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 Nine where BCS conference action around the country will once again hold the spotlight.
West Virginia at Connecticut: Friday Oct. 29, 8:00 p.m. ET
The Big East may well be the most open conference of any in the FBS, however, these two squads can confidently say they are among the favorites in the eight team league.
Both West Virginia and Connecticut had solid seasons in 2009, and the Huskies were especially surprising in their run to an 8-5 record and were competitive in the conference race until the final few weeks of the season.
The Mountaineers fell short of the Big East title, but did finish the season ranked among the nation’s top 25.
Both are hoping that they have the pieces to complete a run towards a Big East title in 2010.
Especially because last season’s conference champ, Cincinnati, is looking at a down season following the departure of Coach Brian Kelly and quarterback Tony Pike.
Both teams could easily head to this Friday night showdown with undefeated Big East records, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the Mountaineers have an undefeated record overall.
The teams match up well around the field, especially at running back, where the Mountaineers’ Noel Devine and the Huskies’ Johnathan Todman are capable ball carriers.
Florida vs. Georgia: Saturday Oct. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET
Nothing quite matches up to a Florida-Georgia SEC battle, sometimes better known as the "World's Larget Outdoor Cocktail Party."
However, recently, the rivalry has been surprisingly one-sided, as Florida has made it a habit of being in the national title race nearly every year.
The Gators have won four of the last six editions of the rivalry game and ten of the last 12.
However, the 2010 Gators are recuperating from a big losses to the NFL and the Bulldogs seem to be revitalized, leading some to think Georgia has a good shot to dethrone the Gators from the top of the SEC East.
Georgia has a simpler road to coming into the rivalry matchup with an undefeated record, as the Gators will have to take on Alabama early in the season, but history is any indication, no matter the records of the two teams the game will have an extreme intensity and urgency to it.
Some of the players to keep an eye on are Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green and Florida quarterback John Brantley, both of whom will be key to their respective teams’ chances at an SEC title in 2010.
Missouri at Nebraska: Saturday Oct. 30, TBA
In a game that could easily be a Big 12 North knockout game, the Cornhuskers and Tigers will make sure to come to Lincoln well prepared for a matchup that will be filled with postseason implications.
The Cornhuskers, last season’s Big 12 North division winner, and Missouri, the runner-up, are back again to give another run at a Big 12 title.
Despite the North being viewed as a lesser division against the seemingly always stacked Big 12 South division, both teams have legitimate hopes for a resurgence of the North.
And if Nebraska’s near-victory against Texas last year was any indication, the gap is closing.
The winner here will likely be on the fast track to the title game and be the next team to gun for a Big 12 South favorite.
Missouri’s offense attack will certainly be tested in this late-October game against the fear-inducing Cornhusker defense that is keyed by its defensive line despite the loss of Ndamukong Suh.
Juniors Jared Crick and Terrence Moore seem ready to take the spotlight vacated by Suh and could turn in similarly dominant season—and will need to if Nebraska hopes to make it back to the Big 12 Championship Game.
In order to be successful, Missouri will need its young defense to step up against a sometimes anemic Nebraska offense and make plays to do something to fight the power that the Cornhusker defense can assert over entire games.
Other Games of Note: Stanford at Washington, Troy at Louisiana-Monroe