By Micah Roberts
For the six ranked teams that face off against each other this week, it seems illogical for them to plunge into the season this early against such tough competition. TCU and Boise State have had some creditability issues the last few seasons because of their conference affiliation and playing good teams early is understandable, but with the way the BCS is structured with the power conference teams having an edge, all any of those teams have to do is just beat up on each other within their conference and win out. It makes no sense for a team like LSU to hurt their chances this early in the year by losing to a good North Carolina team.
The team that will be interesting to watch this season is USC who will be ineligible for a bowl. How will this team respond knowing that there is no Championship carrot dangling in front of them like years past to keep them focused and motivated. They are ranked No. 14 in the AP poll and climbing the latter could serve as some motivation, but the seniors and juniors on this squad who know they will never play in a BCS title game have to be a bit torn about their feelings. What’s worse for these kids is that the cool, swanky, surfer guy coach who recruited them isn’t even going along for the ride with them; he bailed, and now the get Lane Kiffin who has shown that he has no loyalty to anything. It’s a tough up hill road for the men of Troy to climb and it begins in Hawaii Thursday where USC is a 21-point favorite. It would be surprising to see Hawaii with it’s depleted offensive line be able to stay within three touchdowns, even with USC’s unknown psyche.
There are lots of big spreads this week due to the mismatches. Ohio State is a 29 ½-point favorite at home against Marshall. Last year the Buckeyes let a good Navy team sneak up on them and almost lost. Don’t look for that to occur again as they should win by 40 over Marshall. Texas and Florida start new eras with new quarterbacks, but the spread still reflects as if Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow were playing. Texas laying 29 at Rice and Florida 36 at home against Miami-Ohio seem a little high with new captains piloting the ship in their first outing.
Reminder, this week is the last chance to enter the college football contests at LeeRoy’s and Station Casinos. Also, if looking to bet college football games that aren’t part of the rotation, check out the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book the day before the game and they’ll have all the “Extra” added games on the board.