College football is here.
It’s an exciting time in for fans everywhere. Exposure to the college game is at an all-time high. The sheer number of televised games will blow your mind.
While we wait for the NFL to start and take over our Sundays, the college game is a perfect appetizer. My fingers are going to get a good workout entering in channel numbers.
Let’s start Thursday night, well, late afternoon for those of us out west. I’m definitely a Pac-12 and West Coast football fan and those teams will take priority over the SEC and Big 10, but I’m formulating a detailed and intricate plan to see as much of as many games as I can in Week 1.
I’ll start with Northern Colorado vs. Utah at 4 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network, skipping South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt. At 4:30, it’s UCLA and the debut of one of my favorite coaches, Jim Mora, vs. Rice on the CBS Sports Network, so I’ll mix that one in with the Utah game.
At 7:15, with the early games winding down, I’ll tune into Washington State at Brigham Young in a battle of Cougars. Having covered a couple of WSU games live in the Palouse, the Cougs interest me with Mike Leach their new coach.
At 7:30, the local Pac-12 team, Arizona State, faces Northern Arizona on the Pac-12 Network. There’s a lot of buildup here in Phoenix for ASU, new coach, new system, new way of doing things, new quarterback. So I’ll skip the meaningless NFL preseason games and flip back and forth between the Washington State and Arizona State games, going back to CBS Sports when those games are over to see the end of Minnesota at UNLV.
And then Thursday’s games will be over.
Friday at 5 p.m. I have to see some of Boise State against Michigan State. The Broncos have to play bigger-conference teams to beef up their strength of schedule, and a night game in East Lansing, Mich., will be a good test.
Then it’s San Jose State at Stanford in some Bay Area action. Another Pac-12 North school on the Pac-12 Network. I have to see how good Stanford is now that Andrew Luck has gone to the NFL.
Might have to DVR that one… I have to work.
As if two days of games weren’t enough, there’s still a full Saturday of games. Dare I wake up at the crack of la madrugada to see Navy vs. Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland on CBS at 6 a.m.? The Fighting Irish in Ireland? Give me a glass of OJ and some Wheaties and let’s watch some football.
At 9 a.m., Penn State tries to move forward from a nightmare of NCAA sanctions and player defections and opens its season on ESPN against Ohio University. I’ll be curious to see how the team is received at home. But other than that, I’ll pass on the Big 10 for now and choose Marshall vs. West Virginia on FX, the battle of West Virginia.
With Oregon State’s noon game postponed because Nicholls State in Louisiana was affected by Hurricane Isaac and isn’t traveling to Corvallis, I’ll pick Nevada at Cal at noon on the Pac-12 Network. The Golden Bears will be making their debut in a renovated and modernized stadium in one of the best locations in America, Strawberry Canyon above Berkeley.
Switching to the Big Ten Network just in time to see the Wisconsin fans do “Jump Around” before the fourth quarter at Camp Randall Stadium against Northern Iowa, I’ll also be monitoring Colorado State vs. Colorado on FX.
Skipping the SEC games starting at 4, I’ll go right to FOX at 4:30 for Hawaii at USC. Norm Chow returns to L.A. as head coach of the Warriors, and Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley and his stud receivers debut as the No. 1-ranked team in America.
At night, starting at 7:30, nothing is going to divert my attention from Arkansas State at Oregon. My Ducks, with a new quarterback and running back Kenjon Barner finally getting his chance to be the man and what should be a better defense. Looking forward to the foghorn blowing dozens of times at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.
Passing on Toledo at Arizona because my wife is anti-Wildcat, I’ll DVR San Diego State at Washington – so I can hear that air-raid siren echo over Lake Washington when the Dawgs score.
Might have to see if UTEP can hang with Oklahoma during commercials. Big game in El Paso.