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Friday Night Viewing Guide and Open Thread -- Battle of the Broncos

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Who says you can never go home again?

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl - Brigham Young v Utah Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

College football doubleheader tonight featuring a Pac 12 conference opener and a Mountain-ACC interleague skirmish. Both should be interesting games for various reasons, and here’s why (all times central):

Virginia at Boise State

7:00 PM ESPN2/

BSU -13 / 49.5

With apologies to Thomas Wolfe, sometimes you can go home again. Tonight, former BYU head man Bronco Mendenhall tries to go home in a way. Depending on your view of him, he either made the Cougars a physical force to be reckoned with or an ill-disciplined, boring team that never realized its potential. The truth is somewhere in between, of course. But last year’s coaching carousel saw one of the weirder hires when Mendenhall was tabbed to take over the reeling Virginia Cavs. His returns at UVA have so far been...let’s say, “not good.” The Cavs are tougher, but they’re still terrible.

His ‘Hoos travel tonight to face former intermountain west rival, Boise State on the Smurf Turf. BSU is the better team, but that’s a helluva’ road trip for a Power 5 team trying to rebuild. This Bronco needs a win over those Broncos, and I just don’t know that he gets its. A loss tonight is not good, but another flat, face-falling blowout may not say good things for his continued job prospects at a Power 5 program.

#23 Utah at Arizona

9:30 PM FS1 /

‘Zona +4 / 60.5

The Wildcats aren’t a great team by any stretch. But, if there’s any coach to fear at home in the Pac 12 South, it’s RichRod. Tucson is notoriously rowdy & rude, and he has tallied upset after upset in the desert. Arizona is not a good team, but it is a young team that occasionally shows flashes of competence. When the death-by-a-thousand-cuts offense is on, it’s hard to stop. Kyle Wittingham’s Utah Utes are a solid, well-rounded club. But, they do have a tendency to play up or down to the competition and the offense isn’t going to scare anyone. This is a game the more talented Utes should win, but it’s not one I’d put my money on either way. If nothing else, watch to see how Utah’s punter fares at sea level, instead kicking in the third-highest stadium altitude in college football! #NeverForget

Chime in below. Who ya’ got and why?