5 games to watch in opening college football weekend


It’s never too early to plan ahead. With the 2018 college football season approaching, there will be plenty of storylines to watch, new coaches and Heisman Trophy hopefuls.

Florida opens its season Sept. 1 against Charleston Southern, a good chance for the Gators to get their bearings before a rough and tumble SEC schedule.

Other teams throughout the country have chosen to start the season with tougher tests. Here’s a look at five marquee match-ups in the first weekend of the 2018 season.

Alabama vs. Louisville (Sept 1, 8 p.m., ABC, Orlando): The defending national champs will face another ACC opponent on a neutral field after opening the season with FSU in Atlanta last year. The big question for the Tide remains who will start at quarterback, Jalen Hurts or last season’s BCS title game hero, Tua Tagovailoa. Louisville, meanwhile, must find a signal-caller of its own to replace departed former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.

Tennessee vs. West Virginia (Sept. 1, time, TV TBD, Charlotte, N.C.): In his coaching debut at Tennessee, former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt gets a tough test, facing a high-powered West Virginia offensive led by former Gator turned Mountaineer QB Will Grier. Last season, Grier passed for 3,490 yards with 34 TDs and 12 interceptions.

Michigan at Notre Dame (Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., TV TBD, Notre Dame Stadium): Both schools have decided to renew their traditional rivalry after last playing in 2014. The Irish are projected as a top-15 team despite losing two NFL first-round picks on the offensive line — guard Quenten Nelson and tackle Mike McGlinchey. Michigan will be led by Ole Miss transfer QB Shea Patterson and a group of receivers coached by former UF coach Jim McElwain.

Auburn vs. Washington (Sept. 1, Time and TV TBD, Atlanta): Washington will travel cross-country to face Auburn in an SEC-Pac 12 match-up. Auburn was in contention for a College Football Playoff berth before falling to Georgia in the SEC title game last season. Washington, which reached the College Football Playoffs in 2016, went 10-3 last season and has been consistently competitive under fourth-year coach Chris Petersen.

Miami vs. LSU (Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABC, Arlington, Texas): Miami enjoyed a breakout second season under coach Mark Richt, going 10-3 and reaching the ACC title game for the first time in school history. Senior QB Malik Rosier returns for the Hurricanes, but Miami will get a stiff test facing fast, physical LSU. This could be a make or break season for LSU coach Ed Orgeron, as fans want to see progress from last season’s inconsistent 9-4 campaign.





  1. Tenn-WVa should be an interesting test of the Vols, if for no other reason to gauge how much they’ve got ahead of them as they rebuild. Naturally, I’m pulling for UT until they get into their SEC schedule. In fact, I’m rooting for all SEC teams that weekend. Michigan-Notre Dame? I couldn’t care less, they’re both over-rated every year.

    Who else is playing? I forget, and I don’t feel like looking at TebowCurse’s post again to find out.

  2. Hey King James Version! Good list of LSU tough match-ups, but unless they meet in Atlanta the Tigers can only play UF once. Had to laugh.. my kind of composing mistake. All the same, your point is well made: LSU stands a good chance of losing all of those contests. Add TAMU to that list. It’s likely a frustrating season in Baton Rouge.

      • I have to completely agree, tunaboat. While I have a grudging respect for Ed Ogeron, Alleva is not only a poor excuse of a human being, but an air thief as well.
        Meaning that every time he takes a breath, he deprives some deserving soldier or LEO of much needed oxygen. I wouldn’t so much as ____ in his mouth even if his teeth were on fire.

  3. Hey 6… I used to feel that way about rooting for SEC teams. In fact, occasionally I still do, in that I root for the SEC against anyone out of conference. But lately my thinking has changed a bit and here’s why… when UT finally broke the losing streak against the Gators two years ago, MANY of my UT friends decided to treat it as if they had won the Super Bowl and they rode me mercilessly for the entire year. I was kind of shocked. I never rubbed it in when we were winning 9 in a row. So that kind of stung.

    On top of that I’ll NEVER root for LSU again after Joe Alleva’s moronic behavior two years ago. If LSU went 0-12 every year it would never break my heart. And don’t get me started on UGA’s ridiculous woof woof fans. My sister in law has a graduate degree from UGA and even she hates that fan base.

    I can root for Kentucky and Vanderbilt….but it gets tough after that.

    • I sure get you, Rog. I can’t say that I despise LSU that much, despite their AD……I went to grad school down there, pretty good folks and sure ’nuff good food! But the only SEC team I have trouble getting my arms around is Missouri. A&M? I’m all for ’em, finally where they needed to be all along. But Mzzou? I never got it, never will. I wish we’d brought Va Tech in!

      • Agree with you about A&M. That move made sense. Agree with you about Mizzou. They belong with Nebraska or Oklahoma… I too wish we’d brought in Va Tech…or even Ga Tech (Yes I know the history but love Grant Field).

        • I’ve often pondered Ga Tech, what a storied history and while Tulane was smart to get out when they did, I think Ga Tech made a mistake and probably would have prospered by re-joining the SEC. ………

  4. Whew!! That was close! Misread the second sentence and briefly thought Kevin had written “a good chance for the Gators to get their ‘beatings’…”. For a moment I thought the Gainesville Sun had hired TheTebowCurse as it’s newest sports writer.