Season Preview: Games of the Week

July 21, 2005

EA Sports
Football Preview Schedule
(July 11-August 30)

  Week 1  |   2   |   3  |   4   |   5  |   6   |   7  |   8   |   9   |   10   |   11  |   12   |   13   |   14





Notre Dame at Pitt (Sat., September 3th)

A year ago at this time, Dave Wannstedt and Charlie Weis were NFL coaches preparing to do battle in the AFC East. Man, have things changed. Wannstedt resigned from the Miami Dolphins mid-season and landed at Pittsburgh. Weis helped lead the New England Patriots to another Super Bowl and ascended into his role in South Bend. First game of the season - both coaches will be itching to show off their new team. Sit back and enjoy.


Also Worth Watching:

·          Louisville at Kentucky (Sat., Sept. 3rd): Always a top-notch rivalry, but has been lopsided of late, with Louisville winning three of the last four and capturing the last two by a combined score of 68-24.

·          Colorado State at Colorado (Sat., Sept. 3rd): Colorado State looks to bounce back from a poor 2004.

·          Boise State at Georgia (Sat., Sept. 3rd): Great first-week matchup. If the Broncos can go into Athens and win, it will be a huge statement for a team that is looking to prove 2004 wasn't a fluke.

·          Miami at FSU (Mon., Sept. 5th): Who will be behind center for the Seminoles in this huge opener





Texas at Ohio State (Sat., Sept. 10th)

A terrific early season match up. Two solid, all-around teams should make this prime time game worth watching. Texas may have the slight edge skill wise, but the fact that the Longhorns will have to visit Columbus negates that advantage.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Notre Dame at Michigan (Sat., Sept. 10th): Second week, second challenging road game for the Irish under Coach Weis.

·          Iowa at Iowa State (Sat., Sept. 10th): Although Iowa has clearly been the better team recently, the series is tied 2-2 in the past four years.

·          Boise State at Oregon State (Sat., Sept. 10th): Another tough game for the Broncos. We'll know if they're for real shortly into the season.

·          Arizona State at LSU (Sat., Sept. 10th): First big game for new LSU head coach Les Miles. Let's see how he handles the new team against a top Pac-10 power.




Tennessee at Florida (Sat., Sept. 17th)

The Vols enter The Swamp to face off against new UF coach Urban Meyer and his Heisman hopeful quarterback, Chris Leak. Can Tennessee's great defense shut down the Gators' wide open `O'?


Also Worth Watching:


·          Florida State at BC (Sat., Sept. 17th): BC's first ACC game should be a good one.

·          Miami at Clemson (Sat., Sept. 17th): Clemson shocked the `Canes last year. Can they make it two in a row?

·          New Mexico State at New Mexico (Sat., Sept. 17th): "The Battle of I-25" -- 100+ year-old intrastate rivalries are always worth watching.





Bowling Green at Boise State (Wed., Sept 21st)

Too bad this game starts at 10 p.m. Eastern time on a weeknight. By sometime around midnight, Boise State and BGSU - ranked number 2 and 4 in scoring last season respectively - could be all knotted up at 86. If you can bear the late start, the game should be highly entertaining and fun to watch.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Notre Dame at Washington (Sat., Sept 24th): Washington's new coach Tyrone Willingham welcomes his former team to the Northwest.

·          Tennessee at LSU (Sat., Sept 24th): Will Tennessee be trying to regroup after a loss in Florida, or will they be trying to maintain momentum when they stay on the road to face a tough Tigers team?

·          Iowa at Ohio State (Sat., Sept 24th): In Iowa's first Big Ten game of the year, Coach Kirk Ferentz will be out to prove that the Hawkeyes are the team to beat this year.

·          Purdue at Minnesota (Sat., Sept 24th): Two teams that hovered in the middle of the Big Ten last year out to prove that they belong in the top of that conference.




Michigan at Michigan State (Sat., October 1st)

This classic rivalry has the potential to be more than just a fun, intrastate game. The Spartans have lost to the Wolverines three years in a row, but don't expect them to go down without a fight this year. State could slip under the radar in the talent laden Big Ten, and shock some of its opponents. It will be fun to see if the Wolverines walk into a trap in East Lansing


Also Worth Watching:


·          South Florida at Miami (Sat., Oct. 1st): A good example of the old Big East (Miami) vs. the new Big East (South Florida). Perhaps a sobering day for fans of the conference.

