Opening Weekend TV Schedule

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This looks like the best opening schedule in quite a while. Last year, we were excited about Boise State versus Georgia – how sad. This year we have Cal vs. Tennessee; an improved Arkansas vs. a USC team looking to replace Leinart & Bush, and an incredibly over-rated Notre Dame team with no defense at Ga Tech. Personally I’d love to see a Southern sweep of those games.

Of course, we still have Florida State vs. Miami, and both teams should be better in ’06 with questions answered at QB. The Pack/VPI game will be missed, but overall the schedule is great for an opening weekend; so get out your TV’s. If you can’t spend the whole weekend in front of the TV, the heart of this schedule clearly begins 5:30 ET Saturday night with three outstanding match-ups and four other quality games.

As for the Big one’s…

Tennessee as always has talent, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. These guys have consistently put together top ten recruiting classes. So, while some of the luster may be gone in Knoxville, this is still an extremely dangerous team. California has a few extremely good players, but lets be realistic, this is not an elite team. Try to find a quality win from last year’s schedule. The only way Tennessee can lose this at home is if Erik Ainge is worse than he was last year. The Vols only other concern is experience on defense, but with four returning starters in the secondary, they should be able to make up for some new faces up front.

Taking a sincere look at the Irish program over the years, two things are clear: first, the Irish are almost certainly the best program of all time, and second, the Irish are almost certainly the most over-rated team in any given year. This year is no different. Much like Cal, try to find a quality win by the Irish last year – Navy? a 7-5 Michigan team? Despite whining over high entry requirements (that ND football players don’t actually meet) and poor recruiting by Willingham, this is actually a very talented team. In fact, Georgia Tech’s talent isn’t close to ND overall; however, where the Yellow Jackets have an advantage is with the match-ups. No one will be able to cover Calvin Johnson, and the ND defense doesn’t have the speed to contain Reggie Ball. Lots of points should be scored in this game, and anyone could come out on top. Ultimately, ND is not a real threat to win the national title unless the media awards it before the season as they’ve tried to do the past two years.

Not enough adjectives exist to describe the way USC destroyed Arkansas last year. No team will be more motivated by revenge than the Razorbacks. Luckily the game’s in Arkansas and the Hogs return nearly everyone – oops! All-SEC RB McFadden broke his toe in a bar fight and could miss the game. USC on the other hand, lost nearly every star player not playing WR. Leinart, Bush, and White deserve a ton of credit, but the USC offensive line last year was incredible also and only returns two starters. The Trojan’s much-maligned defense also loses its two best players though the LB’s will be amazing. At QB, if his fellow Evangel HS alumni are any indication, Booty will disappoint, much like his older brother Josh and Brock Berlin, Phillip Deas, and Brent Rawls. This game should be very interesting. If Arkansas can run the ball without McFadden, they should win this game.

Do I have to pick FSU/Miami? These teams couldn’t be more alike. Both teams have second year starters at QB, and both teams have lots of shoes to fill on defense – luckily shoes are free for the Seminoles. FSU should have the better offensive line, and I’d give Weatherford the slight nod over Wright at this point. On the other hand, Miami has won 4 of the last 5 and neither team really deserved to win last year. I think FSU comes out on top because of the intangibles. Miami is still in disarray after the Peach Bowl debacle. In any case, these teams are likely to play twice this year.

Other notes…

For each of these teams, the opening opponent really doesn’t matter, but they all open 2006 on TV. Spurrier opens the SEC season with the Cocks best chance at a division crown ever; every team in the SEC East has some questions. OU and Texas should be back to business as usual; last year proved Vince Young’s athletic ability not Mack Brown’s coaching ability, and freshman quarterbacks simply don’t win championships. OU looks to be back on top though the offensive line is a big concern; the Sooners do get more than a month to prepare for Texas. Ohio State’s offense should be incredible, but their defense is in rebuilding mode with only two returning starters. Northern Illinois is just the preseason opponent they need. I expect Penn State to be in the same mode as Texas. They were too dependent on the athletic ability of their QB and will pay for it this year.

