We can finally start discussing some actual games!
Each week I will take a look around the country and discuss what I see as the games of interest. While the Notre Dame game is automatic there are several other matchups each week that I will keep an eye on.
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 pseudo quality matchups on the slate. Some of those buy games against the little guys are also interesting for one reason or another.
These weekly previews tend to be part viewer's guide, part TV schedule and part prognostications. To put it another way, this is my weekend plan. We will also be hosting an open thread here at One Foot Down on Saturday so while you are watching the ND vs USF game grab your laptop, tablet or smartphone and stop by to join the conversation. We will likely open it a couple of hours before kickoff for some last minute discussion on the Fighting Irish and the stellar lineup of early games.
If any of you are looking for full TV schedules I suggest the link below. You can find permanent links to this one and a couple of others on the bottom left hand side of our front page under "TV Schedules."
Now back to the lineup. We have actual college football games on TV for the next 5 days. In preparation I have already stocked my beer fridge to the gills and the Saturday menu is set. I am going with Green Chile and Jalapeno sliders with plenty of Guacamole. On to the matchups!
*All times listed below are EST.
Thursday 1 September
UNLV at Wisconsin 8:00 ESPN
If this wasn't the first game of the season there is little chance that I would tune in. One would think that the WWL could come up with a better matchup for the first Thursday night tilt but it is what it is. There are a handful of other games being televised Thursday night but sadly this is the best of the bunch. Whatever, there's college football on TV. Is Russell Wilson going to make his Badger debut? Wiscy rolls at Camp Randall.
Friday 2 September
TCU at Baylor 8:00 ESPN
I'm definitely interested in seeing what Gary Patterson and the Frogs look like this fall. Toss in a little RG III and this one could actually be interesting. Is Lache Seastrunk in Waco yet?
Saturday 3 September
Akron at Ohio State 12:00 ESPN
Can Rob Ianello sneak into the Shoe and kick the Bucks while they are down? Naaaaahhhhh. I will likely turn this one on for a bit but I will have to make sure the volume is off. I've had my fill of talking heads pontificating on Tressel, Pryor, etc. They should send Boob Davie to cover this one. Who wouldn't want to hear his two cents on the situation in Columbus?
Northwestern at BC 12:00 ESPNU
I will stop by the U just to see what BC has under the hood. Minus that curious interest this one looks like a sleeper.
Appalachian State at VT 12:00 ESPN3
Three things. I have to see this Logan Thomas kid play QB for the Hokies. I keep hearing that his wallet says Bad Mother#%@&#* on it. Two, Phil Steele has me half convinced that the Gobblers might actually be a contender this year. Three my favorite brother-in-law the Deer Slayer will likely call me no less than 10 times from his Hokie adorned man cave talking all kinds of smack about how great they look. I'll grab my laptop and check out the Tres to see for myself.
South Florida at Notre Dame 3:30 NBC
The boys are working up some sick previews on this one for you so I will leave them to it. Did I mention we are hosting an open thread this weekend? If nothing else you might witness Murtaugh melting a keyboard with his rapid fire observations. See you there.
Western Michigan at Michigan 3:30 ABC/ESPN2 (Regional)
I'll DVR this one and scout it on Sunday morning.
FAU at Floirda 7:00PM ESPN U
I'll admit it. I am extremely curious to watch Chuck Weis at the controls of the Gator offense. Toss in a dash of Muschamp sideline antics and this one could be entertaining. Champ better not start acting all reserved now that he's a HC!
Oregon at LSU (Jerrydome) 8:00 ABC
Webfoot U vs. The Hat in Jerrydome. That place is going to be crawling with street agents sucking down $20 beers and slipping cards to little brothers. With Jarrett Lee under center for LSU I have to think that the LSU offense struggles and the Ducks run away with it. This one would have been a lot more interesting in Red Stick.
Boise State at Georgia (Atlanta) 8:00 ESPN
I think this is going to be the game of the night. You know Boise is going to show up and I think that Richt and Georgia are going to be tough this year. I know, I know.... This is a tough draw for Boise in week one but they will come out swinging. This game could be a lot of fun.
Rice at Texas 8:00 Longhorn Network
I don't even know if I get the Longhorn Network! I should probably check into that. I really just want to see Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz plugged into the Longhorn machine. I think a lot of people are prematurely counting Texas out this year. They have some athletes. And some coaches....
Colorado at Hawai'I 10:15 ESPN2
Listed only to remind myself that there is still another half of football on TV somewhere once those last 3 games end. Watching Bryant Moniz throw for 500 yards is also decent entertainment. Particularly at the expense of two for flinching Colorado.
Sunday 4 September
Marshall at West Virginia 3:30 ESPN
Seriously, they couldn't scrape up a better game than this for Sunday afternoon? Come on man! I guess they are banking on the storyline. Doc Holliday returns to Morgantown to avenge Bill Stewart by ruining the debut of the rowdy drunken gambler that is Dana Holgorsen. Something like that right? Holgorsen will probably hang 60 on the ghost of Leftwich in retort.
SMU at TAMU 7:30 FSN
Does the winner get to be in the Big XII? Does the loser? Will there be lots of pontificating from Craig James? If only Dan Beebe had locked Adam James in a storage shed. Is Mike Leach still in Key West? Why hasn't anybody hired him? I miss the Pirate. He hates both of these teams. And Craig James. TaMU rolls.
Monday 5 September
Miami at Maryland 8:00 ESPN
Fail. Can't the ACC put together a better game than this for opening weekend? Can't anybody? We have to listen to Musburger and Herbie yammer on about these two teams? In a battle of new coaches Al Golden brings the half of his team that isn't suspended to play Randy Edsall and a Maryland squad decked out in the ugliest uniforms of all time.
What other games should I be trying to keep an eye on?