first week of College football season It’s fast approaching, but for football fans, it just can’t come soon enough. Whereas throughout the season predictions based on teams’ performance in college football matches in the first week are so Always a little superficialThere may be more than usual this year. For one thing, everyone is fickle after the 2020 comic season Experienced 139 game cancellations or postponements. We’re eager to get back to normalcy, and that means picking out failed buttons and levers ASAP. But that’s not the only reason: This fall’s first week schedule — unfolding during the week of September 4 — really He is Succulent.
Here are seven matches from the first week that stand out as the events rolling in your football calendar.
Thursday, 7 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN: Boise State at UCF
These have been the two defining “sets” of the past decade—and in Boise’s case, longer than that. They both proved they could hack it with anyone at the Power 5 conferences, and both had to give up the national standing.
But both programs are in transition at the moment, with their coaches (Boise’s Brian Harsen and UCF’s Josh Heubel) leaving to take over the programs in Auburn and Tennessee last winter, respectively. The Broncos have hired ex-Boys player and assistant Andy Avalos, and the UCF has brought in recently dismissed Auburn coach and The king of college football possession Jose Malzan. In addition to a fun starting game, this will be an intriguing look at the coaches of the two new teams.
Saturday, 12 noon (EST) on Fox: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
There’s probably some anxiety in the air in this excellent Big Ten game. Penn State started last year 0-5 before winning its last four games to finish 4-5, and Wisconsin went tepid 4-3 while failing to claim its regular spot at the top of the Conference Western Division. (Northwestern won it instead.)
Whoever wins this game will get off to a good start in an effort to spread a recovery season. Whoever loses—especially if it’s Penn State, which still has to get through the more difficult Eastern Division after playing Wisconsin—will quickly cut the margin of error.
Saturday, 2 p.m. (EDT) on Pac-12 Networks: Fresno, Oregon
Fresno State should be full of fun to watch this season. The Bulldogs have been doing well in 2020, but they have nearly all of their key players in the fold. Quarterback and Washington transmission Jake Hanner, running runner Rooney Rivers, and receiver Jalen Cropper should all be among the top players in Mountain West.
On the other hand, Oregon should once again be a top-tier competitor in the Pac-12. This year, the Ducks may have the best returning defensive player in the country: a defensive end and the prospect of picking Kayvon Thibodeaux for number one in the NFL Draft. Oregon should win this game, but it would be helpful to see how strong both teams are and whether a junior Oregon starting QB Anthony Brown plays well.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (EST) on ABC: Miami vs. Alabama
Here’s how Bama usually handles week one: The Crimson Tide likes to play a neutral game at some NFL stadium (this year, in Atlanta) against a decent but over-the-top opponent that they instantly ruined. It will likely happen again this year.
But it probably won’t happen! There are plenty of reasons to think the tides are going to be a little worse this season than usual, and if you look right, you can imagine the super-skilled Miami QB D’Eriq King dropping a lot of touchdowns on Bama’s defense. That’s unlikely, but there’s some chance the Hurricanes will have a good fight in this game and at least make Tide fans sweat. This will also be the last of a long line of neutral site openers from Bama, as the home and on-campus home series begins with Texas in 2022.
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. (EST) on FOX: Louisiana in Texas
The Ragin’ Cajuns will be extremely vulnerable in this game. But do they have to be? They were a better team than the Texans in 2020, when they reached the Sun Belt Championship, and the Longhorns moved on to their now-standard bowling alley. Louisiana Producing more revenue than just about anyone in college football, while the Texans have a new head coach (Steve Sarkissian) and a new QB (Casey Thompson) to break into. Louisiana has one of the most athletic rosters in the Group of Five conferences, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Billy Napier’s team gave the Horns a run in Austin.
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on Fox: Georgia vs. Clemson
This will be the first game not only in the first week, but possibly the entire season. The Bulldogs and Tigers will play at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, and the winner will become the national championship favorite (at least in the eyes of many spectators).
For Clemson, it is the beginning of a new era. With QB Trevor Lawrence To Jacksonville Jaguars As the top pick in the NFL, five-star DJ Uiagalelei will rise to the top in the sport. (Uiagalelei started some games in 2020, when Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19, and the student played well.)
Georgia has a returning QB at JT Daniels, but Dawgs will have their own questions to answer. Perhaps most pressing: How will UGA’s ostensibly dominant offensive line hold up when it faces Clemson, perhaps the nation’s most feared defensive front?
Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (EST) on ABC: Notre Dame in Florida
Notre Dame will be worse than last year, when the Irish played a football playoff. Florida will be better than last year, when the Seminoles went 3-6. The question is how far one team will move and the other up.
The Irish are one of the few teams that have not held the vast majority of their key players since 2020, and their losses include three years starting with quarterback Ian Bok. They are also returning to the independence of the conference after running the 2020 schedule at the ACC.
FSU is living in a new world now that sophomore coach Mike Norville has fixed the roster with transfer pickups from other teams. Most significant in the transformation, by far, is former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, who was one of the best players in the country before a devastating knee injury in late 2018. If Milton is healthy and back to the way he was, then the Noles’ fortunes will change quickly.
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