College football Week 1: There's no improved kickoff than Alabama-Florida State

Nick Saban, embracing a Alabama hype as usually he can. (Vasha Hunt/ around AP)

All times EDT.

Thursday, Aug. 31

Enough with this Week Zero nonsense: College football is behind in assemblage with … a common opening Thursday night line-up featuring a few good teams slumming it with a also-rans. Among them is Oklahoma State, that hosts Tulsa as a preseason tip 10 group for usually a third time in module history. All 3 of those occasions took place underneath a gloriously mulleted Mike Gundy, who is entering his 13th deteriorate in Stillwater (tying him for third on a longest-tenured-coaches list), and in a dual prior times a Cowboys finished a deteriorate ranked aloft than where they began it. Everyone knows about Oklahoma State’s offense — a Cowboys had 4 flitting plays of 80-plus yards final season, apropos only a second FBS group to do that given 2010 — though a invulnerability has been middling-to-bad in new seasons and now has to reinstate an whole starting secondary. To wit: Oklahoma State has authorised during slightest 35 points in any of a 5 waste over a past dual seasons (I’m not including final year’s better to Central Michigan on comment of it being entirely a origination of a referees). You can’t win shootouts when we get outgunned. …

Urban Meyer has mislaid 3 play games in his career, and after a initial dual defeats his teams went on to win inhabitant titles a subsequent deteriorate (Florida 2008, Ohio State 2014). So that’s a settlement entering 2017, one deteriorate after Ohio State’s degrading 31-0 detriment to Clemson in a College Football Playoff semifinals. The Buckeyes start during Indiana in a singular season-opening discussion highway diversion (Ohio State final did that in 1975). Also rare: Hoosiers wins over a Buckeyes. That hasn’t happened since 1988, and it substantially won’t occur Thursday night. Ohio State is monstrously talented, and Kevin Wilson is a Buckeyes’ new descent coordinator. He also happened to be Indiana’s manager for a prior 6 seasons.

Friday, Sept. 1

Rutgers scored 89 points sum in a initial 3 games final season. It scored a sum 86 in a nine Big Ten games that followed, that is given no one thinks the Scarlet Knights can keep adult with Washington. The Huskies, uninformed off a CFP semifinal entrance and their initial tip 10 finish given 2000, still underline quarterback Jake Browning, who tied a Pac-12 deteriorate record with 43 touchdown passes in 2016. They won’t have all-Pac-12 linebacker Azeem Victor, however, as he’s been dangling for a diversion over a defilement of group rules. Rutgers has 10 loyal freshmen and 6 redshirt freshmen on a two-deep abyss chart, that is a lot of unawareness opposite a group that earnings usually about everybody solely speedster wideout John Ross and a horde of players in a secondary.

Saturday, Sept. 2

Time Game TV Noon Kent State during No. 5 Clemson ESPN Noon Akron during No. 6 Penn State ABC Noon Maryland during No. 23 Texas Fox Sports 1 Noon Bowling Green during Michigan State ESPNU Noon Missouri State during Missouri SEC Network Noon Ball State during Illinois Big Ten Network Noon Wyoming during Iowa Big Ten Network 12:20 California during North Carolina WDCA-20 (D.C. area)/WatchESPN (streaming) 12:30 Bethune-Cookman during No. 18 Miami CSN Mid-Atlantic (D.C. area)/WatchESPN (streaming) 2 Portland State during Oregon State Pac-12 Network 3 South Carolina vs. N.C. State in Charlotte ESPN 3:30 UTEP during No. 7 Oklahoma Fox 3:30 No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 17 Florida in Arlington, Tex. ABC 3:30 Temple during Notre Dame NBC 3:30 Nevada during Northwestern Big Ten Network 3:45 Troy during Boise State ESPNU 4 Kentucky during Southern Miss CBS Sports Network 4 Charleston Southern during Mississippi State SEC Network 5:15 Western Michigan during No. 4 Southern Cal Pac-12 Network 6:15 Appalachian State during No. 15 Georgia ESPN 7:30 Georgia Southern during No. 12 Auburn SEC Network 7:30 Purdue vs. No. 16 Louisville in Indianapolis Fox 7 Liberty during Baylor Fox Sports 2 7:30 South Alabama during Ole Miss ESPNU 8 No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State in Atlanta ABC 8 Arkansas State during Nebraska Big Ten Network 8 Vanderbilt during Middle Tennessee CBS Sports Network 8:15 Southern Utah during Oregon Pac-12 Network 9:30 No. 13 LSU vs. BYU in New Orleans ESPN 10:30 Montana St. during No. 24 Washington St. Fox Sports 1 11 Northern Arizona during Arizona Pac-12 Network

