Channel Surfing

There is almost always a way for a Colorado fan to have a rooting interest in a college football game. While not exactly the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, you should be able to find any number of games on Saturday to keep an eye on.

The Obvious

Southern Mississippi at Kansas. Quick, name the team with the second longest winning streak in Division 1-A. Hard to believe, but after Florida, no team currently has a better run that of Southern Mississippi. The Eagles take an eight-game winning streak into Lawrence, where the Jayhawks have not lost a non-conference game since 2003. Kansas has the third-ranked offense in the nation, but the Eagles have the 17th-best defense. It will be interesting to see if the 2009 Kansas Jayhawks are for real – this is the first test.

Missouri at Nevada (Friday night). Nevada has been a disappointment so far this season – a shut out by Notre Dame followed by a loss to Colorado State last weekend, but the Wolfpack should still be a decent test for the Tigers. Nevada went 7-6 last season, and will be looking to avenge a 69-17 thumping by Missouri last season. It’s the home opener for Nevada, and it’s on national television on a Friday night. (Okay, so I’m not looking for a Toledo kind of a performance, but with a home date against Nebraska next on the Tigers’ schedule, it would not be unthinkable that Missouri might be looking past Nevada.)

Army at Iowa State. The Cyclones bounced back from a 35-3 loss to Iowa to take care of a decent Kent State team, 34-14 (sorry, we’re not in a position to make fun of any MAC teams at this juncture). Army is 2-1, having taken out two MAC teams of its own (Eastern Michigan and Ball State). Army is ranked 7th in the nation in rushing, churning out over 250 yards per game. It will be fun to see how the Cyclones fare against this one dimensional offense.

The Understandable

UTEP at Texas. No, there will not be an upset here. However, for those wondering whether to take the children to a movie on October 10th in order to avoid the carnage of Colorado at Texas, this game will be instructive. The Miners, 1-2 (including losses to Kansas and Buffalo) are ranked 100th in rushing offense, 103rd in total offense, 97th in scoring offense, 92nd in total defense … stop me when this begins to sound familiar. Texas has a bye week before facing Colorado, so there is nothing better for the Longhorns to do than to sharpen their edges against UTEP. The final score in this one may be instructive …

Colorado State at BYU. The Rams are undefeated for the first time in 15 years, and are looking to claim a national ranking if they can upset the Cougars. BYU, which had its BCS bowl hopes all but eliminated in a 54-28 rout by Florida State, is hurting, and perhaps vulnerable. Still, BYU is 8th in the nation in passing offense; Colorado State is 88th in the nation in passing defense. Will Colorado State be a player in the Mountain West race in 2009, or will the Rams be relegated to 4th or 5th place behind the big three of BYU, Utah, and TCU? We’ll have a better idea after Saturday.

California at Oregon. The four teams which the Buffs will match up with in 2010 non-conference play (CSU, Cal, Hawaii, and Georgia) are a combined 10-2 so far this season. Whether or not Dan Hawkins is the coach next year, Colorado will have its work cut out for it next September. As a result, it is not too early to start checking up on the ’10 competition. Cal is 3-0, ranked 6th in the nation. Oregon is 2-1, and bounced back from a season-opening loss to Boise State to take out #18 Utah last weekend. If Cal can take out the Ducks in Eugene, then take care of business against USC at home next weekend, the Buffs will likely be squaring off next fall against the defending Pac-10 champions.

The Obscure

Hawaii at Louisiana Tech. (Next Wednesday). The Warriors (don’t call them the Rainbow Warriors anymore), are 2-1, having lost their first game of the season last weekend, a 34-33 setback to UNLV (the only other loss by a CU 2010 non-conference opponent was Georgia’s loss to Oklahoma State the opening weekend). The game against Louisiana Tech will be nationally televised next Wednesday night, and this might be the only chance for many Buff fans to catch what might be the lowest ranked team Colorado will play next September (and perhaps the only team which is not already making bowl plans for 2009).

Texas Tech at Houston. The Red Raiders hung with Texas for most of the game last weekend, before falling 34-24. Up next for Tech is a date with the 17th-ranked Houston Cougars. It was two weeks ago that Houston took out Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and now, after a bye week, the Cougars get Texas Tech at home. Houston leads the nation in scoring (50 points per game), and is 5th in total offense. Texas Tech is #1 in passing offense and 19th in total offense. It should be quite the shootout Saturday night. (In case you are wondering, I’m already looking at the Buffs’ home date with Texas Tech next October 23rd).

Tennessee Tech at Kansas State. Interesting game? Um, no. The Golden Eagles do have an impressive win against Pikeville (seriously), but that it not why this game is of interest. Why I like this game is because it is as valuable to the the Wildcats as a bye week. In week one, Kansas State took out Massachusetts, 21-17, for its only win of the season. Problem is, Tennessee Tech, just like Massachusetts, is a FCS team (1-AA). Under NCAA rules, teams can only count one win over a FCS team when seeking a bowl bid. Win, lose, or draw against Tennessee Tech, and the Wildcats will still have to go 5-3 in Big 12 play in order to bowl eligible – and that ain’t gonna happen.

Enjoy the weekend – the Buffs can’t lose!!

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