Category Archives: college football

This Weekend in College Football: Week 5

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Saturday

Noon:

  • Navy @ Air Force (CBS): Okay y’all I’m typing this on an iPad for reasons I’ll explain later. Suffice it to say it’s a huge pain and a lot of this going to be a Lightning Round in a way I’ve been proud to avoid so far this year. At any rate, Air Force.
  • Michigan @ Iowa (FOX): Wolverines.
  • Oklahoma @ Texas Christian (ABC): Sooners.
  • Kentucky @ Mississippi (ESPN): Ole Miss. Should be. Good game though.
  • Purdue @ Minnesota (ESPN2): Gophers.
  • Temple @ Memphis (ESPNU): Memphis.
  • Louisville @ Boston College (ACCN): Cards?
  • Illinois @ Wisconsin (BTN): Whisky.
  • Georgia State @ Army (CBSS): Army.
  • Texas Tech @ Kansas State (ESPN+)

1:30: Texas State @ James Madison (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • Oregon State @ Utah (Pac12): Utes.
  • Northern Illinois @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Massachusetts @ Eastern Michigan (ESPN+)

2:30: East Carolina vs. South Florida (@Boca Raton, FL; ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Alabama @ Arkansas (CBS): Bama.
  • Oklahoma State @ Baylor (FOX): Bears.
  • Wake Forest @ Florida State (ABC): Deacons.
  • Northwestern @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN): Nittany Lions.
  • Iowa State @ Kansas (ESPN2): Kompetent Kansas?
  • Michigan State @ Maryland (FS1): Terps?
  • Central Michigan @ Toledo (NFL): Rockets.
  • Miami @ Buffalo (ESPNU): Miami
  • Virginia Tech @ North Carolina (ACCN): Tar Heels
  • Rutgers @ Ohio State (BTN): Buckeyes
  • Fresno State @ Connecticut (CBSS): Bulldogs
  • Bowling Green @ Akron (ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ Marshall (ESPN+)
  • Ohio @ Kent State (ESPN+)
  • The Citadel @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Texas A&M @ Mississippi State (SEC): Aggies
  • Georgia Southern @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Florida Atlantic @ North Texas (ESPN+)

5:00:

  • Wagner @ Syracuse (ACCNX/ESPN+)
  • South Alabama @ Louisiana (ESPN+)

5:30: California @ Washington State (Pac12)

6:00:

  • New Hampshire @ Western Michigan (espn3.com)
  • Texas-El Paso @ Charlotte (espn3.com)
  • Liberty @ Old Dominion (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Louisiana State @ Auburn (ESPN): Tigers… The Louisiana ones.
  • Cincinnati @ Tulsa (ESPNU): Bearcats
  • Troy @ Western Kentucky (ESPN+)
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)

7:30:

  • North Carolina State @ Clemson (ABC): Tigers
  • West Virginia @ Texas (FS1): Horns
  • Georgia @ Missouri (SEC): UGA
  • Indiana @ Nebraska (BTN): Hoosier
  • San Jose State @ Wyoming (CBSS): Pokes
  • Virginia @ Duke (ACC/RSN): Duke?
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Rice (ESPN+)

8:00: Georgia Tech @ Pittsburgh (ACCN): I’m not confident about this game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we look better. More thoughts next week.

9:30: Colorado @ Arizona (Pac12): Wildcats

10:15: California-Davis Montana State (ESPNU)

10:30: Arizona State @ Southern California (ESPN): Trojans

11:00: Stanford @ Oregon (FS1): Ducks

Sunday

Noon: Eastern Washington @ Florida (ESPN+)

1:00: Southern Methodist @ Central Florida (TBD)