Finally, Ole Miss coach Orgeron is an idiot. Even if Schaeffer makes it to Ole Miss, it was the wrong message to send to his team naming him the starter in February, but now, it looks like Brent may not make it at all. If he does, don’t expect great things. He lit it up against California JUCO defenses, but that’s not exactly SEC competition.

We’re trying a different format with the TV schedule this time. You’ll find it attached in a pdf. The first page includes the commentary, and the 2nd the TV viewing schedule. We’ll update this prior to the first game in case we have any late additions.

'06 Football General Media

25 Responses to Opening Weekend TV Schedule

  1. BJD95 08/01/2006 at 1:01 PM #

    Oh, how I’ve missed college football and these excellent, thorough previews. Glad to see that not EVERY team has taken the cowardly (if profitable, and not adequately punished under college football’s stupid bowl system) “4 bunny home games” scheduling philosophy of Virginia Tech. This kind of football is what we want to see, even early in the season. Too bad the system has so many perverse incentives that I expect more teams to go the Hokie route.

  2. primacyone 08/01/2006 at 1:12 PM #

    “The unknown, so to speak, is the shifty Jamelle Eugene, out of Naples, FL. Of the three, Eugene has the most shake and is the most elusive of the bunch. Great. After getting pounded and picking the turf out your helmet after Brown and Baker are done with you, Eugene comes in and gives you hips, a cut and a memory.” – John Harris,

    Got to admit, I’m starting to get a little excited about wolfpack football myself. Win or loose we could see some darn exciting football this year. Stone was 5-1 as a starter.

  3. redfred2 08/01/2006 at 2:14 PM #

    “I expect more teams to go the Hokie route.”

    It’s hokey, as in hoax, that’s for sure.

    These programs in the early highlighted games are out there in the limelight from day one, when everyone from other conferences across the nation will be watching them start the new season in a game with some consequence. These are perennial power programs on the football field, who will continue to recruit year after year, and stay up there. While still others out there continually strive to look good on paper and scratch their way into the post season any way possible.

  4. BoKnowsNCS71 08/01/2006 at 3:42 PM #

    Question. Could this be the result of the NCAA allowing the 12th game?

    Scheduling football games is hard enough to do years in advance. Scheduling good games when everyone is shuffling around (ACC growth, incoming teams, adding the 12th game, etc) could explain why some of these teams settled for any team they could get at home (more revenue) in short notice.

    Maybe as a few year’s pass the bigger schools can figure out a way to achive better balance rather than play some of the weaker schools. And also, don’t these smaller schools deserve a bigger payday in order to support their athletic programs?

    While it does not happen often, we would all like to see David knock off Goliath.

  5. redfred2 08/01/2006 at 4:19 PM #

    I prefer to be the David in that scenario whenever possible.

    Couldn’t these guys have just as easily scheduled Appalachian or similar in that added game?

    That’s football. There are opportunities to prove it on the playing field, or try to fake your way through it every season.

  6. packpigskinfan23 08/01/2006 at 5:39 PM #

    should be a great year…

    FSUvsMiami…. – should be an extremley good game. but I think FSU comes out in the end, due IN PART to the guys that are suspended for the game. I really hope Miami pulls it off though.

    NotreDame would be a lock for the national title game if they had a defense that was just a LITTLE bit better. Good thing they dont… gives an excitement factor.

  7. Wulfpack 08/01/2006 at 5:50 PM #

    Notre Dame over rated? Have you been paying attention to what Weiss has been up to? The Irish will return to glory in the near future.


