8. Texas Tech at TCU
Saturday, September 16 - 4:30 p.m.
I have no idea what the "Versus" channel is. I'm guessing it's some sort of channel based in Texas or a Mountain West focused channel because they're carrying five of TCU's games this season. So, even though hardly anyone outside of the region will probably be able to watch it (please correct me if I'm wrong on that), this would be one I'd like to watch. The Horned Frogs are one of the potential "BCS Busters" this year and they're ranked #21 in the coaches' Top 25. There's really only a few obstacles (Texas Tech, BYU, Utah) on TCU's schedule to prevent them from running the table if they're as good as the pundits predict. They face those three in consecutive weeks and unfortunately none of them will be on a channel other than Versus. Their game against Army later in the year will be on ESPN and that's going to be just about the only opportunity a national audience has to view and judge them. If they keep winning, thir ranking will largely be based on hearsay. Texas Tech's site says the game is on CSTV, but I can't find any other indication of that online.
Texas Tech had some good wins last year (Oklahoma, Nebraska), but their fireworks filled offense was held in check by the solid defenses of Texas and Alabama who they scored 17 and 10 on respectively (they lost both games.) The Red Raiders still don't have everyone sold on them as their offensive numbers are often inflated by beating up on I-AA teams and weak out of conference foes.
This one should be called the "Hey, we're from Texas and we deserve respect too" game.
7. Clemson at Florida State
Saturday, September 16 - 6:45 p.m.
This is a critical game for both teams in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Clemson will be coming off of a tough road game at Boston College so they have their work cut out for them. If they can come out on top of both of those, they'll have a really solid shot of taking the divisional crown.
FSU will certainly want to avenge their loss to Clemson from '05, especially since it was by a margin of 21 points. Even though they won the ACC, 2005 was a bit of a down year for the Seminoles at 8-5 and Bowden the elder will certainly want to put a firm stamp of ownership back on the ACC this year.
Even if one or both teams were in the toilet, this would be a must watch just for the rarity of the fact that it is father coaching against son. I can't imagine that's happened too many times, especially at the head coach level.