This Weekend in College Football: Week 4

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Maryland @ Michigan (FOX): Well, Michigan will play an opponent with a pulse. And it’s not just any Maryland, it’s September Maryland. So they’ll probably just lose by a couple of scores instead of many.
  • Clemson @ Wake Forest (ABC): Clemson faces its first real test, away at a Wake team that will be incredibly motivated, and just talented enough, to challenge them. The question, as we’ve been saying since last year, will likely be Clemson’s offense. I don’t think Wake’s defense will be the stiffest test they will face, but the Tiger offense again just seems to be in an early season rut. I think they’ll do enough to win here, but I don’t feel great about it. Oh, and Wake is favored.
  • Missouri @ Auburn (ESPN): Auburn is primed to lose again (and lose their head coach in the process), but Mizzou is hapless enough for them to get out of here with a win.
  • Baylor @ Iowa State (ESPN2): This game will likely go a ways to determine who will win the Big 12, but I’m still not sure enough about the Cyclones at this point. Baylor’s defense is kind of like Iowa’s, and unlike the Hawkeyes, the Baylor offense can kinda actually score points. I’ll take the Bears.
  • Duke @ Kansas (FS1): So, yeah, here’s your Game of the Week, probably: undefeated Duke at undefeated Kansas. In football. Like, on a gridiron field, 100 yards from end zone to end zone, every 5 yards demarcated by a solid line… you get the idea. So who’s going to win? Part of the reason why both teams are 3-0 is because, well, “they ain’t played nobody!” but that’s usually a problem for them. I think the Jayhawks are slightly ahead of the Blue Devils on the “road to competency” schedule and I’ll favor them, but the game might actually be good?
  • Texas Christian @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU): So the fight for the Iron Skillet is always kinda spicy between these two Metroplex rivals, but this year is extra picante thanks to former SMU coach Sonny Dykes taking the head coach job at, you guessed it, TCU. That said, with Dykes at the helm of the Frogs, I do favor them, but then, SMU beat ’em last year.
  • Bowling Green @ Mississippi State (SEC): No trouble for the Bulldogs here, Bowling Green upsetting Marshall last week aside.
  • Central Michigan @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Even less trouble for the Nittany Lions.
  • Rhode Island @ Pittsburgh (ACCN)
  • Buffalo @ Eastern Michigan (CBSS): Buffalo hasn’t been good in a minute, then again, neither has EMU and they just got Herm Edwards fired, and Marshall did just prove my point by losing to CMU. Either way, still taking EMU.
  • South Florida @ Louisville (ACC/RSN): Louisville is bad, but they’re not bad enough to lose to USF.
  • Kent State @ Georgia (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • California-Los Angeles @ Colorado (Pac12): UCLA isn’t exactly great or even good, but Colorado is in the running for most dire situation at a Power 5 team (along with Arizona State and Georgia Tech). It’s straightforward to take the Bruins here.
  • Massachusetts @ Temple (ESPN+)
  • Fordham @ Ohio (ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Notre Dame @ North Carolina (ABC): Marcus Freeman finally got a win as the ND head coach, and now they’ll play the “all gas, no brakes” Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. I think the fact that ND can play defense bodes well and I favor them, but if this becomes a track meet that vastly favors UNC.
  • Florida @ Tennessee (CBS): Napier has done a pretty good of warning us that these Gators might not be ready for prime time, so the question for this game is, “is Tennessee?” The Vols appear to be shaping up for a great season, but step one has to be to take care of business at home against a figuring-it-out Florida team.
  • Texas @ Texas Tech (“Battle for the Chancellor’s Spurs”; ESPN): I don’t have a read on Texas Tech, which somewhat unfairly means I’m going to favor Texas. Sorry y’all.
  • Indiana @ Cincinnati (ESPN2): Cincy isn’t last year’s Cincy, but I think they’re still good enough to knock off a very mediocre Indiana bunch.
  • Toledo @ San Diego State (FS1): Rockets shouldn’t stand much of a chance here.
  • Minnesota @ Michigan State (BTN): Sparty should win this, especially at home, but for whatever reason I don’t feel good about it. I’d keep an eye on this game.
  • Florida International @ Western Kentucky (CBSS): Hilltoppers, easy.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Miami (ACCN): Canes, easy.
  • Texas Southern @ Texas-San Antonio (Stadium)
  • North Texas @ Memphis (ESPN+)
  • James Madison @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Oregon @ Washington State (FOX): This is potentially an interesting game. At least, t hat’s what I’m trying to convince myself of. I kind of just don’t see how this rebuilding Wazzu can really keep up with the Ducks, but it’ll potentially be fun to watch them try.
  • Georgia Tech @ Central Florida (ESPNU): I’m done. I’ve been done, but that was the final straw. Fire Geoff Collins.
  • Tulsa @ Mississippi (SEC): Ole Miss should have no problems here. The real drama might be if Tulsa keeps them to fewer points than we did.

5:30: Arizona @ California (Pac12): Cal being a defense-first outfit is still kind of bewildering, but I suspect that will hamper their abilities against apparently competent Arizona.

6:00:

