2016 Week 1 College Football Preview
February 25, 2016 by Kevin Beane • Print Story •
It's time for my favorite column of the year, where I post the very earliest Week 1 Preview of College football in America. It's only possible because of the super-early college football schedule posts of Matt Sarz Sports, which is no less than the greatest site on the Internet.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the upcoming year is that, after an absence of about a decade or so, 2016 will mark the FBS return of what used to be called a "kickoff classic," which took place a week before the season proper began. So mark your calendars for August 27th, a week before everyone else begins play, when Hawaii takes on Cal in Sydney, Australia.
I've always had a soft spot for Hawaii football, and I'm excited to see if new head coach Nick Rolovich will return the Rainbows to their glory days of hyper-productive quarterbacks like Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan. It seems likely, since Rolovich himself was one of those quarterbacks and threw for 500 yards in three straight games as a Rainbow Warrior.
Hawaii apparently needs money pretty badly, because they aren't following that up with a bye week, or a home game. Nope, they will be traveling to Ann Arbor for a Week 1 showdown with Michigan, before returning home the week after. Miles from Sydney to Ann Arbor to Honolulu: 13,880.
Other notable games on the slate for opening weekend (Thursday, September 1st to Monday, September 5th):
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (Thursday) — The South Carolina tradition of kicking off the season more-or-less first continues apace.
Colorado State vs Colorado in Denver (Friday) — I am glad this is going to be a Friday game without too much competition. One of the better early-season rivalry games that's always a bellwether on whether the Buffs will suck or not.
Kansas State at Stanford (Friday) — Go early test to see if Bill Snyder can bounce back from a dreadful year.
Oklahoma at Houston — This one will be played at the Texans' stadium. Oklahoma is good about visiting the have-nots, they did the same for UTEP a few years ago.
Notre Dame at Texas — Charlie Strong tries to save his job, part 13.
Missouri at West Virginia — The Conference-Changin' Greener Pastures Bowl.
LSU vs. Wisconsin in Green Bay — If Wisconsin can't win here, no Big Ten team is ever beating an SEC team in the regular season ever ever ever again.
Arizona vs. BYU in Glendale — I'm sure Arizona has a lot of alums in the Phoenix area, but playing in, basically, your biggest rival's backyard seems kind of weird.
North Carolina vs. Georgia in Atlanta — UNC tries to prove they're more than just a basketball school. Georgia tries to prove they are still a football school.
Clemson at Auburn — These two teams seem to play about every other year, as if they feel they need another rival. A good matchup to be sure,though.
UCLA at Texas A&M — This seems like one of those games that it would be smart to bet on whomever ends up being the underdog.
Boston College vs. Georgia Tech in Dublin — Faith n' Begorrah, if there is one thing Gaels like, it's ACC action! Dublin is surely teeming with Yellow Jacket Fans!
USC vs. Alabama in Arlington — The marquee game on the slate would've been a much better matchup about five years ago.