We can finally start discussing some actual games! Each week during the season we will take a look around the country and discuss what we see as the games of interest. While the Notre Dame game is automatic there are several other matchups each week that we will keep an eye on for one reason or another.
While most major programs kick off the season with a glorified scrimmage against an FCS or small conference foe there are a few programs out there that have quality matchups on the slate. Some of those buy games against the little guys are also interesting for one reason or another.
In honor of opening weekend my wife is seeking refuge out of town and The Coach (my Dad) is inbound to SoCal for 4 days of nonstop beer drinking, bad food and college football. I can’t wait.
The games I am most interested in are below. If you are looking for a full TV Schedule for the weekend and the season I highly recommend these 2010 NCAA Football TV Schedules.
*All times listed are EST.
Thursday 2 September
Southern Miss at South Carolina 7:30 ESPN
I could honestly care less about this one but I will tune in since it is the opening broadcast of the season. I will keep an eye on this game for exactly one hour then I’m changing the channel to Versus to watch…..
Pitt at Utah 8:30 Versus
Look at Versus, trumping the WWL with a better game on opening night. This has the potential to be a very good football game. With both Pitt and Utah on the Notre Dame schedule this fall this one is mandatory viewing. I expect Pitt to grind out a W but Utah will put up a fight at home.
USC at Hawai’i 11:00 ESPN
At the conclusion of the Pitt at Utah contest I will likely flip back over to the WWL just to get eyes on Lane Kiffin and the Trojans. Will the Trojans show up and play hard or come out lifeless? The Trojan athleticism will turn this one into a blowout regardless.
Friday 3 September
Arizona at Toledo 8:00 ESPN
I will flip this one on just because it is the only game in town on Friday night. Arizona should run away with it despite breaking two new coordinators.
Saturday 4 September
Miami OH at Florida 12:00 ESPN
What will the Gators look like post Tebow? Somehow I think they will still manage to hang 50 on the Redhawks. It will rate a spot on the secondary TV just for curiosity sake.
Western Michigan at Michigan State 12:00 ESPN2
This is another game featuring two teams that are on the Fighting Irish schedule and thus requires tuning in. Sparty should run roughshod over the Broncos but I want to see how they look on both sides of the ball.
Purdue at Notre Dame 3:30 NBC
Finally! The Brian Kelly era will officially begin! Having already spoken at length about my expectations for the 2010 season and this game I will keep it short.
When Notre Dame is on defense I still expect Marve to have some success moving the chains ultimately resulting in more points than we would like to see.
When Notre Dame is on offense I expect to see some early jitters before they settle in and exploit a suspect Purdue defense. I see the end result as a 42-28 type win.
The list of things I am looking for in this game is lengthy and I expect to execute my usual routine of DVRing it while watching it live so that I can watch it again that night or the next morning to take it all in. We will have plenty of observations to discuss on Sunday.
UCONN at Michigan 3:30 ABC/ESPN2 (Regional)
I am annoyed that ABC/ESPN moved this game into the 3:30 slot. I would actually like to watch this one closely but with ND on TV #1 that just isn’t going to happen. Regardless this is a big game for Dick Rod version 3.0. What will the Michigan offense look like with Denard Robinson under center? Is he really going to be the guy or will Forcier get reps too? Are they really going to use a 3-3-5 base defense? Keep an eye on former ND QB and current UCONN signal caller Zach Frazer against a suspect Wolverine secondary. I like UCONN in a close one.
Washington at BYU 7:00PM CBS College Sports
Washington might be one of the most improved teams in college football this fall. Steve Sarkisian will led the Huskies back to face his alma-mater BYU. This is an interesting matchup. I think Jake Locker leads the Huskies to victory.
Oregon State at TCU (Arlington) 7:45 ESPN
This game is bigger than some might realize as it could potentially have BCS Championship implications for TCU. This will be the Gary Patterson’s best team yet and after they knock off Oregon State on Saturday night their only remaining "tough" games will come from conference foes BYU, Air Force and Utah. That sounds pretty manageable to me. TCU could very well be hanging around in the Top 5 with no losses at the end of the season. Cue up the debate about whether or not they should get the nod over a 1 loss BCS Conference Champion.
North Carolina at LSU (Atlanta) 8:00 ABC
This sounded a lot more interesting before the wheels came off in Chapel Hill. The Hat might continue his streak as the luckiest guy on the planet as a result. Then again he’s just as liable to blow the game himself. This one is a toss up worth tuning in to.
Cincinnati at Fresno State 10:00 ESPN2
As the night winds down I will likely take a look at life after Brian Kelly in Cincy. I expect to quickly begin reveling in our good fortune and abandon the Cincy game in favor of re-watching ND on my DVR. Good luck Cincy and thanks again!
Sunday 5 September
Tulsa at East Carolina 2:00 ESPN2
With Tulsa also on the ND slate this one also might be worth watching. At least until the next game kicks off. While I don’t expect either of these teams to be very good I will try to get a feel for the Golden Hurricane.
SMU at Texas Tech 3:30 ESPN
June Jones takes what should be an improved Mustang squad into the Hub City to tangle with Tommy Tuberville in his debut at Tejas Tech. I am very curious to see what the Raiders look like post Leach. How is Tubs version of the "Air Raid" going to look? Is he really going to leave Sticks Sheffield on the bench? How about the defense? I can’t count the number of times The Coach has said "If Texas Tech had a real defense…" The Big 12 South will be watching this one closely.
Monday 6 September
Navy at Maryland (Baltimore) 4:00 ESPN
I expect a Ricky Dobbs and Navy to do what they do in this one. The Mids will eat clock, move the football and grind out a win.
Boise State at Virginia Tech (Landover) 8:00 ESPN
This is a big, big game and a great way to close out opening weekend. Both teams think they have a title shot this year and the Hokies are by far the toughest team on the Broncos schedule. The Broncos have spent the entire off season hearing all about their "one game season" and I am certain they will come out with both guns blazing.
I expect to see Chris Peterson pull out all the stops and bust out all manner of trick plays and bizarre formations to try and score points to pick up a W in this one. Is that going to fly against a Bud Foster defense?
My Hokie fanatic brother-in-law The Deer Hunter has been reporting from Blacksburg that Beamer’s boys are going to have a serious offense this fall. If that proves to be true Boise might be in trouble. If nothing else we know the Hokies can pound it with Ryan Williams.
If you are in the camp of fans that don't want to see the little guys finally sneak into the title game you should probably be pulling hard for the Fighting Gobblers in this one. This should be an exciting conclusion to opening weekend and I expect the Hokies will pull out a squeaker that gives The Deer Hunter and the rest of the Hokie faithful cause to celebrate for the rest of the week.
What do you think? Don't hesitate to leave us a comment or jump into our Forum and start a thread.