  • Ball State @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)
  • Rice @ Houston (“Bayou Bucket Classic”; ESPN+)
  • Navy @ East Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Akron @ Liberty (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (@Arlington, TX; ESPN): This game is usually fun, but it’ll be more fun once it gets out of Jerry Jones’s Intergalactic Space Palace. My pick, and the popular pick, is that despite Arkansas’s problems against Missouri State last weekend (that apparently drove the COO of Beyond Meat to bite someone’s nose off) they should be fine to take on an extremely underwhelming bunch of Aggies. But we have seen them seemingly rise to the occasion before, such as their extremely skull dragging win against Ole Miss last year. So if TAMU wins, I think they’ll win ugly.
  • Northern Illinois @ Kentucky (ESPN2): Cayuts should be fine.
  • Iowa @ Rutgers (FS1): The Internet has made much hey of two things about this game. First, the over/under for the game was initially set at 34.5, which is absurdly low. (Since every post is someone’s first, the over/under is the number of combined points scored.) Second, everyone wanted to know what the prop bet was on the number of punts would be in this game. Either way, this is your trainwreck and/or sickos game of the week. And I just have such little confidence in Iowa’s ability to score that I’m picking Rutgers. Yep. That’s where Iowa is at, y’all.
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ Utah State (CBSS): This game is dire. UNLV? Sure.
  • Marshall @ Troy (NFL): These teams have both been on a roller coaster the past two weeks. Marshall upset Notre Dame in South Bend, but then lost to Central Michigan. Troy looked to pull a Central Michigan on Appalachian State after Gameday paid a visit to Boone, but one of the crazier hail mary plays I’ve ever seen did them in. So they’re both good. I think Marshall is still a little better, and after the reset I’ll pick them to prevail.
  • Houston Baptist @ Texas State (espn3.com)
  • Louisiana Tech @ South Alabama (ESPN+)
  • Southern Mississippi @ Tulane (“Battle for the Bell”; ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Wisconsin @ Ohio State (ABC): This usually seen as a Big Deal Big Ten and that’s why it’s in prime time, but, well, the real drama is whether the Buckeyes over the 17.5 or not.
  • Charlotte @ South Carolina (ESPNU): Gamecocks.
  • Vanderbilt @ Alabama (SEC): Bama.
  • Miami @ Northwestern (BTN): Northwestern isn’t good this year, but, well, I’ll pick them here.
  • Florida Atlantic @ Purdue (BTN): Boilermakers.
  • Connecticut @ North Carolina State (ACC/RSN): Wolfpack.
  • New Mexico @ Louisiana State (ESPN+)

8:00:

  • Kansas State @ Oklahoma (FOX): Both Kansas teams are pretty feisty now, which is definitely confusing, but I’m not sure that K-State has the goods to beat a Sooners team that doesn’t seem like they’ve lost a beat.
  • Boston College @ Florida State (ACCN): I still don’t believe in FSU, but that won’t matter here.
  • Louisiana @ Louisiana-Monroe (“Battle on the Bayou”; ESPN+)

9:30: Southern California @ Oregon State (Pac12): I was also directed at this game as something to look at, and for sure, I think it’ll provide yet another good measuring stick for USC. But unless things get wacky in Corvallis (and they could!) USC seems to be primed to stay on course.

10:15: Wyoming @ Brigham Young (ESPN2): BYU was handled comfortably last week by UDub, but nonetheless they’re still a force to be reckoned with, as I suspect the Cowboys are about to discover.

10:30:

  • Utah @ Arizona State (ESPN): Arizona State finally fired Herm, and the main thing I’m confused about is why anyone is, well, confused about why all of Herm’s former assistants are talking about him. The key thing is that those assistants were former assistants before Herm got fired, which is to say, he kind of threw them under the bus. So anyway that’s a long way to say Utes all the way here.
  • Stanford @ Washington (FS1): The Huskies seem to have it figured out, and Stanford is still trying to find a new identity.
  • Western Michigan @ San Jose State (CBSS): And finally… Spartans?

This Weekend in College Football: Week 3

A while back I decided to start listing streaming content in this roundup. Mostly, I do this so that I can easily lookup which service a given game might be on, and when. I still don’t intend to start writing commentary for streaming-only games, but today I will introduce a new enhancement to the list: FCS teams will now be listed in italics.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

11:00: Wofford @ Virginia Tech (ACCN)

Noon:

  • Connecticut @ Michigan (ABC): Michigan gets another chance to decide who their quarterback is going to be.
  • Oklahoma @ Nebraska (FOX): The rivalry is renewed, and now that it is no longer Scott Frost Day, the question everyone wants to the answer to is… will Nebraska lose by more than 7 points now?
  • Georgia @ South Carolina (ESPN): The way we all like to imagine this game going is the wacky, hijinks-filled game that cause a clearly superior UGA team to win only like 20-17 or even lose. Unfortunately, unless Spencer Rattler plays out of his mind, I think this one is going to look like the last two results: 45-16 and 40-13.
  • Purdue @ Syracuse (ESPN2): We’re still very much in September, which mean we also are still very much figuring some things out about these teams. Such as: is Syracuse good? Should I pick them in this game? I’m not sure I feel about either of those things! I guess I’ll take the Orange and try to remember the result of this one.
  • Texas State @ Baylor (FS1): This game is the perfect salve for Baylor after the rather concerning OT loss to BYU last weekend.
  • Cincinnati vs. Miami (“The Battle for the Bell” @ Cincinnati, OH; ESPNU): It’s a rivalry, but unfortunately, this is a very extreme example of two programs that have gone in majorly opposite directions. Bearcats by a lot.
  • Youngstown State @ Kentucky (SEC)
  • Southern Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN)
  • Western Kentucky @ Indiana (BTN): WKU is a bit of a shambles at the moment, which means that Indiana had really better win this game.
  • Villanova @ Army (CBSS)
  • Long Island @ Kent State (espn3.com)
  • Abilene Christian @ Missouri (ESPN+)

