Heading into Labor Day weekend there is always a lot to be excited about, cook outs, the pool, a three day weekend and of course college football. If you aren’t going out of town, or maybe you partied too hard Friday night and can’t get off the couch, or maybe you are just a die-hard NCAA football fan, here is a guide to maximize your television watching so you can catch all the best games.
Five games kick off at noon: Kent St. at Alabama (WAXN 64), Akron at Ohio St. (ESPN), Utah St. at Auburn (ESPN2), Northwestern at Boston College (ESPNU), and Miami (Ohio) at Missouri (Fox Sports South). Most of these games are going to be blow outs however a lot of schools with big followings are playing so if you are an Alabama, Auburn, or Ohio St. fan by all means watch your teams run the score up. If you have no real allegiance to any of these teams I would recommend Northwestern and Boston College. I expect it to be close and Northwestern is a team we will see break the top 25 before long.
At 12:30 Appalachian St. takes on Virginia Tech (WJZY CW). I don’t believe this game will be close but if you believe Appalachian can make lighting strike twice four years after their huge upset of Michigan you may want to keep an eye on this one. If you aren’t really feeling any of these football games there is a Karate Kid marathon going on the Oxygen channel, I would say stick to pigskin but I’m always good to hear “put him in a body bag Johnny.”
The busiest time of the day starts at 3:30, this is where you really want to excel at your remote control skills. I suggest eating by this point; this is no time to be nursing that hang over still, pizza, wings, subs, whatever to get you into game form. So the games go like this: Minnesota at USC (Southern Cal) (ABC), South Florida at Notre Dame (NBC), Western Michigan at Michigan (ESPN2), Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State (ESPNU), James Madison at North Carolina (Fox Sports Carolina), UCLA at Houston (Fox sports South), UT Chattanooga at Nebraska (Big Ten Network). Ok a few games jump out at me here the first one is South Florida and Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a double digit favorite to the Bulls but Skip Holtz, son of former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, has a talented team that could be on the rise in the Big East. UNC and James Madison is an interesting game to me as well, how will the Tarheels respond in their first performance after losing Butch Davis? For those looking for an upset UT Chattanooga (SoCon) against Nebraska (Big Ten) represent the same two conferences from the earlier mentioned App. State, Michigan upset. Maybe the Mocs can get it done if the Mountaineers can’t this year, but I wouldn’t make any friendly wagers on it.
Two games start at 7:00, Florida Atlantic at Florida (ESPNU) and South Carolina versus ECU (Fox Sports Carolina). I will have my eye on the USC and ECU game hoping the Pirates can pull off an upset and put an end to fellow blogger Bruce Wilson’s predictions and delusions of a Gamecock BCS Title.
The 8:00 hour brings Boise St. versus Georgia (ESPN), Tulsa at Oklahoma (FX), and LSU versus Oregon (ABC). If you still haven’t left your couch to actually be social or see daylight I don’t suggest you leave now. You can have a life the next day, you only have a week before NFL fills up your Sundays. The two best games of the day are LSU and Oregon, and Boise St. versus Georgia. These two games are going to be bowl caliber, down to the wire, all around smash mouth football games. The high powered Boise St Broncos head to the Georgia Dome to face a Bulldog team that is tired of being the forgotten step child of the SEC. A win here for Georgia would be huge come bowl time especially if they can’t get thorough that rough SEC schedule unscathed. The other game features #3 Oregon and #4LSU, whoever wins this could be in the driver seat for the BCS and most likely propel them to that coveted #1 ranking.
If haven’t had your fill by now or maybe you just can’t sleep Colorado at Hawaii (ESPN2) starts at 10:30. You wish you hadn’t of had that energy drink at half time of the Boise St. game now don’t you? Hopefully you can find this helpful when flipping through the channels on Saturday, whether you are just tuning in to catch your alma mater or you are in for the long haul marathon one thing is for certain, college football is back and I couldn’t be happier.