Passion, intensity, drama, excitement, Lee Corso’s headgear, and the list goes on. That’s right, College Football is back, not to mention ESPN College Gameday too! You think I’m excited, imagine Lou Holtz or Kirk Herbstreit.
Can Alabama three-peat? Will Johnny Manziel win an unprecedented 2nd straight Heisman? Will a team outside the SEC win the National Championship? These are just some of the questions as we head into the first full weekend of action.
My must watch games for week 1 of the College Football season:
N0. 5 Georgia at No. 8 Clemson (Saturday 7:00pm ET)
This is without a doubt the biggest game of the weekend, and it will surely have lasting implications. Georgia and Clemson both have national championship aspirations, and a loss in week 1 would be a rough way to start the season. Georgia came up just short against Alabama in the SEC Championship game last year and feel its their time this year. Both teams have play makers with QB Aaron Murray and RB Todd Gurley leading Georgia against QB Tajh Boyd and explosive WR Sammy Watkins, who may also have the best name in College football.
No. 12 LSU vs, No. 20 TCU (Saturday 8:00pm ET)
The second top 25 match-up of the weekend will be a lot closer than some people expect. Gary Patterson is one of the most underrated head coaches in college football and he will have his TCU Horned Frogs ready for LSU. TCU will also have a major crowd advantage as the game is being played at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Not to be outdone, Les Miles aka ‘The Mad Hatter’ for his unpredictable play calling, will have his LSU Tigers raring to go. People forget LSU was under a minute away from beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa, if not for some heroics by Alabama QB A.J. McCarron. LSU fifth-year senior QB Zach Mettenberger, who is only taking one ONLINE class this fall semester will be praised or villainized depending on the outcome of the season. There is no middle ground in ‘Death Valley’. Both LSU and TCU are dark horses to win their respective SEC and BIG 12 titles, so a win on Saturday night would be a great start.
No.1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech Saturday (4:30pm ET)
Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson tide begin their journey to win a 4th national championship in 5 years. Frank Beamer and his Virginia Tech Hokies are unranked but still posses weapons that COULD hurt Alabama. Off course QB Logan Thomas will dictate much of what Virginia Tech does on offense and he is capable of big plays and he will need a lot of them vs Alabama. The Crimson Tide embarrassed highly ranked Michigan last year on the opening weekend and this could be another long night for Virginia Tech. With QB A.J. McCarron, RB T.J. Yeldon, and WR Amari Cooper ready to go, added to the fact that LB C.J. Mosley will be leading Alabama’s defense again this year, good luck Virginia Tech. Still though, Nick Saban and Frank Beamer are both HOF winning coaches and the chess match between the sidelines will be fascinating.
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. Rice (Saturday 12:00pm ET)
The NCAA ruled that Johnny Manziel will have to sit out the first half during the season opener vs. Rice. (Insert punch line). The ridiculousness of the NCAA is unparalleled these days and it will continue to do what it wants. This should be a fairly comfortable win for Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel should be able to show off his electrifying skills and put up big numbers, albeit only in the 2nd half. Texas A&M and all fans are waiting for the week 3 match-up when Alabama comes to College Station looking for revenge after the Aggies were the only team to defeat Alabama last year. If Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel wants another Heisman, this will be an early game in the season to gauge his chances.
No. 10 Florida vs. Toledo (Saturday 11:21am ET)
Since I can remember watching college football over 10 years ago, I have always been a fan of the Florida Gators. My mom went to college in Florida and Saturdays growing up was always SEC on CBS. On the field last year, the Gators were disappointing and the ugly taste of getting embarrassed by Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl is still fresh in every Gator fans mind. QB Jeff Driskel and the offense will hopefully continue to improve this year and the defense which lost five players to the 2013 NFL draft will be rebuilding. Think coach Will Muschamp is going to take it easy then? Heck no! Florida always recruits well, so time will tell how much the 2013 Florida Gators can achieve.
College Football (Colorado):
Colorado vs. Colorado St. (Sunday 6:00pm ET)
The state of Colorado has not been a college football state in quite a few years, besides the Air Force Academy if were being honest. College basketball is now the leading sport at both big time universities. Each year to start the college football season, the Rocky Mountain Showdown as the rivalry is called is played with bragging rights on the line. The game will be played at Sports Authority Field and the atmosphere is always electric. The CU Buffs went 1-11 last year, but are a slight favorite even with a new coach and new QB against the CSU Rams who went 4-8 last year. Expectations are much higher in Fort Collins, mainly for 2nd year coach Jim McElwain (former offensive coordinator for Alabama under Nick Saban). Tune in Sunday night to see which team takes home the Centennial Cup.