ESPN is claiming that Week 1 of the 2016 college football season is the best ever. Hyperbolic statements like that usually remind me of the perils of contact in the rough and tumble sport of soccer.
But, hey, UW beat Rutgers and moved into the top 10 of the AP poll for the first time in 179 games. So, ok. I’m down.
BEST WEEKEND EVER!
So, how do we top that? With week 2, of course.
Or not. We don’t have quite the same fire power with marquee matchups that we had a week ago. But we do have college football. And that is enough to get me out of bed, slap my mama and proclaim that all is right in the world. Here is what I’m watching.
A Battle for Post-season Positioning - WSU at Boise (ESPN2, 10:15pm ET)
Believe it or not, WSU’s bowl hopes might be on the line after they coug’d away an easy win against an FCS opponent last week. Nobody from the PAC 12 has gone into Boise and beaten the Broncos since 2001. The team to do it? Yup. The Cougs. In fact, Boise State has never beaten WSU in four tries. That the Broncos are one of just two Group of Five teams (the other being my upset darling a week ago, Houston) to look like a threat to make a playoff run just adds intrigue to this matchup.
The Sinking of the USS(C) Trojan
USC is in a world of hurt. The offense looks like crud. Clay Helton is getting widely and deservedly panned for his weak-ass (non) punishment of Jabari Ruffin’s nut stomp incident a week ago, and two key defenders - LB Osa Masina and DE Don Hill - remain away from the team while being investigated for sexual assualt. They’ve just gotten beaten like a rag doll at the hands of their former head coach while a second former head coach has just signed on as a consultant to that same ‘Bama team that performed said beat down.
To complicate matters comes a disciplined and well-coached Utah State team that, while outmanned, is certainly capable of pulling off a win. Should that happen and USC falls to 0-2, new AD Lynn Swann will have a coaching hot-seat situation on his hands.
Welcome to the big leagues, Lynn.
THE UPSET - Virginia Tech @ Tennessee (Tenn -11.5, ABC, 8pm ET)
I don’t have quite the same conviction here as I did in making my (correct) upset pick of Houston over Oklahoma last week.
But, hey, did I mention that I correctly picked Houston over Oklahoma?
Well, I did.
I just wanted you to know.
Anyhoo, as I was saying, my conviction level isn’t quite as high. Tennessee is obviously more talented than what we saw last week when they needed overtime to put away a fiesty FCS App State team. On the other hand, we have a Viriginia Tech team that is under the leadership of a new coach. Justin Fuente has brought his brash, aggressive, dare I say “swashbuckling” style of football to Frank Beamer’s old hang out and is looking to make a mark in just his second game at the helm. Can he?
The conditions are ripe. Firstly, there will already be a carnival atmosphere to the game as it is being held at the Bristol Motor Speedway - inside the racetrack - in front of a crowd that could end up in the 100k range. Secondly, VT’s strength is its O-Line - always a nice upset tell. Finally, Tennessee just doesn’t come into this with a high level of confidence.
Sometimes an under-performance against a lesser team works in reverse and “opens the eyes” of the favorite. Think WSU a year ago. Who knows? What I can say is that VT is talented enough to have stood toe to toe with Tennessee before the momentum killer that was last week. I’m calling the upset here in a closely fought, low scoring affair.
