Jesse Beals/Icon SMI
There's nothing quite like Saturdays in the fall, but excuse me if I'm a little underwhelmed by the slate of games on tap for this weekend. We only have two games with ranked teams facing each other (No. 6 LSU at No. 10 Auburn and No. 18 Wake Forest at No. 24 Florida State) and the top two teams in the country (USC and Oklahoma) have the day off.
Now, I'll be in front of my TV, watching every game (East Carolina at North Carolina State, anyone?), but there isn't a single game from noon to 7 p.m. ET that would elicit much of a reaction from me one way or another. Even if USC and Oklahoma were playing in-conference "cupcakes," I'd still be interested to see if there might be a repeat of Stanford or Colorado last year. What's there to look forward to this week, outside of the LSU-Auburn game?
Does anyone really think Arizona State, which scared off the ESPN GameDay crew and most national college football writers with their loss to UNLV last week, will have a chance against Georgia? Is anyone willing to pick Tennessee, which somehow lost to the same UCLA squad that was shut out 59-0 by BYU, to take down Florida?
Sure there's always the possibility of an upset, but I'm not holding my breath with those underachievers. I guess my biggest problem with the weekend is that USC and Oklahoma, the two teams many already have penciled in playing for the national championship, are idle. It's like tuning into WWF Superstars on Saturday morning as a kid and finding out Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior won't be on the show. It didn't matter if they were going to steamroll some jobber in four seconds -- you still wanted to see them in action.
Watching USC and Oklahoma at this point is a little like watching those two schools in 2004 before they played in the national championship game or like watching USC and Texas before they played for the title a year later. Even if both teams run the table in impressive fashion like their predecessors, it's something you want to watch. That's why we're drawn to great teams. Think about the New England Patriots last year. You were either rooting for the greatest upset or the greatest team every time you watched them play. Unfortunately we won't be able to do that this week.