It's August. Do you know what that means? It means that we are officially in the month of college football. That right, the season opens this month. Each week is exciting, and ESPN adds to that excitement with College GameDay. Wherever they set up shop every week is always a fun time. Where will they be going this season, though? We don't know yet, so Matt Brown and I sat down to attempt to guess. Here are our predictions for the 2014 season, both serious and ridiculous.
Okay, so this one was easy, because this is the only game they've announced so far. They're going to Florida State vs. Oklahoma State. That's not too much of a surprise. It's the defending national champions in their season opener, being played in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The Seminoles are gonna win this one. In our opinion, though, there's a better choice that week. Wisconsin and LSU are playing that night in NRG Stadium, home of the Texans. You get a matchup of two fanbases that are way more similar than they are different, two football teams with excellent individual players but some questions at QB and concerns about how they will replace talent that went to the NFL, and what should be a more evenly matched and competitive game than Florida State. Of course, having said that, LSU will win by 30.
Dream picks for this week, though? Penn State vs. UCF or Appalachian State vs. Michigan. The Penn State game is being played in Dublin, Ireland (for the lolz, I assume) at 8:30am ET. I want to see Lee Corso drunk on Guinness and Jameson. As for App State and Michigan, let's all take a moment to remember that glorious day when Appalachian State upset Michigan. It was perhaps the greatest moment in sports history. Is there going to be a repeat this year? Probably not. Should there be one, though, for the sake of all that is just and right in the universe? Yes, and GameDay should be there to witness it.
If they could go to any game this week, our bet would be that they'd go to Michigan State vs. Oregon. That should be some quality football right there. However, Fox has that game, so it'll be CGI football robots instead. It'll probably be USC vs. Stanford, though the Buckeyes are playing Va. Tech under the lights and could possibly get the nod.
If we were making the call, though, they'd be at BYU vs. Texas, because after getting totally embarrassed by BYU last season, Texas is going to want revenge badly. Just thinking about last year's BYU game gets Charlie Strong mad enough to suspend somebody. Failing that, maybe Rhode Island vs. Marshall, because watching Marshall score 100 points will be fun.
This week doesn't look too exciting on paper in terms of big games. There will be some fun games for football nerds, like Arkansas State and Miami (FL) or UCLA and Texas, nothing big and flashy. Our money's on Tennessee vs. Oklahoma.
You know where it should be, though? It should be at Arkansas vs. Texas Tech. Why, you ask? Because Arkansas is led by Bret Bielema, and Kliff Kingsbury looks like he could also work as a Ryan Gosling look-alike. There may not be a more dramatic coaching difference this season.
One of those pictures is Kliff Kingsbury. The other is Ryan Gosling. Can you tell them apart?
Trick question. They're both Kliff Kingsbury.
This week will probably see Corso and Herbstreit at the Florida vs. Alabama game. It shouldn't be there, but it will be. Nebraska vs. Miami (FL) or Mississippi State vs. LSU are both better choices, because Florida is an abject tire fire, and Mississippi State could be kind of good, or at least good enough to really test the Tigers. Auburn vs. Kansas State would also be a good choice, as it should be an interesting game, but that one's on a Thursday night, and Corso isn't allowed to do stuff on school nights.
You wanna know what would be a hilarious choice, though? Florida Atlantic at Wyoming. Florida Atlantic is a team comprised of mostly kids from South Florida and will be traveling to Wyoming, a land of high elevation and livestock. The culture shock and lower oxygen levels could do some strange things to those poor kids.
Scheduling again ruins things for this week. Our best guess for this week would be the UCLA vs. Arizona State game, but it's on a Thursday. While it may not be the most exciting game, our best guess for this week is actually Army vs. Yale, because Army is going to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl.
We may not be sure where they're going, but we are sure where they are not going. Sorry, Illinois vs. Nebraska, but GameDay isn't showing up for your game. In fact, there's a very good chance that Illinois won't even be showing up for that game.
We've wandered into dangerous territory now. By week six, everything we think we know about the season could have changed completely. Teams we thought would be good could be terrible, and bad teams could be surprising everyone. People could be hurt. We're truly in the realm of speculation at this point. That being said, we're guessing it'll be Alabama vs. Miss, Michigan State vs. Nebraska, or maybe LSU vs. Auburn. Probably LSU and Auburn.
Patrick thinks it'd be awesome to have them go to the Air Force vs. Navy game, though. It'd be super patriotic, and anyone who disagrees is a communist. The military teams are rarely good enough to garner a lot of national attention, so a big spotlight on these two could be fun. Also, patriotism. Don't forget it. These colors don't run. Actually, they run all the time, because option football. THESE COLORS DON'T PASS, AMIRITE?
