As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong:
- Akron @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): It’s on ABC, sure, but the Zips should give the Nittany Lions little trouble.
- Kent State @ Clemson (ESPN): Again, this is the downside of Week 1. I hope you get Big Ten Network!
- Maryland @ Texas (FS1): This vaguely interesting, but then you remember the talent disparity at work here and go with Texas.
- Bowling Green @ Michigan State (ESPNU): Sparty going 3-9 last year definitely didn’t seem to gain the, er, cachet that Notre Dame going 4-8 did, but still, it was a pretty shocking result for a consistently successful program. At a minimum, though, they should have this one.
- Wyoming @ Iowa (BTN): Okay, so this is a trendy looking game, and I think it has the most potential to be fun out of all the games in this time slot. Will it be, though? Well, if it follows the typical Iowa blueprint, and it probably will, then maybe not so much.
12:20: California @ North Carolina (ACC): As noted in my OOC schedule previews, I enjoy inter-sectional matchups like this imminently. Nonetheless, one of these teams at least enjoys a semblence of a defense, and Cal doesn’t provide a lot of hope that situations gotten better. So I’m going with Carolina here.
3:00: North Carolina State vs. South Carolina (@Charlotte, NC; ESPN): I’m going with the Wolfpack here, mostly because the alternative scenario where the Gamecocks win seems pretty unpalatable.
- Michigan vs. Florida (@Arlington, TX; ABC): I saw on the ESPN bottom line earlier today that this it the first time Florida has opened away from home since 1987. Which I knew the Gators didn’t around much, OOC-wise, but that’s kind of ridiculous. Anyway, while the conventional wisdom is that Michigan is a year or two away from contending again, I still like them here, especially when you factor in all of Florida’s suspensions.
- Temple @ Notre Dame (NBC): Temple is actually kinda good now, but even after using this as one last chance to remind you Notre Dame went 4-8 last year, we’ll say that ND can pull this out.
- Texas-El Paso @ Oklahoma (FOX): Not sure how UTEP has a chance here.
- Nevada @ Northwestern (BTN): Nevada used to be decently exciting, but the chance seems to have passed.
- Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical @ Alabama-Birmingham (Stadium): I’m listing this because UAB football is back, y’all. It’s of course a fiasco that it was canned in the first place, but still. Go Blazers!
3:45: Troy @ Boise State (ESPNU): I feel like I should go with Boise all the way here, but still, my gut says Troy. But my brain says Boise, so that’s what I’m going with.
4:00: Kentucky @ Southern Mississippi (CBSS): I don’t think USM is actually that good, but you never know with these kinds of teams. Sticking with UK though.
5:15: Western Michigan @ Southern California (Pac12): This might be fun. Real fun. Or… it might not. Going with USC.
6:15: Appalachian State @ Georgia (ESPN): This would be hilarious, but yeah sticking with UGA.
- Louisville vs. Purdue (@Indianapolis, IN; FOX): This is a neutral site game for some reason? Also Purdue will have to prove itself to me, so sticking with UL.
- South Alabama @ Mississippi (ESPNU): See “Appalachian State @ Georgia” above.
- Florida State vs. Alabama (@Atlanta, GA; ABC): Hopefully this turns out to be the absolute cracker of a game that it should be. I keep going back and forth on who I like in this game and I think the line (Alabama by 7) is crazy. Does the likely rematch in December hurt this one a bit? Yeah, sure. But this should still be a great game even on its own merits. I’m going with FSU.
- Arkansas State @ Nebraska (BTN): That said, if you wanted to see if anything wacky was going on, the BTN’s got you. Nebraska though.
- Vanderbilt @ Middle Tennessee State (CBSS): Vandy improved last year, but this one feels ike a trap. Going with MTSU.
9:30: Brigham Young vs. Louisiana State (@New Orleans, LA; ESPN): I also find this one hard to pick. I think we’ll find out a lot about both teams, but it’s still looking good for LSU and DaCoachO.
- Texas A&M @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): I find this game impossible to pick mostly because of these teams recent penchant for underachieving. For now, going with TAMU.
- West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech (@Landover, MD; ABC): By all rights, this one should be a home-and-home, not played at the NFL’s most soulless venue. I really like VPI this year so I’m going with them.
8:00: Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee (@Atlanta, GA; ESPN): Tennessee is Georgia Tech’s 8th most played opponent, despite this game having not been played since 1987. The Vols also lead the all-time series 24-17-2. Change is afoot for the Jackets, with a new QB and a new B-back core. It could be awesome or it could be really bad, and hopefully Tennessee’s own inexperience at key positions (especially QB) looms larger than ours.