And just like that, the 2016 college football season is upon us in earnest. It’s true kickoff day, gents. Last year’s winner Himicane sent me a DM saying you are all worthless and stupid and he’s embarrassed to have “compete” with you again. Don’t kill the messenger.
Let’s get to the slate, shall we?
Thursday Night Special
Tennessee vs. Appalachian State - The Mountaineers are still new to FBSdom. They were an FCS powerhouse and, of course, will always have the huge Michigan upset. After a lump 7-5 inaugural FBS run, they were right back in the mix last year, winning 11 games. No one was impressed. It wasn’t even enough to get them a top 25 vote this year. Could they pull a shocker vs. the Vols? It would certainly be a statement.
South Carolina @ Vanderbilt - And the battle for last place in the SEC East begins today! This is the type of game some Minnesota fans will watch and say, “see, we could compete in the SEC!” No, no you couldn’t. These teams are bad. This will be a bad football game. Watch something else.
The Paul Harveys
South Alabama @ Mississippi State - Tennessee tackling Appy State isn’t the only Fun Belt on SEC action of the weekend. South Alabama is bad. They took one on the nose from Nebraska last year. I wouldn’t expect magic. But hey, tune in, as they are on our schedule later in the year.
Missouri @ West Virginia - Eesh. It could be a long road in Barry Odom’s inaugural run. I mean, this would be one helluva way for him to make a statement. Milan Puskar is a tough place to play. The Mountaineers are decidedly average... and yet quite better than a Missouri team that might struggle to break 14 most weeks.
#16 UCLA @ Texas A&M - God, this feels prime for another Aggie upset doesn’t it? Kyle Field. Aggies are only 3 point dogs, despite finishing last season a meh-inducing 8-5, running off a pair of star QBs and essentially flailing in the winds of change. Kinda fun that A&M hired away UCLA’s beleaguered Noel Mazzone, a guy that seems to be well respected by everyone but the fans of the teams he coaches. Or is A&M super over hyped? They are running out a bad remix at QB without any appreciable running game or OL depth and while the defense is improved... that’s barely a compliment. But hey, Myles Garrett!
#5 LSU vs. Wisconsin - Hollllldddd that Tiiiii-guh. I don’t need to say much about this one.
Louisiana Tech @ Arkansas - Failing to see any remarkable differences in Arkansas and Texas A&M other than the fact that Arkansas actually finished out their season well while A&M descended into madness. Both teams replace QBs, both teams got some rebuilding to do. The main difference is only one team has a head coach that’s actually beaten LSU. Tech is no longer the fighting Jeff Driskel’s, but they are not a bad football team by any means. Back-to-back 9-win seasons for Skip Holtz has some of that South Florida stink rubbed off already. Do the Razorbacks continue their trend of really slow starts under Bielema?
#18 Georgia vs #22 North Carolina - Arguably the game of the weekend. Georgia Dome locale favors the Dawgs, but so many question marks. How will Jacob Eason fare? How will Kirby Smart fare? Can they replace all that defensive talent? North Carolina rolled to 11 wins last season and return 14 starters. This is the type of upset the program needs to move up their profile in national notoriety and start to win recruiting battles in the Southeast.
Southern Mississippi @ Kentucky - After completing a strong turnaround last season, HC Todd Monken took his ball and ran off to the NFL for a coordinator position. Kentucky’s old OC is Southern Miss’ new OC. If Kentucky loses this one, the wheels for a coaching change will probably start spinning...
UMass @ #25 Florida - Well, it’s certainly a football game.
#20 USC vs. #1 Alabama - Alabama somehow keeps finding their way into this marquee opening weekend match-ups that they inevitably dominate and later use as a reference point to justify why their annual oopsy doesn’t really matter. I can’t really disagree. USC’s a good team, but I don’t think they have enough yet.
#2 Clemson @ Auburn - Jer-din Hair is a weird place where grass monkeys tackle free roaming species and penalties are really more of a concept. There is not a world in which I want to believe Auburn will win this game, but Auburn might win this game, right? Oh who am I kidding, Deshaun Watson is about to emasculate Kevin Steele.
#11 Ole Miss @ #4 Florida State - No, YOU pick Ole Miss.
Good luck on opening weekend, pals!
- You may only pick each team once.
- No games vs. FCS opponents.
- You must pick a team each week.
- Tie goes to the runner.