10 Story Lines to Watch on Saturday
Will Colorado's demise continue?
Dan Hawkins' Boulder honeymoon ended quickly, as the Buffs lost their opener to Division I-AA Montana State. Last week's 14-10 loss to Colorado State dropped Hawkins' bunch to 0-2. After this week's home contest against Arizona State, Colorado hits the road for games against Georgia and Missouri. At this point, there is a very realistic chance that Colorado's new coach will start off 0-5.
The nation's longest winning streak
With Texas' 21-game winning streak ending last week with a 24-7 loss to No. 1 Ohio State, No. 20 TCU now holds the longest winning streak in D-I with 12 straight. Jeff Ballard and the Horned Frogs will put that streak on the line when No. 24 Texas Tech comes to town.
Kirk Ferentz vs. Dan McCarney
Since Ferentz took over Iowa in December 1998, he has built the team into one of the most consistent and well-respected programs in the country, but he still struggles mightily against McCarney and in-state rival Iowa State. Ferentz has managed only two wins in seven showdowns against McCarney in the state's biggest sporting event. Last year Hawkeyes QB Drew Tate was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the second quarter and Iowa State stomped Iowa 23-3.
Struggling Sooners D vs. Oregon
With Bob Stoops as head coach, Oklahoma has annually turned out one of the nation's most devastating defenses. But the Sooners' defense has looked far from imposing in wins this season over UAB and Washington, giving up 688 yards of offense. It has especially struggled to stop the run. Oregon enters the game averaging 39.5 points per game in wins over Stanford and Fresno State. Ducks sophomore RB Jonathan Stewart could give the Sooners major trouble in this rematch of last year's Holiday Bowl (which Oklahoma won 17-14).
The Bowden Bowl
Bobby Bowden is 5-2 against his son, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, but Tommy has taken two of the last three, including last season's 35-14 rout in Death Valley. Florida State enters this year's edition as a five-point favorite, as the Tigers haven't won in Tallahassee since 1989.
Can Urban Meyer win on the road?
In his first season at Florida, Meyer struggled mightily as the visiting team in SEC games. While the Gators won at Kentucky, they lost on the road to Alabama, LSU and South Carolina. Saturday night's game will be played at Tennessee's Neyland Stadium, and Florida is a 3.5-point favorite.
LSU-Auburn: SEC West championship?
In five of the last six seasons (including the last three), the winner of this game went on to play in the SEC championship. This year's matchup pits quite possibly the best two teams in the SEC -- No. 3 Auburn and No. 6 LSU -- so it's easy to see the trend continuing. Auburn holds an advantage though, as the home team has won the last six games of this rivalry.
Mike Hart vs. Notre Dame
The Irish have defeated the Wolverines in each of the past two seasons, but they have yet to face prolific Michigan running back Mike Hart for a full game. In 2004, Hart was a true freshman who had not established himself as Michigan's starter and carried the ball only five times. Last season he went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter. The Wolverines' diminutive bruiser enters Saturday's game with 262 yards rushing and three touchdowns in Michigan's first two games.
Nate Harris' redemption
Back in 2002, talented prep linebacker Harris was headed to Miami on a football scholarship. But a few weeks before his graduation, Harris served as a lookout man in an armed robbery. He avoided jail time by completing a six-month boot camp program, but the 'Canes revoked his scholarship. Now he's a star at Louisville and can't wait to take on the school that ditched him. "Once I got in trouble, they never called my mom, they never called my parents, none of my family members, nobody," Harris told the Palm Beach Post. "What really gets at me, there was the same situation with another player [Willie Williams] and they gave him a chance. That's what is really burning me up inside."
Dwayne Jarrett vs. Andre Jones
Following USC's opening win over Arkansas, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was critical of Jarrett, who hauled in five passes for 35 yards against the Hogs. "Whatever it was, he didn't go out and play like an All-American," Kiffin said. "We have had guys here, like Reggie Bushes, that have shown that every day in practice.... We want him to go out there and dominate." Earlier this week Nebraska CB Andre Jones -- one of the men who will cover Jarrett -- basically guaranteed a Huskers win: "When we beat this team, we can show the world that we are a great team and we restored the order." Think Jarrett will be motivated?