This Weekend in College Football: Week 1

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.



  • Colorado @ Texas Christian (FOX): It’s the beginning of the Deion era in Boulder, and, well, it’s not going to be pretty.
  • Virginia vs. Tennessee (@Nashville, TN; ABC): Speaking of name games that will probably be blowouts, well, there’s finally this one. The Joe Milton cannon arm jokes are already getting tired, but I doubt UVA is going to much to stop being from making them.
  • Arkansas State @ Oklahoma (ESPN): Probably worth keeping an eye out to see if Oklahoma is still good at offense and at least a pulse on defense this year, at least when all the starters are still in.
  • Utah State @ Iowa (FS1): I thought about having a “Brian Ferentz 25 Points Per Game” side bar, but regardless we’ll be keeping tabs. An opener against what will probably be a extremely moribund Utah Statee team is a good initial test. (And remember, defensive and special teams score count!)
  • Fresno State @ Purdue (BTN): Fresno gets a very early test in the post-Jake Haener era that I actually like their chances at the upset in. Might be worth keeping an eye on.
  • Louisiana Tech @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU): SMU.
  • Ball State @ Kentucky (SEC): Kentucky.
  • Northern Illinois @ Boston College (ACCN): I won’t watch this game because I’ll be busy, but you probably shouldn’t either.
  • Bowling Green @ Liberty (CBSS): Liberty has a new coach who should bring the party to the next level on offense. BGSU doesn’t stand much of a chance.
  • East Carolina @ Michigan (Peacock)

1:00: Northern Iowa @ Iowa State (ESPN+)


  • Akron @ Temple (ESPN+)
  • Long Island @ Ohio (ESPN+)
  • East Tennessee State @ Jacksonville State (ESPN+)
  • Mercer @ Mississippi (ESPN+)

3:00: Portland State @ Oregon (Pac12)


  • Boise State @ Washington (ABC): The Peterson Bowl! That said, this Boise team likely isn’t up to the standards of classic, Chris Peterson-era Boise yet, and Washington’s offense figures to be prolific. But I probably won’t doubt Boise unless it’s just a blowout at the half.
  • Tennessee State @ Notre Dame (NBC)
  • Ohio State @ Indiana (CBS): “9windiana” is the dream, but, well, one of those 9 wins won’t be this one. But that said, come for the dissonance of hearing the CBS college football theme with their A announcers call their first Big Ten game in year one of the new TV deal.
  • Rice @ Texas (FOX): When most of the previews of this game I’ve heard either mention the speech (which I’ve talked about several times over the years, most recently here) or that the most interesting aspect of this may be whether or Arch Manning (yes, of those Mannings) makes an appearance in the second half.
  • Massachusetts @ Auburn (ESPN): While we all agree it will be hilarious for Hugh Freeze to lose this game they just… won’t. That said, they gotta go to Berkeley next week…
  • Buffalo @ Wisconsin (FS1): Do not adjust your TV screens: yes that is the Wisconsin Badgers slingin’ it like a Mike Leach team. Okay, it probably won’t be that extreme, but look for them to practice some passing over what figures to be an overmatched Buffalo team.
  • Towson @ Maryland (BTN)
  • Wofford @ Pittsburgh (ACCN)
  • South Florida @ Western Kentucky (CBSS): WKU.
  • Eastern Kentucky @ Cincinnati (ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)


  • California @ North Texas (ESPNU): Speaking of the Bears, they’re on the road to Denton this week. While they have no business losing this game, I can’t completely discount it.
  • Southeastern Louisiana @ Mississippi State (SEC)
  • Colgate @ Syracuse (ACCNX)
  • Western Illinois @ Arkansas (@Little Rock, AR; ESPN+)


  • Tennessee-Martin @ Georgia (ESPN+)
  • South Carolina State @ Charlotte (ESPN+)
  • Monmouth @ Florida Atlantic (ESPN+)
  • Bucknell @ James Madison (ESPN+)
  • The Citadel @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)
  • Albany @ Marshall (ESPN+)


