All times Central
For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.
Thursday, August 30th
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (6:00 pm/ESPN) – The season starts with a bang as #9 South Carolina travels to Vanderbilt for an SEC conference game the first night of the season. Vanderbilt is never very good, but it’s still tough to open the season on the road in SEC. This is a pretty impressive opening night game.
Checking in on It’s unlikely I will go with multiple screens on Thursday, but these are games I will keep an eye on
– (6:30 pm/ESPNU) Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech – A&M moves to the SEC and Louisiana Tech is the reigning WAC champ. Don’t sleep on this as the first upset of the season This game has been moved to October 13th due to Hurricane Isaac.
Friday, August 31st
Boise St. at Michigan St. (7 pm/ESPN) – The first (and one of just a couple in week 1) top 25 vs. top 25 games of the season. A good test for this Michigan St. team that people are thinking is in the hunt for the Big 10 championship. Their defense is supposed to be stalwart and this is a good test.
NC State vs. Tennessee (6:30 pm/ESPNU) – Both these teams are just on the outside of the top 25 and both are trying to prove early they are conference title contenders. NC State is in the tough ACC Atlantic division with Florida St. and Clemson. Tennessee is in the slightly weaker of the SEC divisions, the East, where they are trying to prove they are on the upswing and hope keep coach Derek Dooley his job.
Saturday, September 1st
Navy vs. Notre Dame (8 am/CBS) – Thanks to the decision to play this game in Dublin, Ireland, college football fans can get their day started 3 hours earlier than normal. As a Michigan fan, I am looking forward to Notre Dame getting beat in week 1. Some of their key players are out and Navy is not only a tough matchup but usually a pretty solid team. Somehow Notre Dame is a double digit favorite.
Northwestern at Syracuse (11 am/ESPN2) – The morning slate of games is rough. With no Michigan (for me) or intra-conference games, this is probably the non-conference game with the biggest names. I am a casual Northwestern fan and will likely watch this game most intently of any of the morning options.
Ohio at Penn St. (11 am/ESPN) – This game will be interesting for lots of reasons, especially to see how Penn St. handles their first game post-everything. Ohio is coached by former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich and won 10 games last season. They are no slouch. Penn St. needs to get off to a good start.
Miami (OH) vs. Ohio St. (11 am/BTN) – While I hope to see a huge upset here, I am not counting on it. Instead I am hoping to use this as an excuse to test out the BTN2GO app.
Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (2:30 pm/ESPNU) – Unfortunately the afternoon doesn’t get a lot better. There is some appeal to this game because 1) There’s a Big Ten team. 2) There’s an Illinois team. 3) It’s at Soldier Field.
Miami at Boston College (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – More week 1 conference action, this time in the ACC. Miami is on the cusp of NCAA sanctions so they might not be eligible for the postseason before the season finishes. In the meantime, they are probably the #2 team in the ACC Coastal division so this is an important game for them.
Northern Iowa at Wisconsin (2:30 pm/BTN) – Should be a blowout but we will see if Monte Ball can get his Heisman campaign going in week 1. Also, another potential chance for BTN2GO app.
Alabama vs. Michigan (7 pm/ABC) – Unquestionably the game of the weekend, especially for me as Michigan fan. GameDay will be there and the game is at Cowboys Stadium. Michigan needs to prove they are legit and Alabama needs to prove they are the best team in the SEC (for now).
Auburn vs. Clemson (6 pm/ESPN) – Another neutral site, non-conference, big time program game. Auburn desperately needs to bounce back from a 4-4 SEC record. Clemson should be one of the three (or so) favorites in the ACC and needs to take the leap to big-time program and stop shooting themselves in the foot.
Hawaii at USC (6:30 pm/Fox) – Should be a blowout, but as Chris and I both picked USC to win the National Championship it will be interesting to see if they are as good on offense as we think they will be.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?