2007 College Football Schedule Planner

2007 College Football Schedule Planner

2007 Schedule Planner: Week 1
CSTV.com

Tennessee-Cal featured game of college football's first week of season

After a long hibernation, college football officially returns on the first weekend of September - well, technically the last Thursday in August, but anyway you look at it, it's one long, long weekend of football. So you can expect the usual fanfare, anticipation and excitement as game time approaches, just don't expect a whole lot of fireworks. The scintillating matchups are still a week or two away as the majority of teams warm-up with an FCS sacrificial lamb. But while the weekend might lack quantity, it's not without quality.

Games of the Week


Thursday, Aug. 30 - LSU at Mississippi State

The season once again kicks off on a weeknight and the best game on the schedule comes from the nation's best conference: the SEC. The Bulldogs are clearly out-classed in this matchup, but it's still an intra-division meeting and early on in the season, you never know. LSU, will probably be No. 2 in the polls for this one. The Tigers haven't lost to the Bulldogs since 1999 - and they historically own them - but if you're going to lose, lose early.

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Wake Forest at Boston College

Can Wake repeat the success it had in 2006? Why not, as the Demon Deacons return a bevy of difference makers who Jim Grobe hopes can stay healthy this time around. If they are, then look out because Wake will compete for a second straight Atlantic Division title with Boston College, the cream of the division. These two teams faced off late last season with Wake winning it take first place in the division. This year, the game's just as important, only a whole lot earlier.

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Kansas State at Auburn

Stern test for the Wildcats in their opener as they start year two of the Ron Prince era at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It's going to be a difficult spot for K-State, with the Wildcats up against that Tigers defense and the Tigers faithful, but there's no better place for Josh Freeman to put that awful spring game performance behind him.

Monday, Sept. 3 - Florida State at Clemson

The Bowdon Bowl gets an early date this year as the traditional meeting - at least over the past few years - between FSU and Miami has been pushed back to late in the season after some complaining from both sides. Clemson's dynamic duo of C.J. Spiller and James Davis will be featured prominently on national television. We'll see if the Seminoles rushing defense, one of the nation's better units last year, is up to the early challenge. Let's hope for more offense in this Labor Day contest than last year's (182 yards combined).

BCS Buster Special of the Week

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Arizona at BYU

Aside from TCU, the Cougars are probably the only team in the MWC with legitimate BCS potential entering the season. They plan on being right there with the Horned Frogs for the conference title, but that's going to depend heavily on John Beck's successor. If Max Hall steps up, then the Cougars chances of earning an invite to a more prestigious bowl than the Poinsettia will be greatly improved and beating an improved Arizona team at home is an obvious must.

Heisman Showcase Game of the Week

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Tennessee at Cal

Think revenge is going to be on the mind of the Bears in this one? Cal was undressed in last year's season opener in Knoxville and Jeff Tedford and company would love nothing more than to return the favor. Both teams should be ranked in the Top 25 entering the game. Can Nate Longshore and the Bears offense exploit a Volunteers secondary that many consider to be rebuilding? This game has all the makings for a Tennessee undressing. Let's hope the Vols don't forget how to tackle like the Bears did in last year's game. The two other names to look out for in this one are the Bears' DeSean Jackson and the Vols' Erik Ainge.

Rivalry of the Week

Saturday, Sept. 1 - Colorado vs. Colorado State - Denver
Being that this is a traditional rivalry game, we'll go with the Rams and Buffalos to butt heads at Invesco Field with state bragging rights on the line. You'd figure Colorado will put its miserable 2006 season behind them - a 2-10 campaign that included a 14-10 loss to the Rams in the second game of the season. This has been a pretty even series since 1999 and figures to be a good one.

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2007 Football Schedule Planner - Week 2

Hokies, Tigers set for showdown in Bayou

Week 2 in college football features a bevy of quality non-conference matchups, some that were enticing enough to make the initial list of can't miss games. But ultimately we had to bypass a few of them in favor of the really big ones. Like, for instance, South Florida and Auburn just missed the cut. The Bulls are a team that's going to be much improved and a legitimate contender in the Big East this season, but they get a whopper of an early season test when they head to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face the Tigers. Can the Bulls rise to the challenge? The more important question may be will this game get lost in the shuffle?javascript:void(0);
Bold

Games of the Week

Sat., Sept. 8 - Virginia Tech at LSU

LSU is probably going to be the No. 2 team in the nation heading into this one and the Hokies have top 10 talent, so this one is going to feature some of the nation's best athletes. This will be Tech's first road game of the season and they'll be coming off their emotional home opener the week before. Tech won the one and only meeting between the two schools in 2002 at Lane Stadium. It could be time for LSU to return the favor. They'll try for it under the lights of Tiger Stadium in primetime and that makes the task in front of the Hokies all the more difficult. Unquestionably the game of the day.

