…and Jack Webb really ties this post together, does he not?
So, what’s on?
- Auburn @ Mississippi State (ESPN, 7:30pm ET). The SEC Network is giving you a Thursday night special of two programs from places that no person in their right mind would ever willingly be. The two most godforsaken towns represented in the Southeastern Conference, their collegiate teams get a Thursday night billing fitting of their status as programs that could use all the exposure they can get. And they need it. And ESPN is willing to provide. Count me as someone who is shocked this game is taking place on a Thursday for only one reason: they already played on Saturday. That is a very fast turnaround, especially for a league game. But, if you need the exposure…
- West Virginia @ Marshall (ESPN, 7:00pm ET). Fresh off having their hats handed to them by the Buckeyes, the Thundering Herd hosts the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Mountaineers will rely on Noel Devine to lead the way against a Thundering Herd team that was run over by the Buckeyes. It is also an opportunity for the Mountaineers and their Tressel-mimicking, sweatervest adorning coach… this guy… to put forward a more impressive performance than demonstrated in the first week against Coastal Carolina. WVU ended up winning, but scored only 10 first half points. The Mounties are ranked 23rd in the nation. Marshall head coach, Doc Holliday, was on Bill Stewart’s staff at WVU last year.
- San Jose State @ Wisconsin (ESPN, 12:00pm ET). Fresh after getting bulldozed by the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Spartans travel to Madison to take on the #11 ranked Badgers and an offense that is in many ways similar to Alabama’s approach. The Badgers will probably want to make sure they pack their A-game before arriving at Camp Randall. They needed overtime in week 2 last year to beat Fresno State.
- Georgia @ South Carolina (ESPN2, 12:00pm ET). Georgia just lost star wideout AJ Green to a four game suspension for selling his jersey to an agent. Since the SEC rounded into its modern form, Georgia and South Carolina have always opened league play against each other, and usually around this time.
- Georgia Tech @ Kansas (Regional, 12:00pm ET). A game that would be much more interesting in shooty hoops. Kansas scored all of 3 points against North Dakota State in a home-opening loss. Their prize: the defending ACC champions come to town.
- South Florida @ Florida (ESPN3.com, 12:21pm ET). Speaking of hilarious openers, the Gators get to rebound from an embarrassing win against Miami… of Ohio… by getting the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls, led by first year coach Skip Holtz, will get the opportunity to show that Florida might be the 4th best team in the state of Florida, not in the entire country.
- Iowa State @ Iowa (ABC, 3:30pm ET). Nothing too special for this Big Ten nemesis. They get an instate MAC snack before traveling out to Tucson to play Arizona.
- Florida State @ Oklahoma (ABC, 3:30pm ET). This match is part of what is being billed as championship rematch Saturday. The defending champion Seminoles were summarily executed in the 2001 Orange Bowl by Bob Stoops, then in his second year at Oklahoma. The 13-2 victory made Bob Stoops “Big Game Bobby” for the next three years or so. Since then, he’s developed a reputation comparable to Tressel, although not nearly as discussed on ESPN. Given the kickoff time, you’re not watching this game.
- Michigan @ Notre Dame (NBC, 3:30pm ET). Denard Robinson takes his Heisman campaign to Notre Dame to play the Irish in a matchup that was comparably as hyped this time last year in Ann Arbor. Therein, Tate Forcier led the way en route to a Michigan victory and what I assume was a successful Heisman campaign as a true freshman. Given the kickoff time, you’re not watching this either.
- Miami (FL) @ Ohio State (ESPN, 3:40pm ET). This is the game you’re watching. I’ll discuss it more in another post.
- Brigham Young @ Air Force (Versus, 4:00pm ET). This is another game that you will not be watching, given the kickoff. This is unfortunately timed. These two teams constitute some of what makes the Mountain West interesting to me. Brigham Young plays a conference game on the road the week after bouncing Washington.
- Penn State @ Alabama (ESPN, 7:00pm ET). If all goes well after the Ohio State-Miami game, you may stick around to watch this one. The defending national champion Crimson Tide will be without defensive lineman Marcell Dareus (suspension) and probably without the Heisman winning tailback Mark Ingram. Still, no one is giving Penn State even a puncher’s chance. In the event that the reigning national champions are able to use the home cooking to beat a very green, rebuilding Penn State team with a true freshman quarterback, expect it to be irrefutable proof of the FACT that the SEC is the greatest, besterest conference of all time… IN THE WORLD and the Big Ten is teh slow OMGLOL. This too is a national championship rematch from the 1979 Sugar Bowl. Both teams played each other annually in the 1980s. Bear Bryant is still dead.
- Oregon @ Tennessee (ESPN2, 7:00pm ET). Tennessee has routinely scheduled Pac 10 home-and-homes through its history. They played UCLA here and there through the 1990s (and in 2008) and finished a home-and-home with California not too long ago. They play host to an Oregon Ducks team that hung 72 points on New Mexico. The Volunteers used the Neyland Stadium atmosphere to overwhelm a California team in 2006 that I don’t think they could’ve beaten on a neutral surface. They’ll need it against Oregon.
- Syracuse @ Washington (Regional, 7:00pm ET). There may have been a time (20 years ago?) when this would’ve been a compelling interregional matchup. It is not this time now. Washington looks to rebound from an opening loss at Provo. Syracuse, meanwhile, is just looking for a friend. A shoulder to cry on.
- Southern Illinois @ Illinois (Big Ten Network, 7:30pm ET). This is a night game for the Zookers. That is all.
- Rutgers @ Florida International (ESPN3.com, 8:00pm ET). This is a road game for Rutgers. That is all.
- Virginia @ USC (Regional, 10:30pm ET). This is the return leg of the 2008 season opener for the Trojans. The Trojans will have to put together something coherent after they were taken to school by a WAC team of whom defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin only found about their new pistol offense after watching the news. After 10 days of gameplanning, which I’m sure included coaches meetings that centered around the theme of “get your shit together, DAD!”, the Trojans play their first home game. The Hoos travel to Los Angeles under first year head coach Mike London.
- Stanford @ UCLA (ESPN, 10:30pm ET). You are drunk by now. If, in the event you are drunk and near a television, you might find this game interesting. Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford Cardinal is basically a Big Ten team playing in the Pac 10. He’s an asshole and, most importantly, a Michigan grad, but he makes Stanford so fun to watch. Stanford’s band alone is worth watching whatever game they’re in. Hopefully they’ll make the trip.