  8. Astral Rain 08/01/2006 at 7:27 PM #

    Admitteddly, while we scheduled some low conference teams, the games may be tougher then they look. Ap State did win I-AA last year, which means they’re likely better then some I-A teams. and Akron is favored in the MAC- so that game might end up looking good at the end of the year when they’re bordering top-25 status. Southern Miss isn’t horrible either. ECU is ECU- aren’t we forced by law to play them?

    Just saying there is no shame in playing Akron this year- unless we lose to them.

    How often do I-AA’s beat I-A’s anyway?

  9. choppack1 08/01/2006 at 8:50 PM #

    “Ohio State’s offense should be incredible, but their defense is in rebuilding mode with only two returning starters.”

    Their D may be in rebuilding mode, but I expect that they will still have one of the Top 20 Ds in the nation.

    FSU/Miami is usually a great game – this as the opening game is both a blessing and a curse. I’d really prefer both teams play someone else so that they could meet in those old match-ups of old – and maybe the offense of both teams would be remotely tolerable.

  10. bTHEredterror 08/01/2006 at 10:50 PM #

    Thank all that is good, there will be football on this weekend, and every weekeend until February. All’s right with the world again.

    FSU will beat Miami. USC will beat Arkansas. Notre Dame will blast Tech. Cal and UT, who knows? But, I expect Cal to win. They’ve been building for a few years now, and tend to overachieve similar to Wake. Tennessee has lots of talent but less than last year when they had a losing season.

  11. Cardiff Giant 08/02/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    Notre Dame, one of my two “other” football teams, will crush Georgia Tech after some anxious moments in the first quarter. Take it to the bank.

    As for my second “other” team, Cal (only because my fiancee went there, as most of the school is Communist), I hope they can beat the Vols. I don’t dislike Tennessee, particularly, and often pull for them. But I gotta go with Cal on this one.

    I will agree that quality wins were noticeably absent from Cal’s 2005 season, and they did go into a late season swoon. However, they can play with the good teams – look at the UCLA game, where they narrowly lost a shootout. And Cal points to being much better this year with Marshawn Lynch touted as a pre-season Heisman candidate.

  12. RAWFS 08/02/2006 at 12:23 PM #

    “Have you been paying attention to what Weiss has been up to? The Irish will return to glory in the near future.”

    Only if they improve their defense.

  13. TigerFan 08/02/2006 at 3:18 PM #

    On the Irish…

    Weis is great coach, ND is very talented and should finish in the top ten. However, they are the consensus #1 pick by the preseason magazines.

    Neither their defense, rushing game, or overall depth warrants such a ranking, thus they are over-rated. They are receiving the traditional ND benefit of the doubt. Their 1st three opponents: Ga Tech, Penn State, and an improved Michigan are better than any team the Irish beat last year (Michigan?, Navy?, BYU?).

    ND played only TWO teams last year that finished in the top 25 and lost to both (USC, OSU). In fact they only won two games against teams with winning records (Michigan, Navy). Further, they were absolutely spanked versus OSU where they were outgained 617 to 348. Against a 5-6 Tennessee they were tied at home going into the 4th quarter, and they needed a last second score to beat an awful Stanford team. In their best win, Michigan, they were outgained by almost 100 yards.

    Weis is doing a fabulous job, but I hope ND fans don’t come down on him too hard when he loses a couple because the Irish are not championship caliber yet.

  14. redfred2 08/03/2006 at 10:19 AM #

    I love it when ND and the likes receive the early kiss of death from the sports media. Weis is getting that program back up there, but I don’t think they are ready to be pre-season consensus #1 just yet. Let’s watch and see how the sports media explains their way out of this one, if and when ND doesn’t deliver on their expertise. Overblown injury situations would be my first guess.

  15. Wulfpack 08/04/2006 at 7:52 PM #

    ^USA Today didn’t pick ND at #1, and for good reason. I agree with many of the above said comments, however, I do believe Weis and ND will be a major player this year. Their performance against USC last year, as a true underdog, was amazing and the game itself was an instant classic. ND will be very good this season, I am certain of that. Weis is the real deal.

