NCAA Division 1 Football – Week 1 Viewer’s Guide from the Hokie Guru, Govloop’s Bureaucrat on Sports

Greetings… no more of these ridiculous poker games taking up valuable time slots on ESPN smh (if you don’t know what SMH means, please check out the all acronym dictionary right here).

The obligatory, inherently governmental part of this blog post: Lots of interesting things happened in the college football off-season… many in Congress feel that the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the system that determines the major college football national champion, is fraught with antitrust issues. In fact, Senators Hatch and Max Baucus submitted an inquiry to the BCS regarding the arrangement. Additionally, the Obama Administration might investigate the antitrust implications of the current playoff system. The BCS essentially tells Hatch that Congress has more important issues to deal with. Hatch, of course, is not pleased with this response and he plans to keep putting the heat on the BCS. You know what? Good.

We interrupt this joyous occasion for a public service announcement: NCAA academic progress rates have increased and this is good for all involved.

Back from our commercial break: College football season is finally here!!! #WOOO (the Hokie Guru has been using that phrase a lot on Twitter lately… notice the hash tag).

Let’s get right to it… our Week 1 Viewer’s Guide (only on Govloop):

  1. Southern Mississippi at South Carolina (September 2, 7:45 PM EST, ESPN)

It wouldn’t be college football without starting out with the old ball coach, Steve Spurrier. Spurrier, for sure, is one of the most arrogant coaches in college football… and the Hokie Guru always gets a good laugh from the quotes… for example, “You know what FSU stands for, don’t you? Free Shoes University.’’ – Florida coach Steve Spurrier to the Polk County Gator Club, 1994 – For sure, the Guru can’t find a lot of positive things to say about the Gamecocks, but hey, we needed six games for a legit first week preview… and there are always funny quotes from Spurrier. The Hokie Guru will take South Carolina to win at home.

  1. #15 Pittsburgh at Utah (September 2, 8:30 PM EST, Versus)

In Pitt, we are looking at the looking at the team that probably has the best chance to win the Big East. Pitt also has a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy in Dion Lewis (and trust the Hokie Guru, Dion is a stud running back). Can the Panthers handle the altitude in Utah? Yes, they can!! Pitt wins.

  1. #24 Oregon State at #6 TCU (September 4, 7:45 PM EST, ESPN)

Oregon State head football coach, Mike Riley, is a stud. In addition to its Pac-10 schedule, the Beavers are taking on TCU this week… and Boise State next week.

#WOOO (the Nature Boy, Ric Flair… WOOO).

It takes a lot of courage not to open up with Samford (yes, the Hokie Guru is looking at you, Free Shoes University)… it would be easy to open up with St. Leo’s (you know, like Georgetown does in basketball in some years… then loses to Ohio in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament… bwahahaha… wait a second, the Hokie Guru did not pick that upset… back to our preview… momentarily distracted), but the Beavers are doing it the hard way.

Too bad Oregon State loses to TCU, who is the real deal loaded on offense and defense… another mid-major that you’ll here noise about this year in college football.

  1. #21 LSU at #18 North Carolina (September 4, 8 PM EST, ABC)

Two months ago, the Hokie Guru really thought North Carolina was going to win this game… then this happened, you know, academic fraud through a nanny employed by Butch Davis, agent contact, etc. Hmmm… appears the smart money is on LSU. Everyone thought Carolina was a special school… not anymore kiddies.

  1. #12 Wisconsin at UNLV (September 4, 11 PM EST, Versus)

Little talked about, always successful… Wisconsin… you heard it here first… this first game will be the Badgers’ first win of the year… they will beat UNLV… and on October 16, 2010, Wisconsin will beat Ohio State at home in Madison (the Hokie Guru is dropping some early knowledge bombs)… and might have a shot at playing in the national title game… they have to get by Iowa, who is also tough (the Big 10 might be the strongest conference top-to-bottom this year).

  1. #3 Boise State at #10 Virginia Tech (September 6, 8 PM EST, ESPN)

Let’s just put this out there… this is the most important college football game of 2010. The game is at FedEx field in Landover, MD.

Win and the Hokies become dark horse candidates for the national title (lose and Virginia Tech takes Oklahoma’s place on ESPN Classic… see the video below). Virginia Tech might have the most dynamic football backfield in America, but return only 4 starters on defense. Virginia Tech coach, Frank Beamer, has a lot of respect for Boise State.