1:00:

  • Towson @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
  • Buffalo @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • Old Dominion @ Virginia (ACCN): ODU has a small winning streak against their in-state ACC foes, and they’ll look to continue it here against a very moribund bunch of Cavs. I kind of think they will.
  • South Alabama @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): Speaking of the “figuring teams out” discussion above, here’s another exhibit: is UCLA good? That said, I don’t think playing USA will help us figure that out.
  • Murray State @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Ohio @ Iowa State (ESPN+)
  • Rutgers @ Temple (ESPN+)

2:30: California @ Notre Dame (NBC): So the shine is off a bit for Marcus Freeman after losing three straight to start his career, with that third game being the Marshall Thundering Herd from last week’s big Sun Belt Beast explosion. I still can’t reasonably pick Notre Dame to win, given that Marshall probably has a better offense than Cal, but I don’t feel great about it.

3:00: North Texas @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MWCN)

3:30:

  • Pennsylvania State @ Auburn (CBS): Hello and welcome to the mother of all Anxiety Bowls. The expectation on the larger college football internet is that this is going to be the nail in the coffin for Brian Harsin’s tenure at Auburn, but that said James Franklin is in a bit of a rough patch at Happy Valley as well. But, yeah, I’m riding with the #narrative: I’ve got Penn State all the way here.
  • Brigham Young @ Oregon (FOX): So BYU beat a top-10 Baylor team last weekend, insofar as rankings mean anything at this point in the season. That said, yeah, Baylor was (is?) expected to contend for the Big 12 title, but folks, BYU is for real and plays a schedule that is also very, very real. A win in Eugene would seal the deal for the Cougars if they can win out. And I think they can win this one against an Oregon program that I think is still trying to figure it out a little bit.
  • Mississippi @ Georgia Tech (ABC): It’s hard to see this one as anything other than the beginning of the end. Oh trust me, deep down, I want us to win. But under what math could I possibly see us doing so? Sure, we wound up going away against Western Carolina last week, but stopping them wasn’t so much based on beating them soundly so much as getting some turnovers. Personally, it wasn’t the sort of domination I would expect to see against a middling FCS team. And if we can’t dominate an FCS team, how are we supposed to do that against frankly the caliber of SEC team we should be as good as? I just don’t see it.
  • Colorado @ Minnesota (ESPN2): Colorado is down bad right now, folks. Ski-U-Mah all the way here.
  • New Mexico State @ Wisconsin (BTN): I’m still not completely sure what happened in that Wazzu game last weekend, but Wisky will look just fine in this one.
  • Vanderbilt @ Northern Illinois (CBSS): Last year’s Vandy team probably loses this game, but this year’s version probably wins.
  • Georgia Southern @ Alabama-Birmingham (Stadium)
  • Stony Brook @ Massachusetts (espn3.com)
  • Troy @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Tennessee-Martin @ Boise State (FS1)
  • Kansas @ Houston (ESPNU): Competent (Kompetent?) Kansas rolls into future conference-mate Houston with a noticeable chip on their shoulder for probably the first time since Mark Mangino roamed the Jayhawk sideline. Personally, I think that chip is about to get knocked off by some still very game Cougars who themselves have something to prove after a close loss in Lubbock last weekend.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Alabama (SEC): Nick Saban apparently still remembers that time Monroe beat him in 2008, so, yeah, expect Alabama to cover whatever the line is in this one.

5:00:

  • Marshall @ Bowling Green (NFL): Sometimes teams can definitely think pretty highly of themselves after pulling a huge upset. And jokes about the crowd in South Bend aside, there ain’t no Touchdown Jesus in Bowling Green. It also helps that, in terms of avoiding the let down, Bowling Green is real, real bad. Herd all the way here.
  • Liberty @ Wake Forest (ACCN): Liberty is 2-0, but Wake is going to kick them down a notch here.
  • Colorado State @ Washington State (Pac12): It would be totally within Wazzu’s character to win in Camp Randall and drop this one back home, but they won’t.

