College Football is here and that’s great but about all you can really tell about the Week 1 games is that some teams are 1-0 and others are 0-1.
What might look impressive or disastrous in September may not be that way come late October as the season progresses and teams truly reveal themselves. That being stated, some things are readily apparent; it’s just to the degree of it that is difficult to ascertain at this time.
For instance, is Georgia really that good and Oregon that bad? It’s probably a combination of the two but the talent gap of the two programs – and thus, the leagues, too – is as wide as 1-75 in downtown Atlanta.
Utah got an up-close look at SEC football by going to the Swap (an atmosphere that exists nowhere in the Pac-12) and did not wilt until a fourth-quarter interception. Of course, that was against a team that was 6-7 last year and is breaking in a new coach. Florida is better and will be getting a lot better, especially with another 15 at QB, but “not so fast,” as Lee Corso is fond of saying before he puts on the headgear, a weekly ritual that is such a key moment of every college football Saturday.
Not all is peachy in the SEC. Just ask LSU fans, who are already questioning the hire of Brian Kelly. Let’s face it folks, what did he ever win at Notre Dame?
The second Saturday isn’t like to settle anything as many of the top teams are feating on cupcakes. One does wonder, tho if Samford (that’s not Stanford but Samford) does better against the Dawgs than did the Ducks.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Alabama at Texas (9 a.m., FOX)
The Pachyderms have to get up way too early for this one, and all because FOX is too scared to go up against ESPN/ABC at a more reasonable hour. Even in this weak week of games. Bama fans, tho, should rest easy knowing that the opposing coach has already pretty much thrown in towel, telling the media this is not a “program-defining game.” Bama will be without the Million Dollar Band because the seats the hosts provided are in the upper deck of Darrel K. Royal, hardly fitting for a band to make it down to the field to perform. This brought a chuckle to the Prognosticator recalling a quote from Bear Bryant when fans complained about having bad seats at a Nebraska game. Asked if he would do the same when Nebraska came to town he said “we don’t have seats that bad in our stadium.” As the game wears on there should be plenty of good seats for Bama fans to move into as the Longhorn fans head to the bars on Sixth Street. Winner: Alabama
Appalachian State at Texas A&M (12:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Reveille better not get too cozy in Kyle Field because the Mountaineers won’t arrive with empty muskets. In fact, they have firepower that will cause the Cadets to load up on their offense. Last week, the Mountain Men scored six touchdowns and 40 points in the fourth quarter. (They lost.) A&M’s pass defense is not North Carolina’s but the Jimbo’s can not simply matriculate the ball down the field in a methodical manner or they will find themselves in a battle they do not want. Winner: Texas A&M
Tennessee at Pittsburgh (12:30 p.m., ABC)
The so-called Johnny Majors Classic pits two schools in which the former Vol star coached and the Big Orange boys hope to be singing Rocky Top well into the evening. They have the offense to do it but the question with this team is can its defense stop the other team from scoring more than them? Winner: Tennessee
Colorado at Air Force (12:30 p.m., CBS)
Things won’t get any better for the Pac-12 when the lowly Buffs get stampeded by the ground-attacking Falcons (500+ rushing yards last week). In fact, keep your eyes on USAF, which could become this year’s Coastal Carolina. After all, the boys in blue were 10-3 in 2021. Winner: Air Force
Alabama State at UCLA (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
That’s Alabama State folks, not Bama. Don’t expect to see any “We Want Bama State” signs at the game. Heck, you may not seen any fans, either. Interest in the Bruins is so low that last week’s game set a record for lowest attendance (20,000 announced) of any UCLA game in the Rose Bowl. But hey, records are made to be broken, right!? Winner: UCLA
Kentucky at Florida (4 p.m., ESPN)
The Chompers are chomping at the bit to play again but they had better be looking at what is in front of them rather than enjoying their feast from last week. The Cats make up what they lack in talent by being a well-coached, physical team and don’t mind getting into to a fight with a bunch of Gators in the Swamp. A Bluegrass win here would not surprise the Prognosticator but the team lacks the punch to out-wrestle the reptiles. Winner: Florida
USC at Sanford (4:30 p.m., ABC)
The last squad Troy needs is to be facing is its thorn-in-the-side team just as the entire USC community and overly-enthusiastic national media got all excited about it scoring a very Oklahoma-ish 66 in Lincoln Riley’s debut. The Trees have tormented this team ever since Jim Harbaugh’s group shocked Pete Carroll’s juggernaut in 2007 and have won nine of the 15 games since that time. Hmm, maybe that’s the real reason Troy wanted to bolt to the Big 10. Will the Cardinal have their visitors seeing red again this year on the Farm? Winner: Stanford
Baylor at BYU (7:15 p.m., ESPN)
The Arandas hope to Bear down against the hosts but the Cougs are cats on the prowl and are ready to pounce on teams no matter the difference in rankings (9 and 21, respectively). Hold onto your scorecards for it will require a lot of updating in this one. Winner: BYU
Mississippi State at Arizona (8 p.m., FS1)
Now see, Zonies, what a few (as in more than a dozen) transfers can do for a program? Winners of just one game in two years they are now 1-0. Now they get a test more than San Diego State could provide as Mike Leach comes into familiar terrain from his Pac-12 days. Don’t tell fans of the Air Raid attack but the State Dogs are actually a better defensive team than they are an offensive one. Winner: Mississippi State