·          Mississippi at Tennessee (Sat., Oct. 1st): At least two of the three participants should be in attendance for the "Manning Bowl." Archie will be able to watch with son Peyton, who visits the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

·          USC at Arizona St (Sat., Oct. 1st): The Sun Devils got lambasted by the Trojans last year, but ASU has key returnees, as well as the anger of being embarrassed by 38 points just a season ago.




Oklahoma vs. Texas (Sat., Oct. 8th)

OU has won five straight "Red River Shootouts," but that streak could very well end this year. Texas is poised to make a run at the top spot in the country behind strong lines, and their super-athletic Heisman candidate, Vince Young. However, the Sooners can't be forgotten, as they boast their own Heisman hopeful in Adrian Peterson.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Air Force at Navy (Sat., Oct. 8th): Not as publicized as Army vs. Navy, but still an important Armed Forces rivalry.

·          Georgia at Tennessee (Sat., Oct. 8th): A fierce game between last year's top teams in the SEC East.

·          Minnesota at Michigan (Sat., Oct. 8th): The battle for the Little Brown Jug will be an important one for the Big Ten.



USC at Notre Dame (Sat., Oct. 15th)

The Trojans have put up more than 40 points in each of the last three meetings between these two teams. However, be confident that Notre Dame's new coach, Charlie Weis, won't let his team roll over in the face of the champs. The only problem for the Irish is that many of their wins this season will come in high scoring games. That doesn't bode well in South Bend, as Matt Leinart will out-duel Brady Quinn nine out of ten times.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Florida at LSU (Sat., Oct. 15th): Chris Leak again gets tested against what should be a great defense.

·          Wisconsin at Minnesota (Sat., Oct. 15th): The oldest rivalry in D I-A. Winner brings home Paul Bunyan's Axe.

·          Oregon State at Cal (Sat., Oct. 15th): A good game between solid Pac-10 teams.




Tennessee at Alabama (Sat., Oct. 22nd): Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer is hated by Alabama. His involvement in an NCAA investigation targeted at the Crimson Tide has not sat well with those on Alabama's side of the rivalry and the Volunteer's four point victory last season will only add fuel to the fire. This game should be a classic - and make sure to keep watching once the final whistle has blown.


Also Worth Watching:


·         Texas Tech at Texas (Sat., Oct. 22nd): Texas Tech will visit the Longhorns with a potent enough offense to stir up some trouble for Texas. While national powerhouse Texas will be the favorite, it's not crazy to expect the Red Raiders to take the Longhorns down to the wire.

·         Auburn at LSU (Sat., Oct. 22nd): LSU could be trying to leapfrog over Auburn into the top spot in the SEC West.

·         Michigan at Iowa (Sat., Oct. 22nd): A terrific Big Ten battle. The winner of this game may end up atop the conference.

·         Georgia Tech at Miami (Sat., Oct. 22nd): Georgia Tech has a really strong all-around team, and under the leadership of coach Chan Gailey, the Yellow Jackets could make some noise in the ACC.



Georgia vs. Florida (Sat., Oct. 29th)

Last year, Georgia snapped a six-game losing streak against the Gators. Florida is the better team this year and should be able to get a new streak started. But remember, the game is just secondary to the tradition that comes with this great rivalry: The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.


Also Worth Watching:


·          BC at Virginia Tech (Thurs., Oct. 27th): Two teams vying for the ACC title. Last time the teams squared off, the Eagles won by a touchdown.

·          South Carolina at Tennessee (Sat., Oct. 29th): If for nothing else, this game should be entertaining because Steve Spurrier is facing Phillip Fulmer.

·          Oklahoma at Nebraska (Sat., Oct. 29th): While the Sooners have been a better team than the Huskers in recent years, this is a great rivalry that must be watched.

·          Fresno State at Hawaii (Sat., Oct. 29th): This game starts at midnight Eastern Time. For that alone, it deserves mention. It will also be fun however to see two great, high scoring offenses battle until three in the morning.