We've got a bit of a toss-up here between Oregon vs. UCLA and LSU vs. Florida, depending on where GameDay already went, and if Florida at least beat Eastern Michigan. Patrick hopes it'll be the Oregon game, because he isn't a fan of the SEC (a sentiment that all of Buckeye Nation should share).
If it does turn out to be the SEC matchup, though, you can distract yourself from the pain by watching Liberty vs. Appalachian State or Tulsa vs. Temple. two games that should be so painful to watch that you won't be able to feel anything else afterwards.
After looking at the schedule, we ended up with another toss-up this week. They may choose to go to Notre Dame vs. Florida State, or they may choose to go to the first ever NATIONWIDE PRESENTS THE OHIO STATE HOMECOMING CELEBRATORY BLOODLETTING, FEATURING RUTGERS UNIVERSITY. We would like to apologize in advance to Rutgers fans for the millions of points that we should score on you during that game.
If they really wanted to revel in subpar football teams this week, though, they'll set up camp at New Mexico State vs. Idaho, where two teams will battle it out to see which one doesn't get kicked out of the Sun Belt, and thus, summarily launched into space.
There's a decent chance that Ole Miss vs. LSU gets paid a visit here, but our money's on Michigan State vs. Michigan or Ohio State vs. Penn State, emphasis on the Buckeye game. At some point this season they will visit a B1G vs. B1G game, and these are two very likely candidates for that.
Georgia State and Georgia Southern are also playing that week, and you know that it's the in-state rivalries that really matter nowadays, so keep your eyes on this game. (Hopefully you read that as sarcastically as Patrick wrote it.)
GameDay will be visiting Stanford vs. Oregon this week.
There are no jokes here. That's where they're going.
The Alabama vs. LSU game is a strong contender for this week, because everybody loves SEC battles, and on paper, that should be one of the biggest games of the year. However, if the Big Ten hasn't had its featured game yet, this could be a week for that. The Buckeyes will be in East Lansing to battle the Spartans under the lights. That should be one of our better games this season, and it could quite possibly end up being the battle for the East Division. You won't want to miss it.
If you're looking for a more entertaining option, Presbyterian will be playing at Ole Miss, meaning one of the most conservative schools will be traveling to one of the biggest party campuses. It sounds like the setup to a really stupid comedy film. "This fall, three sheltered college kids are going to learn what it means to party till you drop. PARTY SCHOOL, coming to a theater near you." If that doesn't work for you, you can mix it up this week with some sweet Tuesday night #MACtion with BGSU vs. Akron and Toledo vs. Kent State.
This week has a lot of games that should be big ones and could possibly draw the GameDay crew to them. Nebraska and Wisconsin will play in the game that should decide the West division. Florida State and Miami (FL) will battle it out down south. Mizzou will go to Texas A&M, and LA-Lafayette will take on LA-Monroe in a battle of who gets to call themselves Louisiana (actually, this is a legitimately bitter dispute).
If you're looking for a quick way to spend $10 this week, though, check out S. Florida vs. SMU. Seriously, the tickets are currently just $10.
Assuming nothing crazy has happened in the season up to this point, then the game of the week will probably be USC vs. UCLA. Like I said, though, we're making a big assumption here. Who knows; maybe Cal will have had a season like no other, turning their game against Stanford into one that no one will want to miss. That won't happen, but you never know. (Actually, we do. That won't happen.)
If you were wondering what the worst game of the whole season will be, we found that for you, too. Massachusetts vs. Akron. That game's gonna be NSFW.
Thanksgiving weekend == rivalry weekend. It's last week of regular conference play for most conferences, and a lot of the big rivalries are kept for the end, ours included. While ours could be the featured game of the week, it's more likely to be Auburn vs. Alabama. Come on, Michigan. Get your act together and be a good football team again so that we can draw the nation's eye more with our rivalry game. Also, it's so much more satisfying to beat you when you're doing well. The Golden Pants shine a little brighter when polished with your tears.
New Big Ten rivals Maryland and Rutgers (We're calling it now. It'll be the battle of the TV markets.) will definitely be the game to skip this week. If you need any convincing of that, here's all you need.
That's right, folks. Over 4,000 tickets are available from as low as $5. You could go to this game for the price of a Little Caesar's Hot-N-Ready pizza. (We recommend getting the pizza instead.)
They probably won't do it this week, to be honest. There are only a few regular season games this week. If they do go somewhere, it'll probably be Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma.
As the season gets going, we'll see how things pan out. Madness isn't confined to March. Things will get shaken up, and that's part of why we love to watch.