From the Sidelines

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 9, 2000

The college football season begins to heat up like a day game at TigerStadium this weekend. There are two matchups where Top 125 teamssquare off, including No. 1 Nebraska traveling to No. 23 Notre Dame. Andwhile there appears to be a few more mismatches on the schedule, Toledoshowed that anything is possible against Penn State last Saturday.

So starting from the top, here’s a look at the college football weekend.

Nebraska and Notre Dame finally get together for the first time in almostthree decades and the matchup appears to be a lopsided one. Notre Dame iscoming off a victory over another ranked team, Texas A & M, but that wasmore of the Aggies beating themselves. The Irish endzone will rival DisneyWorld for most visited places today as the Cornhuskers continue to roll on.

Florida State and Georgia Tech played a barnburner last year but theSeminoles return most of their starters from 1999 while the YellowJackets are missing some key components. But then again, Florida Statedidn’t look overly impressive against BYU in the opener. This one could becloser than expected.

Redshirt freshman John Navarre threw for four touchdowns in his collegedebut for Michigan last week. He might equal that in the first half againstRice today.

Fourth-ranked Miami (Fla.) travels to Washington in what may be the bestgame of the day. Washington struggled against Idaho early last week whileMiami had little trouble against McNeese State. The Huskies will provethey are not the Cowboys but the Hurricanes should be able to pull this oneout.

Oregon travels to No. 5 Wisconsin in what would make a good Rose Bowlmatchup. Wisconsin, hit by a number of suspensions before its gameagainst Western Michigan, struggled last Thursday. Oregon, on the otherhand, held Nevada to 103 total yards. The Badgers’ hopes for a nationaltitle come to an end today.

Texas hosts Louisiana-Lafayette in Austin. The Longhorns should get agood look at a lot of its freshmen.

Middle Tennessee State travels to Florida. What, Western Carolina wasn’tavailable?

Ninth-ranked Georgia makes a trip to South Carolina. The Gamecocksbetter enjoy that one-game winning streak.

Colorado, coming off a loss to cross-state rival Colorado State, visits No.

11 USC. Yes, the Trojans defeated Penn State, but so did Toledo. This gameshould tell if they are for real or not.

Vanderbilt plays at Alabama. If anybody finds the Crimson Tide’s nationalchampionship chances, please call Mike Dubose in Tuscaloosa. They seemedto have disappeared when Alabama visited UCLA in the Rose Bowl lastweek.

Purdue hosts Kent. Drew Brees gets to pad his numbers for the Heismanrace.

Fresno State visits UCLA. DeShaun Foster rushed for 187 yards and threetouchdowns against Alabama’s vaunted defense. What will he do againstthe Bulldogs?

Clemson figures to gave an easy time at home against Missouri but theTigers always seem to surprise at least one team a season.

Ohio State and Arizona were supposed to be title contenders last seasonbut both had disappointing records. The Buckeyes and Wildcats look to get2000 off to a better start.

Auburn plays Ole Miss in a SEC tilt. Welcome home, Tommy (Tuberville). Itmight not be a pretty homecoming.

Arkansas State plays at Oklahoma. The Sooners continue their climb backto their place among the contenders.

Ditto for Illinois against San Diego State.

TCU travels to Nevada. TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson is quicker than a LasVegas wedding.

Look for Marshall to give No. 24 Michigan State all it handle on the road.

And on a local note, LSU steps up in competition when the Tigers play hostto Houston. The Cougars defeated LSU in Gerry DiNardo’s swansong lastyear.

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