So this is my quick look at each weekend’s games. Note that this does not usually include Thursday and Friday games, as there are only a few games. (Since this is week one, I am listing all applicable games from Thursday to Monday, however.) My source for schedules is mostly Matt Sarz’s website which is one of the most comprehensives sites of its kind around.
Regardless of what is one TV, I will only list contests involving Division I-A teams on national networks, with exceptions for ACC and SEC teams (since I care about them). Also, Georgia Tech is always listed, even if the game is not on TV. When a game is listed as being on two or more networks, the network showing the game in most of the country will be listed first, followed by the other networks in order. For instance, a common listing is “ABC/ESPN2”, which means the game will primarily be shown on ABC stations nationwide, but if it is not on ABC in a particular area, it will be on ESPN2. Many ACC and SEC games are shown on regional syndication under the banners of the “ACC Network” and “SEC Network”. I will list these games as “ACC” and “SEC” respectively, and these games are almost always available on espn3.com. For Big Ten Network games, these are listed as “BTN” and only the game being shown on most systems nationwide will be listed. Games listed as “FSN” will be shown on most or all Fox Sports Net affiliates nationally, including states owned by Comcast that are known as “Comcast Sports Net”. “CBSS” refers to the cable channel formerly known as “CBS College Sports”.
As for colleges, I use no nicknames or shortenings other than “Tech”, even for those certain other Techs that are actually full-fledged universities. This season I am referring to the “University of Miami” and “Miami University” as “Miami”. Yes, this seems contradictory when I type out “Agricultural and Mechanical” instead of “A&M”.
I also make some statements and attempt to predict the outcome of each game. Which is why I always lead off with:
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
6:00: Murray State @ Louisville (ESPNU): This is in 20 minutes, but I feel pretty confident that the outcome of this isn’t really in doubt. That said, watch it anyway because it’s REAL ACTUAL LIVE FOOTBALL.
7:30: Western Carolina @ Georgia Tech (ESPN3): My other unwritten/written rule is that I don’t predict the outcome of GT games. For this one, I just hope we have the backups in for the second half.
- Nevada-Las Vegas @ Wisconsin (ESPN): This is the first “real” game on the list, as in it features two DI-A teams. That said, this is still an exhibition for Wisconsin to break in Russell Wilson and get the denizens of Madison used to this “forward pass” thing they’ve heard so much about.
- Mississippi State @ Memphis (FSN): The only thing in doubt about this game is when Dan Mullen will call off his dogs.
9:15: Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (@Nashville, TN; ESPNU): I think I said this twice during the schedule preview, but why on Earth are two teams from Kentucky playing a game in Tennessee? Well, I guess if I really cared that much I would just look it up. Anyway, Wildcats should roll, but it may be worth tuning in to see if Western Kentucky’s mascot/nightmare fuel is present.
7:30: Youngstown State @ Michigan State (BTN): Sparty rolls.
8:00: Texas Christian @ Baylor (ESPN): It’ll be up to Robert Griffin to keep the Bears competitive in this contest. Nonetheless, Baylor’s lack of a defense should doom them in the end, though this could be an entertaining shootout.
- Akron @ Ohio State (ESPN): This is not one of the games the Buckeyes are worried about.
- Utah State @ Auburn (ESPN2): Auburn may be completely rebuilding this year, but the Aggies shouldn’t give them any issues.
- Miami @ Missouri (FSN): For as many times as I mentioned Miami University in my schedule preview, maybe I should see which mid-major teams have the most brutal OOC schedules somedays. Have to pay the bills somehow, I suppose.
- Northwestern @ Boston College (ESPNU): By all rights, BC should win this game. But Northwestern actually attempts to play offensive football, which I think will give them an edge on this day.
- Kent State @ Alabama (SEC): Somewhat appropriately, the Tide rolls in this game.
- Indiana State @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): I was hoping the one game featuring two DI-A teams (MTSU @ Purdue) would be featured, but alas. A walk-over for Penn State.
