The 2006 Football Schedule Planner - Week 14
 
 
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    Aug. 18, 2006

    By Brian Hardy

    CSTV.com

     



    BRIAN HARDY

    Brian is an assistant editor for CSTV.com and contributes on a regular basis.
    E-mail here!

    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

     

    Sat., Dec. 2 - USC at UCLA

    The Bruins and Trojans close out the Pac-10 season in the traditional manner, with a battle for Los Angeles bragging rights. UCLA had an impressive 10-2 record last season, but it will be tough to repeat that again this year considering its two offensive stars from last season, quarterback Drew Olson and tailback Maurice Drew, are both gone. Meanwhile, the Trojans are facing a similar situation themselves, with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush in the NFL. At this point in the season, though, the new starters on offense should have plenty of game experience under their belts to be ready to go in this one.

     

    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 West Virginia at home last season, and having to bring its show to Morgantown will not be easy. The Mountaineers would love nothing more than to head into this game with a perfect record, and it's definitely feasible. With the exception of its Nov. 2 matchup on the road with Louisville, West Viriginia should be a clear favorite in every other game. Meanwhile, this game could loom large for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are vying for a second straight bowl bid and an upset on the road in Morgantown would do wonders for a program that has already built itself up.

     

    Sat., Dec. 2 - Stanford at California

    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 Cal in Berkeley is extremely unlikely for a team that is just trying to take that next step. The Bears are strong contenders for the Pac-10 title this year, and have even been mentioned as contenders for the national title in a season where no clear-cut favorite has emerged.


     

     


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