Oklahoma looming the following week, Iowa St. would love to snag a win over the Huskers.


    Rivalry of the Week

    Sat. Oct. 7 - Michigan State at Michigan

    These two intrastate foes will clash in the 99th meeting between the schools, with the team from Ann Arbor holding a dominant 65-28-5 series leads over their rivals from East Lansing. This series has had a flair for the dramatics in recent seasons, as Michigan has squeaked out two overtime victories the past two years to capture the Paul Bunyan Trophy - presented annually to the winner. Also, this year's game is in the "Big House," where the Spartans have not won in their last seven tries.


    Mismatch of the Week

    Sat. Oct 7 - Duke at Alabama

    It's one of the ACC's worst against one of the SEC's best in this matchup between the Blue Devils and the Tide. This game starts the toughest stretch of the season for Duke, as it hosts Florida State and Miami in the two weeks following the contest. Meanwhile, Alabama will be coming off a big SEC matchup in Gainesville against Florida. The Tide - coming off a season in which they went 10-2 and beat Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl - will be looking to continue its rise to a championship caliber team. But questions loom on defense, where they must replace seven starters from last year as well as at quarterback, where John Parker Wilson will be replacing Brodie Croyle.



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