Pittsburgh at Louisville (Thurs., Nov. 3rd)

This far into the season, this Thursday night game could be the one that determines the final outcome of the Big East. Pittsburgh and Louisville are the favorites to sit atop the conference, and this contest could be the battle that decides it all. Look for Pittsburgh vs. Louisville to soon turn into one of college's best matchups.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Miami at Virginia Tech (Sat., Nov. 5th): Another great conference game. Miami and Virginia Tech are the best teams in the ACC, and when they meet, the results should be exciting. 

·          Army at Air Force (Sat., Nov. 5th): Another important game in the battle for the Commander-In-Chief trophy.

·          Texas A&M at Texas Tech (Sat., Nov. 5th): This year, both of these teams have a shot to be pretty good. That adds even more interest to this rivalry.




Florida at South Carolina (Sat., Nov. 12th)

The "Spurrier Bowl" begins its first chapter this week as Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks go up against his old crew, the Gators. It will take some miraculous coaching for S.C. to pull out a win here, but no matter the outcome, the game should be a lot of fun. The only thing that would make this game better is if Spurrier was thrown to the Gators in the Swamp.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Auburn at Georgia (Sat., Nov. 12th): A genuinely good game between two great teams. The teams have split the last four games, and this contest should be close, too.

·          USC at California (Sat., Nov. 12th): Last season, Cal took the Trojans to the wire, losing by only six points. Can the Golden Bears they get over the hump this time around?

·          Boise State at Fresno State (Sat., Nov. 12th): This should be an exciting game between two evenly matched, fun teams.  



Ohio State at Michigan (Sat., Nov. 19th)

One of the best rivalries in college football should produce another entertaining game this year, as both the Buckeyes and Wolverines are poised for great seasons. The fact that this game is in the Big House tips the scales a bit towards Michigan, but Ohio State will come out strong in the game that may decide the Big Ten.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Utah at BYU (Sat., Nov. 19th): Utah crushed BYU in last year's "Holy War." But much of the Utes' success last season can be attributed to Alex Smith. Smith is gone; can BYU win this year's war?

·          Virginia Tech at Virginia (Sat., Nov. 19th): Virginia Tech should be very dangerous this year, but Virginia is at home, and this is the Cavaliers' biggest game of the year.

·          Alabama at Auburn (Sat., Nov. 19th):  Like Michigan vs. Ohio State and Army vs. Navy, "The Iron Bowl" is one of the best, and most storied college football rivalries. 




Florida State at Florida (Sat., Nov. 26th)

This game highlights another incredible week of classic rivalries. The last regular season game for each team could have huge implications. It will also be Florida quarterback Chris Leak's final opportunity to prove to everyone watching that he should win the Heisman Trophy.


Also Worth Watching:


·          Pittsburgh at West Virginia (Thurs., Nov. 24th): This year's "Backyard Brawl" may mean a whole lot more than just bragging rights. The last game of the season will finalize the Big East landscape.

·          Texas at Texas A&M (Fri., Nov. 25th): "The Lone Star Showdown" is one of the most played rivalries in college football. The Longhorns will have to visit one of the toughest places to play in the entire country.

·          Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma (Sat., Nov. 26th): Bedlam has been moved to Turkey Day weekend for television. No matter when this game is played, it promises to be electric.

·          Georgia at Georgia Tech (Sat., Nov. 26th): Tech's fight song does a good job of summing up the feelings these two teams share for each other. "But if I had a son, sir, I'll tell you what he'd do-- He'd yell: 'TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!' Like his daddy used to do."




Navy at Army (Sat., December 3rd)

What can be said for this game? This rivalry needs no introduction and is arguably the most famous in all--professional included--of sports. This game could be a good one on the field, too, as Army will most likely improve from last year while the Navy squad may have a little bit more trouble. But it doesn't matter if neither team has secured even a single victory until this week-- it is still a must watch.


UCLA at USC (Sat., December 3rd): The Bruins pushed the Trojans very close to defeat last season, losing 29-24. With an improved team, the Bruins have a real shot to pull a season ending upset.






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