Raphielle Johnson's Blog
A pair of Big East matchups complete the pre-Saturday action for Week 7, beginning with #8 Cincinnati (5-0, 1-0) travelling to Tampa to take on #21 USF (5-0, 1-0) tonight (7:30 PM on ESPN). The Bearcats have gotten the job done thus far thanks to an explosive offense and a defense that's been better than advertised but now the goal of defending their conference title is front and center. QB Tony Pike has played well enough to have his name mentioned in the Heisman race, and receivers Mardy Gilyard and D.J. Woods are just two of the many weapons at his disposal.
More mid-week football from the Sun Belt with Arkansas State (1-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) hitting the road (8 PM on ESPN2) to visit UL Monroe (3-2, 2-0), who sits tied atop the conference standings with a 2-0 record (Troy) in league play. The Warhawks lead the conference in rushing, total and scoring offense with QB Trey Revell and RB Frank Goodin leading the way. But the Red Wolves are no slouch, having lost their last two games by a combined six points. Troy and Iowa are talented but rather straightforward in what they're going to do.
The question all week long was would Florida QB Tim Tebow play and the amount of speculation approached (and may have even surpassed) the talk of Brett Favre's first game against the Green Bay Packers. Once cleared early Saturday afternoon it was obvious that the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner would start against 4th-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge. But while Tebow was solid as a "game manager" he wasn't the biggest reason as to why the Gators left town with a 13-3 win.
Two of the nation's top 20 offenses get together in Columbia tonight (9 PM on ESPN) for a game that will go a long way in shaping the Big 12 North race. #21 Nebraska (3-1, 0-0 Big 12) visits #24 Missouri (4-0, 0-0) in hopes if getting back to their dominant ways in this series. Gary Pinkel's Tigers have won four of the last six in the series, including the last three meetings in Columbia by an average of 23 points per contest.
Tuesday night brings about a matchup in the Sun Belt and if the first two weekends are any indication of what's to come then this will be a wild season in the league. Middle Tennessee State (3-1, 1-0) hits the road to take on Troy (2-2, 1-0), the preseason favorite to win the conference. But the idea that the Trojans and Florida Atlantic would run away with this thing has fallen by the wayside; there are more options from which to choose and the Blue Raiders have shown themselves to be one.