|Friday, Sept. 9, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Online|
|Maryland at FIU||7:30 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|(13) Louisville at Syracuse||8:00 pm||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Online|
|Penn State at Pittsburgh||Noon||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|UCF at (5) Michigan||Noon||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Central Michigan at (22) Oklahoma State||Noon||FS1 / FS Go|
|Lamar at (6) Houston||Noon||ASN / WatchESPN|
|Nicholls State at (9) Georgia||Noon||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Prairie View A&M at (20) Texas A&M||Noon||SECN Alt. / WatchESPN|
|Wyoming at Nebraska||Noon||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|NC State at East Carolina||Noon||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Cincinnati at Purdue||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Boston College at UMass||Noon||ASN/SNY / WatchESPN|
|Rice at Army||Noon||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Howard at Rutgers||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Indiana State at Minnesota||Noon||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Troy at (2) Clemson||12:30 pm||ACCN / WatchESPN|
|Charleston Southern at (3) Florida State||12:30 pm||FSN Affiliates / ACC-RSN / WatchESPN|
|Stony Brook at Temple||1:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|Utah State at USC||2:00 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Youngstown State at West Virginia||2:00 pm||ROOT SPORTS|
|Georgia State at Air Force||2:00 pm||MWN|
|Ohio at Kansas||2:30 pm||FSN / FS Go|
|Mercer at Georgia Tech||3:00 pm||ACCNExtra / WatchESPN|
|Western Kentucky at (1) Alabama||3:30 pm||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Tulsa at (4) Ohio State||3:30 pm||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Akron at (10) Wisconsin||3:30 pm||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Nevada at (18) Notre Dame||3:30 pm||NBC / NBCSports.com|
|SMU at (23) Baylor||3:30 pm||FS1 / FS Go|
|Kentucky at Florida||3:30 pm||CBS / CBSSports.com|
|Wake Forest at Duke||3:30 pm||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|UConn at Navy||3:30 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Illinois State at Northwestern||3:30 pm||BTN / BTN2Go|
|North Dakota at Bowling Green||3:30 pm||ASN/ALT / WatchESPN|
|Eastern Illinois at Miami (OH)||3:30 pm||WatchESPN|
|Old Dominion at Appalachian State||3:30 pm||ASN / WatchESPN|
|Wofford at (19) Ole Miss||4:00 pm||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Ball State at Indiana||4:00 pm||ESPNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt||4:00 pm||SECN Alt. / WatchESPN|
|UTSA at Colorado State||4:00 pm||MWN|
|Portland State at San Jose State||4:30 pm||Not Televised|
|Idaho at (8) Washington||5:00 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Idaho State at Colorado||5:30 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Elon at Charlotte||6:00 pm||C-USA.tv|
|Florida Atlantic at (25) Miami (FL)||6:00 pm||ACCNExtra / WatchESPN|
|Morgan State at Marshall||6:00 pm||beIN SPORTS / Stream|
|North Carolina A&T at Kent State||6:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|Arkansas at (15) TCU||7:00 pm||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|UTEP at (11) Texas||7:00 pm||LHN / WatchESPN|
|ULM at (14) Oklahoma||7:00 pm||PPV|
|South Carolina at Mississippi State||7:00 pm||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Northern Illinois at USF||7:00 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Bethune Cookman at North Texas||7:00 pm||C-USA.tv|
|Maine at Toledo||7:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|Georgia Southern at South Alabama||7:00 pm||ASN / WatchESPN|
|McNeese State at UL Lafayette||7:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|NC Central at Western Michigan||7:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|Savannah State at Southern Miss||7:00 pm||TBA|
|SC State at Louisiana Tech||7:00 pm||C-USA.tv|
|Iowa State at (16) Iowa||7:30 pm||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Jacksonville State at (21) LSU||7:30 pm||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Arkansas State at Auburn||7:30 pm||SECN / WatchESPN|
|BYU at Utah||7:30 pm||FOX / FS Go|
|Eastern Michigan at Missouri||7:30 pm||SECN Alt. / WatchESPN|
|North Carolina at Illinois||7:30 pm||BTN / BTN2Go|
|New Mexico at New Mexico State||8:00 pm||AggieVision / WatchESPN|
|Southern at Tulane||8:00 pm||WatchESPN|
|(17) Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech (at Bristol Motor Speedway)||8:00 pm||ABC / WatchESPN|
|UNLV at UCLA||8:00 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Sacramento State at Fresno State||10:00 pm||TBA|
|Texas Tech at Arizona State||10:00 pm||FS1 / FS Go|
|Washington State at Boise State||10:15 pm||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|Virginia at (24) Oregon||10:30 pm||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|California at San Diego State||10:30 pm||CBSSN / CBSSports.com|
|Grambling State at Arizona||10:45 pm||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|UT Martin at Hawaii||12:00 a.m.||OceanicPPV|