2008 Schedule Planner - Week 5

By Adam Caparell - June 19, 2008


While a good number of teams settle into conference play around the country, we still have a few marquee non-conference games that will grab everyone's attention. As for the game of the week? Pick your poison. Right now, nothing really jumps out at you. There are some very good, and very important games, but there isn't one that rises above the rest. Maybe that changes if the season's first four weeks play out differently than we expect.

Over the summer, CSTV.com will look at the college football schedule, highlighting the top matchups, the can't-miss games and the storylines that make some contests so intriguing. Check in every Thursday for the heads-up on what games you simply have to see.

Games of the Week
Thursday, Sept. 25 - USC at Oregon State
Trojans kick off Pac-10 play with a trip up to Corvallis. Anyone remember the last time USC faced the Beavers on their turf? Earth-shattering upset ring a bell? That late October loss in 2006 by USC left the BCS race wide open in its wake and the Beavers have a chance to do the same this year. If USC beats Ohio State two weeks before this one, they'll be the clear cut No. 1 team in the nation, and presumed top team in the BCS standings weeks before the first official rankings come out. Trojans have two weeks to prepare for this one. Chances are they won't be overlooking the Beavers.

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Virginia Tech at Nebraska
This is a big game for Nebraska in their first ever meeting with Tech. As my CBS College Sports colleague Trev Alberts has pointed out on numerous occasions this spring, if the Cornhuskers can find a way to knock off the Hokies - a very real possibility - then they could be a legit Top 25 team and set themselves up nicely for a big run in 2008. Nebraska enters this content coming off of three home games to start the season against Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State. Then they get two weeks to prepare for Virginia Tech. Lincoln will be looney for this one. But be sure not to burn yourselves out against the Hokies. Right after Virginia Tech, Missouri rolls into Lincoln. And Nebraska could easily be 4-0 for that one.

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Colorado vs. Florida State in Jacksonville, Fla.
These two met last year in Boulder where Florida State shut down the Colorado offense on their way to a 16-6 win that was anything but pretty. The Seminoles defense dominated the developing Buffalo offense while the FSU offense struggled - to put it mildly. Colorado won't be such a pushover this time out, but not having the home crowd behind them will hurt. I think Florida State could be in store for a very nice season this fall and at the least they should provide a better offensive performance this time out against Colorado.

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Tennessee at Auburn
You like defense? Here's your game. While both teams have talent offensively, the strength of these two rest on the defensive side of the ball. Both offenses are going through transitions that figures to label them works in progress five weeks into the season. The defenses aren't perfect - they both have holes and Tennessee probably has a few more of them - but there's no doubting which unit will carry both teams in the early season.

Heisman Showcase of the Week
Saturday, Sept. 27 - Wisconsin at Michigan
This one doesn't figure to carry the kind of weight it has over the past few years with all the changes going on over in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines lost their top four tacklers from last year, but maybe that's not such a bad thing considering how badly it performed, allowing four teams to score 30 points or more. But this is still Michigan we’re talking about. They have talent and they have big men who can stop the run up front. Will Wisconsin's highly regarded P.J. Hill - if he's healthy - put up big yards against the Wolverines? In his first two tries, Hill's only managed a combined 68 yards. A big effort against Michigan, no matter how good or bad they are entering this one, would certainly go a long way toward establishing Hill as a legit Heisman candidate.

Rivalry of the Week
Saturday, Sept. 27 - Illinois at Penn State
Certainly not the most traditional of rivalries, but two of the Big Ten's better teams meet in Happy Valley where the Nittany Lions should have revenge on their minds. Last year, the Illini handed Joe Paterno's squad a 27-20 loss, marking the first time in six years that the Illini had beaten a ranked team (Penn State was No. 20 at the time). It was a nightmare game for the Penn State offense, turning the ball over four times, despite out-gaining Illinois. Very good chance these two are ranked heading into this one. Juice Williams didn't have a particularly great game last year against Penn State and it'll be interesting to see what kind of Juice we get this year. If we get the Ohio State Juice more times than not, don't rule out another Rose Bowl trip for the Illini.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:59 AM on June 19, 2008
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