Brigham Young star wars quarterback Robbie Bosco, who propelled the Cougars to a national college football championship last year, goes into orbit Saturday against 15th ranked UCLA.
BYU was ranked No. 7 in preseason ratings, a situation that was even better than last year. Bosco helped the Cougars make believers of the suspicious who felt Brigham Young would never make it to the winner's circle.
Bosco launched BYU's effort for back-to-back championships last weekend with a 508-yard passing game against Boston College, including three touchdown passes.
'Last year was a different year than this season,' Bosco said. 'I don't feel any pressure to repeat what happened last year.'
UCLA figures to rely on the running of Gaston Green and the sure hands of wide receiver Mike Sherrad to offset BYU's offense.
Seven of the Top 20 teams play Saturday. No. 2 Auburn meets Southwest Louisiana, No. 4 Nebraska meets No. 13 Florida State, fifth-ranked Southern California clashes with 10th-rated Illinois, No. 6 Washington takes on Oklahoma State and No. 9 Maryland tackles old rival Penn State, ranked 17th.
Auburn is an overwhelming favorite at home against Southwestern Louisiana, which last week lost 37-6 to Memphis State.
The Tigers, a one-time wishbone team, have gone to an I-formation designed to get the ball more often to running back Bo Jackson, an All-America in 1983 who sat out most of last season with a shoulder injury.
'Right now, we have a football team that has potential, but, in my opinion, has a long way to go to be a championship caliber team,' Auburn coach Pat Dye said. 'I think we'll see a lot Saturday that will be an indication of what's to come for the rest of the year.
'What it all boils down to is how hungry we are. We are a hungry team. I certainly am. A hungry football team is one that wants to be good and has a chance to be good.'
Maryland quarterback Stan Gelbaugh, a Penn State fan while growing up in central Pennsylvania, has an incentive against the Nittany Lions, who failed to recruit him in high school.
'When I go home, I have to listen to a bunch of people who never played football tell me I can't beat Penn State when they don't know what's going on,' Gelbaugh said. 'My friends may be rooting for me, but most of them are Penn State fans.'
Last season, Gelbaugh started his first college game against Penn State and passed for 308 yards in a 25-24 heart-breaking loss to the Lions.
Penn State is looking for fast leap in the rankings with the return of running back D.J. Dozier, completely recovered from a leg injury. He was the first Penn State freshman to run for more than 1,000 yards.