College Football Week 1 Preview

I've waxed poetic here before about this unnamed but utterly comprehensive college football TV listings site, but now, the admin there has really outdone himself. He has next year's schedule, including some preliminary TV pairings, out already. And by "already" I mean, "for a few months now, barely after last season ended."

The last two years, he's had the schedule up fairly early, but not like this. Two years ago, like a James Joyce character with a guilty conscience, I forced myself not to look at the week one schedule until the season was just two weeks away. Last year, and this year, I am looking as soon as info is available. But only at week one.

I love the non-conference part of the schedule, and the unusual matchups they bring. That's why I won't look ahead to week two until after week one commences, so I have new surprises each week. That's not the case so much in the heart of the season, when you know the conference teams will have each other to push around.

Let's see what's shaking for week one.

Vanderbilt @ Miami (OH), ESPNU, Thursday, August 28th, 7:30

Notable at the moment because, with it's a 7:30 kickoff, it's the first D 1-A of the college football season. But that could change as most of the Thursday night games do not have kickoff times or TV slots yet.

Two years ago, also on ESPNU, it was the same Miami team against Northwestern to start us off. I think ESPN Networks looks to schedule an ostensible "upset" for the first game, pitting a strong mid-major against a weak BCS team, so they can be set up to hype, "The upsets are happening already, in just the first game of the season!"

NC State @ South Carolina, ESPN, Thursday, August 28th, 8:00

This is the first BCS clash of the year. South Carolina hosted Mississippi State for the first BCS game two years ago, as well, and last year it was Mississippi State vs. LSU. It beats Oregon State at Stanford by an hour.

Delaware @ Maryland, Saturday, August 30th, TBA

After living all my life in Ohio, I moved to Delaware about six years ago now. This might be the very first football game in my adopted home that I find inherently interesting, like a lifelong local might. I wouldn't have noticed this matchup back in Ohio.

In Northern Delaware, the natives are Philly fans. So for D-1 action, they're Temple fans, right? Ha, of course not. They're Penn State fans.

This sort of bugs me, because even tossing Temple out of the equation, if you need a big State school to pull for, Maryland's closer. Rutgers is second. Penn State is about as far from here as the University of Virginia. It goes to show you the power of television: they get Philly TV stations here, and Philly is a Penn State town when it comes to college football.

Yet, when it comes to D-1AA (Note to new readers. I will never refer to these ridiculous anti-playoff propaganda titles of "FBS" or "FCS.") The University of Delaware is both very successful (I-AA champs five years ago, runners-up last year), and well-supported. The talent gap between Delaware and Maryland is thinner than the gap between Appalachian State and Michigan was last year. Expect the unexpected.

Towson @ Navy, Saturday, August 30th, 3:30

Another game local-ish to me is, as it stands now, the first college football game on CSTV's new branding: CBS College Sports. I also note that presently no games are scheduled for the first Saturday until 2 PM, which means that a ton of kickoff times and TV arrangements are yet to be finalized. When they are, expect a near-full slate of noon games.

Other Saturday Games of Note on TV

Michigan State @ Cal, ABC, 8 PM
Alabama @ Clemson, ABC/ESPN, TBA
Virginia Tech @ East Carolina, ESPN/ESPN2, TBA
Mississippi State @ Louisiana Tech, ESPN/ESPN2, TBA

I bring up that last one because I think there is no way in hell a snoozer like that will be on ESPN or ESPN2 on a Saturday when it's all said and done. Too many good options still await remain off the TV schedule thus far:

Utah @ Michigan
Illinois vs. Missouri at St. Louis
[email protected] Oregon
Oklahoma State vs. Washington State at Seattle
Hawaii @ Florida

And my personal favorite...

USC @ Virginia

Sunday and Monday also bring games as they usually do in week one. Kentucky/Louisville on Sunday, Fresno State/Rutgers on Monday. There's also another rivalry game for Sunday, Colorado/Colorado State at Denver. The weekend usually ends Monday night on ABC with Florida State, typically against Miami (FLA), but last year against Clemson. This year, it's off in a completely different direction: Tennessee @ UCLA.

Comments and Conversation

May 12, 2008

ASU Alum:

Hey Kevin, you forgot one bro! The Battle of the National Champions D-I and D-II, Appalachian State against LSU in Baton Rouge Game 1 Week 1. This one should also be worth noting.

June 12, 2008

Sirk:

My tips for those matchups:
Clemson/Alabama - Alabama got good team this year with top recruits class but I bet that Clemson will win this game because of their experience. Score - Clemson 34, Alabama 20

Missouri/Illinois - Everyone think it will be hard to predict but I believe Juice will worn out in second half and it is safe bet on Missouri. Score - Missouri 41, Illinois 24

Tennessee/UCLA - it will be interesting matchup as having hard time to decide but I am going to pick on Tennessee. Score - Tennessee 27, UCLA 21

Kentucky/Louisville - Both teams will heading to 2008 with a lot of losing keys players but trust me, kentucky will win because of their solid defense with 6-7 returning starters on defense. Score - Kentucky 20, Louisville 16

Fresno State/Rutgers - Rutgers will be first team to drop out at top 25 and Fresno State will have another good year. Score - Fresno 31, Rutgers 7

Stanford/Oregon State - I smell that Stanford will upset this game and may have .500 record this year. Score - Stanford 23, Oregon State 20

LSU/Appalachian State - Trust me, if anyone pick ASU over LSU then they are insane! Score - LSU 44, ASU 13

Vandy/Miami (Ohio) - Duh, Vandy is a SEC team and should pull a win! Score - Vandy 38, Miami 16

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