Sat., Sept. 8 - South Carolina at Georgia

Steve Spurrier really likes his team this year and he thinks the Gamecocks are a legitimate threat in the SEC East. Probably considered the fourth best team in the division, beating the Bulldogs on the road wouldn't be a big surprise, but it would definitely serve as a wakeup call to Tennessee, Florida, and of course Georgia, that the `Ol Ball Coach and his squad can run with the best of them.

Sat., Sept. 8 - Miami at Oklahoma

The Hurricanes and Sooners haven't played since the 1988 Orange Bowl when No. 2 Miami beat No. 1 Oklahoma for the national championship during Jimmy Johnson's heyday in Coral Gables. But Miami's a ways away from replicating that season while Oklahoma's a whole lot closer. The Canes are still going to feature that tough defense, but the glaring question mark at quarterback figures to nag new coach Randy Shannon as he enters the biggest game of his young head coaching career. But the same could easily be said about the Sooners. Who is their quarterback going to be? It may not matter a whole lot considering the talent surrounding whoever Bob Stoops picks to be his guy.

BCS Buster Game of the Week

Sat., Sept. 8 - TCU at Texas

The Horned Frogs have their sights set yet again on trying to crack the BCS and to call a win over Texas huge - in Austin - would be understating it. They've beaten the Longhorns once since 1968, but haven't played them in over a decade. Stopping Colt McCoy and the Texas offense is one place to start, but if there's any non-BCS defense capable of pulling off the feat, TCU is one of those teams.

Heisman Showcase Game of the Week

Sat., Sept. 8 - Oregon at Michigan

Jonathan Stewart. Mike Hart. Two top running backs. Two top programs in front of the entire country. The Ducks and Wolverines square off in The Big House that gives Hart and Stewart a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression on those 900 or so voters who will tune in for at least a few minutes of the game - we hope...

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Sept. 8 - North Carolina State at Boston College

And for Tom O'Brien's first ACC game as coach of the Wolfpack he gets the pleasure of facing the team he just left: the Eagles. One of the speculated reasons O'Brien left Chestnut Hill was because of a lack of general fan support so we'll see what kind of reception he gets upon entering Alumni Stadium.

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2007 Football Schedule Planner - Week 3

SEC showdown is the headliner

While it's still early in the college football season, Week 3 sees half the SEC kick off its conference schedule, headlined by a great early-season matchup. But, being that were only in the middle of September, the week is still mostly dominated by non-conference games. And there are some very good ones out there.

West Virginia and Maryland meet in College Park for another go-round in their series that's been back and forth over the years, with the winner generally clobbering the loser. And if you're all about a tried-and-true rivalry, there's Iowa-Iowa State. The Cyclones have had a ton of success in the series over the past nine seasons, yet the Hawkeyes will be going for their second straight Cy-Hawk Trophy.

But for the best action of the day, we head to - you guessed it - the SEC.

Games of the Week

Sat., Sept. 15 - Tennessee at Florida

Doesn't get much bigger than the Vols and Gators. It's been a back and forth battle between Florida and Tennessee in recent years even though Phil Fulmer is just 5-10 against the Gators all-time, thanks in large part to Steve Spurrier. Tennessee leads the all-time series 19-17, but Urban Meyer's starting to rack up a very nice record in the division: He's 9-1 in his two years in Gainesville. This matchup generally comes down to who runs the ball better so all eyes should be on the battle in the trenches.

Sat., Sept. 15 - Arkansas at Alabama

Nick Saban welcomes his first conference opponent in the defending SEC West champs to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban also gets the pleasure of trying to stop Heisman Trophy favorite Darren McFadden with a rushing defense he hopes will improve on its 124 yards allowed per game mark last season. So here's another SEC game that should be decided with the run.

Sat., Sept. 15 - Boston College at Georgia Tech 

It's a potential preview of the ACC Championship Game as the Eagles head south to meet the Yellow Jackets. Should be a good offensive contest. The Eagles will be led by Matt Ryan, one of the underrated quarterbacks in the country, and the Yellow Jackets will have Taylor Bennett, who will be a considerable upgrade over the perennially inconsistent Reggie Ball. Just imagine if Tech still had Calvin Johnson.

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Sept. 15 - Louisville at Kentucky

This was the game that ended Michael Bush's season last year as the Cardinals rolled their way to a blowout win early in the season. But Kentucky's a more experienced team, one with a potent offense that's going to give the Louisville defense some problems. That trio of Andre' Woodson, Rafael Little and Kennan Burton is underrated. This will be new Cards coach Steve Kragthorpe's first game against a legitimate opponent - and it comes on the road.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Sept. 15 - USC at Nebraska

John David Booty steps squarely into the spotlight in this weekend's primetime game. Going up against 85,000 assembled fans at Memorial Stadium won't be easy in what will be Booty's first chance for everyone in the country to see him play under the lights. In USC's win over the Cornhuskers last September, Booty threw for 257 yards on 25-of-36 passing (his highest completion percentage of the season) for 3 touchdowns. A game like that on the road, on national television, would be priceless for Booty's Heisman resume.

