College football games of the week: A look at the best, and worst, seasonopeners
At long last football is here. Not previously recorded football on ESPN Classic or the upper level Fox sports channels, or practice football where NFL veterans don’t want to play and rookies want to make a team, but real, live, honest-to-goodness competitive football.
The college season kicks off Thursday night and I cannot wait. It will consume my life and I embrace its return. No more Honey Boo Boo Child. No more watching people embarrass themselves in front of celebrity judges. Football is here.
I like watching it and talking about it, so let’s talk about it. Every week I’ll share “Trey’s Best Games of the Week.” The Texas Longhorns run my life, but there are 119 other Division I football teams. Since Texas is a big game every week to me, I’ll only include them if it’s a big game to anyone else. Feel free to disagree/agree/nominate your own games.
This is for entertainment purposes only. Do not use this as a betting line for a one simple reason: I am an idiot.
Thursday, Aug. 30
No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks at Vanderbilt Commodores: 6 p.m. on ESPN
The only reason this makes the cut is it’s the first one of the year. I plan on tailgating for this starting… now. Drinks have been made. Charcoal has been assembled to create the perfect pyramid of fire. Beef fajitas are out and on the way to room temperature for maximum flavor. Accompanying sides are also ready… Why are you not here yet?
As for the game, it’s going to be low scoring. This SEC season-opener is always mistake-ridden and low scoring. I’m interested in seeing the Vandy assistant coaches’ wives after their head coaches remarks and watching Steve Spurrier throw his hat during one his many tantrums due to quarterback play (remember, starter Stephen Garcia was booted for Lindsay Lohanness). Ugly, but I’ll still watch it. Cocks win this, 20-12.
Washington State Cougars at BYU Cougars: 9:15 p.m. on ESPN
Mike Leach is back on the sidelines and I'm excited. I wonder if it will be pirates in Pullman like it was in Lubbock? Surely he’s doing the same odd things up there he did at Tech: making guys study on the field in bad weather, throwing them kindergarten-esque ice cream parties because they are babies, talking about their fat little girlfriends…
I don’t see Wazzu having the horses to make this a real game, but who knows? Where in the world is Leach going to get a post-game drink in Provo? Pack your own with you, coach. BYU 38, Washington State 28.
Saturday, Sept. 1
No. 14 Clemson Tigers vs. No. 25 Auburn Tigers: 6 p.m. on ESPN
Chick-Fil-A for everyone! The Georgia Dome hosts the annual opener, this year with Auburn and Clemson. This is going to be a very interesting game: Clemson superstar Sammy Watkins is out (suspended) and Auburn has new coordinators on offense and defense. And it’s Tigers vs. Tigers? That’s crazy!
I like the O-line for Auburn, and the next time an ACC team shows up in a big game will be the first. Clemson should win, but I think War Eagle runs the ball well and takes control of the game, despite a big day from Tajh Boyd. Auburn 30, Clemson 24. I just don’t trust you, ACC. Prove me wrong.
No. 8 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide: 7 p.m. on ABC
I am openly rooting for Michigan for several reasons. First, I am done with the SEC. A mixture of too much hype, too much publicity, jealousy and bitterness from the 2010 Rose Bowl combined to form an anti-SEC attitude in me. Second, Nick Saban. Do I really need to expound on that? Third: I love this Michigan team. They have Brady
Belushi Hoke, Denard Robinson, those jerseys with the Big “M” on them. I like it all. It would be super if they could win this game…
But they won’t. Too much speed, too much talent and too much Saban for the Maize. It should be a fast field in Dallas (at Cowboys Stadium) and I think Denard Robinson will make some plays, but I think that ‘Bama defense, despite all the new faces, will also make plays. Roll Tide grinds it out, 28-17.
Worst Game of the Week
Savannah State Tigers at No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys: 6 p.m.
I hate it when Division I teams play I-AA teams. It isn’t fair. They don’t have the same number of scholarships (63 to 85 in D-I) and they don’t have the same talent or resources. In short, it’s dumb and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen, and a win over an I-AA school sure as (words) shouldn’t count towards earning a bowl berth.
The simple fact that a top 25 team is playing an I-AA team makes it the worst game of the week. (I'm not just talking about Oklahoma State. All D-I teams playing below their division should be ashamed of themselves.) However, Oklahoma State is breaking in a new quarterback and Coach Mike Gundy will want the world to see the reigning Big 12 champs have not fallen off much. This is going to be ugly and it will happen quickly. Hope the check was worth it, Tigers.
That’s it for this week. Let me know what you think. I'll see you next week.