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College Football Saturday Week 1 Open Thread

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A full lineup for your viewing pleasure

Clemson v Georgia Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

After some nice little morsels to whet our appetites over the past 6 days the main course is finally here. An entire Saturday filled with college football. Obviously the Huskies are the primary focus but there is still plenty of action going on around the country outside of the UW-Montana matchup. Follow along in the comments here throughout the day to take it all in alongside your fellow Dawg fans. Not sure what to watch? We’ve got you covered.

SUGGESTED VIEWING GUIDE (all times PT)

9:00 AM: #19 Penn State at #12 Wisconsin (-4.5), FOX

Right off the bat on Big Nude Noon Saturday we get a conference matchup trying to determine who is the biggest threat to Ohio State in the Big-10. Penn State is coming off a disastrous abbreviated COVID season and if they don’t pull it together quickly then James Franklin will suddenly find himself on the hot seat. Meanwhile the Badgers are hoping that QB Graham Mertz (the most highly rated QB in school history) can take them to the promised land.

Other Option: Stanford at neutral site vs. Kansas State (-2.5), FS1

The Cardinal lost a ton of talent after last season and expectations aren’t exactly high for them with a mostly new offense. If they come out and win convincingly over the Wildcats away from home to start off the year though it would be a sign they aren’t ready to take a backseat in the Pac-12 North.

11:00 AM: Fresno State at #11 Oregon (-20.5), Pac-12 Networks

Former Husky QB Jake Haener looked incredibly impressive against UConn...which, who isn’t? But still, this Fresno State team appears to have the horses to put up points against just about anyone with another former Dawg, WR Ty Jones part of the rotation. The Ducks are going to be without a couple of key players in the secondary after DJ James and Jamal Hill were suspended for just 1 game after shooting at random people with airsoft guns earlier this summer. Obviously Fresno doesn’t have the same firepower as Ohio State (or apparently the Oregon secondary) but if Oregon’s pass defense can’t stop the Bulldog offense then it doesn’t look great for them in week 2 against the best wide receiver corps in the country.

12:30 PM: #1 Alabama (-18.5) at #14 Miami, ABC

The defending national champs are replacing the vast majority of their offense including coordinator Steve Sarkisian who is now the head coach at Texas. It probably won’t matter very much even if they are on the road against at the very least a competent Miami program. Hurricanes QB D’Eriq King is a lot of fun to watch but as the point spread suggests, this could quickly turn into a stomp that’s a bigger matchup of names than it is of talent.

Other Option: #17 Indiana at #18 Iowa (-3.5), Big 10 Network

If you aren’t inclined to believe that either Penn State or Wisconsin will end up the 2nd best team in the B1G then it might be one of these 2 teams. The Hoosiers in particular aren’t used to being a preseason top-25 team and we’ll find out if they can live up to the hype after technically winning the division last year if the Big 10 hadn’t changed their rules from the preseason.

1:30 PM: #23 Louisiana at #21 Texas (-8), FOX

As mentioned above, Sark is now the head coach at Texas and he stole away Husky defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski to join his staff. They’re immediately in for a big test as Louisiana isn’t a big brand but they’re a legitimately tough out. It’s probably a no-win situation for Texas as it’ll either be same-old Texas if they lose to a Sun Belt team (even if they’re actually quite good) or it’ll be no big deal for just beating a Sun Belt team (even if they’re actually quite good).

4:30 PM: #5 Georgia at #3 Clemson (-3), ABC

You only get to watch 30 minutes of this one before flipping it over for the Husky game but there’s no question this is the headliner for the weekend. Ex-USC QB JT Daniels looked dynamite for Georgia at the end of last season after recovering from his torn ACL. Meanwhile, Clemson is officially in the post-Trevor Lawrence era but have 5-star DJ Uiagalelei waiting in the wings. It doesn’t seem like these games ever live up to the hype since one of them is probably overrated but it wouldn’t be a shocker at all to see both programs in the College Football Playoff at season’s end.

5:00 PM: Montana at #20 Washington (-23.5), Pac-12 Networks

Duh.

7:30 PM: Nevada at California (-3.5), FS1

You’ve got a trio of Pac-12 games to choose from after Washington is done with Montana and I think this one ultimately holds my interest the most. Cal is as always a bit of an enigma but a convincing win over the Wolfpack would be a good sign that they hope to contend in the Pac-12 North. Nevada were picked as division champs in the Mountain West behind QB Carson Strong (27 TD, 4 INT, 8.1 YPA in 2020) who is the reigning OPOY in the conference and a legitimate NFL draft prospect.

Your other options are BYU (-12) at Arizona on ESPN and Utah State at Wazzu (-16.5) on Pac-12 Networks. I’m curious to see how BYU looks after losing Zach Wilson (and gaining former Dawg Puka Nacua, miss you Puka) but the Wildcats should be the worst team in the Pac-12 again so I’m not expecting much. Meanwhile Utah State is supposed to be awful and so even with all of Washington State’s dysfunction revolving around head coach Nick Rolovich they should be able to hold on convincingly. Unless of course, they were to Coug it somehow...