The opening weekend in college football is finally here. While there is not an over abundance of marquee matchups, there are a few games worthy of attention.
(10) Michigan vs. (3) Alabama – Arlington, Texas – ABC 7:00
This is undoubtedly the most important game of the weekend in terms of rankings. Most pundits believe Alabama has the advantage in the game. I think it is Alabama’s to lose, but Michigan is going to bring a hungry team to Texas. If the Wolverines are able to exploit the Tide’s young defense, it could be interesting well into the fourth quarter.
(25) Boise State at (16) Michigan State – ESPN 7:00 Friday
Kellen Moore no longer plays for the Broncos, and I think that can’t be underscored enough. While many count Chris Petersen as one of the best game-planners in the game (and he is), don’t underestimate the coaching ability of Mark Dantonio. I think this game will be fun to watch, and Michigan State will more than likely come out on top.
(13) Clemson vs. (24) Auburn – Atlanta, Georgia – ESPN 6:00
In Clemson’s last outing, its defense allowed West Virginia to score more than 70 points. That is an area that must be improved for Dabo Swinney’s squad to win Saturday night. Auburn has a lot to prove as well. With two new coordinators, both sides of the ball will have ups and downs. This is a game that will kick-start one of the two team’s season. I think Auburn will probably walk out of Atlanta with a victory.
Georgia Tech at (15) Virginia Tech – ESPN 7:00 Monday
This Labor Day night game could be the most important matchup of the weekend. Because North Carolina and Miami are both struggling, the ACC Coastal Division title will more than likely be between the Yellow Jackets and the Hokies. Both teams know what is at stake in week 1, and it should be one of the most competitive games of the weekend. In the end, it will be very difficult, but not impossible, for Georgia Tech to upend Frank Beamer’s team in Lane Stadium at night.
North Carolina State vs. Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – ESPNU 6:30 Friday
The two head coaches in this game need this win. Derek Dooley is probably on a slightly warmer seat than Tom O’Brien, but both could use the victory. It’s also a big game for conference pride. It would be a nice notch in the ACC’s belt early in the year of N.C. State is victorious. Plus, it could help BCS Championship contender Florida State in terms of strength of schedule.
*Rankings are based on the Bunn Sports Poll