Column: Football fans in store for intriguing year

Published 1:10 am Wednesday, September 8, 2004

By Staff
The first weekend of college football proved that it is going to be a very interesting season around here.
While Michigan picked up a victory over a game Miami of Ohio squad, Notre Dame and Michigan State suffered losses to teams they probably should have beaten.
I don't want to take anything away from Brigham Young University and Rutgers, but let's face it, the Irish and Spartans are better.
Michigan struggled with the Mid-American Conference school on Saturday, but as we have learned time-after-time, MAC schools are no pushovers.
This year is not different.
Had it not been for a 89-yard interception return for a touchdown, the Wolverines might have been in trouble against Miami.
But as we all know, defense wins championships.
The Wolverines' defense stepped up when it needed to and shut down Miami and preserved the season-opening victory.
Notre Dame's defense was not able to do the same in Provo.
The Fighting Irish got pushed around the first half by an improved BYU squad.
By the time Notre Dame's defense was able to shut down the Cougars, it was too late.
Notre Dame's offense looked bad early on. It had little or no running game.
Thankfully Brady Quinn can throw the football and was able to move the Irish through the air.
This Saturday when the Maize and Blue invade South Bend, Notre Dame better be able to run the football because the Wolverines have one of the best defensive secondaries in the country.
Michigan State has some issues to deal with before it plays again.
The Spartans looked like they were out of shape late in the Rutgers contest.
Player-after-player was being taken off the field for the Spartans in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.
Michigan State doesn't appear to be real deep, especially on offense.
With plenty of tough challenges still ahead, John L. Smith better get his team in shape and playing more consistent football soon.
For those who may not know, Monday night's showdown between Miami of Florida and Florida State was postponed by Hurricane Frances.
The game has been rescheduled for Friday night.
That means that the Daily News Football Forecasters will only have nine games completed by the time the Week 2 picks appear on Thursday.