12:30: Appalachian State @ Virginia Tech (ACC): I wish I were kidding when I said this may be Virginia Tech’s toughest OOC game. Hokes get to 1-0 with ease.
- South Florida @ Notre Dame (NBC): With easily the most hype they’ve had coming into a season in years, we’ll get an early taste if it’s deserved or not. Touchdown Jesus should be pleased, though.
- Minnesota @ Southern California (ABC/ESPN2): AGH SO LITTLE TIME RUNNING OUT OF FUNNY (WELL KIND OF FUNNY, THROW ME A BONE HERE) THINGS TO SAY. Oh, yeah, Trojans roll.
- Western Michigan @ Michigan (ESPN2/ABC): Hail to the victors, etc., etc.
- California-Los Angeles @ Houston (FSN): If I recall correctly, UCLA’s defense was pretty abysmal last year. I don’t remember how many yards Case Keenum needs for the record, but, well, he might have a shot here. Unless it’s like 2000, in which case probably not. (Um, no pun intended there.)
- Louisiana-Monroe @ Florida State (ESPNU): FSU rolls.
- Delaware @ Navy (CBSS): Navy rolls, and since they run the ball, this is somewhat more literal.
- Tennessee-Chattanooga @ Nebraska (BTN): UTC is known as the “Mocs”. I’ve been there a few times. That’s really all I got.
- James Madison @ North Carolina (ACC): UNC ought to win this.
4:45: Brigham Young @ Mississippi (ESPN): The Right Reverend Houston Nutt takes on the Stormin’ Mormons in what should be a decent game. Ole Miss is probably the weakest team in the SEC West this year, and I think BYU could well win this.
- Florida Atlantic @ Florida (ESPNU): Howard Schnellenberger’s suspenders probably won’t be enough for the Owls to overtake the Gators in this one.
- East Carolina vs. South Carolina (@Charlotte, NC; SEC): Remember, East Carolina is not, in fact, a state, and refers to Eastern North Carolina. Marcus Lattimore rolls.
7:30: Elon @ Vanderbilt (SEC): I think even Vandy can feel good about this one.
- Oregon vs. Louisiana State (@Arlington, TX; ABC): This is the game of the day. Two teams who could still be in the top 10 at the end of the year matching up at a neutral site in a huge game. Will Oregon’s fast pace offensive juggernaut prevail, or will the Les Miles Effect be fully in… effect for this game? It’s hard to say. But even though they do play defense, LSU’s inability to move the ball (even before their starting QB got suspended) doesn’t bode well for their chances.
- Boise State vs. Georgia (@Atlanta, GA; ESPN): Kellen Moore and co. enter into what will probably be a very biased neutral site. For the sake of all that is good and right with the world, the Broncos must prevail.
- Tulsa @ Oklahoma (FX): Yes, you probably get FX. Flip over when the other games are in a commercial break. But hey, at least Tulsa gets to play both OU and OSU this year.
10:00: Louisiana Tech @ Southern Mississippi (FSN): I think it kind of sucks that Central Time zone schools have to play these late starts so networks can fill these awkward late night timeslots. Doesn’t affect me though, but still. Also USM should win.
10:15: Colorado @ Hawaii (ESPN2): Now this is real late night football. Every kickoff at 10 PM Eastern or later should feature a Pac-12 or WAC team, I think. Colorado should win this, but there is a rather distinct possibility they won’t.
3:30: Marshall @ West Virginia (ESPN): This is technically a rivalry game. It’s a rather lopsided rivalry, but still one nonetheless.
7:30: Southern Methodist @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (FSN): I wish I could come up with a logical reason for TAMU to leave the Big 12. I really can’t, though. Which makes the whole thing harder to understand. SMU is hoping to take their spot I would guess, but they will probably get stomped here.
8:00: Miami @ Maryland (ESPN): Even with their depleted roster, Miami’s backups are still probably better than Maryland’s current starters. Year 1 of the Randy Edsall era probably won’t get off to a very pretty start.
And there’s week one! Hopefully next week I’ll finally get a chance to talk about college football’s rule changes. Until then…