As I write this, I currently don’t have power. Thankfully I still have a home and am okay following Hurricane Ida, but I’m currently writing this in the Starbucks inside the Albertsons on Government.
To be frank, there’s bigger and realer shit that college football going on right now. I’m partially doing this because it gets me out of the house and into some A/C with something to do, but I’m mostly doing it because I know my people, and my people are ITCHING for a reason to put their burdens aside for a few hours at the end of the day. I don’t want to make light of this situation and I don’t want to ignore but, but we’re here to talk about football because it distracts us from the reality of the day.
With that said, on to the football.
- UAB-Jacksonville State: College football’s favorite zombies, the reigning C-USA champions open up the first full week of the season by hosting one of the most well-known FCS ankle biters in the south. While we don’t want to invest TOO much into 2020 results, the Blazers have continued their upward trajectory since arising from the grave, going 6-3 and winning their conference, for whatever good that will do. Buuuut UAB’s offense under Bill Clark hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, and while their defense (projected to be a top-25 unit) should hold up fine here, what we’re really looking for are signs of offensive progress, if not an upset bid.
G5 Super Bowl Shift
- Boise-UCF: I mean, the names pretty much sell this game. The titan slayers from yesteryear (I’ll you do the math on how long ago the Statue of Liberty was), eager to prove they still got it, travel to Orlando to play the titan slayers from recent history, also eager to prove that they are still the premier G5 school and who definitely AREN’T losing their foothold of that status to Cincinnati. It’ll be a great game with a lot of narrative undertones and it is appointment viewing.
- Ohio State-Minnesota: Because this is week one, we can pretend that this game will be an interesting upset bid. It’s fun to pretend.
- App State-ECU: Because this is week one, we can watch ECU fall all the way down the stairs and make our “should have never fired Ruffin McNeal” comments.
- USF-NC State: We’ll get into NC State’s identity crisis at a later date (spoiler: they don’t have one) but man, while UCF’s line go up, USF’s stock has straight up plummeted. I really enjoyed it when The War on I4 was a great and meaningful game and there really isn’t any reason why USF is coming into the season ranked nearly 100th in SP+. We’re looking for progress from the Jeff Scott squad coming off the COVID year because in my opinion, the AAC and G5 as a whole needs it.
- Temple-Rutgers: Look, you don’t have to like Greg Schiano, lord knows I don’t, but I don’t pretend last year’s 3-6 was a without a doubt a step in the right direction. I have no illusions of Rutgers winning the Big Ten (ha ha jk.....unless....) but the prospect of an efficient Rutgers does intrigue me. I think this is a highly winnable game for the Scarlet Knights, which is a hell of a concept. It’s like an ant trying to roll a tangerine back to the hive, I don’t believe it will happen but I’m interested to see him try.
Late For Work Shift
- Eastern Washington-UNLV: Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have our target for the first FCS over FBS win of the season. Good luck trying to watch it.
- Southern Utah-Arizona State: It’s football.
- North Carolina-Virginia Tech: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Tar Heel hype train. Under quarterback Sam Howell, the horizon has never been bluer for UNC as they come into the season ranked 11th in SP+, fourth in offensive SP+. And no doubt, they will be good with the ball. But is the defense up to snuff to maybe challenge Clemson? Probably not, but we’ll likely know for sure Friday night.
- Duke-Charlotte: Charlotte is a program...figuring some stuff out at it’s own pace. But Duke, Duke is a downright mess right now. This could be the beginning of the end for Cut.
- Old Dominion-Wake Forest: It will be football.
Mile High Shift
- Michigan State-Northwestern: For those of you who enjoyed 9-6...here you go. Eat it all up. Go on, make a happy plate, Mr. Defenses Matter.
- South Dakota State-Colorado State: Speaking of bad offenses...woof. The Jack Rabbits might could win this one by multiple possessions
- North Colorado-Colorado: It’s football!