Today we’ll roll out a new Friday feature … the weekend rooting guide.
We’ll take a quick look at each ACC game every week, as well as some of the
bigger ones from around the country.
Each week we’ll give you a guide on what teams it might be beneficial to root
for, for either Virginia Tech or the ACC. Other games are thrown in just for
flavor, and team preference is just based on personal taste.
Weekend ACC Games
Boy, those ACC athletic directors have outdone themselves this time. What an
exciting opening weekend of football games! Or not. When North Texas is the
fourth best team on the opening weekend schedule, then there isn’t much
competition. That’s not the ACC’s fault though. That’s just the direction
college football has gone recently.
You have to hope the ACC wins all their games against 1-AA opponents this
year, except for one. Guess which one?
The ACC got off to a good start on Thursday night, with Wake Forest beating
Presbyterian and Miami blowing out Florida A&M.
Samford at #20 Florida State, Saturday, Noon, ESPNU
Bobby Bowden U vs. Bobby Bowden U. Bowden went to Samford and coached at
Florida State for many years. This game is televised nationally by ESPNU, which
shows there aren’t many other options in week one.
Root for: FSU
South Carolina State at #16 Georgia Tech, Saturday, 1pm, ESPN3.com
Georgia Tech lost a lot of great offensive players, but they’ll get to break
the new guys in against some 1-AA competition. This could be the most boring ACC
game of the week.
Root for: Georgia Tech
Weber State at Boston College, Saturday, 1pm, ESPN3.com
I was wrong. This is probably the most boring game of the week. At least Mark
Herzlich will be back, so there will be at least one story to come out of this
Root for: Boston College
North Texas at Clemson, Saturday, 3:30pm, ESPNU
Well, at least North Texas is a 1-A team. Of course, Clemson follows that up
by hosting Presbyterian next week.
Root for: Clemson
Western Carolina at NC State, Saturday, 6pm, ESPN3.com
I like Tom O’Brien, and I hope new NC State athletic director Debbie Yow
keeps him around. However, O’Brien better have a winning season this year.
Root for: NC State
Richmond at UVA, Saturday, 6pm, ESPN3.com
It seems like these two teams switched coaching staffs in the offseason, with
the exception of Al Groh, who is now at Georgia Tech as defensive coordinator. I
like Mike London, he seems like a nice guy. However, I don’t like him enough to
hope he succeeds at UVA.
Root for: Richmond
Elon at Duke, Saturday, 7pm, ESPN3.com
Duke lost to Richmond in their season opener last year, and finished 5-7. Had
they beaten the Spiders, the Blue Devils would have been in a bowl game. They
need to take care of business against 1-AA competition this year.
Root for: Duke
#21 LSU vs. #18 UNC, Saturday, 8pm, ABC
Generally I’d root for the ACC in any big non-conference game. But UNC is
more like an SEC school than an ACC school.
Root for: LSU
Navy vs. Maryland, Monday, 4pm, ESPN
Ralph Friedgen is a good buddy of Frank Beamer, which makes him okay in my
book. Maryland is also absolutely no threat to Virginia Tech in recruiting as
long as he is there head coach, so I hope he wins enough to keep his job for
Root for: Maryland
National Games of Interest
Though opening weekend is generally bare of interesting matchups, there are a
few that could be fun to watch this weekend.
Purdue at Notre Dame, Saturday, 3:30pm, NBC
Try as I might, I’ve never been able to think of a reason to root for Notre
Dame, unless it helps the Hokies somehow. Their game against Purdue will have no
bearing on the Hokies at all, so …
Root for: Purdue
Kentucky at Louisville, Saturday, 3:30pm, ABC
Repeat the last paragraph, except substitute Louisville for Notre Dame.
That’s a school that’s easy to dislike.
Root for: Kentucky
UConn at Michigan, Saturday, 3:30pm, ABC
This is probably the most overlooked matchup of the weekend. UConn is a solid
football program that returns 16 starters from a team that beat South Carolina
in their bowl game. My upset special of the week is UConn beating Michigan in
the Big House. But would it really be an upset?
Root for: UConn
Washington at BYU, Saturday, 7pm, CBS College Sports TV
Washington quarterback Jake Locker vs. a high scoring BYU team, in Provo. I
don’t really care about west coast football, but this one could be fun to watch.
If you want Virginia Tech to never have to share their BCS money with the small
conference teams, then always go with the BCS teams in matchups like this.
Root for: Washington
Washington State at Oklahoma State, Saturday, 7pm, FSN
If you’re interested in seeing a really, really bad football team, then watch
Washington State. The Cougars only scored more than 17 points twice all of last
season and went 1-11.
Root for: Oklahoma State
#24 Oregon State vs. #6 TCU, Saturday, 7:45pm, ESPN
Another BCS conference team (Oregon State) vs. a small conference team.
Victories by Virginia Tech and Oregon State could really shut up the national
media, which will do anything they can to push a Boise State, TCU or Utah into
the National Championship Game.
Root for: Oregon State
Cincinnati at Fresno State, Saturday, 10pm, ESPN2
This game isn’t important on the national scale, but I’m guessing both teams
will score 30+ points. If you like offense, and staying up late on Saturdays,
this should be pretty decent viewing.
Root for: Cincinnati