As we get the season proper started, a quick reminder on the format of this post. I’ll do small descriptions of each contest involving two FBS teams on a regular linear television channel, otherwise it’s just listed here without commentary.
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Pennsylvania State @ Wisconsin (FOX): This is a real test for each time to see where they’re at going into a pivotal season for each. I think I have to prefer Wisky at home, but I can’t say I’m terrible confident about it.
- Oklahoma @ Tulane (ABC): Due to the events of Hurricane Ida, this is really Tulane going to Norman. Either way, the outcome would have been the same: the Sooners roll.
- Western Michigan @ Michigan (ESPN): Michigan fans have no idea what to expect in 2021, but I figure they’ll at least beat WMU.
- Stanford vs. Kansas State (Advocare Classic @ Arlington, TX; FS1): Well, for some reason Stanford and K-State are playing a neutral site game in Arlington. Good on them, I suppose. I like K-State here.
- Army @ Georgia State (ESPNU): Not sure how fun this will be. I’m not sure how good either team will be either. I’ll take Army as a Week 1 pick but I don’t feel good about it.
- Louisiana-Monroe @ Kentucky (SEC): Kentucky.
- Fordham @ Nebraska (BTN)
- Holy Cross @ Connecticut (CBSS)
- Colgate @ Boston College (ACCN)
- Fresno State @ Oregon (Pac12): Oregon is a slight step up from UConn for Fresno. Just a “slight” one.
- Lafayette @ Air Force (Stadium)
- Rice @ Arkansas (ESPN+)
- Alabama vs. Miami (Chik-fil-a Kickoff @ Atlanta, GA; ABC): I’ve heard Alabama may be worse this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
- West Virginia @ Maryland (ESPN): I still have zero confidence in Maryland, even with Tua’s younger brother up there in College Park.
- Indiana @ Iowa (BTN): Starting a Big Ten team in the first weekend of the season with another team in the same rough tier seems kind of unfortunate. I like Indiana here, but Iowa will be a test for them.
- Marshall @ Navy (CBSS): Navy.
- Miami @ Cincinnati (ESPN+)
- Louisiana Tech @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): Miss State.
- Central Michigan @ Missouri (SEC): Mizzou.
- Massachusetts @ Pittsburgh (ACCN): Pitt.
- Louisiana @ Texas (FOX): Texas. Yes, it’s fashionable to think the Cajuns (who are also Ragin’) will give them a run for this money, but that’s just it: it’s a fashion.
- Northern Iowa @ Iowa State (ESPN+)
5:00: San Jose State @ Southern California (Pac12): USC? Oh, right, what am I thinking, of course USC.
- Gardner-Webb @ Georgia Southern (espn3.com)
- Campbell @ Liberty (espn3.com)
- Texas Tech vs. Houston (Texas Kickoff @ Houston, TX; ESPN): If it’s Houston’s not going to be good now, then wen? I will pick them here though.
- Oregon State @ Purdue (FS1): In one of the odder inter-sectional matchups, I’m not sure which way to go. Purdue should be better, but I can’t say I’ve kept up whole-heartedly with whatever the Beavers have been up to. I’m picking Purdue, but tenatively.
- Syracuse @ Ohio (CBSS): Duke already lost to a FCS team as I type this early Saturday morning, so Syracuse, please, have your stuff together.
- Norfolk State @ Toledo (espn3.com)
- Monmouth @ Middle Tennessee State (espn3.com)
- Southern @ Troy (espn3.com)
- Central Arkansas @ Arkansas State (espn3.com)
- Baylor @ Texas State (ESPN+)
- Akron @ Auburn (ESPN+)
- Eastern Illinois @ South Carolina (ESPN+)
- Nicholls State @ Memphis (ESPN+)
- Missouri State @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
- Abilene Christian @ Southern Methodist (ESPN+)
- Georgia vs. Clemson (Duke’s Mayo Classic @ Charlotte, NC; ABC): Here it is folks, the Big One. The game of the week of the century. A lot of discussion has been centered around if a loss here would really hurt the standing of either. Personally, I think there’s plenty to lose. Clemson’s remaining schedule is soft. Is it sufficient for them to recover if they have 1-loss versus other undefeated or 1-loss Power 5 teams? I’m not sure. Georgia has more chances to recover if the lose here and then wind up with 1-loss, but what are their chances of actually ending with 1-loss in that case? It should be a fantastic game regardless. I’m going with Clemson because #thwg.
- Florida Atlantic @ Florida (SEC): Gators roll easily.
- Texas-San Antonio @ Illinois (BTN): Fortunately for the Illini UTSA is really not good.
- Northern Illinois @ Georgia Tech (ACCN): It’s Year 3 for Geoff Collins and company. I’m… cautiously optimistic? We’ve got a brutal schedule so getting back to bowl eligibility might be a lofty goal, but honestly being able to handle business in a game like this may be sufficient proof already. At least I hope so.
- William & Mary @ Virginia (ACC/RSN)
- Northwestern State @ North Texas (espn3.com)
- Kent State @ Texas A&M (ESPNU): Aggies roll.
- Montana @ Washington (Pac12)
- East Tennessee State @ Vanderbilt (ESPN+)
- Southern Mississippi @ South Alabama (ESPN+):
- Duquesne @ Texas Christian (ESPN+)
8:30: Louisiana State @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): UCLA looked better last week against Hawaii, but in a battle in the trenches I’ll take some SEC boys anyday.
9:00: Bethune-Cookman @ Texas-El Paso (espn3.com)
- Brigham Young vs. Arizona (Las Vegas Kickoff Classic @ Paradise, NV; ESPN): No idea about either of these teams other than a vague recollection Zona is kinda bad, so sure, BYU, why nt.
- Nevada @ California (FS1): The Bears should roll.
- New Mexico State vs. San Diego State (@Carson, CA; CBSS): Aztecs.
11:00: Utah State @ Washington State (Pac12): Cougs.
7:30: Notre Dame @ Florida State (ABC): I’ll tentatively take Notre Dame here, but this should be a good measuring stick for both teams.
8:00: Louisville vs. Mississippi (Chick-fil-a Kickoff @ Atlanta, GA; ESPN): Lane will almost certainly take the chance to hang 60+ on possibly one of the worst P5 teams.