BCS Buster of the Week

Sat. Sept. 15 - Notre Dame vs. Michigan

It's a week that doesn't feature much in the way of BCS-busting potential as Boise State and TCU both have very winnable games against Wyoming and Air Force while Hawai'i is on the road to take on a UNLV team that went 2-10 last season. So we'll give the nod to the Irish who face one of their many rivals. Notre Dame isn't going to sniff the BCS, but you have to figure Charlie Weis will have his team up for this game in The Big House, looking to spoil Michigan's BCS dreams. But do the Irish have the defense to hold down the Wolverines' offense? Absolutely not.

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2007 Football Schedule Planner - Week 4

Aggies, Hurricanes square off Thursday night

Conference action around the country really starts to heat up as the calendar creeps closer and closer to October. The SEC is yet again the scene for the best games, but there's a Pac-10 matchup that might get overlooked yet packs a big punch. We also have a great weeknight matchup between two teams that haven't played in over 60 years and certainly aren't accustomed to playing on a Thursday. So start the weekend early.

Games of the Week


Thurs., Sept. 20 - Texas A&M at Miami

An unusual weekday game for two teams who almost always play on Saturdays, but it nonetheless should be a good one. It'll be fun to see the A&M offense that should feature one of the nation's best running games, yet again, go up against the Miami defense that was stingy against the run (67.8 yards per game) last season. These two teams haven't met since 1944 - so this one's been a long time coming - with the only meeting between going to A&M, 70-14.

Sat., Sept. 22 - Arizona at California

There's a lot of talk about a bowl game in Tucson and if the Wildcats are serious about that, how about finally beating a good team on the road? Remember, Arizona picked off No. 8 Cal at home last year, 24-20, giving the Bears their second loss of the season and knocking them out of the national title picture. The Wildcats were able to disrupt them offensively that afternoon. But chances are Arizona won't have as easy a time repeating that performance in Berkley.

Sat., Sept. 22 - Georgia at Alabama

This will be Bama's third SEC game of the season and we're already in the fourth week of the season.

This is a game where Nick Saban's influence on his team can really shine through. Coming off that tough game against Arkansas the week before with the Bulldogs in town, what kind of swagger will the Crimson Tide carry into Bryant-Denny Stadium, especially if they lose that game to the Razorbacks? With Saban barking at his players all week long they surely won't be feeling sorry for themselves. And just imagine if they beat Arkansas. Two relatively inexperienced offensive lines face off in this one.

Sat., Sept. 22 - South Carolina at LSU

Steve Spurrier thinks this is his best team yet in Columbia and he thinks big things could be in store for the Gamecocks. Big things like beating the Tigers in Baton Rogue? South Carolina isn't that good yet, but they've shown some savvy on the road losing just one game away from home last season - and that was a game South Carolina should have won had it not been for that final blocked field goal and an earlier blocked PAT attempt by Jarvis Moss that would save Florida's national championship hopes.   

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Sept. 22 - Penn State at Michigan

Michigan's going to be the favorite in the Big Ten with Wisconsin yet again being forgotten as a major player on the national scene. That being said, this matchup with the Nittany Lions will be the Wolverines' first conference game of the season and it concludes a four-game home stand to start the year. They knocked out Anthony Morelli in last year's game in Happy Valley, holding the Penn State offense in relative check. That won't figure to happen as easily this year with a much more seasoned Nittany Lions offensive line and a Michigan defense that's not going to dominate like it did last year.

BCS Buster of the Week

Sat., Sept. 22 - East Carolina at West Virginia

This is a trap game for the Mountaineers. Facing Maryland the week before and with a tough contest against South Florida in Tampa the week after, could West Virginia overlook the Pirates? You'd figure the Mountaineers wouldn't as they've done nothing but pound ECU in the past. West Virginia owns a 16-2 record all-time against the Pirates and has never lost to them since Rich Rodriguez took over.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Sept. 22 - Kentucky at Arkansas

Darren McFadden goes up against the worst rushing defense in the SEC last season - and one of the worst nationally - in the Wildcats. The two teams didn't face each other last season, but in giving up an average of 184 yards per game, Rich Brooks better hope his Kentucky team has gained some valuable experience and can ascend from the conference basement. McFadden feasted like a hog against some of the worst run defenses last year. Against Utah State, he ran for 184 yards on a team ranked 111th in rushing defense. Kentucky was No. 108 last year.

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2007 Schedule Planner - Week 5

Weekend starts early, but could ultimately belong to Pac-10

There are some great matchups as we head into the final weekend of September, but some of the best action could very well come during the week as Thursday and Friday nights feature two intriguing contests, one of them being a great non-conference tilt between two non-BCS conferences and one from the Big East. But this weekend could ultimately belong to the Pac-10 which features two can't-miss games.

BCS Buster of the Week

Thurs., Sept. 27 - Southern Miss at Boise State

Here's the great non-conference matchup between two of the perennial best non-BCS schools. Southern Miss did have a propensity to give up yards via the run last year which would play right into the hands of the Broncos, who will boast one of the best offensive lines in the country this year. But the Golden Eagles are bringing back three starters from that defensive line so improvement should be expected up front. You can't underline the battle between Damion Fletcher and Ian Johnson enough. 