6:00:

  • Mississippi State @ Louisiana State (ESPN): Miss State might be kind of good, whereas I have no read on LSU right now. I’ll take the Bulldogs.
  • North Carolina A&T @ Duke (ACCNX)
  • Campbell @ East Carolina (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Toledo @ Ohio State (FOX): Why is this on Fox? No, seriously, I thought the networks weren’t allowed to show this sort of thing before 9:00pm?
  • Texas Tech @ North Carolina State (ESPN2): I think the Wolfpack are going to win this one, but it may bear watching. And it’ll probably be better than that snuff film Fox is going to show.
  • Northwestern State @ Southern Mississippi (espn3.com)
  • Jacksonville State @ Tulsa (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee State @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Arkansas State @ Memphis (ESPN+)
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
  • Charlotte @ Georgia State (ESPN+)
  • Akron @ Tennessee (ESPN+)
  • Missouri State @ Arkansas (ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Michigan State @ Washington (ABC): Things are about to real, real fast for the new regime in Seattle. While DeBoer has definitely restored a certain air of competence, Sparty is going to be a different level and likely show them they’ve got a ways to go.
  • Southern Methodist @ Maryland (FS1): I suspect I am going to be very, very conflicted next weekend 4-0 Maryland rolls into 4-0 Michigan.
  • Pittsburgh @ Western Michigan (ESPNU): Pitt takes a road trip for some reason, but they’ll be okay for it, though perhaps a tad shaken up.
  • South Florida @ Florida (SEC): Yeah, that 10 point loss to Kentucky is going to be papered over real quick by this one.
  • Nevada @ Iowa (BTN): If Nevada could get Colin Kapernick back in uniform for this one they would beat Iowa handily on account of being able to actually score points. Alas, modern Nevada lost to an FCS team called Incarnate Word last weekend. Iowa might go crazy in thos one and score double digit points, but either way, Nevada may not score any.
  • Central Florida @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): This isn’t your, uh, older brother’s(?) UCF, but they can still beat the FAUs of the world handily.
  • Maine @ Boston College (ACC/RSN)
  • Louisiana @ Rice (ESPN+)

8:00:

  • Louisiana Tech @ Clemson (ACCN): It’ll get somewhat more real for Clemson next week against Wake Forest, but for now they’ll take their W and we’ll all find out how many Herbstreits and Swinneys are still on the roster.
  • Montana State vs. Oregon State (@Portland, OR; Pac12)
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Texas (LHN)
  • Texas-El Paso @ New Mexico (MWCN)

9:00: Miami @ Texas A&M (ESPN): I keep forgetting this is happening. Which may be for the best, because it’s probably going to make for some great TV. The Canes are out to prove they’re real, which is much more inspiring than proving you’re better than a team that just to Appalachian at home.

10:00: San Diego State @ Utah (ESPN2): The Utes should comfortably handle this one at home.

10:30: Fresno State @ Southern California (FOX): Buckle up, it’s going to be another fun night after dark. In addition to Miami-TAMU above, this one should offer a much grit as Jake Haener and the Bulldogs can muster against an USC team that looks like they’ve got it cranked up again. But despite last week’s lost to Oregon State, I’m convinced Haener and Co. can play up to an opponent, and this could have some entertainment value deep into the second half.

11:00:

  • North Dakota State @ Arizona (FS1): A rare comment on this one just once again say: WHY ARIZONA?!?
  • Eastern Michigan @ Arizona State (Pac12): While the above game involving an Arizona team should be pretty good despite (well, probably because of) the FCS opponent, this one won’t be. The Sun Devils aren’t good, but they’re not “lose to Eastern Michigan” bad. Probably.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 2

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Alabama @ Texas (FOX): This will be a great helmet game for the first few drives until Bama turns on the gas and leaves the Horns in the dust.
  • Ohio @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): The Nittany Lions will have no problem with the Bobcats.
  • South Carolina @ Arkansas (ESPN): This could be a fantastic early season game for these teams to figure out their level. I suspect Arkansas is, in fact, ahead of the Gamecocks, but both come in with about the same level or early season hype.
  • Missouri @ Kansas State (ESPN2): I have no idea about either of these teams, so I’ll pick K-State at home.
  • Duke @ Northwestern (FS1): This is sorta like the South Carolina-Arkansas game, but in the other direction: we’ll figure out who’s worse. I suspect that Northwestern will win, but it could be close, in a bad way.
  • North Carolina @ Georgia State (ESPNU): Well, we know that UNC can’t defend worth a darn after what they did up in Boone last weekend, but Georgia State is not as talented as App State, so I suspect they won’t trouble the Tar Heels nearly as much.
  • Wake Forest @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Wake by a lot.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Miami (ACCN): I don’t really rate Southern Miss in this game, but I would be interested to figure out if the Canes are any good.
  • Arkansas State @ Ohio State (BTN): Buckeyes roll.
  • Western Illinois @ Minnesota (BTN)

12:30: Charleston Southern @ North Carolina State (ACC/RSN)

1:00: South Alabama @ Central Michigan (ESPN+)

1:30: Southern Utah @ Utah (Pac12)

2:00:

  • Western Michigan @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Lafayette @ Temple (ESPN+)

2:30: Marshall @ Notre Dame (NBC): Domers shouldn’t have any issues here.

