This is the third in a series this week on college football scheduling. Today: Road warriors.
One-third of the 63 BCS-conference schools (21) are opening on the road. That might seem like a lot of major-college programs willing to put their seasons on the line in the opener in hostile territory.
|Marcus Vick's Hokies will have their hands full Sept. 4 at Raleigh, N.C. (Getty Images)|
Details on the Gutsy Seven (rating the games from the riskiest to easiest for the visiting team):
Virginia Tech at North Carolina State (Sept. 4): This has upset written all over it. There are friendlier places where Marcus Vick could return from off-field problems. The Hokies didn't lose in the regular season after an emotional loss in Blacksburg to the Wolfpack last fall. But now Tech is the hunted in the ACC.
This is a season-opening night game in Raleigh, where the Pack aren’t expected to be great this season. But a win over Virginia Tech changes the whole outlook. N.C. State follows with games against Temple, Eastern Kentucky and at home against North Carolina.
Beat Virginia Tech and the Pack could be 4-0 headed to Georgia Tech on Oct. 6.
Miami at Florida State (Sept. 5): The ACC wanted to put this game at the front of the schedule so the loser still had a chance to compete for the conference and national championship.
Doesn't look like either team will have to worry about national aspirations. Both the 'Noles and 'Canes are breaking in new quarterbacks, each with a lot to prove.
This game would have been at the top of the list except that it might not matter if Miami loses.
Georgia Tech at Auburn (Sept. 3): The Jackets won the last meeting 17-3 in 2003 but haven't won on The Plains since 1978. They have lost nine of the past 10 to Auburn overall.
No one is talking about the Tigers after their magic 2004. You want to believe in Georgia Tech, but coach Chan Gailey had heart problems in the offseason, and we're still waiting for quarterback Reggie Ball to prove himself.
USC at Hawaii (Sept. 3): The Warriors are down, but a trip across the Pacific to the most isolated island chain in the world (hey, we watch National Geographic) is never paradise.