We made it.
Our time in the summer gulag is over.
The presents are under the tree and soon we will be unboxing them in a flurry of wrapping paper.
But first we need to need to develop a plan of attack, properly scout this week’s opponents and build a gameplan.
Look no further. Each week we (I) will give you a sheet highlighting the marquee matchups, where to watch them, and how to watch them to make the most of your football watching experience. There will be six slots at any given time: one for your big TV, four “auxiliary” screens, and one alternate slot to keep an eye on. This format was created when ESPN supported quadbox, which has since been axed (EDIT: Quadbox was recently reintroduced into ESPN’s Apple TV app). I’m keeping it in, but how you use it is completely up to you. If you have four monitors or TVs to deploy, then by all means do that and if you want to use a “retro” quadbox by creating four windows then you do you. These are just suggestions. Listen to your heart, my grasshoppers.
Tee It Up Shift
The first D1 game of the 2017 football season will kickoff in Tallahassee when Texas Southern travels to Florida A&M for a good ole fashioned SWAC-MEAC fisticuffs exchange. It’s not the most memorable way to start the season, but I am all here for having the FCS schools, especially HBCUs, some time to shine in the national spotlight before we everything else gets busy.
Then at 1:30, Gary Andersen’s Oregon State plays in the inaugural game at Colorado State Stadium, their new on-campus home. Unfortunately, that game will be on CBS Sports Network, the Forbidden Network that nobody gets.
Of Vikings And Mormons Shift
Here is a good chance to get a scouting report on BYU for Week 1, which is next week. But don’t sleep on Portland State too much, they have a history of upsetting power five teams early in the season. Nothing else on in the early part of the shift though.
Later we get Chattanooga-Jacksonville State, which is going to be an absolute cracker of a game. Both teams made the 2016 FCS playoffs and advanced to the second round. For my money, this may actually be the best football game of the day.
Flower Power Shift
First year Charlie Strong and his USF Bulls travel all the way to San Jose State to play on the Forbidden Network while Colgate and Cal Poly get to steppin’ over on the U. You have options, just not ones that are as readily available to you.
Football Night In Australia Shift
For the second year in a row, The Pac-12 opens up the season in Sydney, Australia when Stanford travels to play Rice in Allianz Stadium. As far as home and home getting scraped for neutral sites, this is pretty high on the acceptability scale. It should be a pretty bad romp, but hey, it’s football.
Southland Sunday Shift
Once again, we get another solid FCS game between two teams coming off a deep run in the FCS playoffs between Richmond and Sam Houston State. Not a bad draw for an appetizer week.