The very first week of the college football season is swiftly coming close to, however, for football followers, it can’t come quickly sufficient. While season-long forecasts based upon groups’ efficiency in Week 1 university football video games are always a little sketchy, there might be even more of that than common this year. For one point, every person’s nervous after a farcical 2020 period that saw 139 game cancellations or postponements. We’re excited for a go back to normality, which indicates choosing studs as well as losers as swiftly as feasible. But that’s not the only factor: This autumn’s Week 1 timetable—unraveling throughout the week of September 4—truly is juicy.
Here are 7 Week 1 video games that stick out as occasions to circle on your football schedule.
Thursday, 7 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN: Boise State at UCF
These have actually been both specifying “non-power” programs of the last years—as well as in Boise’s situation, longer than that. Both have actually confirmed they can hack it with anyone in the Power 5 seminars, as well as both have actually needed to ditch for nationwide condition.
But both programs remain in shift now, as their head instructors (Boise’s Bryan Harsin as well as UCF’s Josh Heupel) entrusted to take control of the programs at Auburn as well as Tennessee last winter season, specifically. The Broncos worked with previous Boise gamer as well as aide Andy Avalos, as well as UCF caused lately discharged Auburn head trainer as well as king of college football buyouts Gus Malzahn. In enhancement to an enjoyable first video game, this will certainly be a curiosity-quenching consider the groups’ 2 brand-new head instructors.
Saturday, 12 p.m. (EDT) on FOX: Penn State at Wisconsin
There’s most likely to be some stress and anxiety airborne at this premier Big Ten video game. Penn State began in 2014 0–5 prior to winning its last 4 video games to end up 4–5, as well as Wisconsin went a lukewarm 4–3 while stopping working to declare its common area atop the seminar’s West department. (Northwestern won it rather.)
Whoever wins this will certainly be off to a great beginning in an initiative to publish a rebound period. Whoever sheds—particularly if it’s Penn State, which will certainly still need to make it through the harder East department after playing Wisconsin—will swiftly reduce right into their margin for mistake.
Saturday, 2 p.m. (EDT) on Pac-12 Networks: Fresno State at Oregon
Fresno State ought to be lots of enjoyable to see this period. The Bulldogs were simply mediocre in 2020, however they have mostly all of their principals back in the layer. Quarterback as well as Washington transfer Jake Haener, running back Ronnie Rivers, as well as receiver Jalen Cropper ought to all be amongst the most effective gamers in the Mountain West.
On the various other hand, Oregon ought to once more be a top-tier competitor in the Pac-12. This year, the Ducks have perhaps the most effective returning protective gamer in the nation: protective end as well as possibility No. 1 general NFL draft choice Kayvon Thibodeaux. Oregon ought to win this video game, however it will certainly be instructional to see exactly how solid both groups look as well as if recently produced Oregon beginning QB Anthony Brown plays well.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on ABC: Miami vs. Alabama
Here’s exactly how Bama typically deals with Week 1: The Crimson Tide like to play a neutral-site video game in some NFL arena (this year, it’s in Atlanta) versus a suitable however overmatched challenger whom they without delay damage. That will most likely occur once more this year.
But perhaps it won’t! There are various factors to believe the Tide will certainly be a little even worse off this period than typical, as well as if you scrunch up your eyes right, you might think of ultra-skilled Miami QB D’Eriq King going down a great deal of goals on the Bama protection. It’s not most likely, however there’s some possibility the Hurricanes set up a great battle in this video game as well as at the very least make Tide followers sweat. This will certainly likewise be the last of Bama’s lengthy collection of neutral-site openers, as they begin a home-and-home, on-campus collection with Texas in 2022.
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on Fox: Louisiana at Texas
The Ragin’ Cajuns will certainly be hefty underdogs in this video game. But should they be? They were a much better group than Texas in 2020, when they made the Sun Belt Championship as well as the Longhorns sputtered to their now-typical sub-par championship game look. And Louisiana has more returning production than almost anyone in college football, while Texas has both a brand-new head trainer (Steve Sarkisian) as well as a brand-new QB (Casey Thompson) to barge in. Louisiana has among one of the most sports lineups in the Group of 5 seminars, as well as it would certainly not be shocking if Billy Napier’s group offered the Horns a run in Austin.
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on Fox: Georgia vs. Clemson
This will certainly be the premier video game of not simply Week 1, however perhaps the whole period. The Bulldogs as well as Tigers will certainly dip into Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, as well as the champion will certainly come to be an immediate championship game fave (at the very least in the eyes of numerous observers).
For Clemson, it’s the beginning of a brand-new age. With QB Trevor Lawrence off to the Jacksonville Jaguars as the NFL’s leading draft choice, first-class second-year guy D.J. Uiagalelei will certainly enter the sporting activity’s essential placement. (Uiagalelei began a couple of video games in 2020, when Lawrence evaluated favorable for COVID-19, as well as the understudy played well.)
Georgia has a returning QB in JT Daniels, however the Dawgs will certainly have their very own inquiries to respond to. Maybe one of the most important: How will UGA’s seemingly leading offending line stand up when it deals with Clemson, probably the nation’s most terrifying protective front?
Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on ABC: Notre Dame at Florida State
Notre Dame will certainly be even worse than in 2014, when the Irish made the College Football Playoff. Florida State will certainly be much better than in 2014, when the Seminoles went 3–6. The concern is exactly how much one group will certainly relocate down as well as the various other up.
The Irish are just one of minority groups that haven’t preserved the large bulk of their principals from 2020, as well as their losses consist of three-year beginning quarterback Ian Book. They’re likewise returning to seminar freedom after playing 2020’s timetable in the ACC.
FSU is staying in a brand-new globe since second-year trainer Mike Norvell upgraded the lineup with transfer pick-ups from various other groups. The most important to a turn-around, without a doubt, is previous UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, that was just one of the most effective gamers in the nation prior to a terrible knee injury late in 2018. If Milton is healthy and balanced as well as back to his old self, the Noles’ lot of money will certainly alter quickly.
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