We got just the slightest hint of an appetizer last Saturday and we get another warm-up tonight and tomorrow night before the true main course this weekend. The Pac-12 makes its season debut on Thursday night and continues with another one on Friday night. If you’re looking for a place to talk about any of the action for some weeknight football then this is your spot.
SUGGESTED VIEWING GUIDE- Thursday (all times PT)
4:00 PM: West Virginia at Pittsburgh, ESPN
DraftKings Betting Line: Pittsburgh -7
The Backyard Brawl is back and kicks of Week 1 in what should be a good test. Pitt has to replace Kenny Pickett who ended up as a 1st round draft pick and also obviously lost WR Jordan Addison to USC. Meanwhile West Virginia will have former USC (and former Georgia) QB JT Daniels under center for them looking to get Mountaineers football competitive in the Big 12.
5:00 PM: Penn State at Purdue, FOX
DraftKings Betting Line: Penn State -3
The B1G loves to put a sprinkling of conference games on week 1 and this is certainly one of them. The Boilermakers lost star WR David Bell to the draft and WR coach Jamarcus Shephard to the Huskies but always seem to pull off at least one big home upset each year. The Nittany Lions have fallen off recently under James Franklin and will hope to get back to regular New Year’s 6 bowl territory.
7:00 PM: Northern Arizona at Arizona State, Pac-12 Networks
What a start to Pac-12 football in 2022. The Sun Devils are a program in disarray after half their coaching staff were let go amidst NCAA violations and the only person who wants head coach Herm Edwards around is their AD (and his former agent). Arizona State swapped out starting QBs with the SEC as Emory Jones from Florida will start after Jayden Daniels went to LSU. Daniels was one of over a dozen contributors to transfer out and deplete this roster. Last year Arizona lost to Northern Arizona. Wouldn’t it be something if this year it was ASU?
SUGGESTED VIEWING GUIDE- Friday (all times PT)
4:00 PM: Western Michigan at Michigan State, ESPN2
DraftKings Betting Line: Michigan State -20.5
If you’re interested in scouting in advance for Washington’s big non-conference matchup against the Spartans then this is a great opportunity on a Friday evening. It’s also Michigan State hosting a MAC team so there’s a pretty close 1 to 1 comparison for how the Huskies fare on Saturday versus how this game goes.
5:00 PM: Illinois at Indiana, FS1
DraftKings Betting Line: Indiana -3.5
Oh hey, look. More B1G conference games in week 1. This one adds a little intrigue to see how the Hoosier offense looks now that Michael Penix Jr. is going to be the starting QB for the Huskies. Although Indiana also swapped out their offensive coordinator and Penix didn’t end the year starting for them at QB due to injury so that’s not really going to be a fair comparison. But if you’re looking for relevant intrigue, that’s all I’ve got.
7:00 PM: TCU at Colorado, ESPN
DraftKings Betting Line: TCU -10.5
Now we get to the first FBS matchup for the Pac-12 on the season and it’s also the first power conference matchup. Sonny Dykes returns to facing against the Pac-12 after spending a few years at SMU but now travels to Boulder. The Buffs experienced a lot of losses to the transfer portal this offseason and so it may be a rough opening for them to start things out against the Horned Frogs. If TCU wins expect fans on twitter to claim it’s an obvious sign that the Big 12 is better and are now guaranteed to raid the dying husk of the Pac-12.