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Week 0 (1?) Football: What to Watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

Aer Lingus College Football Classic - Boston College Eagles v Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Football’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!

Fourteen D1 games featuring 18 FBS teams will take place on Saturday, but just three of those teams are ranked in the Top 50 of the SP+ and/or Sagarin rankings. When the bloated and perennially overvalued UNC is the “best” team playing in a given week, then you know that’s a weak lineup.

But, hey, who are we to complain? College football is college football and we’re all starving for a taste at this point, even if it features those pale blue hoses from down the road... and, no, Presbyterian ain’t playing.

The big ticket game, if you can call one of these that, is the Nebraska vs Northwestern game that’s being played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The stadium is typically home to the Ireland national teams of rugby and the other football. Apologies to the Irish that the best we could send them is a pair of Big Ten teams that went a combined 6-18 last year. That’ll sell tickets!

Kudos to CBS Sports Network for basically broadcasting nothing but college football all day, even if the first two games are likely to be horrendous blowouts.

If you’re interested in some betting lines as it relates to spreads versus analytical projections:

  • Nebraska is currently a 13.5-point favorite against Northwestern, and while that hugs the SP+ projection, Sagarin only likes the Huskers by a little over 5.0.
  • The spread on the Nevada @ NMSU game is Nevada -9.0, although SP+ likes the Wolf Pack by 11.0 and Sagarin likes them by almost 17.0.
  • Vanderbilt is currently favored over Hawaii at -8.0, but SP+ only likes the Commodores by just under 5.0 and Sagarin likes the Warriors by a hair under 3.0.

Other interesting notes:

  • NC State transfer QB Aaron McLaughlin is in the competition to be Jacksonville State’s starting QB. New JSU coach Rich Rodriguez (yes, that RichRod) won’t name the starter to the public before the game kicks off.
  • Former Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito will be starting for Illinois.
  • Former Miami QB N’Kosi Perry will be starting for Florida Atlantic (it’s his second season there).
  • Former UNC QB Jace Ruder will be the backup for North Texas.

Go Rattlers!

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.


FCS/173 Austin Peay @ 66/101 Western Kentucky - 12:00pm - CBSSN

44/50 Nebraska vs 89/72 Northwestern - 12:30pm - FOX

FCS/200 Idaho State @ 117/114 UNLV - 3:30pm - CBSSN

FCS/150 Stephen F. Austin @ FCS/155 Jacksonville State - 3:30pm - ESPN

128/160 Connecticut @ 77/75 Utah State - 4:00pm - FS1

111/98 Wyoming @ 79/86 Illinois - 4:00pm - BTN

FCS/215 Duquesne @ 42/49 Florida State - 5:00pm - ACCN

113/142 Charlotte @ 99/108 Florida Atlantic - 7:00pm - CBSSN

FCS/253 Morehead State @ FCS/163 Mercer - 7:00pm - ESPN+

FCS/248 Howard @ FCS/234 Alabama State - 7:00pm - ESPN

FCS/208 Florida A&M @ 38/43 North Carolina - 8:15pm - ACCN

88/118 North Texas @ 102/136 UTEP - 9:00pm - STADIUM

116/87 Nevada @ 131/168 New Mexico State - 10:00pm - ESPN2

108/116 Vanderbilt @ 123/113 Hawaii - 10:30pm - CBSSN