We’re here. Before we go any further, just stop and let it soak in. We’re here. All the realignment bullshit, all the NIL hand wringing, all the NCAA’s jackassery, all of the contract talk, all of it stops now because there’s football on the TV. And boy is there a lot of it to get through. So before we go any further, just stop and take a breath.
We’re here. Let’s geaux.
Salt Life Shift
- Florida-Utah: I still think Billy Napier has Florida on a positive trajectory and we’re starting to see the fruits of it, but hammer is going to meet nail here. Maybe in a year or two this will be a great matchup because Utah is exactly the team Napier wants to field, but they’re not there yet.
- Nebraska-Minnesota: Our first look at Matt Rhule’s Nebraska team. This could be a winnable game for the Huskers, but I think we should temp our expectations and just see where they’re at to start with.
- NC State-UConn: I swear I have something for this.
- Kent State-UCF: I don’t have anything for this.
- llvll-Georgia Tech: The first game with Jeff Brohm and Brent Key in their new roles as head guys at the birds with teeth school and the old car school. This week is all about establishing baselines to move forward from, usually up in most cases.
- Central Michigan-Michigan State: Hahaha just kidding....unless?
- Miami (OH) - Miami (FL): BWAAAAAAAARM
ALOHA FRIENDS Shift
- Stanford-Hawaii: So with the caveat that Vanderbilt is a bad football team and will continue to be a bad football team...Timmy Change’s Rainbow Warriors equipped themselves quite well last week considered the state of the program he inherited and has to build from. I...think they have a pretty good shot at getting a power five win under their belt here given how bad Stanford themselves are. I would plan on staying up late Friday.
- Tennessee-Virginia: Noon games are going to be a bit of a snoozer, but keep this on at the start at least to check out Joe Milton and his howitzer arm.
- Utah State-Iowa: Much has been made of Brian Ferentz’s Personal Improvement Plan and the magic number of 25 points per game (including defensive scores!) his offense has to hit, and here’s a good chance to pad those stats a bit. Sounds boring, but this how funny it would be if they couldn’t. Wishful thinking? I don’t think it’s too crazy.
- Colorado-TCU: A LOT has been made of this game because of the Deion spectacle, but...this isn’t going to be much of a game. Colorado is FAR from being competitive with TCU.
- Fresno State-Purdue: So when all the games become boring blowouts, this is your rally point. This may easily end up being the best game of the shift, the only game SP+ predicts to be settled by less than one score. Ryan Walter’s Boilermaker debut.
Former Coach Bowl Shift
- Boise State-Washington: Two of Chris Peterson’s former schools collide, but the difference is one school will have Michael Penix and the other one won’t.
- Ohio State-Indiana: yeah okay maybe this one is wishful thinking.
- South Florida-Western Kentucky: Two of Willie Taggart’s former schools collide in what has strong potential to be decent enough game. USF is still rebuilding, but this year they should take a step forward and show some proof of concept.
- Cal-North Texas: Like Fresno-Purdue, this is the game you’ll probably end up diverting most of your attention to by the end of the shift. Cal is bad, like “could lose to North Texas and it wouldn’t be a shock” bad. I personally hope it doesn’t go like that for the Cal fans
Carolina On My Mind Shift
- North Carolina-South Carolina: Earnestly looking forward to this as a “turn your brain off” game. I don’t have sky high expectations for these two teams, but they are two teams that have a chaotic energy to them and I can’t wait to see what happens when they get together. SP+ is calling it a tossup.
- UTSA-Houston: Last year these two schools met for what was a contender for game of the year, with Houston narrowly pulling out a triple overtime win. I expect this year to be mostly the same and I’m very excited for it.
- South Alabama-Tulane: South Al is a program on the rise, and Tulane is dealing with a lot of turnover from their Cotton Bowl winning team. This should be a very good game that will tell us about the Jaguar’s trajectory and what a post-Cotton Bowl Green Wave team looks like.
- West Virginia-Penn State: It’s time to see the Nittany Lions become the program they say they are. Looking for proof of concept here.
Robert Kekaula Memorial Shift
- Coastal Carolina-UCLA: Probably going to be the best game of the night, but one UCLA shouldn’t have much trouble with. Tim Beck’s Chanticleer’s debut.
- Sam Houston State-BYU: It’s football to fall asleep to.
- Idaho State-San Diego State: It’s football to turn off at halftime.
Labor Day Overtime Shift
- Northwestern-Rutgers: Woof. I mean, WOOF. We couldn’t bury this game on Saturday?
- Florida A&M-Jackson State: The Orange Blossom Classic sees HBCU giants Jackson State face off against Florida A&M in what should be a great game to warm up for LSU-FSU.
- Oregon State-San Jose State: It’s football.
- FVSU-Tuskegee: The Red Tails Classic sees Fort Valley State play Tuskegee in the Cramton Bowl. I have no idea what to expect from this.
- LSU-Florida State: Oh jeez oh gosh oh man I’m nervous.
Monday Night Football Shift
- Clemson-Duke: I mean sure, it’s football.