College Football · college football TV schedule

Biggest Games of the 2015 College Football season – Part ONE!

Hey, hey, it’s that time kids!  Time to look at the biggest games of the college football season.  It’s the one thing I can do mostly right and be pretty close to what all those fancy experts say.  I can do this a bit earlier this year because more scheduling information has come out at an earlier time than in previous years.  I have to make some good educated guesses as to what channels they will show up on here in Canada (and more specifically Southern Ontario) but those are usually pretty bang on as well (and Sportsnet makes it easy by not showing any college football….thanks Rogers!).

Unfortunately we are still 79 days away from the opening of the college football season.  Well, 79 days from the first game being aired that we can see (if you have one of the specialty packs).  It’s an FCS game but it’s still college football dammit, and I will watch it come hell or high water (what a stupid saying).  Speaking of specialty packs, I wonder what will happen to them for the 2016 season when pick n’ pay is all the rage?  I can save that for another post.

Before we begin with the actual games, let’s take a look at a week-by-week ranking.  I have ranked the weeks based on best games scheduled (as of this point) to worst schedule of games.  For the most part, this ranking makes sense.  The weekly schedule rankings from first to worst go a little something like this (I have included the Saturday the schedule is focused on in parentheses):

  1. Week 13 (November 28 – American Thanksgiving)
  2. Week 10 (November 7)
  3. Week 7 (October 17)
  4. Week 5 (October 3)
  5. Week 11 (November 14)
  6. Week 3 (September 19)
  7. Week 1 (September 5)
  8. Week 6 (October 10)
  9. Week 12 (November 21)
  10. Week 8 (October 24)
  11. Week 4 (September 26)
  12. Week 9 (October 31)
  13. Week 2 (September 12)

I did not include the final week of the season since that’s conference championship week and of course they are important.  It’s probably also sponsored by Capital One or Chick-Fil-A or one of the other few companies ESPN tends to use over and over again.  I also haven’t included that pesky Army-Navy game since it is also very important but is messing up that darn brand-spankin new College Football Playoff.  I think it would be hilarious if Navy was undefeated, won the American conference championship, and then either barely beat Army or laid an egg and lost.

It makes perfect sense that the American Thanksgiving week has the best schedule pretty much every season.  At least a dozen rivalry games, games all day Friday and Saturday, and games of huge importance littered throughout makes it special.  So special I try to get the Friday off to watch them all day.  Another thing that isn’t surprising is that two of the bottom three weeks are in September.  Other than Week 1 (which has the excitement of the start of a new season) and Week 3 (there’s always one fairly good week in September), the other two are filled with non-conference affairs and many of them not that great.  But, hey, it’s college football so again, I will watch as much as I can.

Alright, here we go with the top games of the season (part one):

Week 1

Alabama vs. Wisconsin (in Dallas) – Opening week and Wisconsin is playing in Texas in a neutral-site game yet again.  Will they play three decent quarters and then shit the bed again?  To be honest, depending on Nick Saban’s mood, the Badgers may not be that close to begin with. (8:00, ABC/TSN3)

Ohio State at Virginia Tech – Hey, remember what happened last season?  That’s right, the one thing that made tOSU’s inclusion controversial was The Fighting Beamers’ shocking win over the Buckeyes.  Then after that the Hokies were fantastic, right?  Right?  Is this mic on? (Monday, 8:00, TSN3)

Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (in Houston) – Another one of the way-too-many neutral site games nowadays.  It makes it feel a lot cheaper when there are about 40 of them scattered across the college football schedule.  Anyway, this should be a good one.  Both teams are considered dark horse contenders for the New Year’s Six and the loser here has a much tougher road to hoe for sure. (3:30, specialty pack)

Texas at Notre Dame – This feels like it would have been more important like ten years ago.  Back when Vince Young wasn’t broke.  Back when Charlie Weis was semi-successful as a head coach.  Ah, the good ol’ days.  Honestly, the Irish look like they could break through this year and this opening game will show everyone how good they are against fairly stiff competition.  This may be the beginning of the Charlie Strong Termination Watch as well. (7:00, NBC)

Auburn vs. Louisville (in Atlanta) – Fun Bobby and Malzahni coaching in the same game.  Should be fun to watch.  Another one of the Chick-Fil-A Combo #48 Neutral-Site Games El Fantastico.  This may be the last time they hold it in the Georgia Dome since the Georgia Dome seems like a dump (as evidenced by the Atlanta Falcons wanted to leave there, like, yesterday).  Also, since the US Open has moved to ESPN, CBS of all networks got this game from ESPN to show.  Some very early season Verne and Gary perhaps?  (3:30, CBS)

TCU at Minnesota – Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks, brah!  Arguably, the two teams that had the biggest coming-out parties last season hook up on opening night….that sentence doesn’t look right.  Anyway, two of the better coaches in college football square off with potential Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin being the first one to get a leg up on the Heisman competition. (Thursday, 9:00, TSN3)

Other candidates: Michigan at Utah (Thursday, 8:30, FOX Sports One so none of us will see it), South Carolina vs. North Carolina (in Charlotte) (Thursday, 6:00, specialty pack), Washington at Boise State (Friday, 10:15, specialty pack), BYU at Nebraska (3:30, ABC/TSN3)