A Boise State win will catapult the Broncos to #2 in the nation… and, as long as they beat Oregon State the following week, they will the first team from a non-automatic qualifying conference to be in the national title game (yes, the Hokie Guru will pick the Broncos to go undefeated in the Western Athletic Conference… ho hum). The Broncos lose only two starters and also have a lot of respect for Virginia Tech.

No pressure for either team… yeah right. The video on this link (go to the three minute mark) kind of gives away who the Hokie Guru is picking to win.


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Noel Carr

I’m not sure I agree that Boise State/VT is the most important game of 2010, but an important game nonetheless.

I think the game is much more important for Boise to quiet some of the critics saying they can’t compete with a high-ranked team from a major conference. Having said that, Boise can run the table this season and still not make it to the national championship game.

From VT’s standpoint, I agree, it will be a good test to see how Bud Foster’s defense can be this year after returning only a few starters. But I’m not even sure this is the biggest game on Tech’s schedule. Look towards weeks 9 – 11 of their schedule when they’ll face GT, then @UNC and @Miami. Three currently ranked teams that will be a huge test for Tech and could stand in the way if they wants to get to the national championship.

Either way, I’m excited the season to start!

Matthew Stephen Worner

Steve, the game is on September 6, which is Labor Day… a Monday… a holiday for federal workers like myself 🙂

Noel, normally I would agree with you… however, this is one of the rare years that a one loss team BCS team does not get the invite to the BCS game over Boise State (if Boise State is undefeated… and if Virginia Tech keeps winning, a Boise State win over the Hokies would make them look that much better)… the human component in the BCS (the average of the three computer rankings calculated by averaging the percentage totals of the Harris Interactive Poll, USA Today Poll, and computer rankings) HEAVILY favors Boise State this year. You can see more about how the BCS standings are created here.

If, however, there are three undefeated teams (e.g. Ohio State or Wisconsin… the Guru is high on Wisconsin… and Alabama… and maybe even my Hokies will get on roll… and Boise State), then, certainly, I agree with you… but it’s going to be hard to go through the SEC, Big 10, and ACC without a loss… I’m high on this year being the first time that a non-AQ team gets in the BCS final…because the human component is going to favor Boise State this time around. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, anyway lol.

Trust the Guru… by November, Bud Foster’s defense will be rolling… and those games against Georgia Tech, North Carolina (who could have as many as 9 players off the team), and Miami will be hard fought defensive battles… for sure, they will be big games because they will determine who gets the BCS bowl bid from the ACC… but starting out of the game with Boise State for the reason I mentioned above… it’s pretty big… all eyes will be on ESPN on Monday, September 6 at 8 PM EST… it’s like Monday night football 🙂

Noel Carr

I hear ya. I’m still thinking though if one of those one-loss teams is a Florida for example who has to play @Alabama, @FSU, vs. LSU and vs. Georgia (neutral site) this year plus a potential SEC championship game, you have to give them the nod over a team whose opponents had a combined 1-24 record against top 25 teams last year. Especially if that loss comes in a high-scoring shoot out.

This is a debate for the ages though that I don’t expect it will end until a mid-major gets the invite to compete for the national championship.

Matthew Stephen Worner

don’t disagree with strength of schedule in the SEC… for sure… Boise State’s margin of error is very slim… but the human element this time around, I think favors Boise State (Washington Post take here… Yahoo Sports take here… and Wall Street Journal take here)… oh, I think the debate will end this year if Boise State is undefeated and does not get an invite… I expect Congress take action and potentially take action on the NCAA’s antitrust exemption to force it to make changes… similar to Congress going after Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption to force changes in their drug testing policy. Thank heavens, Boise State is going to lose lol.

Molly Walker

GO HOKIES!! Great post! I’m also excited for Monday night and I’m really hoping we can overcome the curse of the first game of the season (next curse I’d like to overcome would be the curse of ATL-based games–a girl can dream, right?).
If people need another reason to cheer on the Hokies on Monday, they may want a Tech victory so they don’t have to listen to a season of complaints that Boise is getting jipped by the system, as this will be the toughest game of Boise’s season.

Molly Walker

And I apologize if there are any Boise fans reading this. I realize that last post was probably unnecessarily harsh… It’s the heat of competition! 😉