Last season, Kent State non-stop a deteriorate with a diversion during fortifying inhabitant champion Alabama. The Golden Flashes lost, 48-0. This season, Kent State opens with fortifying inhabitant champion Clemson and is a 39.5-point underdog. Not usually that, though a Golden Flashes will be though Coach Paul Haynes, who is holding a medical leave of absence. The Tigers have to reinstate quarterback Deshaun Watson, far-reaching receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, parsimonious finish Jordan Leggett and using behind Wayne Gallman, though a descent line earnings 4 of 5 starters and a invulnerability also has a whole lot entrance back. …

Texas hasn’t indispensably been a bad group over a past 7 seasons, it’s usually been awfully average, that apparently doesn’t cut it in Austin. Enter Tom Herman, who has both a winning extraction (he went 22-4 during Houston and led a Cougars to their initial tip 10 finish given 1979) and a gusto for putting a gleam on inapt quarterbacks (third-stringer Cardale Jones during Ohio State; Greg Ward, a former far-reaching receiver with a Cougars). Now he gets to work with Shane Buechele, who wasn’t fantastic final deteriorate though still threw for scarcely 3,000 yards and finished 60 percent of his passes. He’ll also be stable by an gifted descent line when Texas hosts Maryland. …

At this point, it competence be easier to contend who isn’t dangling for Florida in a opener opposite Michigan. We’re now during 10 (and maybe rising) after starting using behind Jordan Scarlett (889 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns final season) and far-reaching receiver Rick Wells were dangling indefinitely on Wednesday, allegedly given of an ongoing university military review into purported fake text sales involving Gators football players. They join heading returning wideout Antonio Callaway (89 career catches, 7 career touchdowns and 3 career kick-return touchdowns) and 7 other players not creation a outing for Florida, that will start redshirt beginner Feleipe Franks during quarterback. As of Thursday morning, Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh was gripping a temperament of his starting quarterback under wraps, with possibly fifth-year comparison John O’Korn and youth obligatory Wilton Speight removing a call. …

Oklahoma hosts UTEP with Lincoln Riley, a youngest conduct manager in a republic during 33, creation his entrance as Bob Stoops’s replacement. Having Baker Mayfield, the No. 2 odds-on favorite to win a Heisman Trophy, behind underneath core should palliate a tradition, as will an opener opposite a flattering bad group in 2016 that now has to reinstate a all-time heading rusher (Aaron Jones, now with a Packers) and 3 of a tip 4 receiving targets. …

If Alabama-Florida State isn’t a biggest opening-night diversion in a story of college football, it creates a convincing argument. It’s a initial time a group ranked No. 1 has played a group ranked as high as No. 3 in a season’s initial weekend, the AP reports, and a diversion facilities dual of a prior 4 inhabitant champions and 5 of a past eight. The Crimson Tide earnings a starting quarterback in Jalen Hurts (last year’s SEC descent actor of a year) for a initial time given 2013 though also contingency reinstate a 7 defensive players who were comparison in this year’s NFL draft. Florida State also gets a standout returning quarterback in Deondre Francois, though maybe some-more critical is a lapse of reserve Derwin James from a knee damage that singular him to dual games final season. The Seminoles authorised during slightest 35 points and during slightest 7.7 yards per play in any of a 3 games that followed his damage final season.

Sunday, Sept. 3

Dana Holgorsen has come full round during West Virginia. He won 10 games in his initial deteriorate (2011) though afterwards saw his win sum dump in any of a subsequent dual seasons, reaching a underside of 4 in 2013. Then came a rebound, with a Mountaineers winning 7 games in 2014, 8 in 2015 and afterwards a lapse to double digits with 10 final season. This year, Holgorsen is branch over play-calling duties to new descent coordinator Jake Spavital, usually as Gundy once incited over play-calling duties to Holgorsen during Oklahoma State in 2010, to good descent success. But invulnerability will be a pivotal for a Mountaineers, starting with Virginia Tech. West Virginia mislaid usually about everybody of significance on that side of a ball, generally on a line and in a secondary, and a Mountaineers competence onslaught to keep teams off a scoreboard.

Monday, Sept. 4

Tennessee averaged 5.2 yards per lift final deteriorate though also authorised opponents to rush for 5 yards per attempt, apropos one of usually 5 FBS teams final deteriorate that were means to make that bizarre boast. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, insincere a common mark in a NCAA rushing tip 10 in 2016, finishing ninth altogether and second behind Auburn among Power 5 teams (258.1 rushing yards per game). But a Yellow Jackets enter a Labor Day showdown with Tennessee though heading returning rusher Dedrick Mills, who was discharged from a group in Aug for violating jaunty dialect rules. Mills was one of usually dual FBS loyal freshmen to lead his group in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns final season.

More college football coverage from The Post

Svrluga: College football was built by legends who are proof formidable to follow

Mendenhall is drumming a brakes in his second deteriorate heading Virginia

Michigan, Florida uncover off uniforms for opener, keep starting QBs underneath wraps

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone