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Ultimate College Football Tour, 2008 Edition June 19, 2008

Posted by City Hoops in exodus, schedules.
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As we count down the days to kickoff, let’s take a look at the biggest contests of 2008 (preseason edition). Imagine a 15-week tour across the country to witness America’s best college football teams, talent and games.

Provide me plane fare, tickets and tailgate options, and I’m there.

It would be easy to simply pick the best games every week. I wanted to keep my tour fresh: namely, a different setting and scenario each week. To ensure parity and balance, and a variety of teams and experiences, the caveats of this tour:

1) One home game from every conference (arrgh Sun Belt) and one major independent (arrgh Notre Dame) is required.
2) Teams may be featured only once (although consideration is merit-based without limits)

Disagree with these choices? Comment on this page or e-mail ks_94@hotmail.com.

Week 1 (August 30)

Alabama vs. Clemson @ Georgia Dome
Clemson stands out thanks to a plethora of returning starters and talent at the skill positions. The Tigers should have a dominant defense and enough offensive firepower – senior QB Cullen Harper, RBs James Davis and C.J. Spiller – to be considered the favorite in a mediocre ACC. The knock on coach Tommy Bowden is that his teams always underachieve. Clemson wants desperately to rid that mantra this year, and especially in the opener against a dangerous Alabama team that might be underrated themselves after underachieving last year. One of the year’s most evenly-matched openers, consider the Tigers a slight favorite with 16 starters, nine on defense, returning. The night lights of the Georgia Dome and national ESPN audience beckon.

Others considered:
Fresno State at Rutgers
Utah at Michigan
Illinois at Missouri
Appalachian State at LSU
Michigan State at California

Week 2 (September 6)

West Virginia at East Carolina

Bill Stewart took over for Rich Rodriguez in the Fiesta Bowl last year and didn’t miss a beat, leading West Virginia to a 20-point trouncing of Oklahoma. Now, Stewart takes the full-time reigns in Morgantown amid much less hype and fanfare than his former boss in Ann Arbor. Don’t forget about Stewart and the Mountaineers. A clear-cut favorite in a suddenly solid Big East, Stewart inherits uber-talented Pat White, Noel Devine and seven other returning starters on offense. The defense needs preseason work, but WVU has their sights on topping last year’s 39.6 points per game average and running the table. East Carolina is one of CUSA’s best and should sell out Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium under the lights against another prime-time nonconference opponent (we’ll find out how the Pirates measure up in Week 1 against Virginia Tech in Charlotte).

Others considered:
Miami (Fla.) at Florida
Oregon State at Penn State
Cincinnati at Oklahoma
South Florida at UCF
BYU at Washington

Week 3 (September 13)

Ohio State at USC

This game doesn’t need much hype or endless promotion. Both Ohio State and USC enter 2008 with aspirations of playing for a national championship, but the loser here will most likely have to run the table to reach the Orange Bowl. Jim Tressel and Pete Carroll have the luxury of combining experienced standouts with a bevy of outstanding new talent. Wells, Hartline, Robiske, Laurinaitis, Jenkins, (Pryor???), versus Sanchez, Turner, Hazelton, Maualuga, Cushing at the Coliseum… it doesn’t get much better for Week 3 and this easily could be the game of the nonconference slate.

Others considered:
Kansas at South Florida (Friday)
Wisconsin at Fresno State
California at MarylandMichigan at Notre Dame
Georgia at South Carolina

Week 4 (September 20)

LSU at Auburn

Others considered:
Miami (Fla.) at Texas A&M
Wake Forest at Florida State
Georgia at Arizona State

Florida at Tennessee

Week 5 (September 27)

Purdue at Notre Dame

Others considered:
USC at Oregon State (Thursday)
Wisconsin at Michigan
Alabama at Georgia
North Carolina at Miami (Fla.)

Illinois at Penn State

Virginia Tech at Nebraska
Tennessee at Auburn

Week 6 (October 4)

Missouri at Nebraska

Others considered:
Florida State at Miami (Fla.)
Oregon at USC
Ohio State at Wisconsin


Week 7 (October 11)

Texas vs. Oklahoma @ Dallas

Others considered:
Tennessee at Georgia
LSU at Florida
Oklahoma State at Missouri
Arizona State at USC

Week 8 (October 18th)

Western Michigan at Central Michigan

Others considered:
Missouri at Texas
Michigan at Penn State
LSU at South Carolina
Kansas at Oklahoma

Week 9 (October 25)

Michigan State at Michigan

Others considered:
Auburn at West Virginia (Thursday)
Virginia Tech at Florida State
Oklahoma State at Texas
Texas Tech at Kansas
Penn State at Ohio State

Georgia at LSU
Oregon at Arizona State

Week 10 (November 8th)

Georgia vs. Florida @ Jacksonville

Others considered:
Tennessee at South Carolina
Texas at Texas Tech

Week 11 (November 8)

Maryland at Virginia Tech (Thursday)

Others considered:
California at USC
Clemson at Florida State
Alabama at LSU
Kansas at Nebraska
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
Notre Dame at Boston College

Week 12 (November 15)

Louisiana-Lafayette at Florida Atlantic

Others considered:
Georgia at Auburn
Ohio State at Illinois
Texas at Kansas

Week 13 (November 22)

BYU at Utah

Others considered:
Michigan at Ohio State
Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Clemson at Virginia

Week 14 (November 29)

Fresno State at Bosie State (Friday)

Others considered:
Western Michigan at Ball State (Tuesday)
Texas A&M at Texas (Thursday)
West Virginia at Pittsburgh (Friday)
Florida at Florida State
Auburn at Alabama
Notre Dame at USC
Missouri vs. Kansas @ Kansas City
South Carolina at Clemson
Virginia at Virginia Tech

Week 15 (December 6)

Louisville at Rutgers (Thursday)

Others considered:
Cincinnati at Hawaii
Army vs. Navy
USC vs. UCLA
SEC Championship
Big XII Championship
ACC Championship
MAC Championship

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