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Games of the week

September 11, 2008|Chris Dufresne

Friday, 5 p.m., ESPN2

Kansas (2-0) won four nonconference cream-puff games last season by the cumulative score of 214-23, but getting to Big 12 Conference play unscathed will be much tougher this year thanks to this trip to Tampa. South Florida (2-0) rose as high as No. 2 nationally last year after scoring upset wins against Auburn and West Virginia, but this team needed overtime last week to win at Central Florida.

The pick: Kansas.

No. 13 Kansas at No. 19 South Florida

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No. 2 Georgia at South Carolina

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Ch. 2

This is where the real season begins for Georgia (2-0), which has never had much luck against Steve Spurrier. When he was coaching at Florida, Spurrier's Gators mostly dominated Georgia in the annual "cocktail party" game in Jacksonville. Last year, South Carolina (now 1-1) handed Georgia one of its two losses. After this game, Georgia plays at Arizona State and then continues conference play with games against Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Louisiana State and Florida.

The pick: Georgia.

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Michigan at Notre Dame

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Ch. 4

Can you feel the buzz?

OK, maybe not, but the fight songs are still cool.

This legends-of-the-game matchup is so pedestrian, Wolverines fans have dredged up a months-old Charlie Weis quote -- "To hell with Michigan," Weis said at a spring function -- to inspire some sort of a rallying cry for a 1-1 team that lost to Utah and scored 16 points against Miami . . . of Ohio.

New-look Notre Dame (1-0), eager to energize its fan base after going 3-9 last year, needed two Our Fathers and a Hail Mary to survive San Diego State, which had lost its opener to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

This is one of two 38-0 losses the Irish will be looking to avenge this year. Notre Dame lost by that score to Michigan in Ann Arbor and to USC in South Bend.

The pick: Notre Dame.

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No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 21 Fresno State

Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

All traffic signals in Fresno will be stuck on red as Wisconsin invades the Central Valley for what could be the most important home game in the history of Fresno football. The Bulldogs (1-0) looked ferocious in an opening win at Rutgers and need to win to keep their Bowl Championship Series chances alive. Wisconsin (2-0) needs a victory to stay in the national title race before opening Big Ten Conference play against Michigan and Penn State.

The pick: Fresno State.

-- Chris Dufresne

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