As great as it was to have college football back for week 0 the games didn’t exactly set the world on fire. The headliner featuring Navy and Notre Dame in Dublin was over before you could say “top o’the mornin’, boyo”. We had to look outside the name brands for more intrigue. UMass achieved their first road win since 2018, and their first road season opener since the Carter administration. Hawai’i put up a valiant comeback effort against Vanderbilt but came up short, and every other game was within a single score.
But, as they say, the biggest improvement is made between the first two weeks of the season. Week 1 is on deck, we’ve reached the college football season proper and it’s one of the best football weekends of the year. With the NFL regular season still another week away, the college game has the spotlight for five straight days. Nearly every program is in action and there should be something for everyone to sink their teeth into.
Here are some select games for each day I’ll be keeping my eyes on.
Thursday, August 31
|Elon @ Wake Forest||6:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Kent State @ UCF||6:00 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Rhode Island @ Georgia State||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|St. Francis (PA) @ Western Michigan||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|NC State @ UConn||6:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Florida @ #14 Utah||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Nebraska @ Minnesota||7:00 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|South Dakota @ Missouri||7:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Tulsa||7:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|North Carolina A&T @ UAB||7:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Southern Utah @ Arizona State||9:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
Nebraska @ Minnesota - 7:00 PM - FOX
Being a conference game this one automatically gets my attention. It’ll be Matt Rhule’s debut as the head Husker and he’ll attempt to grab Nebraska’s first win at Minnesota since 2015.
Florida @ #14 Utah - 7:00 PM - ESPN
The only other power-5 game Thursday night but one that has more promise than those of last weekend. Utah is coming off their second Pac-12 championship while Florida is trying to get back to the top of the SEC.
Friday, September 1
|Howard @ Eastern Michigan||5:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Central Michigan @ Michigan State||6:00 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Miami (OH) @ Miami||6:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Louisville @ Georgia Tech||6:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Missouri State @ Kansas||7:00 PM||Big 12/ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Stanford @ Hawai'i||10:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
Central Michigan @ Michigan State - 6:00 PM - FS1
Not a conference game for a Big Ten school but it is one with a team on Iowa’s schedule. After a promising 2021, the Spartans disappointed last year. This will be our first glimpse of what to possibly expect September 30.
Miami (OH) @ Miami - 6:00 PM - ACC Network
The “Battle of Miami” to ultimately determine which school is the one true Miami. Football aside, Miami (OH) was founded in 1809, 116 before the University of Miami so chronologically that title has already been decided. Of course, nothing else matters.
Others of note: Louisville @ Georgia Tech, Stanford @ Hawai’i, Missouri State @ Kansas
Saturday, September 2
|East Carolina @ #2 Michigan||11:00 AM||N/A||Peacock|
|Virginia @ #12 Tennessee||11:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Colorado @ #17 TCU||11:00 AM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|Arkansas State @ #20 Oklahoma||11:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Utah State @ #25 Iowa||11:00 AM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Ball State @ Kentucky||11:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Bowling Green @ Liberty||11:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Fresno State @ Purdue||11:00 AM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Louisiana Tech @ SMU||11:00 AM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Northern Illinois @ Boston College||11:00 AM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Long Island University @ Ohio||11:00 AM||N/A||N/A|
|Western Carolina @ Arkansas||12:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Robert Morris @ Air Force||12:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Mercer @ #22 Ole Miss||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|East Tennessee State @ Jacksonville State||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Northern Iowa @ Iowa State||1:00 PM||Big 12/ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Akron @ Temple||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Portland State @ #15 Oregon||2:00 PM||Pac-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|#3 Ohio State @ Indiana||2:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Boise State @ #10 Washington||2:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Rice @ #11 Texas||2:30 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|Tennessee State @ #13 Notre Dame||2:30 PM||NBC||Peacock|
|Buffalo @ #19 Wisconsin||2:30 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|UMass @ Auburn||2:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Towson @ Maryland||2:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|South Florida @ Western Kentucky||2:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Wofford @ Pittsburgh||2:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Eastern Kentucky @ Cincinnati||2:30 PM||Big 12/ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Gardner-Webb @ Appalachian State||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|SE Louisiana @ Mississippi State||3:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Cal @ North Texas||3:00 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Colgate @ Syracuse||3:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Bryant @ UNLV||3:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
