For those of you who don’t have tickets or tailgating plans or just want to enjoy the air conditioning and your new 65-inch flat screen, here’s a quick viewing guide.
Five games to watch
No. 7 UCLA at Virginia | Noon | ESPN
This doesn’t sound like much of a game. UCLA is projected by many to win the Pac-12 and be in the running for the national championship. And Virginia, is uhhhh. OK. Even if it’s not a close game, sit back and enjoy the talents of UCLA QB Brett Hundley, who will set school passing records this season. And if that’s not enough, check out Myles Jack, a fearless UCLA linebacker who moonlights as a running back.
Georgia Southern at N.C. State | 12:30 p.m. | WUPA
The Eagles are stepping up in the world. They’ve left the Southern Conference for the Sun Belt and have a built a schedule that features 11 FBS teams. Beginning with N.C. State. The last time we saw Georgia Southern, its players were leaving The Swamp victorious and Gators fans in tears. Much has changed since last November, so new coach Willie Fritz has a few challenges ahead of him.
West Virginia vs. Alabama | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
It’s been reported that Blake Sims, who is from Gainesville, will start for Alabama over FSU transfer Jacob Coker. Either way, AJ McCarron is gone, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Tide will operate without him and with new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. He’ll be on the sidelines with Nick Saban, so will that be a combustible environment? Expect a conservative game plan — shocking, I know — focusing around RBs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry.
Clemson at Georgia | 5:30 p.m.| ESPN
Georgia’s Hutson Mason and Clemson’s Cole Stoudt have been in their programs so long, they don’t feel like first-time starters. But they are, providing a storyline to this great rivalry. Other things to look for:
- Can Georgia block Vic Beasley?
- Can Clemson tackle Todd Gurley?
- Can Georgia find four defensive backs?
Wisconsin vs. LSU | 9 p.m. | ESPN
LSU doesn’t lose these. Here’s proof. The Tigers have won 45 consecutive regular-season non-conference games, a streak dating to Saban’s time in Baton Rouge. Les Miles’ teams have won the previous 35 straight, but will start a new QB — either Marietta’s Anthony Jennings or freshman Brandon Harris. Whoever it is, they’ll soon be handing the ball to Leonard Fournette, who as legend has it, is Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker, Earl Campbell and Barry Sanders rolled into one.
Enjoy the day.