Games of the Week

Fri., Sept. 28 - West Virginia at South Florida

The first high-profile Big East matchup of the season pits two of the top four teams in the conference. Remember back to last season and how USF pulled off the upset over West Virginia late last year.The Bulls were five-point winners that afternoon in Morgantown because USF did the unthinkable - they held Steve Slaton and Pat White in check. West Virginia ran for only 132 yards that afternoon, roughly half its average. A good majority of that defensive unit is back for the Bulls, including what could be the Big East's best secondary, meaning don't put it past USF to hold White and Slaton down again, and win another big game.

Sat., Sept. 29 - Alabama at Florida State (Jacksonville)

The Seminoles welcome Nick Saban back to the state of Florida for a meeting in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium - formerly Alltel. The two schools haven't played since 1974 so a neutral site is only fitting for two of the South's most popular - and successful - programs to get together again. And here are two teams who will feature vastly different coaching staffs this fall. Saban obviously came aboard the Crimson Tide and brought in Major Applewhite to be his offensive coordinator while Bobby Bowden hired almost an entirely new group of offensive assistants as well as former N.C. State coach Chuck Amato on defense.

Sat., Sept. 29 - UCLA at Oregon State

Two programs who are middle-of-the-row teams in the Pac-10 meet in Corvallis, but they're two very good teams nonetheless - both teams have Top 25 talent on their rosters. Can Oregon State get to recently crowned UCLA starting quarterback Ben Olson? You'd figure so if the Beavers want to win. They led the nation in sacks last season but in their matchup against the Bruins then, the tables were turned as UCLA sacked Oregon State five times in a 25-7 win in Pasadena.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Sept. 29 - California at Oregon

The man who needs to get more pub heading into this year's Heisman campaign is DeSean Jackson. The insanely talented Bears wide receiver who can run right by a defender in the blink of an eye is arguably the nation's best punt returner to boot. The junior torched the Ducks for two touchdowns in last year's 45-24 Cal victory that saw him score on a 36-yard pass from Nate Longshore and a 65-yard punt return.  No receiver has won the Heisman since 1991 and the winner that year was, of course, Desmond Howard, who also just happened to have a knack for returning kicks. 

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Sept. 29 - Auburn at Florida

The only team to hand the Gators a loss last season? It was Auburn and the Tigers did it with defense at home thanks to a blocked punt, a fumble and an interception. The inspired defensive play in the second half propelled the Tigers to the upset win over the then No. 2 Gators. Auburn's going to have another stacked defense this season, especially with Quentin Groves back for his senior season and never under estimate Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers coach has more SEC wins the past six seasons than any other coach in the conference.

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2007 Schedule Planner - Week 6

Schedule planning week six sees best in nation's toughest division take center stage

The first weekend in October is filled with so many good games that you wonder why the schedule makers couldn't have moved a few of these can't-miss matchups to a different date so college football fans aren't forced to scuttle between game after game.

Because by the looks of it, there is so much going on that it's going to be impossible to follow it all. Even a few games that didn't make the list - like Notre Dame-UCLA - just happen to kickoff at the exact same time as the biggest game of them all: Florida-LSU.

Games of the Week

Thurs., Oct. 4 - Kentucky at South Carolina

Kentucky is fashioning itself as a legitimate contender in the SEC East for the first time in what feels like forever, but if the Wildcats want to prove they're not all talk, going into Columbia and beating Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks could serve as their notice of arrival.

Sat., Oct. 6 - Georgia at Tennessee

It's another tough game for the Vols who, if they aren't careful, could find themselves with their third loss of the year after their season opener on the road against Cal and their week 3 matchup with Florida in The Swamp. Key to the game for Tennessee? How about Erik Ainge passing for over 200 yards. The Vols lost just one game last year in which Ainge passed for that number or more.

Sat., Oct. 6 - Florida at LSU

The biggest matchup of the day takes place in Baton Rouge as the Gators and Tigers meet in what many figure to be a prelude to the SEC Championship game the first weekend in December. The contrast in styles is great. There's Florida's dynamic offense, led by Tim Tebow this year, that will have the unenviable task of trying to move the ball and put up points against LSU's dominating defense. The Gators won a physical game in Gainesville last season thanks to Tebow's two touchdown passes - including that infamous "jump-pass." After that win, the Gators moved to 6-0 for the first time since 1996, the last time they had won the national championship. If the Gators are unbeaten up to this point in the season and knock off LSU, they'll be 6-0 again. 

Sat., Oct. 6 - Nebraska at Missouri

Once again, these two teams figure to battle it out for the ever weak Big 12 North title. Hopefully, Missouri can hold up its end of the bargain this year after the Tigers finished two games behind Nebraska in the final division standings thanks to winning just two of their final seven games. It'll be a good quarterback matchup between Chase Daniel and Sam Keller.

