This week in college football there are several intriguing storylines, starting up right away on Thursday night with arguably one of the most important ACC games in the last few years when the Ramblin’ Wreck of #14 Georgia

Can Jacory Harris lead The U to another win on Saturday?

Can Jacory Harris lead The U to another win on Saturday?

 Tech goes into Dolphin/Pro Player/Land Shark/Joe Robbie Stadium to take on the 20th-ranked Miami Hurricanes.  It’s a big one not just on a conference scale for these two teams, but also on a national stage for the ACC as a whole.  So far this year, the ACC hasn’t looked like a legitimate BCS conference, with its top team in Virginia Tech falling at home to Alabama to open the season, as well as several other close calls and embarrassing losses in non-conference play for several of the conference’s members.  However, the winner of this game will very quickly become that ACC team that people will keep an eye on for the rest of the season, much like what happened with Butch Davis’ North Carolina Tar Heels last year.  For both teams that is a big deal.  For Georgia Tech, they’ve always been that good but not great college football program and although a win over Miami might not be their meal ticket into the national conversation, a loss would certainly kill any chance of that happening this year.  On the other side, there’s the Miami Hurricanes, led by Head Coach Randy Shannon, who after a couple of years of looking like he couldn’t hold a team together, looks like he might be onto something, especially with the surprising play of starting QB Jacory Harris in the U’s opening weekend upset of Florida State in Tallahassee.  For this once-proud and nationally revered program, this is another step toward the rebirth of what Miami football used to represent, both as the class of the ACC and a consistent national title contender.  Expect this one to be hotly contested from whistle to whistle.

Moving into the plethora of games on Saturday, there is one game for almost every college football fan that stands out amongst the rest.  Lane Kiffin and the Tennessee Volunteers, coming off a home loss to UCLA, head into “The Swamp” and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to take on the #1 Florida Gators, who

Well, um, you see, um, we lost by 35 tonight because...THEY CHEATED!!! Wait, whats that? Oh, that was me? Um, er, no comment.

"Well, um, you see, um, we lost by 35 tonight because...THEY CHEATED!!!" Wait, what's that? Oh, that was me? Um, er, no comment.

haven’t forgotten what the Vols head coach said just a few months ago.  The fact of the matter is this: Kiffin can say anything he wants about Florida and commit as many NCAA violations as he likes and lie about NCAA violations committed by other teams, but it’s not going to help.  Florida as a team is miles ahead of where Tennessee is right now, especially after seeing what each team did last weekend.  All Kiffin did to himself was open the door to make it perfectly acceptable for Urban Meyer to keep Tim Tebow out on the field for all 60 minutes and run up the score if the opportunity presents itself.  I’m looking forward to the postgame press conference more than anything to see how Kiffin explains his team’s 21+ point drubbing. Should be fun.

Also on the slate, in the only other game pitting two Top 25 teams against each other, the #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers go into Lane Stadium to square off with the #13 Virginia Tech Hokies.  This one is another game involving

Beamer-Ball hasnt been so successful in big games lately.  Itll be interesting to see what happens against Nebraska.

"Beamer-Ball" hasn't been so successful in big games lately. It'll be interesting to see what happens against Nebraska.

two teams that feel like they have a lot to prove right now.  For Nebraska, they have to be feeling some level of disrespect because of the lack of attention they’re getting this year because they happen to play in the same conference as Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.  This is a golden opportunity for the ‘Huskers to make a statement as we approach conference play, especially since a win on Saturday makes it quite conceivable that they will be unbeaten when they host Oklahoma on November 7th, with no games against ranked opponents on the slate before that showdown in Lincoln.  For Virginia Tech, this is a chance for redemption after the loss at home to Alabama two weeks ago, as well as a chance to reclaim their position as the class of an otherwise suspect ACC.

On a somewhat related note, I’d like to take a minute to recognize the passing of NCAA President Myles Brand, who passed away earlier today from complications from pancreatic cancer at age 67.  Brand will forever be remembered from his earlier days as the man who fired Bobby Knight at the University of Indiana, but his work as head of all major collegiate sports should be recognized as well.  Under his watch, the NCAA has continued to see increased exposure and revenues for the organization and its member schools.  Brand was also a no-nonsense person who sanctioned several high-profile schools for their blatant disregard for the importance of academics and the questionable actions of coaches.  Hopefully the next NCAA president will follow the example of Mr. Brand and continue to uphold the integrity of collegiate athletics.

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