3:30:

  • Colorado @ Air Force (CBS): Colorado goes down I-25 to play their plucky in-state rival, and I’m not sure I like the idea. I think they’ll wind up being okay, but this could definitely be uncomfortable.
  • Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (ABC): I’m taking Tennessee here since I think this will be a letdown for Pitt, both in terms of this being the week after the Brawl and also just that their offense is definitely much worse than last year.
  • Washington State @ Wisconsin (FOX): Wisconsin should make this a breezy romp.
  • Appalachian State @ Texas A&M (ESPN2): Here’s App State again, and I don’t think this is going to be as close as last week. Mostly because A&M is, um, a lot better than UNC.
  • Furman @ Clemson (ACCN)
  • Memphis @ Navy (CBSS): Navy lost to Delaware last week, which is, well, it’s not good! In fact, it’s really bad! Memphis by a lot.
  • Maryland @ Charlotte (Stadium)
  • Kennesaw State @ Cincinnati (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Houston @ Texas Tech (FS1): Houston burst some bubbles over in San Antonio with a narrow win the Alamodome, now can they do it against a future conference-mate in Lubbock? I’m going to go ahead and say yes.
  • Virginia @ Illinois (ESPNU): I wish this was Indiana instead of Illinois so I could say “we’ve got Hoos and Hoosiers!” Alas. At any rate, both these teams are bad, but Virginia is probably worse.
  • Samford @ Georgia (SEC)
  • Iowa State @ Iowa (“El Assico”; BTN): Considering some of these other games, I have no idea how this wound up on the Big Ten Network. I don’t even get BTN in HD! At any rate, Iowa’s offense is definitely a relict of the pre-HD era. If you haven’t heard, Iowa won 7-3 last week. I assure you no touchdowns were scored. So yeah, that’s what we’re looking forward to here. Let’s hope against hope the Cyclones can actually move the ball a little, because if they can, that’s gonna be that for Iowa.
  • Akron @ Michigan State (BTN): Sparty rolls.
  • Indiana State @ Purdue (BTN)
  • Wagner @ Rutgers (BTN)
  • Portland State @ Washington (Pac12)
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ California (Pac12): Cal isn’t going to be any good this year, but UNLV is real, real bad.
  • Norfolk State @ James Madison (espn3.com)
  • Eastern Kentucky @ Bowling Green (espn3.com)

5:00: Alabama State @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12)

6:00:

  • Southeastern Louisiana @ Florida Atlantic (espn3.com)
  • Kansas @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
  • Old Dominion @ East Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Holy Cross @ Buffalo (ESPN+)
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Liberty (ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Kentucky @ Florida (ESPN): Florida looked pretty good against Utah last weekend, all things considered. Kentucky is still better than they’ve been historically, but they’re lacking in offensive talent compared to last season. I’ll take the Gators here.
  • Eastern Michigan @ Louisiana (NFLN): Sun Belt on the NFL network? Sure, okay, let’s do it. Uh, Cajuns will be Ragin’ all the way to the win column in this one, though.
  • Stephen F. Austin @ Louisiana Tech (espn3.com)
  • Alabama A&M @ Troy (espn3.com)
  • Western Carolina @ Georgia Tech (ACCNX): I wasn’t able to watch basically any of the Clemson game, and if you wanna know where the average GT fan is at, I don’t really feel a need to go back and watch it. I’m personally nervous about this one because, well, we did lose to The Citadel that one time.
  • Massachusetts @ Toledo (ESPN+)
  • Central Arkansas @ Mississippi (ESPN+)
  • Alcorn State @ Tulane (ESPN+)
  • Northern Illinois @ Tulsa (ESPN+)
  • Lamar @ Southern Methodist (ESPN+)
  • Howard @ South Florida (ESPN+)
  • Kent State @ Oklahoma (ESPN+)
  • Florida International @ Texas State (ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Southern California @ Stanford (ABC): Southern Cal has a bunch of wiz-bang new offensive toys and they appear to know how to use them. I doubt that The Cardinal will give them much cause for concern.
  • Arizona State @ Oklahoma State (ESPN2): I’ve heard reports that Oklahoma State is back (to playing offense), so I’m cautiously optimistic for them in this one.
  • Georgia Southern @ Nebraska (FS1): I suspect the Huskers can win this one. Probably. But still, Clay Helton and Co. won’t be fazed.
  • San Jose State @ Auburn (ESPNU): Tigers should have no trouble with this one, but if they do…
  • Southern @ Louisiana State (SEC)
  • Texas Southern @ North Texas (espn3.com)
  • McNeese State @ Rice (espn3.com)

8:00:

  • Boston College @ Virginia Tech (ACCN): Expectations for the Hokies are low, whereas for BC they weren’t, but then they went and lost to Rutgers. As good as Rutgers might be, that’s still not ideal. Either way, the it’s tough to pick the road team in a night game in Blacksburg, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
  • Hawaii @ Michigan (BTN): Michigan will have no trouble here.
  • Idaho @ Indiana (BTN)
  • Nicholls State @ Louisiana-Monroe (espn3.com)
  • Tarleton State @ Texas Christian (ESPN+)

8:30: Eastern Washington @ Oregon (Pac12)

9:00:

  • New Mexico State @ Texas-El Paos (“The Battle of I-10”; ESPN+)
  • Chadron State @ Utah Tech (ESPN+)

10:15: Baylor @ Brigham Young (ESPN): Not exactly the teams I wanna see the most, but pickings are going to be otherwise slim in the late window, and BYU will be salty, at least. Still, it’s hard to pick them over the Bears.