Sat., Oct. 6 - Virginia Tech at Clemson

The top running duo in the ACC - C.J. Spiller and James Davis - goes toe-to-toe with the best defense in the conference and what figures to be one of the best units in the nation yet again. But if there's one relative "weakness" with the Hokies defense, it's their ability to stop the run. Rushing defense was the only category in which Tech did not finish first nationally last year - the Hokies were only 11th best.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Oct. 6 - Cincinnati at Rutgers

It was Cincinnati that threw a wrench in Rutgers' BCS hopes last season. Can they do the same to Ray Rice's Heisman hopes this year? The Scarlet Knights were coming off the biggest win in school history after beating Louisville last November. But the Bearcats held Rutgers to just 288 yards of total offense and came away with a 19-point victory at home. Rice had just 54 yards on the ground that evening after he ran for 131 against Louisville. Cincinnati was an underrated defensive team last season, and they're bringing back eight starters. Rice should wrack up the yards in September with the Scarlet Knights' only real competition coming against Maryland. Can he make amends for his worst performance of 2006 and avoid any derailment along his trail to the Heisman with a big game at home against Cincy?

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Oct. 6 - Oklahoma vs. Texas (Dallas)

The name has officially been changed to the Red River Rivalry at the behest of political correctness, but no matter what's it's called, the annual matchup between the Sooners and Longhorns is always one of the best regular season games of the year. Can Oklahoma and its topnotch rushing attack run right through the Texas defense that was as good as any against the run last season? It'll be tough for the Sooners, considering the Longhorns are bringing back plenty of talent up front. If Oklahoma wants to win this one, how about testing that Texas secondary that was surprisingly bad last year. Only one starter returns to that unit which was ranked 99th against the pass. So whoever wins the Oklahoma starting quarterback job - presumably Joey Halzle - will undoubtedly look to throw the ball to his talented receiving corps.

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2007 Schedule Planner - Week 7

Badgers, Nittany Lions set for Big Ten showdown

As we hit mid-October, conference games dominate Week 7 of the college football season. But there are some great games that didn't quite make the can't-miss cut like Oklahoma-Missouri, Boston College-Notre javascript:void(0);
BoldDame, Arizona-USC and LSU-Kentucky.

This is also a weekend that actually spans five days from Wednesday to Sunday as Pitt-Navy kick things off mid-week and Nevada-Boise State wrap it up Sunday evening. But the meat of the action comes Thursday, Friday and, of course, Saturday.

Games of the Week

Thur., Oct. 11 - Florida State at Wake Forest

Florida State has owned Wake Forest. Until last year, that is, when the Demon Deacons surprised college football with their ACC-winning, Orange Bowl-appearing season out of nowhere. During that run, they shutout the Seminoles in Doak Campbell Stadium - the first team to ever accomplish the feat in Bobby Bowden's 31 years as the head coach in Tallahassee. Can Florida State return the favor? Not likely. Wake should be a good team this year - one of the better ones in the ACC, in fact - and the Seminoles hope their quarterback situation will be fully resolved by the time this game rolls around.

Sat., Oct. 13 - Georgia Tech at Miami

If you like defense, then this matchup is for you. Sure the Yellow Jackets will feature a much steadier hand at quarterback in Taylor Bennett, but it's going to be the other side of the ball that really carries Tech. However, the excitement from Bennett taking over from the perpetually inconsistent Reggie Ball is understandable. And despite not having the services of Calvin Johnson, that shouldn't affect Tech thanks to its depth at nearly every position on offense. These two figure to be playing for second fiddle in the ACC Coastal behind Virginia Tech.

Sat., Oct. 13 - Oregon State at Cal

A big Pac-10 matchup between two teams that probably are playing for second place in the conference behind USC, but they're nonetheless very, very good teams. Yvenson Bernard is the focal point of the Beavers offense, but don't sleep on their defense; the unit led the Pac-10 in sacks last season. A total of 15 starters are back for Oregon State and while many will pick Cal to come away the winner in this one, you can't put it past Mike Riley to pull off the unexpected "upset."

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Oct. 13 - Auburn at Arkansas

This just happens to be the Razorbacks only tough game at home. Seriously, the Arkansas home schedule this season is an absolute joke, but this is a great SEC West contest with the featured matchup being the Arkansas running attack squaring off against the Auburn front seven. The Razorbacks got the best of that fight last year during their stunning upset of the then-No. 2 Tigers. Darren McFadden had himself quite a game that Saturday. The Heisman Trophy runner-up last year ran for 145 yards and a 63-yard touchdown score as the Auburn defense was embarrassed at home.

BCS Buster Game of the Week

Fri., Oct. 12 - Hawai'i at San Jose State

Hawai'i's got a pretty easy schedule, but this is going to be one of their toughest tests of the season's first half for a Warrior team bent on being this year's Boise State. San Jose State is a legitimate team that's going to give the Hawai'i and Boise a challenge for WAC supremacy. Colt Brennan lit up the Spartans defense last season to the tune of 402 yards and five touchdowns, but equaling that performance won't be easy against a unit that's going to be better than advertised, especially with those talented corners led by Dwight Lowery who can't wait to get another crack at stopping Brennan.

