Thursday Aug 29th is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the real beginning of the football season.
Here is your guide on what to watch for and why to watch each game — listed from the best game to the worst game.
UTAH @ BYU
Wow. I can’t believe we are getting “The Holy War” for week 1 college football, let alone opening night. This is one of the best rivalries in all of college football.
BYU blew a 20 point lead at Utah last year and looks to grab revenge on the Utes. Utah is coming into the season as a realistic playoff contender. This is the best week one college football game of them all. Must watch TV.
UCLA @ CINCINNATI
The Bruins travel cross country with revenge on their mind after the Bearcats ruined Chip Kelly’s season opener last year in Pasadena.
Now Kelly has the QB he wants in Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Cincinnati is coming off a double digit win season and welcome back their star QB in Desmond Ridder. Chip wants to get some momentum going in Westwood. While Cincinnati has Ohio State on deck.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL @ TULANE
Two teams that have won me a good amount of money the past year or two in college football do battle in the second game in a head to head series. The first one was FIU won by 13 but that was a couple seasons ago before Green Wave head coach Willie Fritz really made his move at Tulane.
FIU welcomes back star QB James Morgan and most the team returns. Tulane ended the year red hot last year and welcome back a decent amount. This should be a close one and quite the mid major game.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE @ MINNESOTA
Row the boat. Row the boat baby.
PJ Fleck exceeded my expectations last year and now he’s getting some love as a preseason dark horse to potentially take the Big Ten West. If Fleck wanted an easy opening game he sure isn’t getting it. South Dakota State was a FCS Playoff team and has been 21-6 the past two seasons and won at Kansas a few years back.
Don’t sleep on the Jackrabbits or you could certainly pay.
GEORGIA TECH @ CLEMSON
The ACC Network kicks off with a boom with Georgia Tech at Clemson. This game isn’t much a rivalry and this one really shouldn’t of been the kicker for the network, but oh well.
Clemson is loaded and appears to be ready for another national championship run. Georgia Tech is throwing away the triple option days of Paul Johnson. The Yellowjackets hired former Temple coach Geoff Collins who’s bringing in a new style of offense and defense that I’m sure will take some time to really get a hold of. This one could be ugly.
WAGNER @ UCONN
The Huskies are back in the Big East for basketball but their football team is about to have no home. Randy Edsall is on the hot seat but his buyout is quite large. Can Edsall find a way to get this team to show some signs of life?
This is a must win for the Huskies because they might not win again.
ALBANY @ CENTRAL MICHIGAN
The Great Danes of Albany wasn’t very good last year just grabbing three wins but Central Michigan of the MAC only won one game. CMU went out and hired former Florida head coach Jim McElwain.
CMU has a talented RB in Jonathan Ward who should have a heavy dosage of carries this game.
KENT STATE @ ARIZONA STATE
For the first time ever at Arizona State a true freshman will start the game at quarterback as heavy recruit Jayden Daniels begins his Sun Devils career. Herm Edwards surprised many last year, including myself, but now there’s no Manny Wilkins or N’Keal Harry. ASU RB Eno Benjamin is a sleeper Heisman candidate that should have a great night against the Zips.
Kent State is coming off a 2-10 season but there were some signs of life in year one of Sean Lewis’s helm. The offense was greatly improved last year and they should be even better this year.
NORTHERN COLORADO @ SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State was just 1-11 last year and they lost to FCS opponent UC Davis to start the season. Sure, UC Davis surprised on the FCS level with a nice playoff run but San Jose State must take every game seriously. Northern Colorado wasn’t very good last year but they still could give the Spartans a game.
TEXAS STATE @ TEXAS A&M
This one shouldn’t be much of a game but if you want to check in and see how Jimbo’s 2nd year is looking then perhaps there’s reasoning. I’m a little bit interested in watching Texas State’s offense against the Aggies. Texas State is not only breaking in new head coach Jake Spavital who was West Virginia’s OC most recently. Spavital went out and hired former Montana head coach and offensive guru Bob Stit. Stit also brings a Montana transfer QB with him in Gresch Jensen who will split time with Tyler Vitt.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS @ WESTERN KENTUCKY
Central Arkansas has been a decent FCS team for some time now. Don’t sleep on the Bears or you could get bit. Western Kentucky lost to FCS playoff team Maine in what was a awful year for the Hilltoppers. They fired their coach and now welcome in Tyson Helton who should instantly make this team better.
Helton the brother of USC’s head coach Clay needs to get off to a nice start to put away the Bears because they are not a team you want to be in a close game with come the fourth quarter.
GARDNER WEBB @ CHARLOTTE
Game one under new Charlotte 49er head coach Will Nealy. Nealy worked one of the greatest college football miracles at FCS Austin Peay and now he’s coming to the FBS.
MORGAN STATE @ BOWLING GREEN
Bowling Green was horrible last season but they sure made me money. This year they could be just as bad as they bring in new head coach Scot Loeffler. Loeffler was a questionable hire that will certainly need to grab this win. Morgan State was just 4-7 on the FCS level so this one shouldn’t be too close but stranger things have happened.
ROBERT MORRIS @ BUFFALO
Robert Morris was just 2-9 on the FCS level last year. Buffalo is coming off a 10 win season under Lance Leipold who i think is one of the best coaches in America. Leipold losses a ton of skill position talent but they should still roll easily against Robert Morris.
ALABAMA STATE @ UAB
Bill Clark could be the nations next big time coaching hire. The job Clark is doing at UAB is one for the ages. UAB’s defense was amazing last year and although they lost some nice pieces I’d expect the Blazers to remain the force they are. Alabama State is a terrible FCS and with that I say this game is blowout city. UAB RB Spencer Brown should have a big night against the ASU defense.
FLORIDA A&M @ CENTRAL FLORIDA
This game won’t be much of a game. It will most likely be over by halftime. Still, I just want to see how Notre Dame grad transfer Brandon Wimbush settles in QB. UCF has been depleted with bad injuries at the QB position and I’m curious how Wimbush will do. Florida A&M was 6-5 last year and perhaps a bit better than their record indicates.