|Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||L.T. Smith Stadium (WKU)||8:00||FS1||-1/2|
With the NFL returning, there aren't too many college games to be found on Thursday night. If you'd prefer to avoid what will probably be endless "discussion" of deflategate, Western Kentucky is hosting Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech is coached by a familiar face in Skip Holtz, while Jeff Brohm is in his second year after taking over from Bobby Petrino. The game is expected to be quite competitive, so maybe check in if you grow tired of hearing about Goodell and company.
|Miami Hurricanes||Florida Atlantic Owls||FAU Stadium||8:00||FS1||-17.5|
|Utah Utes||Utah State Aggies||Bryce-Eccles Stadium (Utah)||9:00||ESPN||-13.5|
Friday has a couple interesting games in two very different locations. In Boca Raton, FAU hosts The U where legend Howard Schnellenberger will be part of the festivities. Florida Atlantic is a heavy underdog, but they played well in a close loss to Tulsa last week. Miami coach Al Golden is believed to be coaching for his job this season, so looking less than impressive in this one could hasten his demise. Out west, Utah and Utah State face off in the Battle of Brothers. Utah State looked less than impressive in a 12-9 win over Southern Utah, but the Aggies have Chuckie Keeton, an electric dual-threat QB who's had terrible injury luck in recent years. On the other side, Utah ruined Jim Harbaugh's debut much to the joy of Irish fans everywhere.
Saturday Early Shift
|Florida State Seminoles||South Florida Bulls||Doak-Campbell Stadium (FSU)||11:30 AM||ESPN||-27.5|
|Michigan Wolverines||Oregon State Beavers||Michigan Stadium||Noon||ABC||-14.5|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||Buffalo Bulls||Beaver Stadium (PSU)||Noon||ESPN2||-20.5|
None of the noon games look to be very competitive, but there are a couple interesting storylines for Irish fans. First, Everett Golson gets another start for the Noles, and while they should blow out USF, it could be interesting to see how Everett looks in his new uniform. Up north, Jim Harbuagh will get to wear his khakis to the Big House in front of 100000+ fans against Oregon State. The Beavers are also breaking in a new coaching staff to considerably less fanfare. Mike Reilly memorably left Corvallis for Lincoln last winter after Bo Pelini's surprise firing. Wisconsin's Gary Andersen took over for Oregon State, and while they looked mediocre in a 26-7 win over Weber State, they have enough talent to pull the upset. Lastly, Penn State will attempt to recover from their terrible start against Temple. PSU's O-Line surrendered ten (10!!!) sacks last week, so we'll see if former top QB recruit Christian Hackenburg will survive long enough to reach the NFL with any draft stock left.
Saturday Afternoon Shift
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||Virginia Cavaliers||Scott Stadium (UVA)||3:30||ABC||-11.5|
|Georgia Bulldogs||Vanderbilt Commodores||Vanderbilt Stadium||3:30||CBS||-20.5|
|Iowa Hawkeyes||Iowa State Cyclones||Jack Trice Stadium (ISU)||4:30||FOX||-3.5|
There's not much else going on during the Notre Dame game Saturday afternoon. In order to make room for the always important late season FCS opponent, UGA and Vandy will play a conference game in week two. Nick Chubb should rush for as many yards as he wants before he's pulled at halftime. Lastly, El Assico (better known as the Cy-Hawk Series) kicks off in the late afternoon in Ames. While this game is rarely "good," it is frequently highly entertaining in a morbid sort of way. Just look at the scores from recent years particularly 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012.
Here's hoping for a nice 11-4 game.
|Oklahoma Sooners||Tennessee Volunteers||Neyland Stadium (UT)||6:00||ESPN||Pick|
|Michigan State Spartans||Oregon Ducks||Spartan Stadium||8:00||ABC||-3.5|
|LSU Tigers||Mississippi State Bulldogs||Davis Wade Stadium (MSU)||9:15||ESPN||-4|
|Boise State Broncos||BYU Cougars||LaVell Edwards Stadium (BYU)||10:15||ESPN2||-2.5|
The night shift has a number of quality games, so make sure to have your dinner ready early. Oklahoma travels to Knoxville to face a team many are calling a potential SEC East favorite. Oklahoma looked slightly better against their week one MAC opponent than Tennessee, but with the Vols at home, it's tough to find a favorite. The winner could win some valuable conference bragging rights, and eventually help make a case for either TCU, Baylor, Alabama, Auburn, or Georgia to make the playoff. The most anticipated game of the weekend has to be Oregon's trip to East Lansing. Vernon Adams picked up an injury in his first game as the Duck's QB, but he's said that he'll play in this one. In addition to featuring two playoff contenders, this game also presents a nice clash of styles as we'll see Oregon's uptempo spread face off against D'antonio's aggressive defense. Saturday night has another SEC conference game between LSU and Mississippi State. LSU's game against McNeese State was cancelled last weekend, so it will be interesting to see if the Tigers can knock off MSU on an empty stomach (they didn't get to eat their cupcake you see). Bulldogs QB Dak Prescott is an early season Heisman contender, and Dan Mullen's squad beat LSU in Baton Rouge last season. To finish off the night, two of the top G5 teams in the country will battle it out in Provo. Both the Cougars and Broncos knocked off P5 teams last week. BYU did so in dramatic fashion with a Hail Mary to beat Nebraska in Lincoln, but the Cougs lost their QB and best player in Taysom Hill. Boise State on the other hand had more trouble than many expected against Washington. Both teams have a chance to make a New Year's Six Bowl, and this game should serve as a nice nightcap to college football's week two.