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Oct. 13 - Wisconsin at Penn State

One of the best the Big Ten will offer all season long, the Badgers conclude a two-game road trip in Happy Valley. Remember it was against Wisconsin that Joe Paterno broke his leg after getting hit by his own player on the sidelines. But he wasn't the only Nittany Lion who went home limping that day as the Badgers held the Penn State offense in check. This will be the fourth game of a tough, tough stretch for the Nittany Lions who play two straight on the road against Michigan and Illinois before hosting Iowa and the Badgers.

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2007 Football Schedule Planner - Week 8

SEC power struggle of Auburn-LSU and storied rivalry USC-Notre Dame top the list

Another week, another batch of weeknight games that are worthy of can't miss status, despite the fact they're from two conferences most people don't give enough credit to. But Saturday sees one of the best SEC rivalries renew their hostilities along with one of the game's most revered rivalries kick-off in South Bend.

Games of the Week
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Thurs., Oct. 18 - South Florida at Rutgers

Two up and coming Big East programs - although some Scarlet Knight apologists would argue that Rutgers has already arrived - square off in Piscataway in an early season elimination match for the Big East title. Yes, you read that right. The Bulls are fully capable of beating Rutgers, Louisville and West Virginia. Now the likelihood of that happening seems a little remote, but don't put it past Jim Leavitt to do some unexpected things with his best squad yet. The Bulls get the Cardinals and Mountaineers at home so this is their toughest conference road game. Pass this test, after beating West Virginia a few weeks earlier, and South Florida could be playing Louisville late in November for the league title.

BCS Buster of the Week

Thurs., Oct. 18 - Utah at TCU

BYU is probably the second best team in the MWC behind TCU, but Utah is dangerous and could easily derail the Horned Frog's bid for a BCS berth. But one we know for sure in this game, points are going to be at a premium for the Utes, despite the fact that they're returning nearly all their starters from 2006. TCU's returning nine starters from one of the nation's best units last season, including all-world defensive end Tommy Blake.

Sat., Oct. 20 - Cal at UCLA

The best Pac-10 game of the week features two schools fighting it out for second fiddle to USC. This should be a great game between two Top 25 talents but hopefully better than last year's installment. Anyone remember DeSean Jackson's scintillating 72-yard punt return against the Bruins last season? It put the kibosh on UCLA's chances thanks in large part to Thomas DeCoud's concussion-inducing block on Korey Bosworth. Think the Bruins will be kicking to Jackson this year? Don't count on it.

Sat., Oct. 20 - Auburn at LSU

The matchup between the two best teams in the SEC West will be a physical battle, to say the least. You'd be hard pressed to find two teams that hit harder than these two in the country. Last year's contest in Auburn was a throwback 7-3 win in favor of Tommy Tuberville's Tigers thanks to that controversial pass interference call that was overturned. So what can we expect from this year's game? How about more hitting and plenty of pounding? LSU's defense is going to be one of the best in the country and Auburn's won't be far behind. But I think you'll see a little more scoring in this year's version of one of the best rivalries in the SEC.

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Oct. 20 - USC at Notre Dame

Yes the Irish aren't going to be as good as they were last year and USC is going to be a juggernaut this season, but in terms of traditional rivalries in college football, there are only a couple others this game takes a backseat to. And you don't think Charlie Weis and his team aren't going to be jazzed up to face that great Trojan defense on a fall afternoon in South Bend? Of course they will be. Plus, Notre Dame will be donning the green jerseys in this one as they pay tribute to the 1977 team that won the national championship, defeating USC on the way, 49-19.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Oct 20 - Texas at Baylor

Anyone remember Colt McCoy's performance against the Bears last season? Does six touchdowns on 21-of-32 passing and 275 yards passing ring a bell? That's what the freshman did in just his seventh game as the Longhorns' quarterback. And as for this year, I'll put it this way: Baylor's defense didn't get any better during the off-season.

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2007 Schedule Planner - Week 9

Potential ACC championship preview starts off weekend

Championship weekend is still well over a month away once we hit Week 9 of the college football season, but it's a great chance to watch some potential previews of conference title games in the ACC and Big 12 while the SEC East picture should be much clearer thanks to the division's top four teams all facing each other.

Game of the Week

Thurs., Oct. 25 - Boston College at Virginia Tech

Could this be a preview of the ACC title game? Quite possibly as you have the clear-cut best team in the conference in Virginia Tech welcoming in Matt Ryan and Boston College to what will be a raucous Lane Stadium on a school night. Tech was taken to the woodshed last season in Chestnut Hill last fall when the Eagles came away with a 22-3 victory in what turned out to be by far the Hokies lowest-scoring output of the season and second-most points allowed.

