Aug. 4, 2006
By Brian Hardy
Brian is an assistant editor for CSTV.com and contributes on a regular basis.
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 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.
As the final weeks of the 2006 season unfold, Week 12 will mark the final Saturday of the Big Ten season, which means it's time for "The Big Game," as Michigan and Ohio State renew their longtime hostilities. Meanwhile, the weekend is full of other great rivalries, including
Game of the Week
Sat., Nov. 18 -
How could this annual grudge match not be the Game of the Week? In what is referred to as "The Big Game," the two Big Ten rivals have met every year since 1918, an 88-year streak which ranks 10th in NCAA Division I-A history for the longest uninterrupted series. Also, more fans have attended this yearly rivalry than any other matchup in the country since 1922.
While Michigan may hold a 57-39-6 overall advantage in the series, the last two meetings have been won by the Buckeyes, as OSU captured a 25-21 come-from-behind victory in Ann Arbor last season. After a 7-5 season and their third straight bowl loss, the Wolverines have something to prove and a road win against their rivals to the south would certainly be very satisfying for UM. But it won't be easy. The Buckeyes are being picked by some to win the national title, and with senior quarterback Troy Smith running the offense, who can blame them? Last year's passing efficiency leader, Smith got real hot toward the end of the season and all signs point toward him having an explosive season this year.
Games to Watch
Sat., Nov. 18 -
The "Iron Bowl" takes center stage on this Saturday in SEC play, as the Tigers visit the Crimson Tide in a game that very well could end up deciding who wins the SEC West and earns a bid to the SEC Championship game. Last season, Auburn came away with a 28-18 victory at home over the Tide and star tailback Kenny Irons and the rest of the Tigers would love `nothing more than to take down the Tide on `Bama's own home field in this heated rivalry.
Looking up at the Trojans these past several seasons, this might just be
Sat., Nov. 18 - Tennessee at Vanderbilt
Who can forget last season's dramatic win by Vanderbilt? Former Commodores quarterback Jay Cutler led Vandy to a 28-24 upset victory over the Vols in
This annual MAC grudge match could have some big implications as to who comes out on top in one or even both of the MAC divisions. Bowling Green will be looking to win the Eastern division title after losing a tiebreaker to Akron last season. Meanwhile, Toledo will be looking for its 13th straight winning season as it appears the Zips and Northern Illinois will be challenging for the Western division title all year long. The key for the Rockets will be whether they will be able to replace starting quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.
Rivalry of the Week
Thurs., Nov. 16 -
The "Backyard Brawl" takes place this year in
Mismatch of the Week
Sat., Nov. 18 - Western Carolina at
It's another one of the D-I powerhouses taking on a Division I-AA school as the Gators host