2012-08-30

Week One FBS Preview - A new blog is born

Hello World!

Peter asked if I would resume my defunct blog “block of granite” from worldpress, which was in German and did not receive much attention.

Well, who am I to not take the chance?

“block of granite” was a college football blog, basically focusing on the FBS (Football Bowl Series), which is the highest level in college football.

So here it is, my first English BLOCK OF GRANITE post.

Today starts the season of the FBS programs and I always like to put some special games into the spotlight and (as you might guess) like to give a personal expectation on the outcome of those games.

The off-season was very much dominated by realignments of the conferences and the Penn State child abuse scandal. For me, the realignments were nice to read and fine. Some Americans probably have more concerns regarding traditions (like Texas A&M went to the SEC, so no regular games with the Longhorns out of Texas anymore) but for me, this is only a business decision, which can be solved in those non conference games.
The Penn State scandal was much more intensive for me and I’m still stunned how many people did screw up this situation so badly.
I’m curious if at any time in the next future Joe Paterno will get into the line of Coaches to admire and will lose the “you did it wrong!” stigma. Based on the information I got here in Germany, it’s had to think about that happening ever.

But let’s look forward and have a view on the next season, which will be exiting. USC seems to be back as contender; Florida State also looks like the Seminoles of old days and the Big 12 probably will bring in Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to compete for the big dance. And don’t forget the SEC, where Alabama as reigning national champion, LSU, Florida and Georgia are looking for a seventh consecutive national title winner out of the SEC.

The first week of the season is normally not that exiting, since most teams are looking for a nice start in the season with an easy win (at least the teams from the big BCS-conferences, the weaker ones have to provide the sparing partner ….) and so there are not many national title impact games. Still, some teams are there to prove they are contenders from week one on and this week it looks like this:

#2 Alabama vs #8 Michigan
I’m not really a fan of Nick Saban, but I have to admit, he brought the Crimson Tide pack on track and if he stays in Tuscaloosa, I sure he will have some more dates put into the little wall behind his statue on the campus of Alabama (meaning more national titles). Facing off against Michigan on the first game day is a bold move, but this one is played on a neutral site in Arlington Texas and this could be enough to get Michigan in trouble. The Wolverines are also back on track. Brady Hoke did win 11-2 games last season and expectations are high in Ann Arbor. If they want to have a shot at the national title, they better win this game. I’m not sure, if they are ready for that, but if not this year, then maybe not for the next few, since their QB Denard Robinson is in his last year and when he is gone, it might take a few years to build another great one.
As said, I think the neutral site will be enough to give Alabama the edge. If this would be a Wolverine home game, I would have picked Michigan, but now I have to pick the Crimson Tide.

#24 Boise State @ #13 Michigan State
The Boise State vs BCS-Opponents were always fun to watch in the last years. How often did the give their opponents a kick into the family jewels and went home with a juicy “W” in their luggage and the defeated team could bury all hopes for a national title run after the first week? Well, the last 3 years they did win their opener vs BCS-opponents on the road. But can coach Chris Petersen win against a Spartans team? Without Kellen Moore? I’m in doubt, since this is not a Spartans team in rebuilding mode. Still some think they will fall behind Nebraska and Michigan. We will see.
Mark Dantario did a good job at East Lansing and I think all Spartans fans are curious about the upcoming season.
In this game I see the Broncos not in the favourite role, but that’s not uncommon for them. Still, this year will be the year the Broncos will get a defeat on opening day.

#14 Clemson @ Auburn
The Tigers-Matchups! Love it. Last year, the Clemson Tigers did win at home against the Auburn Tigers snapping a 14 game winning streak of Auburn against Clemson. This year will be fun, since Clemson is ranked higher than Auburn and it is played in Auburn. If the press ranking would be true (the normally are not on the season opener, but let’s assume so) the home factor will probably even the matchup. Both teams have their weaknesses, and I think the team which is able to exploit such weaknesses on a season opener the most will win.
I’m counting on the Tigers! Lol. Sorry. I’m counting on Auburn, since they have the home advantage and Clemson is not that good on openers outside of Auburn.

Kentucky @ #25 Louisville
Ha, the battle for the Governor's Cup trophy in the state of Kentucky. I love rivalries and I’m just starting to understand this one. Largest and second largest schools in Kentucky having a game against each other? How can this not be a great rivalry? I’m missing some insides here, but I’m sure the hate each other to the bones.
They played a lot of games in the past, but the trophy did only come into the game since 1994! All time matches since 1912 are in favour of Kentucky (14-10) but since the cup was started, Louisville leads 10-8.
So how will it go this year?
Louisville did win last year and now they play at home, so I can’t see the wildcats topping the Cardinals this year. The cardinals will win the trophy again.

Georgia Tech @ #16 Virginia Tech
This one is not that special on paper, since Virginia Tech is dominating the ACC since ages and Georgia Tech did loose more games against VT than the won. But I love the yellow jackets game and I also love VT, so for me this is a great machtup.
Georgia Tech and Virginia both have the same problem this year, which goes by the name of North Carolina. Many people see the Tar Heels ahead of both Tech programs, and so THIS game here will probably give a hint for the contender against the Tar Heels.
I would love to see a VT getting upset, but I can’t see VT loosing at home such important game.

Well. That’s it. Let’s see how this will work out and Let’s see, what the software does with this little text. LOL.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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