BCS Busters of the Week

Fri., Oct. 26 - Boise State at Fresno State

Just a few years ago this matchup pretty much determined who the WAC champ would be every season. Fresno hasn't been its usual self as of late, but this could easily be one of the toughest road tests for Boise on the season other than the Broncos' venture to Hawai'i's Thanksgiving weekend. The Bulldogs' defense doesn't figure to offer much of a challenge for the Broncos' offense, not with a few questions remaining on their defensive line and backfield. But there isn't going to be a bigger home game all season in Fresno, so that ratchets up the upset potential a few notches.

Sat., Oct. 27 - Nebraska at Texas

Your early look at the Big 12 championship game to be played only a little over a month later. The Cornhuskers enter this contest still in search of that one signature win in the Bill Callahan era, and one against a team they're not expected to beat. While picking off the Longhorns in Austin might be asking a bit much of Nebraska, if they're going to be the Big 12 North champs, how about at least giving Texas a run for its money in this one?

Sat., Oct. 27 - South Carolina at Tennessee

Steve Spurrier practically owns Phil Fulmer and the Vols. During his coaching career, Spurrier is 9-5 against Tennessee, dating back to his days at Duke and Florida. The two verbal sparring partners meet in Knoxville this season where Spurrier got one of his biggest wins during his first season as Gamecocks coach, handing Fulmer his first-ever SEC loss to South Carolina. If Spurrier's going to win this time around, he's going to need to exploit that Tennessee front four.

Sat., Oct. 27 - Ohio State at Penn State

Penn State gets two of its toughest Big Ten games at home, one of those coming against the Buckeyes. The biggest question surrounding the Buckeyes is their offense. They lost six starters, none more important than Troy Smith. But they're not without talent. With the two Wells in the backfield and Brian Robiskie out wide, whoever is eventually tabbed as the quarterback won't be without options. But they'll have to contend with a Nittany Lions defense that, while only returning five starters, will be just as formidable in 2007 as it was in 2006.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Oct. 27 - West Virginia at Rutgers

Here's a treat. You have three potential Heisman winners in this game in West Virginia's dynamic duo of Pat White and Steve Slaton facing off against Rutgers Ray Rice. May the best offense win. Both the Mountaineers and Scarlet Knights will be focused on shutting down the other's rushing attack. That means this game could come down to White's passing prowess, something he doesn't get enough credit for. Or Mike Teel's ability to not turn the ball over.

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Oct. 27 - Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)

The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party as it will always affectionately be referred to could very well determine who has the inside track to the SEC East title. These two rivals have been playing each other for almost 100 years now, and while the Bulldogs have the overall edge in the series, it's the Gators who have won every meeting this decade except for 2004. Florida was a seven-point winner last fall, thanks mostly to its defense, which forced two fumbles and two interceptions. You'd figure Matthew Stafford will be a little more poised this time around.

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2007 Schedule Planner: Week 10

Conference pictures should be much clearer after first weekend in November

You can pretty much sum up this weekend in one word: Loaded.

There are so many great games, so many crucial conference showdowns that will determine who will win their respective league. But it's the ACC this weekend that features two games that will go a long way toward determining division winners along with a pretty big one in the Big Ten and a budding rivalry plays out in the SEC.

Games of the Week

Thurs., Nov. 1 - Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech is the overwhelming favorite to win not only the ACC's Coastal Division, but also the conference's championship. But if there's a defense in the league that can stack up to the Hokies, it just may be the Yellow Jackets. These are the two top teams in the Coastal with two of the top running backs in the conference and two quarterbacks who have much to prove. And don't forget that the Yellow Jackets went into Lane Stadium last year and scored more points on the Hokies defense than anyone. And that was with Reggie Ball at QB.

Sat., Nov. 3 - Oregon State at USC

Can the Trojans exact a little revenge from their loss to the Beavers last season? Well, as long as USC takes care of the ball, they should be able to handle Oregon State. It was the four turnovers that doomed the Trojans in Corvallis last October, snapping their 27-game Pac-10 winning streak and 18-game road winning streak. John David Booty threw for a ton of yards that Saturday, but with an inexperienced wide receiving corps and a Beavers secondary filled with upperclassmen don't necessarily expect Booty to put up 400 yards again.

Sat., Nov. 3 - Florida State at Boston College

These are the two top teams in the ACC Atlantic Division, but there are more than a few people who think this could be Boston College's year to get to the conference championship game. After one of the most disappointing seasons under Bobby Bowden last fall, there's a lot of reason for optimism in Tallahassee. For starters, Jimbo Fisher is running the offense, thanks to Bowden's off-season overhaul of his coaching staff. But the funny thing is that Bowden was very surprised that his Seminoles were picked to win the Atlantic. So there's a little apprehension heading into the season and there will be more heading into this game when the Seminoles have to prepare for Matt Ryan. They'll also have to contend with an Eagles defense returning nine starters that held the Seminoles to only 28 yards rushing last year.

