Clemson-Georgia Top Opening Weekend Games
After an offseason that had you not knowing your SEC from your NIL and will eventually have you not knowing your ACC from your Big 10 and even the Pac-12, it’s time for the teams to tee it up and tee off on each other.
It won’t be long before the leftover schools in the Big 10 will be scattered around various leagues like used drinking cups in the stadium stands after a game.
Meanwhile, the drought continues in Nebraska, Josh tries to build the Heupel in Rocky Top and Bryan Harsin continues to harp on against getting his team on the Plains fully vaccinated.
Now onto the games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives in America’s Greatest City, San Diego.
• Thursday, Sept. 2
Ohio State at Minnesota (5 p.m., FOX)
While it may seem nuts for a major college power to open the season on a Thursday, the Nuts are looking to harvest an early conference win and get on with business. They are hoping that CJ Stroud doesn’t fall far from the Fields tree. They will find out right away, tho, as they will discover they have a Gopher problem and it’s going to be difficult to get rid of those varmints. Winner: Ohio State
• Friday, Sept. 3
North Carolina at Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
There hasn’t been this much excitement for a North Carolina football season since, well, Mack Brown was the coach. Pre-Texas. The blue Billy Goats have a Heisman watch candidate at quarterback and a herd they hope will have them grazing on ACC opponents throughout the season. The Gobblers will be bringing their lunch pails to Lane Stadium but the Heels will be having them for dinner. Winner: North Carolina.
• Saturday, Sept. 4
Oklahoma at Tulane (9 a.m., ABC)
The Boomers will open with a boom, scaring the bejeebies out of the other Big 12 schools (and Nebraska) to the point that those teams will be saying that OU can’t leave the conference soon enough. Winner: Oklahoma
Penn State at Wisconsin (9 a.m. FOX)
They will be jumping for joy in Camp Randall if the small mammals chase away the mountain mammals. Knowing how either of these teams will perform when they run out of the tunnel is like trying to pinpoint California’s next earthquake. So The Prognosticator is going with the home team. U-Rah. Rah. Winner: Wisconsin
Fordham at Nebraska (9 a.m., Big 10 Network)
The De-Frosters opened their 2021 season by melting in the Illinois heat and what’s worse for Shuckers fans, looked clueless in doing it. They should be able to take care of Vince Lombardi’s alma mater but there’s big trouble on the horizon. Scott Frost did not want to play Oklahoma this year and if he loses this one or next week against Buffalo he may not have to worry about it, for he might find himself in a cornfield rather than on the sideline. Winner: Nebraska
Alabama vs. Miami (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, 12:30 p.m., ABC)
After stomping their way through college football last season, the Pachyderms return to the Serengeti. Standing in front of them are a bunch of Hurricanes who are hope they are not again just blowing a bunch of hot air. With another herd of players ready to roll into formation, the Tide will quickly deflate any hopes of an upset. Winner: Alabama
Louisiana at Texas (1:30 p.m., FOX)
The Sark sets sail on his Texas luxury yacht and could immediately run into rough waters against a team that could sink the ship before it gets out of the dock. To keep that from happening the ‘Horns had better clean up their act and avoid the kind of mistakes that sent Tom Herman out to pasture. Winner: Texas
San Jose State at USC (2 p.m., Pac-12)
The Helton Skelters host what seems to be a pushover, the Trojan horses shoving aside the weaker Spartans with the kind of ease that causes opposing armies to flee the battlefield. With beer being sold in the Coliseum again, the cardinal- and gold-clad spectators figure to tip back a few with few worries. A few times, tho, they may consider switching to something stronger until the foam settles to the bottom of the cup. Winner: USC
Clemson vs. Georgia (Bank Of America Stadium, Charlotte, 5 p.m., ABC)
The biggest game of the weekend showcases two old rivals who used to play nearly every year. Only 60 miles separates the schools and the gap between the teams is thinner than the width of Highway 106. The Felines are replacing a quarterback while the Canines hope they have one. With a schedule as weak as a 10-yard punt this may be the whole ball of wax (nod to Keith Jackson) for the Dabos. The Kirbys, tho, have something to prove – to college football, to their fans and most importantly to themselves. There’s also one other important factor to keep in mind: this isn’t Florida or a post-season game against Alabama. Winner: Georgia
LSU at UCLA (5:30 pm., FOX)
The only thing the Baby Bears’ rout of Hawaii last week proved is that Bruin fans don’t want to sit in the hot Rose Bowl for an August game against the equivalent of a high school team. The Cajuns will prove to be more than blocking sleds but they are like a bowl of gumbo: filled with mystery. Are they the college football killers of two years ago or the confused Cats of last season? Probably somewhere in between the two. There’s so much talent on the bayou that it would be impossible for them not to scare teams but the Prognosticator believes in the coaching acumen of Coach O about as much as I do Santa Claus. The Trampolines will be playing loose and while they will be up and down in the game, will get the ball bouncing in the right direction at the end. But a warning to Bruin fans: don’t take this as an indication Chip Kelly has turned the corner. It’s one game. And you are the Trampolines. Winner: UCLA
• Sunday, Sept. 5
Notre Dame at Florida State (4:30 p.m., ABC)
Will the legend of Bobby Bowden be enough to propel the hosts to an inspirational victory? Or will they again be what they have been the past few years: spearless warriors? The Prognosticator has a feeling they will find enough in them to win one for the ‘ol Bobby. Those hoping for one of those classic Bowden-Holtz games are likely to be disappointed in the quality the play, tho. Winner (in an upset): Florida State