Thursday, October 23, 2008

NCAA Football: Time to Salute a Legend

Who would ever imagine that Joe Paterno would still be coaching much less be in a solid position to contend for the BCS Championship. At 81 years old, some considered “Pops” old before some of his players were born! The coach who holds the record for the most wins and bowl appearances has his Nittany Lions undefeated facing their biggest hurdle en route to an undefeated season as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State.

Here are the games we’re following this weekend.

Texas Tech #8 at Kansas #23 (-2)
Lots of the hoopla this year focuses on the Big 12 as two of its powerhouses face off in Kansas. Texas Tech is on a hot streak. Look for them to dominate this game.

Boston College at North Carolina (-3)
Doesn’t it still seem strange to think of Boston College as part of the ACC? If you’re from down in Tobacco Road, it used to be the University of Maryland was that team way up north, but you can ride from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area to College Park in a morning’s bus ride just a stone’s throw across the Potomac, but Boston? Virginia Tech and Miami make great fits with the ACC with ready-made rivalries, but Boston College? They were brought in for the mighty television dollar to lock the New England sports market into the ACC package with their strong football program and solid basketball team. Welcome to Dixie fellows! North Carolina is on the move with its football program after years of languishing near the bottom. UNC actually cracked the Top 25 until Virginia crashed their party. Carolina will be ready for the Boston boys and win this one.

Oklahoma State #6 at Texas #1 (-13)
Need more evidence that this is the Big 12’s big year? Look at this, the nation’s current #1 team hosts the #6 team that has been red hot in recent weeks. Texas has done nothing so far to suggest it is not worthy of its number one seed so especially playing on home turf, they should win this game with a good fight.

Virginia at Georgia Tech #18 (-12 ½)
Virginia has made quite a reputation playing gate crasher this fall in their upset wins against Maryland and Virginia. For them to do the same, they’re climbing up the ladder a step facing Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is a little more seasoned than the two previous upset victims and should fend off the Cavaliers, but the 12 ½ point spread could be in jeopardy.

Virginia Tech at Florida State #25 (-4 ½)
Speaking of coaching legends, Bobby Bowden still rules Seminole nation. His top ranked program has come on hard times the last few years but is making positive steps toward regaining some of its clout this year; however, Beamer Ball is for real, and Virginia Tech is ready to show it’s ready for a little respect as they play spoiler knocking Florida State out of the rankings by winning this game.

Penn State #3 (-2 ½) at Ohio State #9
While many talk of the decline of the Big Ten, one would hardly know that viewing what’s at stake in Columbus this weekend. Granted Michigan heads the list of Big Ten schools rebuilding their program, but here are two top ten teams ready to battle. This will be the game that tests if Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions are legit. If they beat Ohio State on their own turf, how can anyone not argue they deserve a shot at Texas in January (assuming Texas doesn’t get knocked off by a tough conference rival.)

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