  • Nevada @ Southern California (Pac12): Once again, it’s the “Is the USC Defense Actually Better This Year?” challenge. At least based on last week’s results against San Jose State, the answer is kind of “nope!” Nevada figures to be less of a challenge, but the Wolf Pack are still moving the ball easily some tough questions need to be asked down in LA.
  • Maine @ Florida International (ESPN+)


  • New Mexico @ Texas A&M (ESPN): While the Aggies firing Jimbo at this point is unfathomable, they really need to look pretty good in this game. Not that New Mexico is much of a threat, but this has gotta be like a 45-10 scoreline.
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Houston (FS1): I’ve seen this called a “budding rivalry” elsewhere but I’ll have to take their word for it. It is unfortunate though that will be moot after this game. Either way, speaking of coaches who need to show something, Dana Holgerson has to show that the Cougars can compete in the Big 12, and taking care of the Meeps right here would be a good way to do that.
  • Washington State @ Colorado State (CBSS): It’s a bit uncertain for Wazzu this year, but a rebuilding Colorado State shouldn’t give them much of an issue on the road.
  • Army @ Louisiana-Monroe (NFL): It’ll be a new-look Army team: they’ll be running a more spread-option type system this year as opposed to the flexbone look they’ve sported for the better part of the last two decades. I suspect it’ll be a bit of an adjustment, but ULM should probably a give them a chance to make it.
  • Alabama A&M @ Vanderbilt (ESPN+)
  • Stephen F. Austin @ Troy (ESPN+)
  • Alcorn State @ Southern Mississippi (ESPN+)
  • Central Arkansas @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
  • Southeast Missouri State @ Kansas State (ESPN+)
  • Bethume-Cookman @ Memphis (ESPN+)
  • Texas State @ Baylor (ESPN+)


  • South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Duke’s Mayo Classic @ Charlotte, NC; ABC): This one could get pointsy, but the Gamecocks’s ability to play, like, any defense at all will probably see them win out.
  • West Virginia @ Pennsylvania State (NBC): I admire the ‘Neers playing their Appalachian colleagues but I don’t see them having much of a chance in this one.
  • Texas Tech @ Wyoming (CBS): The Red Raiders head up to Laramie, and I suspect will be in for a bit of a bad time.
  • Toledo @ Illinois (BTN): The Illni will be fine in this one.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Alabama (SEC): As will the Tide.
  • Northwestern State @ Louisiana (ESPN+)


  • South Alabama @ Tulane (ESPNU): USA’s helmets feature “The Home of Mardi Gras” on the back, which will definitely lead to some raised eyebrows, but if you’re from that part of the country you know that Mobile has always had a bone to pick with New Orleans about Mardi Gras. That said while USA is improving, the Sugar Bowl champs should win this one.
  • Old Dominion @ Virginia Tech (ACCN): It’s going to be a long season for VPI, but they should get this one.


  • Incarnate Word @ Texas-El Paso (ESPN+)
  • Western Illinois @ New Mexico State (ESPN+)

10:00: Northern Arizona @ Arizona (Pac12)

10:15: Sam Houston State @ Brigham Young (FS1): Welcome to FBS, Sam Houston State! Naturally, they get to play a bunch of grown men who will be more than happy to properly introduce them to the top level of the sport.


  • Coastal Carolina @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): Coastal seems to have an “anytime, anywhere” philosophy and we’re here for it. I suspect so will the Bruins.
  • Idaho State @ San Diego State (CBSS)


Noon: Northwestern @ Rutgers (CBS): This is definitely a bit of an eyebrow raiser for the Big Ten on CBS to start with. Especially given that it’ll probably be a Rutgers blowout.

3:30: Oregon State @ San Jose State (CBS): If you’re in or around the part of the college football Internet I am, then you know that we all kinda want the Beavs to really stick it to the rest of the Pac-12 this season. While SJSU gave USC fits last weekend, the Beavs can actually play defense and should be able to keep this one under control.

7:30: Louisiana State vs. Florida State (Camping World Kickoff @ Orlando, FL; ABC): And the most helmet game of the weekend gets the Sunday primetime slot. Both of these teams have aspirations, but I feel like LSU is the better team with a better coach. It should be a good one though.


8:00: Clemson @ Duke (ESPN): Speaking of national title aspirations, the Tigers hope to be back in the picture this season, and this should lay a sound foundation.