|UT Martin @ #1 Georgia||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|South Carolina State @ Charlotte||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Monmouth @ FAU||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|The Citadel @ Georgia Southern||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Bucknell @ James Madison||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Albany @ Marshall||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Nevada @ #6 USC||5:30 PM||Pac-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|Maine @ Florida International||5:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|SE Missouri State @ #16 Kansas State||6:00 PM||Big 12/ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|New Mexico @ #23 Texas A&M||6:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Army @ UL Monroe||6:00 PM||NFL Network||NFL Network|
|Alabama A&M @ Vanderbilt||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Washington State @ Colorado State||6:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Texas State @ Baylor||6:00 PM||Big 12/ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|UTSA @ Houston||6:00 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Central Arkansas @ Oklahoma State||6:00 PM||Big 12/ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Bethune-Cookman @ Memphis||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Alcorn State @ Southern Miss||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Stephen F. Austin @ Troy||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Middle Tennessee State @ #4 Alabama||6:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|West Virginia @ #7 Penn State||6:30 PM||NBC||Peacock|
|#21 North Carolina @ South Carolina||6:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Toledo @ Illinois||6:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Texas Tech @ Wyoming||6:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|South Alabama @ #24 Tulane||7:00 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Old Dominion @ Virginia Tech||7:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Northwestern State @ Louisiana||7:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Western Illinois @ New Mexico State||8:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Incarnate Word @ UTEP||8:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Northern Arizona @ Arizona||9:00 PM||Pac-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|Sam Houston @ BYU||9:15 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Coastal Carolina @ UCLA||9:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Idaho State @ San Diego State||9:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
Utah State @ #25 Iowa - 11:00 AM - FS1
This one’s a given, obviously. Will Cade McNamara sit out or play? What will the offense look like after last year’s effort? Can the defense keep up its elite-level play? We may not get answers on Saturday but we should at least get clues.
Colorado @ #17 TCU - 11:00 AM - FOX
The Prime era begins in Boulder. Deion Sanders seems to be one of the most polarizing coaches in the college game. His Buffaloes made headlines seemingly each week this past spring and summer and we will finally get to see them in action. TCU is coming off a national championship appearance so it’ll be a tough outing for the Buffs.
West Virginia @ #7 Penn State - 6:30 PM - NBC
Expectations are high for James Franklin’s Nittany Lions this year and while they’re expected to cruise you can never discount the rivalry factor. Will the hype be real for the Lions, or will they stumble out of the gate against a determined foe? Bonus points for being NBC’s first prime time broadcast as part of the new Big Ten media deal.
Buffalo @ #19 Wisconsin - 2:30 PM - FS1
Big changes are coming to Madison alongside Luke Fickell. What will a Badger-themed spread offense look like and will it ultimately cause the fabric of reality to come apart? It’ll provide plenty of fodder for the talking heads next week, if the universe still exists by then anyway.
Others of note: Boise State @ #10 Washington, #21 North Carolina @ South Carolina
Three games, three games to watch by default. The good news is they’re all at the very least tolerable. Northwestern @ Rutgers is football by definition, so it’ll at least give you a morning fix. It’s a Big Ten conference game at least, and both teams that the Hawkeyes will face later this year so you could do some opposition research if/when the actual football on display stinks.
The big draw here is obviously #5 LSU @ #8 Florida State in Orlando. Two top ten teams in a prime time showdown is the perfect way to end the weekend proper. Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida yesterday, early enough hopefully not to affect this game Sunday night.
Others of note: #18 Oregon State @ San Jose State
Monday, September 4
|#9 Clemson @ Duke||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
#9 Clemson @ Duke - 7:00 PM - ESPN
This being Labor Day weekend we all get a bonus day off, and a bonus day of football. There’s only one game to close out week 1, so it gets the spotlight by default. I don’t expect Duke to challenge the Tigers but as we’ve all come to learn and love about this game you never know what can happen.
Enjoy the holiday weekend and a veritable fire hose of college football. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.