@ LSU, 6:30pm, SECN-Alt
Ever since Southeastern vaulted from the Southland (and FCS) cellar to fighting with Sam Houston State for supremacy, McNeese has been playing catchup. LSU is not going to win 70-0 because McNeese is going to one of the better teams in the Southland this year, but how well they play in Baton Rouge will be another indicator as to if the pokes have finally caught up to the front of the pack
@ USM, 9pm, FS1
The Bulldogs are coming off one of the best seasons in school history (10-3), but that doesn't change the fact they ended the season with two really poor performances against their arch rivals Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl and Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Yes, the Bulldogs retained Dak Prescott, but lost...everybody else. And they start the season in Hattiesburg against Southern Miss. I'm not calling an upset, but nobody just rolls their helmet onto the field at The Rock and expects a victory. #SMTTT.
vs. Louisville (Atlanta), 2:30pm, CBS
Auburn fans are excited about Jeremy Johnson taking over the offense on the plains, but as our college football editor Jason Kirk pointed out in the Shutdown Fullcast, he didn't start over Nick Marshall in 2014, so there's reason to be cautious about Johnson. But I don't question Auburn's quarterback as much as I do their wideouts. Sammie Coates and Quan Bray are gone, and leaving D'haquille Williams and Ricardo Louis as the top targets for Auburn, and Williams has to "climb from the bottom of the depth chart" after an undisclosed incident that has nothing to do with an Instagram post where he had a beat up face and a Twitter tirade no sir why do you ask. Also, Ricardo Louis may have had the year he did last season (boasting a 65% catch rate) because secondaries devoted most of their resources to stopping Coates and Bray. We'll find out where the Tigers stand at 2:30 Saturday when they go on a nice birdwatching trip to the Georgia Dome.
vs Rhode Island, Friday, 6pm, ESPN3
Because this is a thing that's happening. The
Orangemen Orange open the season at the Carrier Dome against Rhode Island. Fascinating. 20 bucks if you can tell me what ACC "division" Cuse plays in without consulting Google.
vs Old Dominion, 2:30pm, ESPN3
Plays Old Dominion in Ypsilanti, on the grey turf. Don't be surprised if they lose this game. There are 128 teams in the FBS, and EMU is constantly ranked in the 126-127 area.
vs North Carolina (Charlotte), Thursday, 5pm, ESPN
Opens up Thursday night against North Carolina in Bank Of America Stadium. Hatin' Ass Spurrier recently called an emergency presser to pretty much tell his haters that he ain't going anywhere and also recruits please come to Columbia please. Connor Mitch (who passes Spencer Hall's last name/fist name QB test) is listed as the starter, but I wouldn't drink until the game is over because OBC may send you into the game to run a play or two from under center.
vs New Mexico State, 6:30pm, SECN
The head coaches in Gainesville may change, but the rules don't: the Gators don't leave the state of Florida for a non conference game, instead hosting New Mexico State and ECU to kick off the year. If you thought LSU's QB situation was bad, Florida's may prove to be worse. Florida fans seems confident that redshirt freshman Willy Grier will win the starting job, but at the same time they're confident that redshirt freshman Willy Grier will win the starting job.
@ Vanderbilt, Thursday, 7pm, SECN
This just has ugly written all over it. Don't watch that game.
vs Wisconsin (Dallas), 7pm, ABC
I'm not sure if they've decided on a QB yet, but I don't really care because they're just going exist in the second between taking the ball and handing it off to whatever Krogan Saban wants to start at running back. If you think Saban is going to let Lane Tosh throw the ball with a new QB after the way last year ended, then you don't know Nick. To wit:
Blake Barnett runs into a brick wall named Derrick Henry, but he got up quicker than most DBs will this year pic.twitter.com/Cbt1p1sdmT— Ryan C. Fowler (@RyanCFowler) August 30, 2015
vs UTEP, 2:30pm, ESPNU
Arkansas is the trendy team in college football this year, and for good reasons. They're good everywhere, nobody just knows how good. We'll have to wait on an accurate barometer of the Razorbacks, they play UTEP and Toledo to start the season.
vs UT Martin, 11am, SECN-Alt
Noted NRA member Chad Kelly will be taking over head surgeon duties from the departed Bo Wallace, M.D.
vs Arizona State (Houston), 6pm, ESPN
Texas A&M plays maybe the most interesting game on this list. Touted recruit Kyler Murray will not be starting over Kyle Allen (the most A&M name ever BTW), and if the Aggies don't recreate the success they had under Manziel in 2012, then Sumlin may be finding his seat starting to warm. And in this cutthroat iteration of the SEC West, a loss to start off the year will not bode well for that cause.