Sat., Nov. 3 - Wisconsin at Ohio State

This is the first of two brutal games for the Badgers, pitting them against the Buckeyes, whom they did not play last season. After this one comes a home meeting with Michigan. If Wisconsin can get past Penn State in October, they're probably going to be undefeated entering this game in Columbus where they'll run up against what figures to be another tough Ohio State defense. This will be game will be won in the trenches as both teams will look to establish the run with inexperienced quarterbacks under center and great backs to hand the ball off to. Loser should be out of the Big Ten title race.

Heisman Showcase of the Week

Sat., Nov. 3 - South Carolina at Arkansas

So Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks had a little trouble stopping the run last season, allowing over 146 yards per game. And Darren McFadden ran for 219 yards against South Carolina last November. There are still questions about whether the Gamecocks front seven can improve on their awful run defense and none concerning McFadden. One of the Heisman Trophy favorites figures to have a game where he can pad his stats a little.

Rivalry of the Week

Sat., Nov. 3 - LSU at Alabama

It's not a traditional rivalry, but since Nick Saban's now running the show in Tuscaloosa, this is going to heat up. The former LSU coach is now public enemy No. 1 in Baton Rouge - only the Trojans are hated more - after he left the Tigers for the NFL and later took the `Bama job. The knock on Les Miles is that he's won with guys Saban recruited, but now the players making the impact for LSU are Miles' and he'd love nothing more than to prove he's just as good a coach as Saban. Of course, he'll need to win a national championship to do that and Saban has a great chance to derail LSU's expected title run.

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2007 Football Schedule Planner - Week 11

Conference champions will be determined in showdown games

We've got a weekend on our hands where the picture in several conferences should really clear up. The Big East, MWC and Pac-10 all will feature their marquee matchups this weekend between the best teams in each league.

Rivalry of the Week

Thurs., Nov. 9 - Louisville at West Virginia

The premier matchup in the Big East takes place in Morgantown on a Thursday night yet again. If the past two meetings between these two teams is any indication of what's in store for this year's version, we're in for another treat. You have three Heisman Trophy candidates going up against each other in this one with Brian Brohm squaring off against Pat White and Steve Slaton. The Cardinals got the best of the Mountaineers last year and two years ago they went to three overtimes before West Virginia emerged victorious. As has been the case with this matchup the past two years, the winner figures to be the leading candidate to take home the Big East Championship and head to the BCS.

BCS Buster of the Week

Thurs., Nov. 9 - TCU at BYU

The two best teams in the MWC meet with the conference championship on the line. TCU will rely on its running game to set up the deep ball while BYU will look to throw dink and dunk passes all night long. There are lots of changes for the Cougars this year. They're bringing in a new starting tailback and quarterback while the Horned Frogs also feature a new signal caller in Marcus Jackson who only hopes to be able to equal the success Jeff Ballard had running TCU's offense. BYU actually lost more starters than any other Top 25 team from last season. Was their unblemished run through the conference last season strictly a product of senior leadership? We may find out in this one.

Sat., Nov. 11 - USC at Cal

Over the length of USC's reign as the Pac-10's clear cut best, no other team has played the Trojans as tough as the Bears. And there's no reason why that shouldn't be the case this November. Nate Longshore and DeSean Jackson go up against that stacked USC defense. There are no holes to be found with the Trojans. From the defensive line to the secondary, USC will parade out some of the best in the nation. But shutting down the Bears is no easy task.

Sat., Nov. 11 - Florida State at Virginia Tech

The ACC Championship Game is essentially played a month early as the two best teams in the conference meet in Blacksburg. Can Drew Weatherford or Xavier Lee - whoever is the Seminoles quarterback at the time - solve the Hokies' defense, which will be just as formidable as it's been the past two seasons? Probably not, especially with all the talent coming back for the Hokies and with Weatherford still yet to solidify himself as a dependable starter.

Sat., Nov. 11 - Florida at South Carolina

Steve Spurrier came this close to beating his former team in The Swamp last year. If it wasn't for Derrick Harvey blocking an extra point and what would have been the game-winning field goal as time expired, Florida doesn't win a national championship and Spurrier has his signature, and most significant, win since he's been in Columbia. Now the Gamecocks are a year older and will be much better and Florida has all but two starters returning on defense. It still won't be easy for the Gamecocks, but the Gators can be had.

Heisman Showcase Game of the Week

Sat., Nov. 11 - Michigan at Wisconsin

The Wolverines have Mike Hart and Chad Henne while the Badgers feature P.J. Hill. Hart, who finished fifth in the Heisman voting last season, is healthy after missing all of the spring after shoulder surgery and he's added some muscle to his frame. He said he's never run faster than he did this summer and he'll need every step going up against the Badgers' defense. Hill, on the other hand, is considered a Heisman candidate - albeit a long one since he's a sophomore. The loser will in all likelihood be eliminated from the Big Ten Championship. Wisconsin historically has not had much success against Michigan - they were only 3-8 against the Wolverines in the Barry Alvarez era and were outplayed in Ann Arbor last season. Not that the Wolverines will be overlooking Wisconsin, but they get Ohio State after this one.

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