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.
Friday, September 12th
TCU at Texas Tech (6:30 pm/ESPN) – Anytime you get an AQ conference game on Thursday night is definitely a victory. TCU is clinging to the Top 25 after a week 1 loss to LSU. That loss could look a lot better in LSU in s in the Top 5 in October. The Kliff Kingsbury era is off to a 2–0 start including a win at SMU. This ail definitely be his toughest challenge so far, and possible for a while as the next few weeks get easier. This one could be good.
Friday, September 13th
Air Force at Boise St. (7 pm/ESPN) – You’d have to be crazy to not root for the service academies, and Air Force is always tough because of the option craziness. Boise St. got throttled week 1 at Washington and needs to bounce back here to show they are serious. Air Force lost to Utah St. and it’s unclear if they are any good. But blue turf + triple option + night game = should be fun.
Saturday, September 14th
UCLA at Nebraska (11 am/ABC) – One of the marquee games of the day. Both teams want to make a statement, and if UCLA wins on the road they could crack the top 10, and be considered the prohibitive favorite in the Pac 12 South (if they aren’t already). Nebraska could use this win to strengthen the Big Ten’s reputation, and give themselves some credit. Both of these QBs are mobile and fast. Both could be in the Heisman race. This one should be high scoring.
Louisville at Kentucky (11 am/ESPN) – Brutal morning slate doesn’t offer anything else to get excited about. Louisville is the king of the AAC and could at least be in the conversation for the National Championship if they win out, and convincingly. They are two for two so far, but could really use this road win against (the worst) SEC team to pad that resume as much as possible. And of course Teddy Bridgewater is always a player to watch.
Akron at Michigan (11 am/BTN) – This one will be on my main screen, and I am obviously partial to my favorite team, but it’s really a toss up for which other lopsided game you want to watch. Michigan moved up to #11 after beating Notre Dame, and a convincing win here could help them crack the top 10.
Alabama at Texas A&M (3:30 pm/CBS) – Unquestionably the game of the day, and probably the year to this point. The winner has the driver’s seat in the brutal SEC West, and it’s possible A&M could get to #1 if they win convincingly (they won’t because the pollsters are idiots, but they should be). AJ McCarron, TJ Yeldon, Johnny Manziel, Nick Saban, Kevin Sumlin. In College Station. Monster.
Tennessee at Oregon (2:30 pm/ABC) – This one shouldn’t be close. Oregon will probably be favored by 30. Tennessee is in rebuilding mode. But Oregon is fun to watch, and they might score 70 just to stick it to the SEC.
Nevada at Florida St. (2:30 pm/ESPN) – Not an awful third game, but Nevada got whooped by UCLA in week 1. Florida St. had a bye after their Labor Day night game against Pitt, and has Bethune-Cook next week. They should cruise until their October 19th game against Clemson, which is what everyone is waiting for.
Ohio St. at Cal (6 pm/Fox) – The nighttime slate is a bit weak1, and all eyes will be on Braxton Miller after he got hurt last week. Missing basically an entire game hurts his Heisman chances a bit, and he will have to play well in this one to get back on top. Cal played Northwestern well in week 1, and OSU having to come cross country for a night game might help a bit.
Notre Dame at Purdue (7 pm/ABC) – This is a road game of sorts, but there are probably going to be a lot of Irish fans making the short drive to West Lafayette. Notre Dame suffered a tough loss to Michigan last week, and needs to right the ship right now. If they lose somehow, the Tommy Rees era would likely be over. But that seems very unlikely.
Washington vs. Illinois (5:00 pm/BTN) – This one is at Soldier Field in Chicago. Illinois narrowly got by Southern Illinois before shocking Cincinnati 45–17. Washington thumped Boise St. in week 1, and are coming off a bye week. They the third banana in the Pac 12 North, but if they keep winning it will get really interesting. Meanwhile, Illinois could completely defy expectations for the whole season by pulling off these back to back wins. The smart money is not on them though.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?
- Ole Miss/Texas isn’t up for consideration because it’s on the Longhorn Network which most people don’t get. [↩]