Here we go.
We’ve gotten through week zero, and we’re done with Toe Meets Leather Thursday and the college football season is ready to really truly get underway with the first full Saturday slate, with some desserts on Sunday and Monday to boot.
There’s a lot to get though and I’m sure at some point somebody will kick me out of the Starbucks inside the Albertsons, so let’s get to it.
Roll Wave Shift
- Penn State-Wisconsin: Should be the best game of the opening shift. Both teams are ranked in the preseason SP+ Top 10, with Wisconsin at six and Penn State at 10. This’ll be a great defensive matchup, perhaps one of the best ones we’ll get until the postseason with the second and seventh ranked defenses. Offensively, we get James Franklin scheming against Graham Mertz, who seems to be poised for a true breakout season.
- Oklahoma-Tulane: We don’t forget our roots here at ATVS, but I think we’re all pulling for the Greenies to spring the upset this week. For this week only, Roll Wave.
- Kansas State-Stanford: It didn’t take us long to run into our first “it might not be great football, but it might be entertaining” game of the season. KSU is ranked 61st in SP+, Stanford 64. Offensive SP+: 52nd and 48th. Defensive: 76th and 92nd. The slightest of edges goes to the Wildcats on paper.
- Army-Georgia State: I know I know, this doesn’t really get you excited for college football by name, but trust me, this game might be half decent or actually good. Plus, option football is good for the soul.
- Western Michigan-Michigan: An outside bid for an upset bid, but I’m not going to rule it out.
I Would Like To See It Shift
- Alabama-Miami (FL): So we all know what the result will be ultimately be. But as someone who really buys in to the fact that this will be Bama’s once a decade “down” year” I’m interested to gauge how Bama Alabama really is.
- ULL-Texas: This has been a trendy upset pick throughout the offseason, but I don’t know how viable it is because of the brand of football Texas will be playing under Sarkisian. Yes, the Ragin Cajuns are fine ballclub, but I know they don’t have the talent to match the Longhorns pace and they don’t have the depth. Maybe this’ll be close for three quarters but at the in the day I think Texas is too good and too deep. But I wouldn’t hate being proved wrong.
- Louisiana Tech-Mississippi State: Now THIS is an upset that I would absolutely die to see. Won’t happen, but I would like to see it.
- West Virginia-Maryland: Mike Locksley has gotten Maryland turned around on the recruiting front, now for the real challenge: getting the on-field results. You can put an asterisk last year for COVID, but it’s time to show some proof of concept. On the other side of the field, Neal Brown hasn’t made the same waves in recruiting but has had a better record in his two years in Morgantown. Lot to prove in this game.
- Indiana-Iowa: We are hammering the #9Windiana button and enjoying the Michael Penix show (provided he stays healthy) this season, y’all. The first game is crucial as it is one of the first of numerous toss-ups on the Hoosiers’ schedule.
Reauxs Bowl Shift
- LSU-UCLA: hey have you heard about this?
- Clemson-Georgia: have you seen this, have you heard about this?
- Houston-Texas Tech: It’s buried in the shift, but this one should be great. I still have muscle memory to say that it’ll be a shootout, but Texas Tech has since gone away from that direction under Matt Wells, who has the absolute gall to try and play defense in Lubbock.
- Oregon State-Purdue: Another game that’s not sexy but I think is a matchup of two schools who are minding their business and letting their head coaches Jonathan Smith and Jeff Brohm. Brohm might be starting to feel the heat since going 8-16 since beating the brakes off Ohio State in 2018, so he’ll likely need a win more.
- Northern Illinois-Georgia Tech: Good Will Hunting, but I’m Ben Affleck and Georgia Tech is Matt Damon.
Robert Kekaula Memorial Shift
- Arizona-BYU: I bet you forgot who Arizona hired to be their new football coach, even if you can remember that they hired a new coach. Go ahead, guess in the comments before you google it.
- Utah State-Washington State: Man, this game is going to hurt for me.
- Nevada-Cal: It’s football.
- New Mexico State-San Diego State: It’s...football.
- Portland State-Hawaii: The game will only be available to watch on the Team One Sports App and NOT streaming on any tertiary device or stick, but the real tragedy here is that this will be the first Hawaii football game we’ll pirate since the passing of legendary announcer Robert Kekaula who was the voice of late night college football internet for a solid 15 years or so. We’ll miss you, Robert.
HBCU Sunday Shift
- Florida A&M-Jackson State: So a neat little tradition I like about the start of the college football season is that the Sunday noon slots usually go to HBCU games, giving them some exposure. Unfortunately the first game features Deion Sanders, who used to be one of the coolest people on the planet but is now a petulant manchild whose only job is to throw temper tantrums to garner as much attention as possible. Go Rattlers.
- Grambling-Tennessee State: Yes, this game will be broadcast on NFL Network.
CRAMTON BOWL Shift
- Fort Valley State-Tuskegee: Another HBCU game, this one will be held in the Cramton Bowl, one of the most highly honorable stadiums in the country where only the most elite of teams play in the heart of Montgomery.
- Notre Dame-Florida State: Also this is happening.
Labor Day Shift
- Louisville-Ole Miss: It’s a good thing that this the only game of the day because HOO BOY this one could be a doozy. This will be a full-on track meet, so strap in and get ready for it.