THE SEASON AHEAD: WEEK 3 HEATS UP
Well, before getting underway on the Week 3 preview, C&F has to clean up a mess he made earlier -- namely, omitting the Sept. 3 game between FSU and Clemson in Dearth Valley. Forgive C&F his stupidity.
That didn't take long.
Include it under Week 1 if you want or Week 2, but the Monday game is at 8 p.m. on ESPN and well worth watching. The only question is, if the game is at the beginning of the year, can it still save Baby Bowden's job?
On to Week 3.
It's not quite "Footballpocalyse," as EDSBS dubbed last year's extravaganza, but Week 3 is nonetheless a good one. Having dispensed with a couple of nonconference games and wanting to save some for midseason breathers or homecoming games, some teams roll out their initial conference efforts. Others try to capitalize on two weeks of tuning up to bring in their first conference foe. Still others, like South Carolina ... return to horrible nonconference matchups like the Gamecock's tilt with S.C. State. So it's not perfect.
The weekend begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, when West Virginia goes to Maryland for a cross-border rivalry matchup. Maryland is a decent team, but West Virginia is top-5 material. That said, it's a rivalry game, so anything can happen. It's on ESPN.
You might skim Iowa at Iowa State on Versus at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, but the next big games start two hours later, when Michigan hosts Notre Dame (ABC) and Tennessee travels to Florida (CBS). Also on the plate is the next step in the gradual dismemberment of Washington as Ohio State comes to town (ESPN).
I hate my athletics director.
Arkansas comes to Alabama at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN, as college football's craziest coach takes on the shadiest. But, alas, the contest between Kentucky and Louisville at 7:30 p.m. airs only on ESPN Classic. If you have it, don't talk to me. The one year the game could be a good one, and they shuffle it off to a second-tier network. (No, Jim Delany, I'm not talking about the Big Ten Network.)
The highlight of the 8 p.m. time slot is USC at Nebraska, as the Huskers give Southern Cal its first test of the year on ABC Saturday Night Football. For ACC fans, there's a pretty significant showdown between BC and Georgia Tech on ESPN2.
The offbeat nightcap is Florida State's trip to Colorado at 10 p.m. on ESPN, though the game could quickly turn into a rout if the Buffaloes haven't figured out that "it's Division I football, brother!"