Monday, August 29, 2016

ACC-SEC Challenge 2016

Every year, fans of the ACC like to keep track of how they do against the "mighty" SEC.  Usually, there are four rivalry games at the end of the season, but often, kickoff games and other home-and-home deals pop up to add a few games early in the season.

This year, we have 9 total matchups, with three of them being neutral sites.

September 3
Georgia vs. North Carolina (Chick-fil-a Kickoff)
Clemson at Auburn

September 5
Ole Miss vs. Florida State (in Orlando)

September 10
Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee (Battle of Bristol)

September 17
Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech

November 28
Kentucky at Louisville
South Carolina at Clemson
Georgia at Georgia Tech
Florida at Florida State

The Independence, Belk, Music City, Orange, Citrus, and TaxSlayer Bowls could feature ACC vs. SEC matchups, so we'll keep our eyes on that at the end of the season.  And of course, it's possible that we'll see SEC vs. ACC in the CFP at some point.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016 Season Look-Ahead

The time is almost here, ladies and gentlemen!  The 2016 college football season is upon us, with "Week 0" kicking things off this weekend.

What to watch: Week 1

So, we're not quite back to football, but with an extra game a week before the official start of the season, I wanted to make sure everyone had time to remember that football season is back.  With week 1, there aren't so many storylines to keep track of, so most of the matchups get listed just because they have two decent teams, or because of where they're being played.

Friday, August 26
10 PM
Hawaii vs. California, ESPN.  Technically, this is week zero.  But why is it a week before all of the other games?  Because they're playing in Australia, where this is actually a noon kickoff on Saturday.  However, it's a 4 PM matchup for those watching home in Hawaii, while Cal's campus will be seeing it at 7 PM.

Thursday, September 1
7 PM
Normally, one of the games on ESPN3 would be getting the honor of the first game of the season, if not for the Australia game a week prior.  Interestingly, 5 games will be underway before any of the major channels start broadcasting games later in the evening.  None of the games feature compelling matchups, though.

7:30 PM
Appalachian State at Tennessee, SEC Network.  I'm mainly including this one for VT fans to scope out the competition for week 2's Battle at Bristol.  Of course, there are UT fans complaining about having to play on Thursday night, feeling like such a timeslot is beneath them.  Whatever, your conference and broadcast partner just gifted you yet another advantage going into next week.

8 PM
South Carolina at Vanderbilt, ESPN.  The first major conference game of the year gets a rare SEC Thursday night slot on ESPN.  Still, it's likely to be a matchup of teams in the bottom half of their division.

Friday, September 2
8 PM
Colorado State at Colorado, ESPN.  Not the biggest matchup, but a decent one for a Friday night game.

9 PM
Kansas State at Stanford, FS1.  Not the biggest Power 5 non-conference game of the weekend, but certainly a worthy game for a Friday night.

Saturday, September 3
7:30 AM
Georgia Tech vs. Boston College, ESPN2.  Yes, that is 7:30 AM.  The international tour of college football continues in Ireland as two ACC members face off.

Oklahoma vs. Houston, ABC.  This could be a preview of a Big 12 matchup in future years.  Either way, it's going to be pivotal for the playoff race this year.  It's being played at the Texans' stadium.

12:30 PM
Liberty at Virginia Tech, ACC Network.  VT has a new coach, and this is the long awaited first game.

3:30 PM
UCLA at Texas A&M, CBS.  Pac-12 vs. SEC.

LSU vs. Wisconsin, ABC.  Live from Lambeau Field.

Richmond at UVA, ESPN3.  As usual, I always keep tabs on FCS Richmond, who is picked to finish at the top of their conference.  UVA is just picking their nose.

5:30 PM
Georgia vs. North Carolina, ESPN.  The Chick-fil-a Kickoff game is back to almost prime time, and the first half of a SEC-ACC doubleheader.

6 PM
Western Carolina at East Carolina, ESPN3.  This game is probably not very good, but does anyone else get a chuckle of seeing two geographically opposite teams playing against each other, especially when they come from states that use the other set of directions?

8 PM
USC vs. Alabama, ABC.  The Cowboy Classic at Jerryworld has now become the premiere kick off game apparently.  And I guess Alabama is subleasing that stadium, since this is their third game in a year there?

9 PM
Clemson at Auburn, ESPN.  The SEC-ACC doubleheader continues.

Sunday, September 4
7:30 PM
Notre Dame at Texas, ABC.  Flipping the script from last year.

Monday, September 5
8 PM
Ole Miss vs. Florida State, ESPN.  There's no way this game can be as big as last year's Labor Day game, even if they did move it to Orlando.  Still, it's another ACC-SEC matchup.