The 2006 Football Schedule Planner: Week 7

June 30, 2006

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    By Adam Caparell


    Adam is's football editor and national football writer.
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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. 


    We're in the heart of conference play as we enter the middle of October and the clear theme for week seven is the multiple matchups that we could very well see later on in the season.


    That's because we're blessed to have three contests that could turn out to be previews of conference championships games. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC will have three big games pitting their upper echelon teams against each other. And as for the matchups in the Big Ten and Pac-10, they're just as good and as important in their respective conference title chases.


    Game of the Week

    Sat., Oct. 14 - Florida at Auburn

    Could very easily be a preview of the SEC championship game. Both should be ranked in the top 10 come game day. Auburn will feature a defense that returns six starters and was ranked 19th in the nation last year. Chris Leak leads an experienced offense, but won't have an easy time navigating through the Tigers defense. Amazingly, these two haven't played since 2002.


    Games to Watch

    Thurs., Oct. 12 - Virginia Tech at Boston College

    The Hokies will feature one of the better defenses in the ACC, if not the nation, with some top talent back. They'll need it in this game. BC should boast one of the best running games in the conference as they return both their leading rushers in L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender and an experienced offensive line. The Eagles will be coming off their bye week, which should only help in their efforts to knock off the Hokies.


    Sat., Oct. 14 - Michigan at Penn State

    Big Ten supremacy could very well be on the line in this contest if Ohio State stumbles out of the gate. Michigan should have the best group of linebackers in the conference and could create some havoc for new Penn State QB Anthony Morelli. Tough to forget - or match -- last year's game when Chad Henne's TD pass with no time left lifted Michigan to a two point win - Penn State's only loss all of last season. Surely, it will be in the back of the Nittany Lions' minds.


    Sat., Oct. 14 - UCLA at Oregon

    Yes, UCLA lost three big pieces of their offense; QB Drew Olson, TE Marcedes Lewis and RB Maurice Drew, but it shouldn't translate into a big drop-off this year. Ben Olson takes over for the departed Drew Olson (no relation) and even though he won't have Drew in his backfield for this matchup; Oregon lost two of its big men up front. UCLA won't be as formidable as they were last season, but they should be one of the better teams in the Pac-10 and have a legitimate shot at possibly stealing the conference title.


    Sat., Oct. 14 - Hawai'i at Fresno State

    Want to see some big numbers? Here's your game for the day. Hawai'i returns QB Colt Brennan who put up some big numbers last season (4,301 yards, 35 TDs). And he'll be facing a Fresno State team that had better hope the late game defensive struggles suffered last year don't resurface. Fresno State won for the first time at Hawai'i in 12 years last season, but allowed 456 yards of offense to the Warriors.


    Rivalry of the Week

    Sat., Oct. 14 - Iowa State at Oklahoma

    In the absence of any true rivalry this week, this matchup of two of the Big 12's top teams works just as well. We could have another preview of a future conference championship game on our hands. The Cyclones have some big aspirations, hoping to reach their first Big 12 championship game in the weaker North Division. But stopping a healthy Adrian Peterson with a defense that has question marks at several positions won't be easy. Oklahoma could come limping into this one after playing Texas the week before.


    Mismatch of the Week

    Sat., Oct. 14 - Florida International at Miami

    The battle of Miami universities doesn't figure to be much of a battle. The Hurricanes very rarely lose these games. In fact, it's been six seasons. Miami hasn't lost to a non-BCS conference opponent since falling to East Carolina in 1999.





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