Welcome to the 2018 college football season. This year’s campaign sort of kicked off last weekend, but small plate menus never really satisfy. We’re here to enjoy a whole smoked hog.
One would be hard-pressed to recall a more chaotic opening weekend in recent memory. Michigan and Notre Dame. Washington and Auburn. Ole Miss and Texas Tech.
Wait. OLE MISS AND TEXAS TECH? Yes, you read that right. The Rebs and Red Raiders are set to square off at exactly noon ET in Houston’s NRG stadium, and neither team cares much at all for playing defense. The Shutdown Fullcast hosts could barely process the absurdity that this game will potentially offer up, and even those outside of Lubbock or Oxford fandom should keep this donnybrook on the radar because it’s going to go sideways in a hell of a hurry. Last over/under I checked was 67.5 points. TAKE THE OVER AND GO BUY A PORSCHE, MY FRIENDS.
Anyway, outside of the absurdity that’s going to transpire in Houston on Saturday, there is indeed a full weekend slate of college football happening across Labor Day weekend. It begins on Thursday, because fall football refuses to accommodate your sleep schedule. Let’s take a look at each day of Week 1 and mark out the more interesting viewing choices for your eyes’ consumption.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31
San Diego State at No. 13 Stanford
8 p.m. CT on FS1 and FOXSportsGo
Stanford has become something of CFB’s wild card over the past two seasons, and anytime the San Diego State get into a brawl, some real weirdness is going to unravel out of it. WATCH THIS GAME. IT WILL HAVE NATIONAL RANKING RAMIFICATIONS.
Michigan State and Wisconsin are also playing interesting opponents on Friday night, but they’ll probably win and move on. Whatever.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma
11 a.m. CT on Fox and FOXSportsGo
Lane Kiffin, in Norman, with an offensive scheme that can rip off some real attacks. Highly ranked Oklahoma with equally high expectations for the season. You’re gonna wanna watch this potential upset. Again: TAKE THE OVER.
No. 6 Auburn vs. No. 9 Washington in Atlanta
2:30 p.m. CT on ABC and WatchESPN
How the hell Auburn convinced Washington to fly all the way across the country for a “neutral site” game in the heart of SEC country is beyond us, but this should be a wildly entertaining game regardless.
No. 17 West Virginia vs. Tennessee in Charlotte
2:30 p.m. CT on CBS and CBSSports.com
Ohhh boy are there gonna be some hillbillies in Charlotte, y’all. A NASCAR stadium would have been a better fit. Tennessee is gonna get run out of the building either way, and that’s always fun to watch.
No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 12 Notre Dame
6:30 p.m. CT on NBC and NBCSports.com
Here’s your first chance to watch Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson suit up for Jim Harbaugh.
No. 1 Alabama vs. Louisville in Orlando 7 p.m. CT on ABC and WatchESPN
No, do not watch this game. There is no doubt a better way to spend your Saturday night.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
No. 8 Miami at No. 25 LSU
6:30 p.m. CT on ABC and WatchESPN
SUNDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
No. 20 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Florida State
7 p.m. CT on ESPN and WatchESPN
Oh no. Someone’s gonna fall hard in the standings, and someone’s gonna jump sharply up. That this matchup is coming on Monday night after a full weekend stump of CFB chaos is a beautiful coda. Hokies and ‘Noles, the two most pleasant internet fanbases. Let’s watch this one all the way down to the bottom of the barrel, because it’s going to get interesting.
Also, it’s the only game on television.