We’ve been spoiled the last couple seasons by blockbuster games spread out through Labor Day weekend. While this year’s week one offers some highlights, it’s kind of back to the days where it was mostly powerhouse vs. cupcake match-ups that you would watch just for the novelty of having college football on the tube.
A couple reminders since it’s been a while since we’ve done this. I typically avoid Big Ten games since they are already covered in the weekly Big Ten preview. I also try to avoid games with the same kickoff time as Penn State, because, well, you should be watching the Nittany Lions. If the game is an absolute can’t-miss, I’ll still include it for those who are able to watch multiple games at once.
Anyways, enjoy week one!
Boise State vs. Florida State
Noon, ESPNNEWS (This game was moved from it’s original 7 p.m. kickoff time. Keep an eye on this tracker for the latest.)
About a decade ago, this would have been a showdown between two premiere BCS candidates. Florida State has fallen off recently, losing 13 games during the past two seasons. This will be a crucial game for Willie Taggert, as he attempts to stay off the hot seat with a strong start to the season. If they get past the Broncos, there’s a good chance they head into the showdown with #1 Clemson on Oct. 12 at 5-0. The Broncos are coming off yet another 10-win season, that may have been an 11-win campaign had the First Responder Bowl not been canceled because of inclement weather which now seems to be following the Broncos.
Prediction: Boise St.- 17, Florida State- 10
(#11)Oregon vs. (#16)Auburn
7:30 p.m. ABC
This is the shiny gem of week one, so make sure to clear your plans for Saturday night. This contest may be a playoff elimination for the Ducks, as a one-loss PAC 12 team may find itself on the outside looking in. Auburn could technically afford a loss here, but that would leave almost a zero margin of error the rest of the way, which includes games against Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Alabama...and then the SEC Championship Game where they would likely face off with Georgia for a second time. Even the most avid Auburn fan would have a difficult time seeing that scenario play out, unless they can somehow sign up a 20 year-old Bo Jackson.
Prediction: Auburn-30, Oregon-27
Fresno State at USC
10:30 p.m., ESPN
This game gets added to the list for two reasons- it’s the last game of the day and you know you’ll still be craving college football late into the night after waiting for this day since January. Also, the Clay Helton hot seat storyline will rage on with each loss- and there could be several early in the year as the Trojans face Fresno State, Stanford, BYU, Utah, Washington and Notre Dame in the first six weeks of the season. A Fresno State win here could result in Urban Meyer buying some real estate in Los Angeles in preparation for his next gig.
Prediction: Fresno State-31, USC-28
Houston at (#4)Oklahoma
7:30 p.m. ABC (Sunday)
Unfortunately, the week one Sunday night and Labor Day games are subpar this year. While this could turn into a blowout, it’s worth watching to see how former Alabama quarterback and SEC Offensive Player of the Year Jalen Hurts does under center in Oklahoma. He’ll have big shoes to fill after taking over for Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, who have each won the Heisman and gone on to be the #1 overall pick the last two seasons. Houston ended the season with a 70-14 loss to Army, but was able to lure Dana Holgersen from West Virginia.
Prediction: Oklahoma-42, Houston-28