Week 2

Oregon at Michigan State – Arguably the worst week of the college football schedule for 2015 has, arguably, the biggest game.  Go figure.  Sparty is going to try and get some revenge on the Ducks, this time in the friendly confines of East Lansing.  This is where we will see how good the Mariota-less Ducks are, but I will say this…I have a feeling Vernon Adams is the real deal and could be a darkhorse Heisman contender.  This could be the ultimate coming-out party for him.  (8:00, ABC)

LSU at Mississippi State – This will be a good game and a rather important one I am sure (especially being an early season SEC conference game).  But for this to be the second-best game of the week shows how weak the rest of the sked is.  I am sticking with Leonard Fournette in the Heisman race until he wins or goes to the NFL.  (7:00, specialty pack)

Oklahoma at Tennessee – Butch Jones saved his job by getting the Vols to a bowl game last season.  He will be expected to do more this season and it probably starts with this massive game against Oklahoma.  The biggest question?  How many times will you hear Turn Down For What during the telecast?  I have the over/under at 14.  (7:45, specialty pack)

Notre Dame at Virginia – Yes, the fourth most important game is the Irish visiting the Wahoos.  This would be a perfect PVR weekend for me that is for sure.  Anyway….the Irish need a strong start to a season where it looks like they contend and Mike London needs to continue the upward trend of the Cavs as of late.  This is one of the quasi-ACC-conference-but-non-conference-Notre-Dame-involved games that…oh hell, just join the damn conference already!  (3:30, ABC/TSN3)

Boise State at BYU – Taysom Hill is back!  Hopefully his leg holds up.  Not that I am a BYU fan at all but he sure is fun to watch.  A game between arguably the top two programs not in a Power-Five conference (although the Big XII office may be watching this game closely).  (10:15, specialty pack)

UCF at Stanford – The worst college football week comes to a close with this game.  Then again it’s still college football so I guess I shouldn’t complain.  Stanford has to be the Stanford from the UCLA game last year and not the rest of last season.  UCF is the type of school the ACC would love to poach (especially if they lost Florida State…ugh talking about realignment happens way too often in the off-season).  (10:30, FOX Sports Fucking One so no)

Other candidates: Utah State at Utah (Friday, 9:00, specialty pack), Oregon State at Michigan (Noon, ABC), Minnesota at Colorado State (3:30, CBS Sports Network), Iowa at Iowa State (4:30, FOX)

Week 3

Ole Miss at Alabama – This early SEC conference showdown gets the slight nod for the best game of the week.  A good early test for both teams and a chance for Evil Saban and his Crimson Tide Juggernaut Express to get some revenge after the Rebs’ win last year (during the craziest week in college football history…relive it HERE!).  (7:00, specialty pack)

Auburn at LSU – Best Game #1B for Week 3.  And again, it’s in the SEC West, the best division in football (until the Pac-12 South or Big Ten East goes crazy).  The gauntlet starts here in Death Valley.  Lucky for the Tigers (of the Auburn variety) that it isn’t a night game since the Tigers (of the LSU variety) are almost unbeatable at night at home.  (3:30, CBS)

Georgia Tech at Notre Dame – Georgia Tech is a bit like Missouri…not enough respect is given to them.  They came within a hair of putting the first College Football Playoff on its ear in the ACC Championship against Florida State.  They run the option to near-perfection (which frustrates the hell out of many defensive coordinators).  But to show they are real they have to win the big games.  They have a bunch of them this year with this being an early one.  Win in South Bend and they have to be considered a contender.  (3:30, NBC)

Stanford at USC – Supposedly USC is back as a Pac-12 contender.  I want to believe the hype since I, too, feel they have a great shot at winning the Pac-12 South at the very least.  But it’s USC.  And since the Trojans played the Longhorns for the national title oh so many years ago (nine-and-a-half years to be exact), they have been, for the most part, a disappointment.  Stanford was a disappointment for the first time in many years last season.  Something has to give here.  (8:00, ABC)

South Carolina at Georgia – Yet another SEC game.  Are we surprised?  To be honest this feels like a lot of SEC conference action for September.  I don’t remember this many conference games this early.  Maybe my memory just sucks.  Aaaaaaaaaaanywho…the Dawgs have to be considered the clear favourite here but never count out the Head Ball Coach.  The kids might be scared enough about having to walk all the way back to Columbia to play well enough to make Mark Richt sweat.  And no, there is no Mark Richt Firing Watch this season…unless UGA tanks.  Then it would be fair game.  (12:00, TSN2)

Clemson at Louisville – More Fun Bobby!  Louisville has been such a frustrating team to watch since they joined the ACC.  Some weeks they look like world-beaters. Then during others, they look like they’d have trouble beating an FCS school.  It’s maddening.  But Senor Petrino’s near-aneurysm look every game makes up for it somehow.  And from frustrating to frustrated we find Clemson who is tired of playing second fiddle to Team Jimbo (who, by the way is now divorced and no, I wouldn’t call his wife hot…just average).  (Thursday, TSN1/TSN3/TSN4/TSN5)

Other candidates: BYU at UCLA (10:30, FOX Sports One god damn it!), Nebraska at Miami (3:30, specialty pack), California at Texas (7:30, FOX), Air Force at Michigan State (Noon, ABC/TSN4)

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