For most sports fans Labor Day weekend is the official kickoff for the College Football season along with a good appetizer for the NFL season. If you’re going to be sitting around a TV all weekend here is a detailed guide to maximize your time and entertainment.
Thursday August 30th, 2018
Northwestern @ Purdue (-3.5) – 7:00 pm (Central) – ESPN
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana
On a lack luster opening night as far as quality games go this is the only one that features two Power 5 schools. Also on paper this is a very close game to call with Purdue being a slight favorite at home despite losing to Northwestern last year in Evanston.
Friday August 31st, 2018
Colorado (-6.5) vs Colorado State – 8:30 pm (Central) – CBSSN
Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado
Much like the night before Friday nights schedule is lacking good games with quality vs quality. Luckily this game checks a few boxes by being a heated rivalry and also it’s unique that it is played in the middle of the two campuses at Mile High Stadium in Denver. This game is always hard to predict and outside of 2016 is typically a close affair.
Saturday September 1st, 2018
Ole Miss vs Texas Tech (-2.5) – 11:00 am (Central) – ESPN
NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Now things start to get fun with a couple of teams that are allergic to defense and super explosive on offense. Even though neither of these teams will be competing for Conference titles and Ole Miss can’t play in a bowl game again this should prove to be one of the more entertaining contest of the weekend.
Washington vs Auburn (-3) – 2:30 pm (Central) – ABC
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
I am looking forward to this game more than any other in Week 1 and it should prove to be the most important in the Playoff picture. Washington has a ton of experience and is ready for their second shot at a SEC powerhouse after giving Alabama all they could in the Playoffs two years ago. Auburn will present similar challenges this time around with a NFL caliber D-Line and projected first round QB. Grab some wings and beer and enjoy a couple top level teams kickoff the season with a bang.
Michigan (-2.5) @ Notre Dame – 6:30 pm (Central) – NBC
Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana
With a ton on the line it’s time for one of these teams to step up this season. Not only will this game set an early tone for both squads but it may also determine the future of the coaches. Michigan have brought in top QB talent in Shea Patterson and that should sure up the only real flaw they have had the last few years. Notre Dame has a lot more question marks heading into the year and will have to come out ready in this game.
Sunday September 2nd, 2018
Miami (-3) vs LSU – 6:30 pm (Central) – ABC
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
An underachieving LSU team from last season will meet a Miami team that had a magical run fall apart late last year. Is Miami really back? Will LSU be able to manage that impossible schedule? Who will be the QB for either team? This game consist of a lot of questions and if nothing else that will bring a entertainment value in its self. Combine that with the fact that this is the only game on you might as well enjoy the train wreck at very least.
Monday September 3rd, 2018
Virginia Tech @ Florida State (-6.5) – 7:00 pm (Central) – ESPN
Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
I am very partial to this game for obvious reasons but it also marks the best conference game of opening weekend. Va Tech comes in with a lot of talent and a motivated fan base that seems to think this team is back and ready to compete for the ACC. That will be tested immediately as FSU look to bring new coach Willie Taggart’s high powered offense into the new year with a bang. I expect a lot of explosive plays in this one and a great way to cap off the weekend and get everyone ready for the NFL to start.