Since this is the first post of the year, I’ll explain how this works. Basically, I list each game that will be on TV for a particular weekend. In general, I list games that will be on a network that is reasonably national or feature a BCS team, though this judgment can be arbitrary. (For instance, I will list only national Big Ten Network games, but will always list the ACC and SEC regional games. Yeah, I’m biased.) Normally, I don’t list anything other than Saturday games except on special occasions, as the post usually goes up on Friday. I also include the following disclaimer:
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
7:00: South Carolina @ North Carolina State (ESPN): This is it. The first game of the year. Are you excited? Because I’m excited. Except, well, I won’t see any of these. But that’s all right! I’ll be on a plane destined for a much-needed vacation. That said, there’s been a fair amount of hype about NCSU this year and quite frankly I’m not sure why. They were the second worst team in the ACC last year and I’m not sure what they did to get better. Stever Spurrier is still trying to get his mojo back at South Carolina. I will begrudgingly take the Gamecocks here.
7:30: North Texas @ Ball State (ESPNU): So I get ESPNU now! Thanks Comcast! It makes me feel moderately better about the utterly ludicrous amount of money I have to pay for cable, I guess. Oh, also, UNT is terrible, taking Ball State here.
8:00: Eastern Kentucky @ Indiana (BTN): Hey, a game Indiana should win! Hope they don’t get too used to that.
10:15: Oregon @ Boise State (ESPN): You should stay up for this one, East Coast folks. Provided you survive the initial color clash of Oregon’s uniforms with the blue turf, you should be in for a treat as a big time program pays a visit Boise for the first time since Oregon State in 2006. Oregon State lost to that Boise team, that you probably remember from the legendary Fiesta Bowl that year versus Oklahoma. More notable, Boise won last year’s contest at Eugene, 37-32. Both these teams have lost some guys, but with less losses and the home field, I’ll take the Broncos.
8:00: Tulsa @ Tulane (ESPN): Conference USA! Feel the excitement! Tulsa will be trying to see if they can score more than 56 this time around, I suspect.
- Navy @ Ohio State (ESPN): Ohio State is going to honor the Middies before the game, a nice gesture. Perhaps they’ll only win by 3 TDs instead of 4?
- Minnesota @ Syracuse (ESPN2): This is a fairly amusing insight into rooting for a bad team. I especially like the “Quest for Toronto” feature. Gotta have reasonable goals. That said, I have to pick the Gophers.
- Kentucky vs. Miami University (@Cincinnati, OH; ESPNU): Guide to Miamis: MU is the one in Ohio, and UM is the one in Florida. I will be referring to them as such throughout the season. Oh, and uh, Kentucky.
- Akron @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Penn State starts it’s, uh, “schedule” with a doozy against Akron. I’ll take Penn State.
- Western Kentucky @ Tennessee (SEC): Congratulations Western Kentucky, you’re now fully a member of Division I-A and the Sun Belt Conference! Now go be good boys and sacrifice yourself for the sake of getting Lane Kiffin his first college win.
1:00: Jacksonville State @ Georgia Tech (espn360.com): With wayward Ryan Perrilloux out, JSU is missing its best player. I will shy away from making an actual prediction as usual, but I do hope that we don’t overlook this won for their upcoming Thursday night dates. OH AND I AM SO EXCITED. WOOOO FOOTBAW.
- Georgia @ Oklahoma State (ABC/GP): This is the first or second most interesting of the day, most likely. That said, I think UGA has just lost too much on offense to really keep up with OSU at home, so I’ll take the orange Cowboys.
- Baylor @ Wake Forest (GP/ESPN2/ABC): Baylor actually has a shot at this one, which is more than I would say. But one QB does not a team make, and Jim Grobe is perhaps the craftiest coach in the country.
- Western Michigan @ Michigan (ESPN2/ABC): I think Michigan will avoid losing, but I didn’t say they would avoid embarrassment.
- Nevada @ Notre Dame (NBC): Nevada is not chopped liver here. But it is at ND and ND should succeed on sheer talent alone. Should.
- San Jose State @ Southern California (FSN): Yeah, uh… hrm. This line is 32-33.5 right now, and well, I like USC to cover.
- Jackson State @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): Hey, it’s a team Miss State will be able to beat. Not sure how much they’ll be able to say that this year.
3:40: Missouri vs. Illinois (@St. Louis, MO; ESPN): I’ve made it know I like this series of games elsewhere, so I’ll stop now. But suffice it to say, these are both good teams, but I think year’s edition of Illinois is probably better.
- Brigham Young vs. Oklahoma (@Arlington, TX; ESPN): This is a pretty interesting game. Even if BYU is just competitive they can make a statement. If they win? That would, just, wow. That said, I still have to take OU.
- Louisiana Tech @ Auburn (ESPNU): Auburn. I’m running out of time, so these will be short unless it’s interesting from here on out.
- Northern Illinois @ Wisconsin (BTN): Wisconsin.
8:00: Alabama vs. Virginia Polytechnic (ABC): I’ll try to see this, but I doubt I’ll be able to. For the sake of my conference I want VPI to win. I think this will be a defensive struggle, but ‘Bama just has to have more offensive talent, don’t they? It’ll be close but I have to admit the Tide will probably end up on top.
10:00: Maryland @ California (ESPN2): California. Okay, this is actually kind of interesting, and while this is probably the best Terp outfit in awhile, I still like Cal better.
10:30: Louisiana State @ Washington (ESPN): LSU. Washington will probably win a game this year… just not this one.
3:30: Mississippi @ Memphis (ESPN): Sunday games! The best way to know the NFL hasn’t started yet, outside of the games tomorrow. That said, Ole Miss doesn’t need a lot of pre-season hype to know they should beat Memphis.
7:00: Colorado State @ Colorado (FSN): There’s a certain segment of the Georgia Tech fanbase that wants to move the Georgia game to the beginning of the season. Hogwash, I say. It’s a lot more fun at the end of the year. That said, when your rival is a major conference team, I guess you take what you can get when you’re CSU. CU probably wins.
4:00: Cincinnati @ Rutgers (ESPN): Almost there! Woo. Rutgers had a terrible start last year, including a 13-10 loss to eventual conference champ Cincy. No one has any Earthly idea who is supposed to win the Big East this year. It could even be Rutgers! Could. That said, I like Cincy here.
8:00: University of Miami @ Florida State (ESPN): A lot of folks are predicting the return of Miami this year. Not a lot are predicting the return of FSU. I’m not really that optimistic about either team, but I do like Miami better in this game.
And that’s it! I fly off to Seattle this afternoon and will miss a lot of these, but rest-assured I will be back in full force next week!