10:30: Oregon State @ Fresno State (CBSS): Oregon State was able to dispatch Boise last week, which was a fantastic sign for the Beavers. That said, this is on the road and Fresno is a little bit better than Boise, so I’ll take the Bulldogs.

11:00: Mississippi State @ Arizona (FS1): And finally, SEC after dark! This one could either be a Miss State blowout or an absolute romp. My heart wants the latter but I suspect it’s going to be the former.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 1

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Saturday

Noon:

  • Colorado State @ Michigan (ABC): I literally just cracked my knuckles, such is my determination to finish this before I need to finish packing and get out of town. So! Michigan follows up their dream season with a… not to challenging start. Good move! Wolverines win easily.
  • North Carolina State @ East Carolina (ESPN): Yeah, so, ordinarily I would say something like I just said about doing road games at your pesky, but lower division, in-state rival… but NCSU has nothing to worry about here.
  • South Dakota State @ Iowa (FS1)
  • North Carolina @ Appalachian State (ESPNU): Whereas this one, hoo boy. Y’all, look, UNC should win easily! Should! I’d feel less certain if this was at night in Boone, but despite that there’s going to be some moment in the first half where App runs back a pick-6 or something and it’s going to, at least for a moment, feel like a potential long day for the fightin’ Mack Browns.
  • Sam Houston State @ Texas A&M (SEC)
  • Rutgers @ Boston College (ACCN): The fact I had to think about this for a moment says a lot about where both these teams are going. Rutgers got apparently the only person in the universe who can make Rutgers competent back, whereas BC hasn’t done much of… anything recently. Am I taking Rutgers? Against another Power 5 team? Hold me, I’m scared.
  • Buffalo @ Maryland (BTN): There are times where I’d like Buffalo here. This isn’t one of them.
  • Delaware @ Navy (CBSS)

12:30: Richmond @ Virginia (ACC/RSN)

2:00: Southeast Missouri State @ Iowa State (ESPN+)

2:30: Bowling Green @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): It’s probably appropriate for UCLA to start beating up on hapless MAC teams like their soon-to-be-Big Ten brethren.

3:30:

  • Arizona @ San Diego State (CBS): We should be talking about the Aztecs finally breaking in their brand-new stadium, but we aren’t. I’m going to refuse to pick this game as well, but it’s hard not to root for Arizona to crash the party.
  • Oregon vs. Georgia (Chick-Fil-A Kickoff @ Atlanta, GA; ABC): This probably isn’t the game of the day. Or the weekend. Reasonable minds accept that UGA will probably win. But! That sure is a lot of talent that was on that defense that isn’t anymore. There sure are still completely reasonable questions about Stetson Bennett leading an offense. By any reasonable prediction, Georgia’s defense is still going to be a top 1, 2, or 3 defense, but there’s no reason to think currently that they’re going to be able to field possibly the best defense in the history of college football again. And! Let’s recall last year, if Clemson was able to field a functional offense for the first three-quarters of the season, they probably would’ve won! And I can’t help but notice that almost all the questions about this game are about the nominal nearly-three-score favorites. So screw being reasonable, let’s get crazy: I’m taking the Ducks. Straight up.
  • Texas-El Paso @ Oklahoma (FOX): It was fun for UTEP last year, but even with Brent Veneables (of all people!) being the head coach for the Sooners now, I expect them to win handily.
  • Cincinnati @ Arkansas (ESPN): I think this game could be sneaky good. The problem is, of course, that Cincy is replacing their quarterback and best defenders, and Arkansas is the kind of physical that could definitely be a problem for the Bearcats. So, unfortunately, I think they’re gonna get womp’d.
  • Tulsa @ Wyoming (FS1): I didn’t know until earlier today that Craig Bohl was still at Wyoming, and it’s sure been back for them the past year or two. But it’s been worse for the Golden Hurricane.
  • Bethune-Cookman @ Miami (ACCN)
  • North Dakota @ Nebraska (BTN): Breaking my usual rule of not commenting on FCS vs. FBS games to ask… is this gonna be it for Scott Frost? It’s not unreasonable. UND isn’t one of the classic “good” Dakotas, but the thing is… they’re all good now. Don’t schedule them!
  • Houston @ Texas-San Antonio (CBSS): Meep meep and all was fun last year, but I actually think the Cougs have this one pretty handily?
  • Norfolk State @ Marshall (espn3.com)

4:00:

