Top O' the morning to ya, lads and lasses. To get things started we are going to Dublin, Ireland to preview Saturday's first football action.
Georgia Tech @ Boston College 7:30 AM Eastern ESPN2/Watch ESPN
The "homestanding" Eagles play host to the Ramblin' Wreck in the third edition of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. They will be looking for something to take the bad taste of 2015 out of their mouths. You think the Cowboys had it rough? At least they had a few tastes of victory last season; BC went winless. Perhaps their best bet would be to sample a pint of Guinness, because the Yellow Jackets should have the upper hand on the gridiron.
Oklahoma (3) @ Houston (15) 12 Noon Eastern ABC/Watch ESPN
I'll admit it, I'm picking the Cougars in the day's first match up of ranked squads even though they are double digit underdogs. Why? I am a UH alum. Anyone with some common sense knows that the Sooners are loaded this year. The Cougars are too, but there are different levels of loaded. Expect the guys from Norman to make a run at the national title this season.
Hawai'i @ Michigan 12 Noon Eastern ESPN/Watch ESPN
If I lived in Hawai'i it would take a lot to get me to leave the islands, and a date at the Big House would not normally be one of those things. This year though the weather might make the visit to Ann Arbor a little more appealing...maybe. The Rainbow Warriors should probably expect to take a pounding either way. The Wolverines are a 41-point favorite in this game. The best part of this match up is going to be a chance to take a look at what head coach Jim Harbaugh is putting together up north.
Missouri @ West Virginia 12 Noon Eastern Fox Sports 1
Mizzou fans will get their first look at new head coach Barry Odum's Tigers as they travel to Morgantown to face the high powered Mountaineer offense. Expect the Mounties to challenge the secondary early and often. New this year is a West Virginia ground game which should open up the passing game even more for Dana Holgerson's team since defenses cannot sell out to shut down the aerial assault. If you like offensive football, this may be your best bet of the weekend.
UCLA (16) @ Texas A&M 3:30 PM Eastern CBS
100,000 football-crazed Texans confined in an arena where the acoustics have been manipulated to direct the noise down to the field should be intimidating enough, but the Bruins quarterback decided to make sure that the Kyle Field crowd will have a little extra to get them into a frenzy by taunting them in the LA media. Not a smart move. Aggieland is going to be rocking on Saturday afternoon, and the 12th man can be a difficult opponent to overcome.
BTHO UCLA. Some of you know what I mean.
Georgia (18) @ North Carolina (22) 5:30 PM Eastern ESPN/Watch ESPN
Naturally the Tarheels will be hosting the Bulldogs in Atlanta. That is the way it works in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. The game will mark Nick Chubb's first game back as the Georgia ball carrier and he will face a North Carolina run defense that is going to spend 2016 looking to better a poor performance last season. This could be the most competitive contest of the afternoon but the Bulldogs should pull this one out late as the running game wears down their opponents.
USC (20) @ Alabama (1) 8:00 PM Eastern ABC/WatchESPN
The Death Star sees double duty this week as Jerry Jones hosts two traditional college football powers in Arlington. The Tide is the better team in this match up, but there should be plenty to like out of both teams. The Trojans will now have to face Nick Saban's charges while also short a pair of key defensive players after some very serious allegations were made against those men. A touch Advocare Classic match up has gotten even tougher for the men from Troy.
Dallas Cowboys scouts will be in attendance at this game.
Ole Miss (11) @ Florida State (4) Monday 8:00 PM ESPN/Watch ESPN
The final match up of the first weekend of football action actually takes place on Monday night. The Camping World Kickoff features a pair of highly ranked teams with national title aspirations. This game has all the makings of the best game of the week and it should be worth waiting around for. If the Rebels have any thoughts of unseating Nick Saban and crew in the SEC they are going to have to get past a darned good Florida State team. (Tell me you didn't read that state statement in a Bobby Bowden voice.) The Seminoles will also have to prove their worth against an SEC West powerhouse if they want to make a statement this season.
All told, this looks like one of the better opening weekends in recent memory. Sure there are the usual snoozefests on tap, but there are some interesting match ups as well. I plan to be right in front of the tube for as much of it as possible, starting bright and early in the morning. One thing you can count on though is I will hold off a bit on the Guinness. It might be afternoon where they are playing this game, but here in Texas it will still be too early. I think I will start with the coffee.