There was no better feeling than waking up and seeing college football highlights on television. The long offseason is officially over. Somebody better remind the Tennessee Volunteers that the season has begun, as they needed overtime to beat the Sun Belt’s Appalachian State Mountaineers in front of 100,000 people in Knoxville. What a way to start off a fantastic opening weekend of college football. There aren’t many times when you can turn on the television and have great games to watch on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Of course, you could tell me that the weekend will be filled with South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt type games and I would still be excited. The unique pageantry of college football Saturdays is here and Sports-glutton.com is back to bring you all the action in the fourth season of “The Saturday Seven.”
THE OPENING WEEKEND
If you’re a fan of college football, this opening weekend couldn’t get any better for your viewing pleasure. Beyond watching your favorite team’s game, there are huge matchups right out of the gate. Here’s an easy viewer’s guide to help start off your season right!
Friday: Two under-the-radar games you won’t want to miss.
- The Rocky Mountain Showdown, 8PM EST: Colorado vs Colorado State – A bitter, in-state rivalry in game 1? Yes sir, and this game never disappoints. Plus, seeing the Colorado Buffalo run out onto the field is still the coolest entrance in college football.
- Arkansas State vs. Toledo, 9PM EST: How often do two conference champions square off in week 1? Both schools play an exciting brand of football and will be in the mix to repeat as champions in the Sun Belt and the MAC. By the way, that was a Sun Belt team that almost upset #9 Tennessee last night. Tune in to this game and you won’t be disappointed.
Saturday: So many games to choose from, but here are some gems to look for in week 1.
- #3 Oklahoma vs. #15 Houston – Midwest battle of two teams that BOTH have eyes on New Year’s games and the College Football Playoff.
- #2 Clemson vs. Auburn – The battle of Tigers where Clemson is looking to start its run back to the National Title game and Auburn is hoping to start its return to the top.
- #1 Alabama vs. #20 USC – Jerry’s World Stadium in Dallas in a game that USC hopes will show it’s for real this season.
- #18 Georgia vs. #22 North Carolina – The Bulldogs and the Tar Heels meet on a “neutral” field…in the Georgia Dome. Kirby Smart is looking for a great start to his tenure in Athens, while UNC is looking to prove that last season was no fluke.
- #5 LSU vs. Wisconsin – I have no idea if Wisconsin is any good this season. However, is there anything cooler than seeing them play at Lambeau Field against an SEC power?
Sunday: #10 Notre Dame goes up against Texas in a game where Texas wants to prove it’s on its way back up the charts and the Irish want show people it’s in the Top 10 for good and vying for a shot at the College Football Playoff.
Monday: #4 Florida State goes up against #11 Ole Miss on Monday Night Football, college style. Both teams have eyes on winning their conferences on their way to the CFP, but they need this first win to make that possible.
TEAM WATCH – 2016
- The REAL DEAL: Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, and Ohio State
- The PRETENDERS: Tennessee, LSU, Michigan, Washington, and UCLA
- Key an eye out: Houston, TCU, Stanford, Louisville, and Iowa
PLAYER WATCH – 2016
Here are the players to keep an eye on this season:
- The ones all the pundits will tell you to watch: LSU RB Leonard Fournette, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, Stanford RB Christian Mcaffrey, FSU RB Dalvin Cook, and Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.
- A few more under-the-radar guys you SHOULD watch: Iowa DB Desmond King, UNC WR/PR Ryan Switzer, USC RB Ronald Jones II, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, and Houston QB Greg Ward, Jr.
BEST OPENING STORYLINE:
The triumphant return of Pittsburgh RB James Conner is nothing short of phenomenal. If you don’t know his story, Conner is returning to the field after a year away from football. Early last fall he injured his knee. In the process of evaluating that, he found out some devastating news. He was diagnosed with cancer. One of the biggest, fastest running backs in the country was knocked down by cancer. However, he was not knocked out. He faced cancer head on with an attitude and optimism that we should bottle up and give to all patients fighting that terrible disease. He vowed to be back on the field for the Panthers, and that now that day has come. Conner ran over cancer and is now looking to once again run over opposing defenses this season on the gridiron. So keep an eye out for this champion as he starts his comeback story this weekend against Villanova. Here was our story on Conner heading into last season.
NCAA RECORD WATCH:
Keep an eye out for two playmakers looking to tie and break NCAA records. Duke’s Devon Edwards is one kickoff return touchdown from tying the NCAA record. Right down the road in Chapel Hill, UNC’s Ryan Switzer is one punt return touchdown from tying the NCAA record. Here’s an example of what UNC’s “Switz-army” Knife can do.
UPSET ALERT – WEEK 1:
Rarely do you pit conferences against each other in an upset alert. But this weekend the ACC and the SEC meet in 3 games, with huge implications in all of them. All 3 were mentioned above as they are prime time matchups with a lot on the line. Clemson travels to Auburn. UNC and UGA meet in the Georgia Dome. Florida State and Ole Miss meet up in Orlando on Monday. The conversation in recent years has focused on the dominance of the SEC in college football, and that the ACC is the little brother that might never get into the CFP. Well, the ACC may put a team into the CFP for the 3rd straight time this season and has had recent success against SEC foes over the last 2 seasons. Our first UPSET ALERT has the ACC going 3-0 against the SEC this weekend.
FIRST VIRAL MOMENT OF THE SEASON:
Tennessee recovers a fumble in the end zone to send their opening game against Appalachian State into overtime on this.
There you have it. An opening Saturday Seven for an incredible opening weekend in college football. Enjoy the games. Enjoy the season. And keep an eye on Sports-glutton.com for more Saturday Sevens coming your way.
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