Even though TCU doesn't play a meaningful down of football until September 8th, football season still officially kicks off tomorrow. It's here, guys. It's really here. In a typical game week we'd run out our entire arsenal of previews and recaps and what not, but two things are different about this week. One, without a TCU game, clearly we don't need a preview for that. And two, with lyle out of the fold, there goes about 50% of our weekly effort, with the other half mostly falling to me. I'll drive the train for as long as possible, although I don't promise anything spectacular. So with that enthusiastic exposition, here are this week's games of interest. Going forward this will likely incorporate all intra-Conference games as well as games that could immediately effect us in the rankings. But for this weekend, it's just a smorgasborg of college football offerings with brief notations.
#9 South Carolina @ Vanderbilt. 6:00PM. ESPN. The annual ESPN opening Thursday game featuring at least one SEC team actually gets ramped up a notch this year and features a whole TWO teams from the only Conference that apparently matters. USC is seen as the darkest of dark horse NC picks, so if they're going to keep that train on the tracks, they need to take care of business in week one. Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin is one of the hotter young coaching prospects in the country after doing the impossible and getting Vanderbilt bowl eligible. He also reportedly only hires assistants after meeting their wives and deeming them physically acceptable. I like his style.
aggy @ Louisiana Tech (Shreveport). 6:30PM. ESPNU. Wanna make your aggy friends mad? Pick this game as your official upset pick. I've personally spoken with several ags who believe the 7 point spread is a slap in the face and refuse to listen when I explain how LT has a good Coach and returns the majority of a very good team from last year. Sadly, God must be an aggy as it looks like Hurricane Isaac could cause it to be rained out and pushed to October.
**Since this was written the game WAS postponed to October 13th. On the one hand, you'd probably like an experienced LT team's upset chances in week one against an aggy squad breaking in a new offense and coach. On the other, by the time the two teams meet, aggy will have played Florida and Arkansas, thus beginning their inevitable slide even earlier than normal. Regardless, I would've watched tomorrow, but probably won't now.
Washington State @ BYU. 9:30PM. ESPN. The first game of the Leach era at Wazzu against his alma mater IN Provo? Sign me up! Opening night super treat.
Tennessee @ NC State (Atlanta). 6:30PM. ESPNU. A SERIOUS undercard for the SEC/ACC opening weekend matchups in the ATL, but it'll at least whet your football appetite for a half hour until...
#24 Boise State at #13 Michigan State. 7:00PM. ESPN. Now we're talkin'. Here's your first chance to check out Boise's new mouth breather and see if MSU is really a threat to run the depleted Big Ten. Can't you just see Boise squeaking this one out? I secretly like Chris Petersen. A lot.
Notre Dame vs. Navy. 8:00AM (!!!). CBS. I could not give less of a crap about this matchup, but just look at the start time! It's our one tiny dose of what the West Coast gets to experience on a weekly basis. In case you're unaware, the reason for the early start time is that this one will be played in actual damned Ireland. It does raise a dilemma though: Should you tune in for real live football? Or take your first chance to oogle Sam Steele in her role as the new Erin Andrews? I say its a push. Also, what the heck are Notre Dame fans going to do in Ireland?
Ohio @ Penn State. 11:00AM. ESPN. Wanna see how unhappy the Happy Valley can get? Tune in to this one in the second half when PSU is trailing by 10.
Auburn @ #14 Clemson (Atlanta). 6:00PM. ESPN. I'd say Clemson should win this one easily because of their defense but... wait, what? They gave up 70 last time out? LOL. This game SUCKS.
#8 Michigan @ #2 Alabama (Jerrahworld). 7:00PM. ABC. My heart says TREAT TREAT TREAT, but my head knows that this one is a non-treat disguised as a treat.. Bama wins by 2 TDs.
Wyoming @ #15 Texas. 7:00PM. LHN. It's funny, because you can't actually watch this one on TV. But I'm morbidly curious to see if the revamped UT offense has some teeth, aren't you?
SMU @ Baylor. 5:30PM. FSSW. HATE BOWL!!!! Seriously, who do we pull for? The old me says to pull for the Conference, but SOS really doesn't matter anymore, so we really just have to go with who we hate more. Actually, that's not really it - its whose cereal do you want to get peed in more? SMU and their hopes of Garrett Gilbert suddenly becoming good at college football? Or Baylor and the realities of the post-Griffin era? I'm at a loss. Can the hurricane come to Waco? Black plague?