Took last week off due to some traveling down to the Orlando area. Still in FL on the west coast so I'm catching up on what I missed this weekend. Here's what to watch
Cincinnati at USF, 7:30pm (ESPN HD) - I'm planning on being in attendance for this one. Tony Pike is slowly getting some Heisman pub and this game could go a long way towards getting him in the mix. Cincy is ranking #6 in passing yards per game where USF is #9 against the pass, so something has to give. BJ Daniels is continuing to get his feet wet, but the Bearcats are more susceptible to the pass, which gives this game a little bit of a shootout feeling. Hope I'm right.
Pittsburgh at Rutgers, 8pm (ESPN HD) - Pitt has looked very sharp offensively each week. Its been the defense that has been hit or miss. The Scarlet Knights have had a very slow start to their season and are really an unknown quantity with two wins vs. FCS compeition and Florida International on the schedule. Rutgers run defense is top 10, but against far lesser competition and the offense has been quite stagnant at times with inexperienced QB play from both Savage and Natale.
Oklahoma vs. Texas, 12pm (ABC HD) - No Saturday night football, so you get your main course at noon ET. Let's be honest, this game doesn't have the cache that it would if Sam Bradford hadn't been hurt and the Sooners lost a pair of games. I don't know if the Sooners have it. Rumor has it that most of the seats on Stubhub for this game are in the OU sections, so their fans are skeptical too. Texas is No. 4 in overall defense (No. 1 against the run) so the Sooners will need Bradford to be at his best. With the line play that's been shown so far, that's not a gimme.
Iowa at Wisconsin, 12pm (ESPN HD) - Big Ten also provides a nice early game, mostly because Penn St. decided that their homecoming game would be this weekend at 3:30pm, so ABC picked it up. Both teams are rather average on offense and defense, though the ground attack for Wisconsin could prove to be the difference.
USC at Notre Dame, 3:30pm (NBC HD) - Clearly not the USC offensive team of the past couple years, whereas Notre Dame's games have had much more drama. Jimmy Claussen contiues to get the Heisman hype and a win over USC would do wonders for his candidacy. USC's defense is still stout though they may bend more than they have the previous few weeks.
Hawai'i at Idaho, 5pm (ESPN GamePlan/ESPN360.com) - Idaho is the story to watch here. The Vandals have managed to get to a 5-1 start after being a doormat of the WAC since their arrival four years ago. With a win over the Warriors, the Vandals could be bowl eligible for the first time in a decade. The Vandals, like many WAC teams, are all offense and no defense, so this one, like the games the rest of the way, could be a shootout.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 6pm (ESPN2 HD) - Winner goes to the front of the line in the Coastal Division. Neither team is built to throw the ball around the yard, though Tyrod Taylor seems to be developing into a capable, efficient passer that could give the Hokies that extra dimension. Both teams have top 20 rushing attacks, but the Hokies might have those extras to get over the hump.
South Carolina at Alabama, 7:45pm (ESPN HD) - The Ol' Ball Coach has flipped the script with a top 15 defense (right at #15 nationally) and a mediocre offense, complete with a rushing offense ranked slightly higher than the passing offense. 'Bama is no slouch at #2 defensively. Remember that 3-2 Auburn-Mississippi St. barnburner from 2008? It might be quite similar. Stephen Garcia's QB play for the 'Cocks should be the difference maker.