South Bend or Columbus

Although UVM doesn’t have a football team, many students and faculty campus-wide are excited for another upcoming season. Football, especially at the college level, has taken hold of the American fascination firmly in recent years for a slew of reasons. Dynasties dethroned, hall of fame coach showdowns, and Heisman finalist showcases were among some of the scenarios played out in last year’s Bowl Championship Series that brought the game to possibly its highest level of popularity ever. With last year’s brightest stars now readying themselves for their rookie years in the NFL, new, maybe unexpected faces are looking to take their place. One not-so-new face tops the list of Heisman hopefuls and will be expected to lead college football’s most storied program back to a national championship game. After visiting the Downtown Athletic Club as a Heisman finalist last year Brady Quinn returns for his final season under center. Quinn will get some help, though, from a strong set of returning players on offense notably his go-to receiver Jeff Samardzija. Number 83 found the endzone 15 times and caught 77 balls in his breakout junior season. But look for wideout Rema McKnight, who had 108 receiving yards in the first game, to reap the benefits of opposing defenses focusing on Samardzija. An average defense from last year looks to improve especially in the secondary that does return notable starting DB and professional boxer Tom Zbikowski. Weiss did his part by bringing in a top ranked recruiting class that includes a pair of blue-chip corners in Raeshon McNeil and Darrin Walls. What most comforts Weiss and Quinn is the veteran linemen back for the Irish. Four starters return on both sides of the ball upfront. More enthusiasm for the Notre Dame faithful should come from the fact they have one of the rowdiest stadiums west of European soccer and as always Touchdown Jesus will be at every home game. So finally after resurging from mediocrity steadily within the past half-decade or so, Charlie Weiss looks to overcome an always-vicious schedule and live up to the hype. Irish fans can only hope…and pray. One of the teams standing in the way of the Irish’s dream of a National Championship is the Ohio State Buckeyes. Led by double-threat quarterback Troy Smith, Ohio State garnered the preseason number one ranking in both the AP and USA Today polls that included three other Big Ten teams. Although they play both ranked conference opponents at home (Penn State and Michigan), an upset special may be brewing for the Buckeyes in East Lansing on October 14th as they play standout 3,000 yard passer Drew Stanton and the high powered Michigan State Spartan offense. Barring a possible upset by Michigan State, Ohio State’s fate seems to rest in Columbus. In the northeast Syracuse was once a perennial powerhouse and always, at least, fielded a respectable team. That changed last year when they finished with a 1-10 record, where the only win came against Buffalo. Second-year coach Greg Robinson is feeling the pressure of a loyal yet demanding fan base as he looks to turn around an offense that ranked dead last in the weakened 8-team Big East scoring only 13.8 ppg.