And so, a year comes round. A year ago, yours truly was sunning himself in Austin, Texas, waiting a few days before the gorgeous Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas. The game wasn't bad either.
This year, we're in cloudy London thinking about Texas and OU - but also about Penn State's battle with Minnesota and a battle at Camp Randall between Iowa and Wisconsin.
Cincinnati vs South Florida
Thursdays were a fun night last year for South Florida, and the fans will be hoping for more of the same this week. This week, we'll see two potential NFL first rounders play in Cincinnati wideout Mardy Gilyard and South Florida defensive end George Selvie. On his day, Selvie can be one of the most destructive DEs in college football. This game's going to be fun.
Prediction: South Florida in the upset. By three.
Pittsburgh vs Rutgers
Pittsburgh beat Connecticut in one of the games of the day last week, and Rutgers is 4-1 with the excellent John Savage at quarterback. Dion Lewis (Pitt RB) will be one to watch on Friday night - if you're not glued to the baseball.
Prediction: Luck runs out for Pitt. Rutgers by 7
WHEN SATURDAY COMES.....
Oklahoma vs Texas
Oklahoma has lost two games already this year - albeit by a combined two points - and Texas was worryingly awful in their game against Colorado. Expect too much talk from the Gameday boys about Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. Why not talk about Jordan Shipley as a possible Heisman? The game - as usual - is going to be a lot of high-scoring fun.
Prediction: 45-35 anyone? Texas wins.
Minnesota vs Penn State
Penn State blog "The Black Shoe Diaries" has a hate week dedicated to Minnesota, which we think is a little harsh. We like the new stadium. We think Eric Decker's a good receiver. We don't mind Adrian Peterson and the Vikings (although we want Brett Favre to fail). After scoring a ton of points in the last two weeks, Penn Staters will be anxious for more of the same. Watch out, State College: this Governor's Bell Classic will be closer.
Prediction: Beaver Stadium rockin' as they have two bells. State by 10.
Iowa vs Wisconsin
Camp Randall's going to be jumping. Some people are making Wisconsin favorites. Why? Wisconsin certainly weren't as bad as the near-20 point loss at Ohio State suggested, and Iowa wasn't that good in the 30-28 over Michigan. Iowa is a pretty good side - the defense at times is remarkable. Wisconsin may have to rely on an awkward passing game to beat the Hawkeyes, who routinely stuff the run. We can't wait.
Prediction: We call the upset. Wisconsin by 3
Texas Tech vs Nebraska
No-one's paid the blindest bit of attention to the 4-2 Red Raiders, who have lost to the only two ranked opponents they've faced. All the talk is going to be about Nebraska. After 'Big Red' won in Missouri, it should be. The defense is back to near its suffocating best, but can the offense outscore Tech?
Prediction: Close. Nebraska by 7
South Carolina vs Alabama
Suddenly, South Carolina has no problem scoring points. Alabama's offense wasn't great against Ole Miss, but against a porous Gamecocks team, that should be improved.
Prediction: Rammer Jammer Gamecock Hammer! Alabama by 21
Arkansas vs Florida
Arkansas doesn't seem to have a huge problem scoring points. It racked nearly half a ton on Auburn last weekend and nearly did the same on Georgia. But the defense is woeful. Florida, exhausted after the Battle of Baton Rouge, should be able to exploit the problems.
Prediction: Razorbacks make great Gator food. Florida by 30
USC vs Notre Dame
Never in recent years have the Men Of Troy been so ripe for the upset. A freshman quarterback. Worries about the defense. A former stud high school pick (Joe McKnight) who's done precious little in the Year of Our Lord 2009. Speaking of Lord, expect the University of Notre Dame to replace Touchdown Jesus with Jimmy Clausen's profile if the Irish knock off USC on Saturday.
Prediction: USC - but it'll be close
Virginia Tech vs Georgia Tech
It's undisputed that not many teams - only three are better this year - run the ball better than Georgia Tech. But here's the difference: while Virginia Tech can stop the rush, Georgia Tech can't. VT can stop the pass too - while GT ranks a rank second last in pass defense.
Prediction: Jonathan Dwyer! Paul Johnson! Bobby Dodd! VT is going to beat your boys on Saturday night!
Georgia vs Vanderbilt
After making Jonathan Crompton look like Peyton Manning last week, Georgia has to play well to save the job of defensive co-ordinator Willie Martinez, who we're hearing could be on the move at the end of the season (the alumni apparently wanted him out in 2008 anyway). The good people of Georgia need to get over the horror, and Vanderbilt - who lost to laughable Army on Saturday - could provide the tonic.
Prediction: Georgia - it has to be, right? - by 21
And on a cheerleading note: An important Song Girls celebration, complete with Californian idiot saying "Niiiiiice" over the camera. He's just saying what we're feelin'.....