Weekend matchup brings back classic memories

Updated: September 8, 2006, 3:00 PM ET
By Chris Fowler | Special to ESPN.com
BOISE, Idaho -- It's a long college football timeline from Kyle Rote to Troy Smith. More than a half century. But the last time a No. 1-ranked team rolled into Austin, Texas, was 1950, when Rote and SMU were conquered in a 23-20 thriller, and crumbled after that. The No. 1 ranking was hardly deserved.

Are No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Texas the two best teams? Like most people, I have them ranked that way, but my early September ballot is about as worthless as the next voter's. That question can't be answered for a couple of months; that's why No. 1 vs. No. 2 games don't mean as much in September. But I do know this: After seeing Notre Dame, Florida State and Miami in the last six days, none look like world-beaters .

Troy Smith
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireTroy Smith has the opportunity to be this year's Vince Young with a win over Texas.
I know, it's early. Too early for the 'Canes and 'Noles, it seems. I look forward to next year, when this rivalry shifts back to October, when it used to be. Offensive execution will be better -- it can't be worse. Three rushing yards combined! On 51 attempts! I have never seen a stat like that. In the other 115 Division I-A teams that played, a total of 477 individual players exceeded the combined total for Miami and FSU.

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Chris Fowler

College Football
Since 1989, Chris Fowler has been ESPN's primary college football and men's college basketball studio host. He's anchored College GameDay, the network's award-winning Saturday morning college football preview show, since 1990.

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