2020 College Football Scene Setter
The opening weekend of college football is a write of passage. Some compare it to a birthday or Christmas morning. But, make no mistake, for college football diehards it’s one of the best weekends of the year. Even though it may look different, we’ve made it. Moving slowly seems to be the mode of the country. However, after an FCS only weekend and then a seven-game schedule with FBS teams this past weekend the Power Five begins today. Yes, it looks different, but for one weekend we can forget about the world’s problems and enjoy the sport that we love. With that being said, let’s preview our college football opening weekend.
Thursday, September 10th
If you’re not an early riser, that needs to change for at least the next three days. We have to embrace as much college football as we can, right? As we get starved for College Football in summer many of us turn to the classic games of years past. Well, I hope you have enough in reserve for a couple of more days.
Battle in the Commonwealth
8:00 AM CST ESPNU: Virginia and Virginia Tech battle in this 2019 classic. The winner of this game was set to face off against Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. Watch as Bryce Perkins face off against the Bud Foster led Tech defense.
11:00 AM CST ESPNU: From last season, Florida State thought it was entering into a warm-up for the conference season. Caleb Evans had the Warhawks smelling the upset. However, Cam Akers put the Seminoles on his back. But, would it be enough?
The Hail Mary Battle
11:00 AM CST SEC Network: In 1996, Jacob Eason and Joshua Dobbs went toe to toe. The Bulldogs got off to a 17-0 lead. But, after a furious comeback who would get the last laugh in this battle of Hail Mary’s?
Egg Bowl Eligibility
2:00 PM CST ESPNU: The Bulldogs were fighting for bowl eligibility and Ole Miss was playing for pride. In a back and forth contest, one of the strangest penalties created an ending for the ages.
The $8 million Game
3:00 PM CST PAC 12 Network: The Fighting Irish had beaten USC for 13 consecutive matchups heading into the 1996 game. The Irish were heavily favored to make it 14. However, Sothern Cal was playing to save a head coach’s job.
A New Age for Miami?
7:00 PM CST ESPN: The D’Eriq King kicks off as Miami kicks off the season against UAB. The Blazers are off to a 1-0 start after beating Central Arkansas 45-35 a week ago. However, for the Hurricanes look for stability at the quarterback position under second-year head coach Manny Diaz.
Friday, September 11th
You’ve made it through day one. Which means, we are 20% through the weekend. I know you might be reading this and telling yourself, you watched upwards of 18 hours of action yesterday and the eyelids are already looking a little heavy. For those of you that might need a little rest, never fear there might be time to fit in a nap today.
7:00 AM CST ESPN Classic: Michigan State visits Northwestern in 2010 for this instant thriller. Anytime you watch a classic game and you see one team go up by a few scores early, watch out! This one is no different so stay tuned for this Big 10 thriller.
Big 10 Battle
9:00 AM CST Big 10 Network: We have something for our Big 10 fans that are missing out on the opening of college football. Here in 2018, Ohio State found itself in a battle with Maryland. Did the Buckeyes have what it takes to avoid the upset?
Upset in East Lansing?
10:00 AM CST Big 10 Network: We stay in 2018 for this Big 10 matchup. The upset-minded Wildcats travel to East Lansing to battle the Spartans. Michigan State came into this tilt ranked 20th. However, could Clayton Thorson orchestrate an upset?
11:00 AM CST Big 10 Network: Under the Lights at Kinnick Stadium is one of the special moments in college football. This is especially true in a rivalry game. Will the 18th ranked Badgers have what it takes to walk into Iowa City for a victory?
Red River Shocker?
12:00 PM CST Longhorn Network: You can throw the records out of the window in this series. That was especially the case of the 2013 game. The Sooners come in undefeated found themselves in a battle early that perhaps they were not prepared for.
A Prelude to a Championship
3:30 PM CST ACC Network: Both of these institutions did not know it, but this would be a national championship preview eight years earlier. The first battle of the Tigers happened in the 2012 Chick-Fil-A Bowl. However, this match would come down to late-game heroics.
Now, Take a Break
This would be the spot to begin preview the game between SMU and TCU. However, COVID-19 struck again and the game has been postponed due to TCU positive cases. But, let this time serve as an opportunity to rest or check out your local High School teams as you prepare for wall to wall action on Saturday.
Saturday, September 12th
The Main Course
Here we are. We’ve made it through what we will call the appetizer section of the meal. Here is the big one. No rest, no relaxation, no interruptions, just football. Here we go!
Get It Started Right
8:00 AM CST ESPN: College Gameday live from Winston Salem, North Carolina. Gameday should be the cornerstone of every Saturday in Fall and today will be no exception. This year, Gameday will have no fans. But, for no other reason, it will be worth watching to see what the production without fans will look like.
Upset Alert in Ames?
11:00 AM CST ESPN: We get our College Football Opening Weekend kicked off in Ames, Iowa. Lousiana is sneaky good. In 2019, they had a top 10 offense and return quarterback Levi Lewis and all five offensive linemen. Lewis threw 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions last year. Meanwhile, Iowa State has one of the best in the Big 12 with Brock Purdy. The Cyclones have the capability to challenge Oklahoma for the crown but need to get off to a good start here.
A New ACC Power
11:00 AM CST ACC Network: Mack Brown had about as good as an opening season as you could ask for. But, can he build the Tar Heels back to a level to compete with Clemson? He’s begun doing it on the recruiting trail but it remains to be seen if it can happen on the field. Having a Heisman Trophy hopeful in Sam Howell certainly won’t hurt.
A New Era
1:30 PM CST NBC: Even if for just a season, the Fighting Irish will be playing a conference game to begin the season. The newest members of the ACC will entertain the Blue Devils to begin the season. The Irish will look to challenge Clemson later in the season. But, first Ian Book will lead Notre Dame into a new era.
A return to relevancy
2:30 PM CST ABC: The Seminoles are looking to get back into the national conversation. They will look to do that under new head coach Mike Norvell. Norvell built Memphis into a powerhouse at the Group of Five level. He has the offense to do some damage this year. They will be led by James Blackman and Tamorrion Terry in an offense that will sling it around early and often.
The College Football Savior
6:30 PM CST ABC: Trevor Lawrence is the biggest name in our sport. He has spoken out against social injustice and how much the players want to play this season. He’ll get center stage against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are reeling a bit after losing Jamie Newman and now Sage Surratt for the 2020 campaign.
9:00 PM CST ESPN: Here we have our finale in the College Football Opening Weekend. This spot is typically taken for the PAC 12 or the Mountain West. But, with those conferences delaying until Spring we have a Big 12 matchup. The Jayhawks will be looking for revenge as they lost to Coastal Carolina 12-7 at home last year. But, Kansas has improved. They have two dynamic playmakers in Pooka Williams and Andrew Parchment.