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 matchups that could foul up the BCS, Heisman showcases and a few others that have piqued our interest.
As we hit mid-October, conference games dominate Week 7 of the college football season. But there are some great games that didn't quite make the can't-miss cut like Oklahoma-Missouri, Boston College-Notre Dame, Arizona-USC and LSU-Kentucky.
This is also a weekend that actually spans five days from Wednesday to Sunday as Pitt-Navy kick things off mid-week and Nevada-BoiseState wrap it up Sunday evening. But the meat of the action comes Thursday, Friday and, of course, Saturday.
FloridaState has owned WakeForest. Until last year, that is, when the Demon Deacons surprised college football with their ACC-winning, Orange Bowl-appearing season out of nowhere. During that run, they shutout the Seminoles in Doak Campbell Stadium - the first team to ever accomplish the feat in Bobby Bowden's 31 years as the head coach in Tallahassee. Can FloridaState return the favor? Not likely. Wake should be a good team this year - one of the better ones in the ACC, in fact - and the Seminoles hope their quarterback situation will be fully resolved by the time this game rolls around.
If you like defense, then this matchup is for you. Sure the Yellow Jackets will feature a much steadier hand at quarterback in Taylor Bennett, but it's going to be the other side of the ball that really carries Tech. However, the excitement from Bennett taking over from the perpetually inconsistent Reggie Ball is understandable. And despite not having the services of Calvin Johnson, that shouldn't affect Tech thanks to its depth at nearly every position on offense. These two figure to be playing for second fiddle in the ACC Coastal behind Virginia Tech.
A big Pac-10 matchup between two teams that probably are playing for second place in the conference behind USC, but they're nonetheless very, very good teams. Yvenson Bernard is the focal point of the Beavers offense, but don't sleep on their defense; the unit led the Pac-10 in sacks last season. A total of 15 starters are back for OregonState and while many will pick Cal to come away the winner in this one, you can't put it past Mike Riley to pull off the unexpected "upset."
This just happens to be the Razorbacks only tough game at home. Seriously, the Arkansas home schedule this season is an absolute joke, but this is a great SEC West contest with the featured matchup being the Arkansas running attack squaring off against the Auburn front seven. The Razorbacks got the best of that fight last year during their stunning upset of the then-No. 2 Tigers. Darren McFadden had himself quite a game that Saturday. The Heisman Trophy runner-up last year ran for 145 yards and a 63-yard touchdown score as the Auburn defense was embarrassed at home.
BCS Buster Game of the Week
Fri., Oct. 12 - Hawai'i at San Jose State
Hawai'i's got a pretty easy schedule, but this is going to be one of their toughest tests of the season's first half for a Warrior team bent on being this year's BoiseState. San JoseState is a legitimate team that's going to give the Hawai'i and Boise a challenge for WAC supremacy. Colt Brennan lit up the Spartans defense last season to the tune of 402 yards and five touchdowns, but equaling that performance won't be easy against a unit that's going to be better than advertised, especially with those talented corners led by Dwight Lowery who can't wait to get another crack at stopping Brennan.
One of the best the Big Ten will offer all season long, the Badgers conclude a two-game road trip in HappyValley. Remember it was against Wisconsin that Joe Paterno broke his leg after getting hit by his own player on the sidelines. But he wasn't the only Nittany Lion who went home limping that day as the Badgers held the PennState offense in check. This will be the fourth game of a tough, tough stretch for the Nittany Lions who play two straight on the road against Michigan and Illinois before hosting Iowa and the Badgers.