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Friday, September 15, 2006

Big Ones

ESPN is calling them the "Magnificent 7." Here at CFBN, we just refer to them as "The Big Ones." They happen every week, but so many of them at once -- I just need to sit down for a minute to contemplate the amount of awesomeness packed into one weekend. Here is what you need to know this weekend:

No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 8 Michigan
Notre Dame playmaker: Brady Quinn, QB
Michigan playmaker: Leon Hart, HB
What to look for in this one ... Can Notre Dame stop the Michigan running game? Can Michigan stop the Notre Dame passing game? Can either team keep their emotions in check?
Let's be honest folks. If Notre Dame manages to fend off a ruthless Michigan team, they should go unscathed into Los Angeles in November. Two big wins and Notre Dame is looking at a National Championship appearance. With Charlie Weis at the helm, Irish fans are believing in their program.
Predicted Winner: Notre Dame

No. 3 USC vs. No. 17 Nebraska
USC playmaker: Dwayne Jarrett, WR
Nebraska playmaker: Zac Taylor, QB
What to look for in this one ... Can Nebraska keep this one close in L.A.? Is John David Booty the next Matt Leinart? Will the Trojan Empire finally show some wear?
Not to be disrespectful to the Cornhuskers, but this is not a marquee match-up. USC is just too damn good. Nebraska just needs to pray that they can keep this one close and not lose too much of the credit they have worked so hard to gain.
Predicted Winner: USC

No. 4 Auburn vs. No. 5 LSU
Auburn playmaker: Kenny Irons, HB
LSU playmaker: JeMarcus Russell, QB
What to look for in this one ... SEC defensive speed -- is it enough to slow down Irons and Russell? Basically, who will win the SEC this year?
This is the battle royal of the weekend. LSU gave Auburn the fight of their lives last year in Baton Rouge. With this game being played in Alabama, the tables are turned. Kenny Irons is a much improved back from last season, and Brandon Cox is looking as good as ever.
Predicted Winner: Auburn

No. 6 Florida vs. No. 14 Tennessee
Florida playmaker: Chris Leak, QB
Tennessee playmaker: Erik Ainge, QB
What to look for in this one ... Can Neyland Stadium disrupt a seemingly flawless Chris Leak? Will Erik Ainge continue his Heisman campaign against the Gators?
Both of these teams look indominable. Tennessee thrashed California two weeks ago. Florida has been unbelievable since the second quarter of the first game. Both quarterbacks come into the game with 7 touchdowns under their belt. This one could be an aerial battle for the ages.
Predicted Winner: Florida

No. 10 Louisville vs. No. 19 Miami
Louisville playmaker: Brian Brohm, QB
Miami playmaker: Greg Olsen, TE
What to look for in this one ... Is this the final straw for Larry Coker with the Hurricanes? Is Louisville still a contender without Michael Bush?
Louisville's running game hasn't suffered too badly from the loss of Michael Bush, but I think that is in large part due to their opposition thus far. Miami will force Brohm to go to the air, and with the impressive defensive backs that the Hurricanes have, this could prove quite deadly for the Cardinals.
Predicted Winner: Miami

No. 13 Oregon vs. No. 18 Oklahoma
Oregon playmaker: Jonathan Stewart, HB
Oklahoma playmaker: Adrian Peterson, HB
What to look for in this one ... A heated rematch from last year's Holiday Bowl. Can Peterson carry Oklahoma past its biggest challenge until the Red River Classic? Is Oregon a Pac-10 contender?
Two teams battling for the national spotlight -- it doesn't get any better than this. Oregon and Oklahoma are both demanding the respect of the college football world, and only one of them will walk away with it.
Predicted Winner: Oregon

No. 21 TCU vs. Texas Tech
TCU playmaker: Jeff Ballard, QB
Texas Tech playmaker: Graham Harrell, QB
What to look for in this one ... Is TCU a BCS-caliber team? Is the gap between majors and mid-majors as wide as once perceived?
An unfamiliar in-state rivalry between two teams that don't lose all that often. Texas Tech and TCU both have very explosive offenses, but I think the athletes that Texas Tech has on the offensive and defensive lines are going to make the difference; Harrell will simply have more time to make the big plays, and that will be the downfall of TCU's BCS run this season.
Predicted Winner: Texas Tech

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