Over the past two weeks, we’ve had pretty much a soft launch of the college football season. Last week, the traditional start of the season resembled more of the pre-Labor Day Week Zeros we’ve been used to, and I understand if you weren’t exactly over the moon with it. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.
Well, that doesn’t apply to this week. It’s not the full-strength schedule we’re used to (and we won’t get that this season) but it’s enough for fill up a chart for three straight shifts, and then some. In fact, the noon shift is actually overflowing.
There is plenty of football on, and it’s not like you’re going anywhere to miss it.
Just Blaze Shift
- UAB-Miami (Fl): Like any other healthy and normal week in college football, our journey begins on Thursday night. The Blazers beat the barnstorming Bears of Central Arkansas 45-35 last Thursday night, but most of UCA’s points came in the final stages of the game. Miami will be unboxing new toy D’Eriq King at quarterback, a transfer from Houston who decided to tank their 2019 season about this time last year. The Canes defense under Manny Diaz has been solid, maybe King is the spark Miami needs to go to the next level like Burrow and Brady were for LSU?
First In Football Shift
- Syracuse-North Carolina: The first power five league match of the year is our main screen game, mostly because it is the only power five league match of the shift. I thought we as a collective really undersold the job Mack Brown did at UNC in his first year with a freshman quarterback. Maybe it’s because we all wanted to fire our jokes off, but I really think Sam Howell looked great as a true freshman (better than Bo Nix) and while Mack isn’t going to have a long tenure in Chapel Hill this time around, the next three years might be big for the baby blues.
- Arkansas State-Kansas State: The Red Wolves fell short in Memphis last weekend, but I think I actually like their odds against K-State in the Little Apple more than I did in the Liberty Bowl.
- Charlotte-Appalachian State: Elsewhere in the Tar Heel State, the Charlotte 49ers make the two hour drive up the mountains to play App State in a C-USA/Sun Belt matchup. Last year these two had a proper shootout in Boone, with my beloved rowdy mountain children winning 56-41.
- Eastern Kentucky-West Virginia: I’m not going to gaslight you here. Just put this on and make sure everything goes according to plan for WVU. And if it doesn’t, you get the satisfaction of watching a big upset from the start. Otherwise, at 12:30 just flip to....
- ULM-Army: Last week our troops gave Middle Tennessee the what fer, a dominant 42-0 victory, which translate to like 60-0 when you account for the option offense. I don’t see how ULM rattles off the win, but an option offense picking up four yards a pop never gets old.
- ULL-Iowa State: I’m actually pretty sure ULL can hang with a Iowa State for a half or so, which is perfect because by the time the Cyclones start separating...
- Duke-Notre Dame: should be starting! It’s in our mission statement as a sports blog to downplay the mysticism of Notre Dame football, but it’s their first conference game! That’s a big step and in 2020 I’m willing to indulge in that little slice of history.
All Gold Everything Shift
- Georgia Tech-Florida State: The last time these two teams met, Georgia Tech won on a blocked field goal attempt that was returned for a score. If that seems incorrect, it’s not, the ACC still has the absolute dumbest divisions possible.
- UTSA-Texas State: This is our lowkey banger pick of the weekend. The Roadrunners have yet to play, but last week Texas State fell just shy of SMU, 31-24. It was a loss for the Bobcats, but Brady McBride is a joy to watch. I say this in the best and most loving way possible: he’s like a Walgreens version of Johnny Manziel, and he has the same coach as Jacques le foot had in Aggieland! There is no semblance of a play structure at all, every play consists of a snap to McBride and then 10 seconds of pure chaos where he rolls around like he’s a player controlled by a Twitch chat before deciding to throw the ball to a random area of the field or continue his extremely unnecessary evasive maneuvers. 10/10, no notes.
- Campbell-Georgia State: It’s football!
- Austin Peay-Pitt: Football!
The Petrino Bowl Shift
- Clemson-Wake Forest: It’s really the only “big” game of the shift, but it should be a blowout and be a blowout pretty soon. But it’s a lackluster shift compared to what we usually have at night, so you might as well check for a pulse.
- Tulane-South Alabama: This will probably be the best overall game of the night and the one you end up watching. In case you missed it, South Alabama already got a coach fired their year after their 32-21 victory over Southern Miss led to Jay Hopson’s resigning.
- Western Kentucky-Louisville: This will be a pretty good matchup, but it also bears the dubious honor of being a matchup of in-state schools with three different Bobby Petrino tenures: Louisville (2003-2006), Western Kentucky (2013), and Louisville again (2014-2018).
- The Citadel-Georgia Southern: Well, they can’t all be bangers.
- UTEP-Texas: Honestly if you get the Longhorn Network, you may as well use it.
The Nightflower Shift
- Coastal Carolina-Kansas: Here’s a fun one, this game kicks off at NINE O’CLOCK AT NIGHT (9:00 P.M.) LOCAL TIME. As in, it’s a Kansas home game, in Lawrence, at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. And of course Les Miles is the head coach of a team that will have a 9:00 kickoff.