As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
7:00: Abilene Christian @ Georgia State (ESPNU): This is technically a FBS game, so I’ll make an exception for Week 1 and include all FBS games, even if they’re against FCS opponents. Other than it being the first game, there’s not really any reason to watch it, of course.
6:00: Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ South Carolina (SEC): As much as I hate the fact that we keep playing Virginia Tech early in the season, I’d probably hate it even more if we had to play a conference game the first weekend of the season. Especially one as critical as this for both teams. I’m going to have to go with the Gamecocks here, though, unless TAMU’s defense has drastically improved int he offseason.
- Wake Forest @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPNU): Hey, it’s football, it’s on TV, and a Louisiana school is involved, so something crazy might happen. And hey, Monroe did beat them last year in Winston-Salem, so what the heck let’s go with them again.
- Eastern Illinois @ Minnesota (BTN): Okay, even I have limits, and it’s likely nothing too weird will happen here.
7:30: Idaho State @ Utah (Pac12): Same, except this game might hold you over for a bit until you get to the night’s other game with a team from the Gem State.
- Mississippi vs. Boise State (@Atlanta, GA; ESPN): Any early test for a supposedly much-improved Ole Miss team this year. That said, Boise had a luckluster 8-5 campaign last year. The flip side of that, of course, was that Boise was one of the youngest teams in the country last, and the cool thing about young teams is that a year later they aren’t as young anymore. Boise has lost supposedly indispensable coaches before: recall that the coach that originally put them on the map is the now throughly unhireable Dan Hawkins. Will they be able to cope this time? Probably not, but hopefully it’ll be fun to watch.
- Tulane @ Tulsa (CBSS): It’s the opener for the new-new look American Athletic Conference, aka, the “please don’t call us ‘Conference USA’ by accident” league. These teams are coming off two drastically different 2013’s, but despite that it’s hard to pick Tulane.
9:15: Temple @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Vandy, at least in game one, shouldn’t have any hangover from the James Franklin era.
10:00: Rutgers vs. Washington State (@Seattle, WA; FS1): One assumes that the Air Raid will be even more potent in year
two three up in Pullman. I expect to see some happy Wazzou fans in Seattle Thursday night.
10:30: Weber State @ Arizona State (Pac12): Again, this is here, well, because football!
7:00: Brigham Young @ Connecticut (ESPN): I had a vague memory that UConn had gotten a new coach this year, and I was correct! The head coach of the Huskies is now Bob Diaco. Who is Bob Diaco? Apparently he was a defensive assistant at Notre Dame last year. Huh. Well, given everything else about UConn, I still can’t say I like their odds against BYU.
- Bowling Green @ Western Kentucky (CBSS): What happens when the MAC meets
the Sun BeltConference USA? Something, hopefully. Much like the preseason polls, pretty much the only thing I’m going on at this point is last year’s performances, and given that, I’d probably have to go with Bowling Green.
- Jacksonville State @ Michigan State (BTN): Sparty!
- Colorado State vs. Colorado (@Denver, CO; FS1): In an event that apparently no one remembers, these Colorado State Rams beat Washington State last year in the New Mexico Bowl (likely because it was a) the first day of bowl games and b) the New Mexico Bowl). At any rate, even last year’s sorry edition of Colorado managed to win pretty convincingly, so I’m going to go with history repeating itself.
- Texas-San Antonio @ Houston (ESPNU): Houston probably shouldn’t have much trouble with a program still young enough be considered “upstart”. Of course, ESPN’s predictor thingy is saying that after opening with Houston, Arizona (at home! in the Alamodome!), and Oklahoma State that these Roadrunners will run the table. Huh. At any rate…
10:30: Nevada-Las Vegas @ Arizona (ESPN): It’s late. It’s the Friday of a long weekend. Let’s face it, the other Friday games haven’t been that great. You probably have better things to do. You could hit the town, especially given that you’ll have an extra day to recover. You may even be in an entirely different town (like me) with limited access to watch the games. So why should you watch this game? A game that the Rebels, who were okay last year actually, lost 58-13? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: because it’s football. And who knows how long it’s going to last. At any rate, the Wildcats should have a walk-over.