    In case any of you didn’t see it, just FYI, USA Today’s preseason top-25:

    If this holds up (of course, highly unlikely), ACC football has a ton of catching up to do — only FSU in the top 10!

  16. BJD95 08/30/2006 at 9:09 AM #

    It’s time to get re-energized about the coming football weekend!

  17. choppack1 08/30/2006 at 10:56 AM #

    I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow night.

    Crooms will likely be out of a job pretty soon if MSU continues to struggle – expect Spurrier to show as little sympathy as he always does.

  18. Dan 08/30/2006 at 1:46 PM #

    Anyone notice Purdue’s schedule? They have 13 games. Seriously. 7 road games and 6 home games. I’m not sure what contract anomoly caused that, but its there. I think their opener against Indiana State will not be recognized by the NCAA.

    Maybe Purdue has an AD that rivals Lee Fowler is stupidity.

  19. joe 08/30/2006 at 2:17 PM #

    Purdue gets an extra game because they play at Hawaii.

    A long time ago the NCAA put in a rule that anybody who plays at Hawaii in FB gets an extra game. The reason is that trips out there are so expensive they give teams another game to earn more money.

  20. cfpack03 08/30/2006 at 2:53 PM #

    Honestly, I’ve never disliked ND before, basically b/c I respect their tradition. But I’m just [expletive] tired of SI and ESPN blowing Weiss all summer. I’ll be rooting for GT between quarters when the score flashes up at Carter-Finley.

  21. cfpack03 08/30/2006 at 2:57 PM #

    By the way, I love the TV schedule. Insert NC State vs App St, 6-10pm, and my Saturday is planned

  22. Dan 08/30/2006 at 2:59 PM #

    I hope you guys all remember the hype that surrounded the ND team that got worked over by us in the Gator Bowl. Ty was going to bring them back to glory that next year. Yeah, that worked out nicely.

    Maybe, Weis is much better coach. Time will tell. For now, I’m expecting a similiar let down from the Irish, and I refuse to root for any non-military team that wont join a damn conference. I’m hoping Calvin Johnson builds a Heisman case all over their secondary.

  23. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/30/2006 at 5:03 PM #

    Ty sucked and only got that job due to O’leary’s resume.

    I think it is a good thing for the major colleges to play at least one but no more than two lesser teams each year. We should remember that even in the football world of big business it should maintain some small degree of amature athletics. I’m sure the opportunity for a kid attending a small school to play a game in a Carter Stadium or similar venue each year in front of 60,000 people is an experience that sticks with them for life. I think the better route is for the NCAA to make sure Notre Dame and the like invite a small school in each year. I bet that ND fans looks at GT the same way State fans view Akron. I’m sure they say “why the hell is a mid-level ACC school on our schedule, we have nothing to gain and everything to lose.”

  24. TomA 08/30/2006 at 8:36 PM #

    I’m ready for the weekend…as much as I enjoy the NFL nothing compares to the atmosphere of gameday at a major college stadium. Instead of the reactive crowd of a pro game I prefer the proactive crowd of a college game where everyone is loud and ready to go crazy and enjoy the game from the start instead of waiting until a big play brings them to life. My birthday present this year was my wife ordering the Gameplan so I guess it’s a trip to Wal-Mart for remote batteries because they will be dead by Sunday evening! I have a feeling that the Pack will be better than many expect and I am pleased with the concentration of quality in-state recruits coming in to play. I appreciate the need and desire for Caoch A. to try and get players from his former Florida stomping grounds but never forget that North Carolina turns out some darn good players as well for Div. 1 colleges to go after!

  25. cfpack03 08/31/2006 at 8:42 AM #

    I bet that ND fans looks at GT the same way State fans view Akron.
    I would hope not, I think GT has a shot at finishing 1st in the Coastal this yr. Miami, I hope, underachieves again, and VT is always beatable.

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