If you’re reading this on Thursday, then it’s three weeks until college football season kicks off—and I can’t wait.
I don’t know why, but with each passing year, it gets more fun.
Each of the past few years have been easy to look forward to at WVU because of Pat White, Steve Slaton, and the gang, and this year is the same, with White in his final season and Noel Devine in his second. I have a hunch this could actually be the best team of the past four years, but more on that in a later posting.
Today, just a little look-ahead fun.
Three weeks from tonight, one excellent long weekend launches the 2008 college football season.
Thursday, Aug. 28
On ESPN360 at 7:30 p.m., you can get your first look at former Navy coach Paul Johnson trying out his quintuple-option, wormhole-enabled running attack in the ACC, as Georgia Tech hosts Jacksonville State. On the regular old television machine, North Carolina State travels to take on the Ol’ Ball Coach at South Carolina (ESPN).
Friday, Aug. 29
You know we’re starving for it when I’m recommending Temple at Army on ESPN Classic. Temple got majorly ripped off against UConn last year, getting a touchdown taken away from them by the officials. Plus, I kinda like Temple’s newish unis with the broken stripe down the pants. Listen, it ain’t USC-Ohio State, but it’s Friday night college football. Pretty much.
Saturday, Aug. 30
Begin your day of luxurious, indulgent, soak-me-with-the-sweet-sounds-of-Rece-Davis viewing at noon on ESPN when Virginia Tech travels to East Carolina. This is the first great game of the season. Virginia Tech is a Top 10 team that barely beat East Carolina last year (Caveat: It was the Hokies’ first home game after the April shooting, so not a fair evaluation of performance), and East Carolina ended up winning eight games last season, including a bowl game.
At 3:30 p.m., my head will be exploding at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown as the Mountaineers take the field against I-AA Villanova to launch their run at 12-0. For you unlucky college football fans who don’t live within the ESPN regional broadcast area for this game or have ESPN Game Plan, you’ll have to wait until the following weekend to see the mighty, mighty-fast Mountaineers.
You’ll want to tune in to ABC at 3:30 p.m., where you’ll either get to see how good Southern Cal is against Virginia or get to see how bad Michigan is against Utah.
The best game of the day, and the one I’m waiting for all summer, frankly, is Appalachian State at LSU at 5 p.m. on ESPN: A fully-loaded I-AA Appy State team with a quarterback who could make a run at the Heisman travels to LSU to take on a Tigers team without a quarterback. Um, boy!
The evening’s two best games come at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., when Alabama and Clemson play in Atlanta and Illinois goes to Missouri, respectively. In the first game, the presumptive ACC favorite gets to roll out its offense, and in the second, we get to see if both Mizzou and Illinois were for real last year.
This is actually a terrific matchup between two newly successful teams, both hungry, both hoping to make a run at their conference crowns. Plus, you get to see lightspeed Mizzou wideout Jeremy Macl...oh, wait. The rest of his name just ran off.
Sunday, Aug. 31
What’s the best thing about the NFL not starting yet? Sunday college football! (That would be my preference every week, but that’s another posting.) Today at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN, we get to see if Louisville can bounce back from their tire-fire of a season last year when they host Kentucky, a team that’s got 6-6 written all over it after last year’s nice blip.
I’m hoping the 7:30 p.m. Colorado State at Colorado game ends up being televised or online so I can scout Colorado a little, which hosts WVU on Sept. 18. (Yes, I’ll be there.)
Monday, Sep. 1
What’s better than Sunday college football? Monday college football! Fresno State travels to the Ray Rice-less Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN, and Tennessee—a Top 15 team—travels to take on Rick Neuheisel’s UCLA Bruins at 8 p.m. on ESPN.