Aug. 18, 2006
By Brian Hardy
Brian is an assistant editor for CSTV.com and contributes on a regular basis.
Over the summer, CSTV.com has been 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. Here's a heads-up on what games are shaping up to be the best this week, the worst this week and a few others that have piqued our interest.
The final weekend of college football's regular season is here and that means its time for Army-Navy. This annual matchup highlights the abbreviated schedule of games in Week 14, which consists of just 12 games on the weekend schedule. No other rivalry in college football is felt with such raw emotion and intensity as this one, as the two teams once again battle it out as both teams look to capture the Commander-In-Chief's trophy.
It also just happens to be Championship Saturday with conference title games being played in the ACC, Big 12 and SEC to determine who will be representing their respective leagues in a BCS bowl and who will be disappointed with the leftovers. We'll find out who is going to be playing where and when on Sunday when BCS matchups are officially announced, but until then. . .
Game of the Week/Rivalry of the Week
Sat., Dec. 2 - Army vs. Navy
In terms of tradition, there's nothing like Army-Navy. It doesn't even matter what records these teams have going into their annual grudge match, its always a must-see.
The Midshipmen have controlled this series in recent years, winning the last four games by a combined score of 176-54. In general, the two teams have moved in vastly different directions. While Navy has won at least eight games each of the last three seasons, the Cadets have won a combined six games over the last three years.
However, third-year head coach Bobby Ross does appear to have Army heading in the right direction - the Cadets' four wins last season were double the number of wins Army got in 2004, and were four more wins than Army got the season before he arrived, as the Cadets went winless in 2003.
Fifth-year head coach Paul Johnson has Navy coming off a season in which it advanced to its third straight bowl game - a 51-30 win over Colorado State in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Midshipmen have really gotten it turned around since the 2002 season, when they won just two games. Now, Navy has become a legitimate bowl contender year in and year out. And winning the Commander-in-Chief's trophy four years in a row would have Navy fans very satisfied.
Games to Watch
The Bruins and Trojans close out the Pac-10 season in the traditional manner, with a battle for
Sat., Dec. 2 - Rutgers at West Virginia
Can the Scarlet Knights steal one from the Mountaineers late in the season? It won't be easy. Rutgers lost to
The Cardinal won five games last season after winning four games in each of the last previous two. Stanford would love to get at least six wins and become bowl eligible in '06 under second-year head coach Walt Harris, as the program tries to get back to where it was in 2001, when Stanford won nine games and made its last bowl appearance. If Harris and his team want any shot of making a bowl game, though, they are going to have to make sure to squeeze in six wins before the Big Game, because a win over