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, September 19th
Clemson at NC State (6:30 pm/ESPN) – The Solid Verbal podcast coined the phrase “Clemsoning” which basically is when Clemson loses a game they shouldn’t lose. This is probably one of those games. On the road, on Thursday night against an NC State team they should have no trouble with. NC State has beat no one of note, but night road games can get tough.
Friday, September 20th
Boise St. at Fresno St. (8 pm/ESPN) – Boise St. lost to Washington in week 1, and that loss might not look too bad in a couple of weeks, but outside of a late October road game against BYU they don’t have any other games to make a statement in. Some are of the belief that the new playoff system will benefit schools like Boise St., but that seems unlikely. Meanwhile, this is literally the only game on Friday night.
Saturday, September 21st
North Carolina at Georgia Tech (11 am/ESPN) – This is an absolutely brutal weekend in college football, with almost nothing to get excited about. This is the only morning game that features two schools from AQ conferences, and it happens to be an ACC Coastal division game. The winner of this likely becomes the #2 contender behind Miami in that division.
Florida A&M at Ohio St. (11 am/BTN – If you must torture yourself with a second game, this is sadly the best you are going to find. It sounds like Braxton Miller is going to play, and he could use some stat padding to get back in the Heisman race. This one will be ugly.
Michigan St. at Notre Dame (2:30 pm/NBC) – Things pick up a bit in the afternoon. Neither of these teams has looked very good in the early part of the season so far, but this game is going to be big for one of these teams to make a statement. Notre Dame needs to bounce back from barely beating Purdue and Michigan St. needs to beat someone who might win 7 games this season.
Tennessee at Florida (2:30 pm/CBS) – Florida is coming off a bye week after a tough loss at Miami. It’s time to start conference play and this one shouldn’t be too difficult. Florida still has plenty of time to win the SEC, and after a bye week this should be a cakewalk.
Purdue at Wisconsin (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – Wisconsin is coming off the controversial, heartbreaking loss to Arizona St. Purdue took Notre Dame deep into the 4th quarter before losing it. Wisconsin has to bounce back and get their first conference win. Purdue should be happy just to keep it close.
Arizona St at Stanford (6 pm/Fox) – The de-facto game of the day. It’s both teams first conference game, and since Stanford has aspirations of making the National Championship they probably need to win this home game. ASU is playing with house money after getting some help from the refs against Wisconsin. Assuming Gus Johnson will have the call this one should be crazy.
Auburn at LSU (6:45 pm/ESPN) – SEC football always has potential. LSU looks like the team that everyone overlooked in the preseason. They need to not look ahead to Georgia next week and win this one. Night games in Death Valley are always very tough for the road team, but Auburn has beaten both Washington St. and Mississippi St. already, so this is one that could be closer than it looks.
Michigan at Connecticut (7:00 pm/ABC) – Favorite team bias? Probably, but after Michigan nearly crapped the bed at home against Akron last week they must bounce back. UConn is 0–2 including an embarrassing home loss to Towson. It’s already been pointed out that night road games are hard, but if Michigan loses this they clearly aren’t the team people thought after beating Notre Dame.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?