Last weekend was like the appetizer for college football.
Actually, no. Last weekend was like the side salad you get from your local pizza place. You know. The one that comes in a small aluminum container with a clear plastic lid and contains literally just lettuce, a couple pieces of white onion, a single slice of tomato, and a disproportionate amount of dressing.
Yeah, last week was very disappointing.
Worry not, though, fellow football fan. This weekend promises to be much better.
Chalk it up to the complete lack of football or recent fantasy football drafts (maybe both), but I actually find myself excited for the NFL season this year. That’s new. As I’ve said before, though: football is football and I’ll take it in any flavor. Besides, the opener features the NFL’s highest-paid man, Patrick Mahomes; the single player that Jordan Love can thank for being a 1st round draft pick this year.
On the college front, Miami hosts UAB Thursday night. Will Manny Diaz actually look like he knows what he’s doing in Year 2? He has an exciting and dynamic QB in D’Eriq King, so maybe the offense won’t be complete garbage - although they do have to replace RB Deejay Dallas (don’t forget to tip your waitress!).
App is on their 3rd coach in three seasons and will be facing off with a Charlotte squad that is coming off their first ever bowl appearance. Plus that game was an entertaining 56-41 affair last year, so maybe it’ll be fun again.
Former NC State player Nick McCloud gets the start for the Irish as they host (and likely destroy) Duke. Clemson transfer Chase Brice will start at QB for Duke.
Georgia Tech at Florida State will be interesting. Year 2 of the Geoff Collins weirdness in Atlanta versus Year 1 of the Mike Norvell era of FSU football. Not that the first game - or year - of anyone’s tenure at a school will tell the future (heck, Nick Saban lost a home game to Louisiana-Monroe in his first season at Alabama), but If Norvell is worth the hype, FSU should crush the Jackets.
ESPN’s College Gameday will be in Winston-Salem for the Clemson-Wake game. At least Wake can blame social-distancing guidelines on the weak turnout.
There’s no team that SP+ and Sagarin differ on more than Western Kentucky, who Louisville gets to host. SP+ says it’s a 7-point game. Sagarin has Louisville by 22.
For those insomniacs among us, Coastal Carolina gets to see if they can make it two-in-a-row over Kansas after knocking off the Jayhawks last year. And if you wanted to see Jeffrey Gunter in action (because he never actually suited up for NC State), he’ll be suited up for the Chants in that one.
Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name. (Note: The SP+ rankings were not updated after last week)
66/91 UAB @ 23/44 Miami - 8:00pm - ACCN
NFL Texans @ Chiefs - 8:20pm - NBC
87/73 Syracuse @ 18/45 North Carolina - 12:00pm - ACCN
47/79 Louisiana-Lafayette @ 29/20 Iowa State - 12:00pm - ESPN
98/146 Charlotte @ 39/42 Appalachian State - 12:00pm - ESPN2
FCS/202 Eastern Kentucky @ 69/40 West Virginia - 12:00pm - FS1
91/103 Arkansas State @ 56/31 Kansas State - 12:00pm - FOX
120/140 Louisiana-Monroe @ 99/56 Army - 1:30pm - CBSSN
71/60 Duke @ 9/13 Notre Dame - 2:30pm - NBC
54/74 Georgia Tech @ 27/35 Florida State - 3:30pm - ABC
123/142 UTSA @ 124/148 Texas State - 3:30pm - ESPN2
FCS/227 Campbell @ 84/83 Georgia Southern - 3:30pm - ESPNU
FCS/179 Austin Peay @ 40/58 Pittsburgh - 4:00pm - ACCN
3/3 Clemson @ 88/51 Wake Forest - 7:30pm - ABC
63/67 Tulane @ 119/101 South Alabama - 7:30pm - ESPN2
57/110 Western Kentucky @ 41/32 Louisville - 8:00pm - ACCN
109/130 Coastal Carolina @ 115/90 Kansas - 10:00pm - FS1
NFL All Day, baby
NFL Steelers @ Giants - 7:15pm - ESPN
NFL Titans @ Broncos - 10:10pm - ESPN