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Pregame observations

NEW ORLEANS -- Michigan is louder. At least right now, as I'm typing this and the stadium is still nowhere near full. Both teams are out on the field warming up, and the Wolverines have their crowd roaring already. Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg and I are going with 60-40 Michigan at this point.

For Virginia Tech, I kept my eye on one player for the most of warmups: kicker Justin Myer. He took a lot of practice field goal attempts between the 30- and 40-yard line, and there's no question he's got a powerful leg and the distance. As for the accuracy? I'll be honest with you: it's too difficult to tell from up here. My seat is so high I can't even see "The Beard." And I've got binoculars. (One classic sign I did see was "Oops. We're a week too early." And it had the Bama and LSU logos on it.)

Keep an eye on Myer tonight. The kicking game could be the difference. Whether it's a missed field goal, or Virginia Tech forcing something that's not there on a play they normally wouldn't go for, special teams could be a game-changer.