  • Brigham Young @ South Florida (ESPNU): Oh, this could be bad for the Bulls. Real bad.
  • Troy @ Mississippi (SEC): It’s been a long time since Troy was good enough, and Ole Miss was bad enough, to make this interesting.
  • California-Davis @ California (Pac12)

5:00: Nicholls State @ South Alabama (espn3.com)

6:00:

  • Rice @ Southern California (Pac12): This sure seems like a quick, feel-good start for Lincoln Riley, getting to beat up on Rice again.
  • Morgan State @ Georgia Southern (espn3.com)
  • Middle Tennessee State @ James Madison (ESPN+)
  • Florida Atlantic @ Ohio (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Utah @ Florida (ESPN): Ah, it’s nice to see the Gators schedule actual intersectional games where they’ll actually leave the state of Florida and non-SEC teams and non-tomato-cans will actually visit the Swamp. Let’s see who they picked… oh, oh no. Yeah, the same Utes that demolished Oregon twice with physicality and nearly pulled the same trick on Ohio State in the Rose Bowl are coming to town. I’ve got the Utes here.
  • Illinois State @ Wisconsin (FS1)
  • Grambling State @ Arkansas State (espn3.com)
  • Army @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Southeastern Louisiana @ Louisiana (ESPN+)
  • Elon @ Vanderbilt (ESPN+)
  • South Dakota @ Kansas State (ESPN+)
  • Albany @ Baylor (ESPN+)
  • Massachusetts @ Tulane (ESPN+)
  • Miami @ Kentucky (ESPN+)
  • Mercer @ Auburn (ESPN+)
  • Liberty @ Southern Mississippi (ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Notre Dame @ Ohio State (ABC): Speaking of the Buckeyes, there’s some big expectations for them this season, and a new look Marcus Freeman-led Irish side are looking to challenge them immediately. I think the Buckeyes will simply out-talent them in the Shoe, but if last season was any guide, if you can out-physical them, then they are beatable, as Oregon and Michigan showed.
  • Memphis @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): Mike Leach teams are always good for a baffling loss or two in the non-conference schedule, so while this isn’t fun Memphis anymore, this could get spicy.
  • Utah State @ Alabama (SEC): Let’s see, this one might be over by the… end of the first quarter? Yeah, that’s pretty much what relegates Bama to the SEC network.
  • Southern Methodist @ North Texas (CBSS): I kinda liked SMU this season and in this game, but North Texas went into El Paso last weekend and won pretty convincingly at a sold-out Sun Bowl. I’ll take the Mean Green.
  • Georgia State @ South Carolina (ESPN+)

8:00:

  • Louisville @ Syracuse (ACCN): This is certainly an ACC game that will happen. Yep. ‘Cuse?
  • Colgate @ Stanford (Pac12)
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Texas (LHN):
  • Murray State @ Texas Tech (ESPN+)

9:30: Idaho @ Washington State (Pac12)

10:30:

  • Boise State @ Oregon State (ESPN): I have had this as a Boise win, straight up, since the moment I laid eyes on this matchup. This could be one worth watching.
  • Kent State @ Washington (FS1): Okay, so, look, UDub has had occasional trouble with season openers against lesser competition in the recent past. Like, the very recent past. Like, last season. At any rate, that’s a good way to get a coach fired, and (ultimately) it did. I suspect the new guy won’t have a problem with this one.

Sunday

3:00: Jackson State vs. Florida A&M (Orange Blossom Classic @ Miami Gardens, FL; ESPN2)

7:30: Florida State vs. Louisiana State (Sugar Bowl Kickoff @ New Orleans, LA; ABC): Hey, are you ready to reach too much into one of these teams’ seasons based on one game? Because that’s pretty much what’s gonna happen with this one. As a reminder, Brian Kelly (yes, the former Notre Dame head coach) is now the head guy at LSU. I am still baffled at that hire, but at any rate, I suspect it’ll probably net them the win here.

Monday

8:00: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech (Chick-Fil-A Kickoff @ Atlanta, GA; ESPN): Well, I guess I shouldn’t be starting a tracker of how many days until Geoff Collins’s buyout goes down so he’ll get fired, but that’s sort of where we are. I highly suspect I won’t have a long goodbye post whenever it happens. That is, unless something happens this season. The general consensus is that it’s 6 wins or bust, and I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve got a pretty tough schedule this season. Like really tough. But here’s the thing, when the whole premise of your tenure was that we’re gonna recruit the Atlanta metro, Georgia, and the south, and make Tech an elite ACC team, at some point you’ve gotta show some progress. At that’s what’s been completely missing: progress. The UNC game last season looks more and more like an outlier. At any rate, Clemson doesn’t figure to spend the first three-quarters of this season not knowing how to offense again, but on the flip side, Dabo is replacing both coordinators with more-or-less unknowns. This one could be interesting, but I’m not filled with optimism.