That's right - one week from now college football will be here! It just so happens that there is a loaded first night of action on Thursday, September 3rd. Nine games involving an FBS team will be going on that night. The most interesting game should be a battle of teams hated here in Oklahoma as #16 Oregon travels to face #14 Boise State in a battle of ranked teams (all rankings included in this article will be AP rankings). That game kicks off at 9:15pm here in Oklahoma, and will be aired on ESPN. It promises to be a very interesting game! I think Oregon could challenge for the Pac-10 and this will be a big test.
Additionally, Steve Spurrier will lead South Carolina to face North Carolina State on the road. That game starts at 7pm Eastern, and will also be aired on ESPN. The only other "nationally televised game" that night will be on ESPNU, if you get it, and it will be North Texas at Ball State. I know, I know, try to contain your excitement. Finally, another ranked team will be in action on Thursday night, as #19 Utah hosts in-state rival Utah State.
On Friday Night (Sept. 4), Tulsa travels to face Tulane at 8pm Eastern on ESPN, which may be of interest to some people in Oklahoma. For the notable Saturday games and my top-5 games to watch in the first week, follow the link below!
Saturday will probably feel overwhelming, as a whole bunch of college football will just be dropped in your lap. So here are the nationally broadcast games by time slot (s.r.c. indicates split regional coverage):
- 11:00am Central time slot: Navy at #6 Ohio State (ESPN), Minnesota at Syracuse (ESPN2), Kentucky at Miami OH (ESPNU).
- 2:30pm Central time slot: #13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State (ABC, s.r.c.), Western Michigan at Michigan (ABC, s.r.c.), Jackson State at Mississippi State (ESPNU), Missouri vs. Illinois in St. Louis (ESPN).
- 6:00pm Central time slot: #20 BYU vs. #3 Oklahoma in Arlington (ESPN), Louisiana Tech at Auburn (ESPNU).
- 7:00pm Central time slot: #5 Alabama at #7 Virginia Tech (ABC).
- 9:00pm Central time slot: Maryland at #12 California (ESPN2), #11 LSU at Washington (ESPN).
- #20 Brigham Young vs. #3 Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner!
- #13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State. Alright Cowboys, you want to prove you're for real this year? You get a very talented SEC squad at your house. It better be packed at T. Boone Stadium because this is a very big game. Of course OSU is the "sexy" pick this year, but Georgia isn't going to just roll over. I wonder if Ugga is going to make it to Stillwater? 2:30pm Central, ABC, Saturday
- #5 Alabama at #7 Virginia Tech. If we weren't in the Big 12, this would be more interesting than GA vs. OSU. Nothing like seeing two top-10 teams duke it out under the lights in Blacksburg. Nick Saban and the Tide are going to have a chip on their shoulder after getting embarrassed by the Utes in the Sugar Bowl. They'll have to try out a new quarterback, though, in a hostile environment and against the always tough Virginia Tech defense. Of course, given the timing of the OU game, this will have to be one that you flip to during commercials. 7pm Central, ABC, Saturday
- Miami at #19 Florida State. Seems odd, but here's why it made my list: the simple question - how tough is Miami going to be this year? They get tested right out of the gate, travelling to Tallahassee and facing an FSU squad that finally made the preseason top-25. I'm sure everyone will be rooting for Miami for "strength of schedule" and because of the whole Balogun predicament. Can Miami pull off the upset? 7pm Central, ESPN, on the Monday following the OU-BYU game
- #16 Oregon at #14 Boise State. I'm not going to lie, I have a tough time liking either one of these teams. However, it sure will be interesting to see what comes of this game. One team will really get a boost from this game, while the other will suffer a minor setback. It will also be interesting to see possibly the ugliest uniforms (Oregon) meet the ugliest field (Boise State). Hopefully it's not too hard on the eyes in HD. 9:15pm Central, ESPN, Thursday