Editor's note: For Thursday to Monday on the first weekend of college football, Bruce Feldman was 16-5 overall off his picks blog entry. We'll keep a running tab all season.
Here are the top seven storylines for what shapes up as a pretty compelling weekend:
1. Bucking Up
Here we go again. Another shot for the Ohio State Buckeyes -- and the Big Ten -- to win back some of the credibility that's been ripped away the past few years, in a prime-time game with the USC Trojans. Former star Buckeyes are not shy about acknowledging the magnitude of this game:
- "[Saturday night] is huge," Archie Griffin, the two-time Heisman winning tailback for the Buckeyes and now president of the university's alumni association, told The Orange County Register. "It's not only huge for the community, it's huge for the Big Ten because unfortunately the Big Ten will be judged by how Ohio State plays against Southern Cal on Saturday."
Scott Reid pointed out in the same story that the Big Ten is 9-20 in its past 29 bowl games against opponents from BCS conferences and was 1-6 against BCS schools in the 2008 postseason. Then, the Big Ten opened this season with Illinois getting waxed by Missouri, No. 22 Iowa needing great special-teams play to get past Northern Iowa and OSU itself barely beating Navy.To read Bruce's six other storylines, you must be an ESPN Insider. Other topics you can learn about if you're an Insider: the rise of Jacory Harris, a big recruiting win for Notre Dame and the two hottest coaching seats in America.