College Football Viewing Guide: Week 1

College football season is back and with a full slate of Week 1 games. Many of the top ranked teams open the season against cupcake schools, but there are still a few great tussles to watch this weekend. Happy football.

Thursday Games

North Carolina vs. #6 South Carolina, 6pm (ESPN, WatchESPN)

It’s easy to see this as a cakewalk for the Gamecocks, but don’t sleep on UNC, who are favored by many to win the ACC Coastal. The key in this game (besides Jadaveon Clowney) will be the UNC defense and whether they can slow down South Carolina on offense. If they can hold them under 28, this could be a close one.

#24 USC vs. Hawaii, 11pm (CBS Sports Network)

The Trojans are entering the season 24th and all-but forgotten on the national stage. It’s a late start and they shouldn’t have much trouble with Hawaii, but WR Marqise Lee is always fun to watch. I’m also anxious to see more of QB Max Wittek as he take the reigns of the USC offense this season.

Saturday Games

Buffalo vs. #2 Ohio State, 12pm (ESPN2, WatchESPN)

Bowl eligible and still dangerous. We’ll get our first glimpse of Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes and star QB Braxton Miller.

Rice vs. #7 Texas A&M, 1pm (ESPN, WatchESPN)

The talk will, as always, be about Johnny Manziel and his first half suspension, but redshirt sophomore Mike Evans and senior Jake Matthews are excellent pro prospects and will play the entire game. Still worth watching.

Mississippi State vs. #13 Oklahoma State, 3:30pm (ABC/ESPN2, WatchESPN)

Oklahoma State’s coming off a 8-5 season, making their #13 ranking look even more suspect. We could have an upset on our hands.

#1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, 5:30pm (ESPN, WatchESPN)*

The Hokies starting the season unranked is a strange sight, but their tradition of tough opening games continues. And it doesn’t get much tougher than the two-time national champs. Here’s your chance to watch a modern dynasty at work.

#5 Georgia vs. #8 Clemson, 8pm (ABC)

Easily the must-see game of the week.  Both teams are led by great QB’s (Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray), but sport explosive players all-around. The Tigers shocked the SEC by beating LSU last season, but this will be a much tougher test for them.

#12 LSU vs. #20 TCU, 9pm (ESPN, WatchESPN)*

LSU’s not seen as a huge threat to the SEC this season and TCU is still sporting a strong team. Another great primetime tussle.

#19 Boise State vs. Washington, 10pm (Fox Sports 1)

A rematch of last year’s entertaining Las Vegas Bowl. We can expect another fast-paced game.

Sunday Games

Ohio vs. #9 Louisville, 3:30pm (ESPN, WatchESPN)

After beating Florida last January, the Cardinals start the season in the top 10. Their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is now a household name and playing towards a pro future,

Monday Games

#11 Florida State vs. Pittsburgh, 8pm (ESPN, WatchESPN)

E.J. Manuel’s gone, but new FSU QB Jameis Winston is expected to pick right up where last year’s Orange Bowl winning team left off. Tough opener away against the Panthers though.

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