We have suffered through Week 0; Thursday night got us ready; Michigan State’s near loss on Friday focused us; and finally, the glorious first Saturday of the 2018 college football season is upon us. Of the course, the game that is first and foremost in all of our minds will kick at noon ET on ABC, and it will feature the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon State Beavers.
As I am sure you know, we have a boatload of coverage about that game, which you can find in one nice, neat location below:
Read all of that, digest all of that, enjoy all of that, because we are going to focus on the rest of today’s slate in this article.
Throughout this vast smörgåsbord of a Saturday, 17 ranked teams will take to the field, including a pair of games in which top-25 squads will face off. The first will pit the No. 9 Auburn Tigers against the No. 6 Washington Huskies. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will be the first ever meeting between the two programs and will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. The game will air on ABC. Despite their lofty rankings, both teams have flown under the radar this preseason, but will look to make a massive state in the weekend’s marquee matchup.
The other contest between ranked teams is the return of a storied rivalry; a rivalry of two of the most venerated programs in college football history. That’s right, it’s the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines visiting the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game, which will air on NBC at 4:30 p.m. ET, is the formerly annual meeting of two of the top-four teams (hi, Texas and Miami) that every year the college football intelligentsia tries to convince us is back. I’ll believe it when I see it.
This is at the top of hate-watch list every time it’s played, so enjoy it along with me for the inevitable schadenfreude of busted plays, beat-red Brian Kelly, and apoplectic Jim Harbaugh throwing a headset in a profanity-laced tirade that will makes his khakis bunch up in an uncomfortable (for him and us) way.
Anyway, moving on, Ohio State’s Week 3 opponent, the No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs, will start its season at the same time as the Buckeyes, as TCU hosts Southern at noon ET on FSN. Once our OSU pulls far enough away from the other OSU, it might not be a bad idea to flip over and see how Gary Patterson’s crew looks this season.
Other Big Ten teams playing on Saturday include Rutgers (Ohio State’s next opponent) vs. Texas State at 12:00 p.m. ET on BTN, Illinois facing off with Kent State and Maryland hosting No. 23 Texas both at noon on BTN, No. 10 Penn State against Appalachian State at 3:30 p.m. ET on the same network, Iowa welcoming Northern Illinois to Kinnick Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET (also on BTN), Indiana visiting Florida International at 7 p.m. ET on CBSSN, and finally Nebraska hosting Akron at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
For me, the spicy upset pick of the day is Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic squad visiting the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners at noon ET. OU will be breaking in new
outfielder quarterback Kyler Murray, who takes over for Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. The Fighting Kiffin’s are a sneaky good team, and the first game of the season is the perfect time to be sneaky.
No matter what games you choose to watch today, enjoy them, appreciate them, revel in them, because a) there’s no Larry Culpepper, and b) COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK, BABY!