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The Triple Option: Hooray Football!

There’s a full day of college football out there on Saturdays in the fall. Here’s how to navigate Week 1.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

College football Saturdays are spectacular because you can literally watch football all day and who doesn’t love that? (Don’t tell my wife about this article please) But it can also be a bit daunting to figure out which games you actually want to watch.

Introducing the Triple Option. This here is intended to help you find the best, most interesting, or most relevant games ongoing at each time of the day.

Early Slate - The Starter Course

First Option: Maryland at Texas, FS1. Okay okay Texas is back. Yeah we get it. But I do think it will be interesting to see how the Horns look in their first game under Tom Herman's leadership as he's been a proven turnaround artist at previous stops. Will Maryland provide much of a challenge? I doubt it, but this 11:00 slate is pretty meh so this is your best option. It's also the only early Big 12 game this week.

Second Option: Wyoming at Iowa, BTN. Like I said, it's a weak 11:00 slate if you're wondering how Iowa ended up here. But Wyoming should honestly be real fun this year. The Cowboys are coached by former North Dakota State mastermind Craig Bohl and have one of the best QBs in the nation in Josh Davis. I'm not sure how Wyoming will hold up in the trenches for 60 minutes, but I wouldn't be shocked at all if they were to win this.

Third Option: Kent State at Clemson, ESPN. This game won't have any intrigue whatsoever but it's always kind of interesting to see the defending national champion in their home opener the next year. Keep an eye on Clemson's new QB Kelly Bryant who has the unenviable task of replacing Deshaun Watson. Clemson will have all eyes on them next week when they host Auburn.

Afternoon Slate - The Pregame Meal

First Option: Florida v. Michigan, ABC. I'm not sure if this will actually be an entertaining game at all but it's interesting to see these two programs playing on opening weekend. There's been some bad blood between the two over the availability of updated depth charts because that's a thing apparently. As of this writing, Florida is still planning to play this game despite seemingly half of their team being suspended.

Second Option: NC State v. South Carolina, ESPN: There are a lot of people on board the NC State hype train this year as the Wolfpack look to take a big step forward led by their elite offensive and defensive lines. But South Carolina is known to inexplicably ruin hopes and dreams in these opening weekend neutral site games. Just ask UNC from two years ago.

Third Option: Troy @ Boise State, ESPNU. It's not all that often that you see Group of 5 powers play each other as they are usually looking to get matchups with Power 5 opponents but this stands to be a really fun game between Troy and Boise. You've got the co-favorite in the Sun Belt against a perennial power from the Mountain West. And it'll all go down on blue turf just as the Good Lord intended.

Evening Games - Post Baylor Game Tailgate Watching

*Note - This blog is completely counting on you to pay full attention to the Baylor game. But sometimes in non-conference the game isn’t much of a game by the 4th quarter so we understand.

First Option: Alabama v. Florida State, ABC. This is far and away the premier matchup of opening weekend as the Tide and the Noles both open the season as favorites to get to the College Football Playoff. Jalen Hurts against Derwin James. DeAndre Francois against the zombie Alabama defense. Nick Saban against Jimbo Fisher with a whole offseason to prepare. And just for fun, this is the first major event at brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. If you the Baylor game gets out of hand and you leave a bit early to watch the 2nd half of this game, I honestly can't blame you.

Second Option: BYU v. LSU, ESPN. This game was moved from NRG Stadium in Houston to the Superdome in New Orleans due to the flooding that has ravaged the Houston area this week. As a result, BYU fans get to hang out in the French Quarter which is a bit of a hilarious thought. I'm very interested to see how new LSU OC Matt Canada does against a traditionally salty BYU defense. I fully expect this to be closer than a lot of people might think.

Third Option: Louisville v. Purdue, FOX. I can honestly say that I might actually watch Purdue football with an interested eye this year after they hired Jeff Brohm from Western Kentucky to be their new head coach. This should make the Boilermakers really fun to watch once they get going there. But watch this for Lamar Jackson because Lamar Jackson is a very fun college football man.


9:30 - Montana State @ Washington State, FS1

Full Schedule

Time Channel Matchup Location
Time Channel Matchup Location
11:00a ABC Akron @ Penn State State College, PA
11:00a ESPNU Bowling Green @ Michigan State East Lansing, MI
11:00a ESPN Kent State @ Clemson Clemson, SC
11:00a FS1 Maryland @ Texas Austin, TX
11:00a SECN Missouri State @ Missouri Columbia, MO
11:00a BTN Wyoming @ Iowa Iowa City, IA
11:20a ACCN California @ North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC
11:30a FSN Bethune-Cookman @ Miami Miami Gardens, FL
2:00p ESPN NC State v. South Carolina Charlotte, NC
2:30p ABC Florida v. Michigan Arlington, TX
2:30p BTN Nevada @ Northwestern Evanston, IL
2:30p NBC Temple @ Notre Dame South Bend, IN
2:30p FOX UTEP @ Oklahoma Norman, OK
2:45p ESPNU Troy @ Boise State Boise, ID
3:00p SECN Charleston Southern @ Mississippi State Starkville, MS
3:00p FSN Eastern Washington @ Texas Tech Lubbock, TX
5:15p ESPN Appalachian State @ Georgia Athens, GA
6:00p FS2 Liberty @ Baylor Waco, TX
6:30p SECN Georgia Southern @ Auburn Auburn, AL
6:30p FOX Louisville v. Purdue Indianapolis, IN
6:30p ESPNU South Alabama @ Ole Miss Oxford, MS
7:00p ABC Alabama v. Florida State Atlanta, GA
7:00p BTN Arkansas State @ Nebraska Lincoln, NE
7:00p FSN Jackson State @ TCU Fort Worth, TX
8:30p ESPN BYU v. LSU New Orleans, LA
9:30p FS1 Montana State @ Washington State Pullman, WA