As part of BCS Know How’s 2010 college football season preview, we will be breaking down each week’s most important games that could have BCS and postseason implications in the “Road to Glendale 2011.″
Let’s move on to week four, where things are starting to get serious just before the meat of conference play begins.
Tulsa at Houston: Sept. 25, 7:00 p.m. ET
By Week 4, C-USA conference action will be in full swing, and points will be pretty easy to come by in the league However, this matchup might provide the first true offensive shootout that has become the conference’s calling card in recent years.
Quarterbacks Case Keenum of Houston and G.J. Kinne of the Golden Hurricanes will be at the helms of two of the conference's most explosive offense, which could translate into a shootout that provides us with an offensive showcase in late September.
Keenum is an early Heisman hopeful, and his numbers from last season warrant the hype he’s getting. The Houston junior threw for more than 5,000 yards last season and submitted four 500-plus yard games on the year.
Kinne, a transfer from Texas, also had a solid 2009 campaign despite a shoddy offensive line and inexperienced running backs. He completed more than 60 percent of his passes and threw for 22 touchdowns.
The key in this matchup, though, could end up being the defenses. Although neither squad presents a vaunted defensive attack, both feature strong contributors that could be difference makers.
The Golden Hurricane are hoping that this year’s crew of defensive linemen will make up for recognized weakness in the secondary while Houston presents Tulsa with an experienced defensive backfield.
A convincing victory for the Cougars would certainly help Houston on its way to a berth in the C-USA conference title game or even a possible BCS bowl berth if they can continue to dominate the conference.
West Virginia at LSU: Sept. 25, 8:00 p.m. ET
A first-ever meeting between the two squads could turn out to be among the best non-conference BCS action we’ll get this season.
Both teams enter 2010 with strong hopes for improvement on mostly disappointing 2009 seasons, which ended in non-BCS bowl games. When week 4 rolls around we might have a good idea of where both teams are headed in 2010.
LSU will hope to be 2-0 in the SEC coming into the game, and West Virginia will hope to rely on their offense and running back Noel Devine to make their way to Baton Rouge with three non-conference wins under their belt.
This will likely be a very even matchup, as both teams feature explosive offensive attacks and strong defenses to back them up with strong desires to get back to BCS territory.
A key match up to watch here will be West Virginia’s offense, including Devine and new quarterback Geno Smith against the LSU defense, led by All-American linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and corner Patrick Peterson
A victory here for the Tigers would help solidify SEC dominance over the rest of the country once again, while a Mountaineer victory could point to the reemergence of the Big East.
Oregon State at Boise State: Sept. 25, TBA
This is both teams’ final game before they enter the gauntlet of basically full-time conference play (Boise gets non-conference Toldeo in October). Both teams will take this opportunity to prove their conference and national hopes on the blue turf in Boise.
The Beavers will enter the game having already played the other BCS-buster darling of 2009, the TCU Horned Frogs. A victory there would certainly give the Beavers a strong national ranking moving forward.
Boise will also be tested early, likely taking the best both Wyoming and highly-touted Virginia Tech will have to offer. If the teams enter this week four matchup undefeated, this will likely be the marquee matchup of the weekend and could be the final roadblock for a Boise State perfect season.
The Beavers will certainly be no cakewalk for the Broncos, as their offensive prowess and defensive stability and experience will be a tough match up for anyone they take on this season, including Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore, who is an early season Heisman hopeful.
Other Games of Note : Stanford at Notre Dame, UCLA at Texas, South Carolina at Auburn, Alabama at Arkansas, Oklahoma at Cincinnati