Welcome to the month of August. For the first time since January, we can say there will be college football played this month. This is a glorious thought.
The first games of the season are still weeks away but now the media day circuit has come to a close, camps are opening up around the country and the momentum is carrying us toward the first kickoff of the season. We have nearly crossed the finish line of the college football offseason, but we are not quite in the clear just yet. We will get there though, and we will be rewarded with our patience with a plethora of big games right out of the gates.
Georgia State will get the FBS schedule off and running on August 27, a Wednesday night, against Abilene Christian, the appetizer for the wonderful buffet of games to come in the following days. South Carolina, a favorite in the SEC East and the only SEC school to receive a first-place vote in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, hosts Texas A&M on the first Thursday night on the brand new SEC Network. Vanderbilt will also be appearing on the brand new network with their new head coach, Derek Mason, as they host Temple. Ole Miss is considered a bit of a wild card team in the SEC this season, and they open on that Thursday night in Atlanta against Boise State, a program that will once again be looking to front load its resume for playoff consideration.
The first Saturday of the season should be full of great entertainment as well, and it gets off to an early start with defending American Athletic Conference and Fiesta Bowl champion UCF squaring off with Penn State, coached by James Franklin, in Ireland with an 8:30 A.M. ET kickoff. Pac-12 contender and trending playoff contender UCLA starts their season at Virginia. Michigan welcomes back a nightmare from their past, Appalachian State. The defending national champs from Florida State, led by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston at quarterback, get started on their repeat bid in Jerry World against Oklahoma State. In the same state, LSU will meet Wisconsin in Houston. Alabama will open in Atlanta against West Virginia. Clemson makes a visit to Georgia. Perhaps one of the best games may turn out to be Tennessee’s home game against Utah State, with the return of Chuckie Keeton on the Sunday of the first weekend. Louisville hosts Miami in their ACC debut on Labor Day, bringing our first weekend of the season to a close.
And to think, we’ll just be getting started.