Enough nattering and chattering, get on with the hors d’ouevres — College Football is back. And with it comes a full slate of about 100 games — several dozen of which are already in the books. But, the tastiest of entrees awaits, as Alabama begins defense of its 2018 College Football Playoff Championship. Don’t write off the morning though; there are a couple of good games to whet your appetite.
College Gameday is in South Bend — there’s a fairly important game there today, if you’ve not heard.
Here’s this morning’s viewing guide, with television/streaming information. All times Eastern.
Matchup / Time (ET) / TV / Streaming
Oregon State at #5 Ohio State 12:00 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
Florida Atlantic at #7 Oklahoma 12:00 PM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
Southern at #16 TCU 12:00 PM FSN FoxSportsGo.com
#23 Texas vs Maryland 12:00 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
Kent State at Illinois 12:00 PM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
Texas State at Rutgers 12:00 PM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
Coastal at South Carolina 12:00 PM SECN WatchESPN.com
Ole Miss vs Texas Tech 12:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
James Madison at NC State 12:00 PM ESNU WatchESPN.com
Villanova at Temple 12:00 PM NEWS WatchESPN.com
Houston at Rice 12:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Furman at #2 Clemson 12:20 PM ACCN WatchESPN.com
Alcorn State at Georgia Tech 12:30 PM ACCN WatchESPN.com
UMass at Boston College 1:00 PM ACCN WatchESPN.com
Stony Brook at Air Force 2:00 PM N/A Facebook
Howard at Ohio 2:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Why To Watch:
The only game of any merit this morning is James Madison at NC State. The Wolfpack have some work to do along the front four, while James Madison is historically one of the FCS’ perennial playoff teams and tougher outs (the line reflects that (-11.5, o/u 55). State should handle its business, but this is a tougher game than it looks. Maybe by the fourth quarter we’ll all be looking for ESPN News on the cable box. The rest of the ACC schedule is absolute crap. Remember this week when the SEC is getting slagged for scheduling body bag games at a different time in the season.
FAU at Oklahoma (-20.5, O/U 70.5) — What ever the over may be by kick, take it. Two of the most potent offenses in the country face two of its limper defenses. This will be a track meet. Let’s see how Lincoln Riley fares without an offense chocked full of veteran seniors and All-Americans. Let’s see how Lane Kiffin’s Misfit Toys can play on their biggest stage to date...and maybe in program history. Could be a blow out; may be a barn-burner. In either case, it’ll be worth watching to see a lot of questions become answered.
Oregon State at Ohio State (yikes, from -38.5 to -40 in three days, O/U 63.5) — The feeling (hope?) around Columbus is that this team is going to set aside distractions and blow out the crappy Beavers, putting the focus on how talented a team the Buckeyes really are. Don’t watch this terrible game, but do keep an eye on the boxscore to see how all of those new defenders and an allegedly more potent renewed passing game respond. Strictly commercial-break stuff only.
Texas at Maryland (+13.5, O/U 54) — The knock on Tom Herman’s teams the last three years has been a deserved one: Get up for the allegedly big games, fall flat in games his teams should win. This is one such game the ‘Horns should win. This year, for whatever reason, the Longhorns are being tossed around as a potential playoff team. It’s time to prove it and gain a measure of revenge against a reeling Terrapins program. Let’s see if the Zach Smith-strip club-narc allegations surrounding Herman affect his team.
Ole Miss at Texas Tech (-2.5, O/U 66.5) — The Red Raiders are poised to have Kliff Kingsbury’s best defense to-date. The offense will be wide-open as usual. Nothing is really expected of Ole Miss this season, beginning their NCAA-imposed punishment-cum-death spiral. But, there is a lot of that ill-gotten talent still on the Rebels’ roster, including the nation’s best wide receiver, a nasty defensive line, and one of the SEC’s best offensive lines. People are expecting a shootout and tight game. But, it could just as easily be a Rebel rout for Matt Luke’s team. Name you will know by season’s end if you don’t already: mobile, strong-armed Jordan Ta’amu. For a program that gave you Chad Kelly, Bo Wallace and Shea Patterson from central casting — the likable Ta’amu may turn out to be to be the best of the bunch.
Unwatchable Filth of the Morning:
Illinois vs. Kent State. Both of these teams are awful, and Lovie Smith has looked clueless in the college game; clueless even for the moribund Illini...clueless even for Lovie Smith. You couldn’t pay me legal tender to watch a snap of this hot mess between two teams that may win 5 games combined. The only upside is that the Flashes hired a Dino Babers protege to be its HC. Kent State won’t be any good, but under a 31-year old Sean Lewis they will at least try to be exciting. This game may turn out to be competitive, but it won’t be good football.
Here is your morning thread. So, tell us what are you watching / eating / drinking. Any tailgating plans? Picks? Harebrained predictions?