The 2010 college football season is getting under way. The first week isn’t known for many marquee match-ups. This season however boasts some big games that could set the tone for many teams with BCS dreams. Here’s a look at the five best games of Week 1.
Thursday September 2nd – Pittsburgh at Utah
Utah has been a powerhouse among the non-BCS teams in recent years. This will be their last season in that category, as they are preparing to head to the PAC-10 next season. They will host the Big East favorites when Pittsburgh visits. This is a tough early road test for a team with BCS aspirations. With changes at Cincinnati and West Virginia rebuilding, Pittsburgh looks to be the best team in the Big East. These two teams met in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2004 season, a game Utah won to complete and unbeaten season. The Panthers bring a top fifteen ranking to the table, but Utah should use their homefield advantage to pull out a thrilling win.
Utah 31, Pittsburgh 27
Saturday September 4th – LSU vs North Carolina
This game will take place in Atlanta as part of the annual Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game. Both teams are coming off underachieving years and rough offseasons. LSU has had to deal with questions about the future of coach Les Miles, who is only 3 years removed from a BCS championship. Meanwhile, North Carolina has dealt with many questions about scandals involving players like star defensive lineman Marvin Austin. UNC is loaded on defense, and they are as talented as they’ve ever been. Meanwhile, LSU is still a threat in the SEC and has a ton of speed on both sides of the ball.
LSU 20, North Carolina 13
Saturday September 4th – Oregon State vs TCU
The Horned Frogs are a Top 10 team heading in to their showdown with Oregon State in Dallas. They are experienced on offense and boast one of the best defenses in the country. The Beavers have become a top tier team in the PAC-10 conference and will be looking to set an early tone. The Beavers face Boise State a couple of weeks after this one, so they can’t afford to look ahead. This should be a tight battle.
Oregon State 20, TCU 19
Saturday September 4th – Connecticut at Michigan
This isn’t a battle of great teams. Michigan is in the midst of its worst era in history. Connecticut is a rising program who could be a sleeper in the Big East. It’s a big tone setter for both teams. If Michigan drops the opener at home, the voices calling for the firing of Rich Rodriguez will be at fever pitch. If Connecticut wants to be taken seriously as a BCS contender, this is a must win. Michigan has questions everywhere, especially at QB. But this is a game they need to win.
Michigan 23, Connecticut 20
Monday September 6th – Boise State vs Virginia Tech
This is another great neutral site game, taking place at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. These are two Top 10 teams that think they can play for the BCS Championship. After another unbeaten season, Boise State is ranked 3rd. Virginia Tech is a favorite in the ACC, and this is a big measuring stick for their national reputation. Frank Beamer’s Hokies are known for their special teams prowess, and that’s something Boise State will need to be ready for. But the Broncos are stacked, and this would be their biggest regular season win in history. Still, Virginia Tech has a potent ground attack that should help them prevail with a mild upset.
Virginia Tech 27, Boise State 17
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