Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
As we’ve done the last three years, during the college football season we’ll choose five games that are worth keeping an eye on. This week a coach returns to his old stomping grounds and one of the Pac 12 South favorites gets an early test:
WASHINGTON (+12) AT BOISE STATE—Friday, 9:15pm ESPN—After having ridiculous success at Boise State and being mentioned for countless jobs, Chris Petersen decided to head to Washington a year ago. Now he returns to the blue turf as a pretty decided underdog. Washington has a big question mark at quarterback and Boise is playing perhaps its toughest game of the season. Petersen will get a lot of love in what he calls an “awkward” return. Then the game will start.
BYU (+7) AT NEBRASKA—Saturday, 2:30pm (ABC)---Nebraska, Boise State, Michigan, UCLA. That’s a heckuva way to start the season. Such is the life of a football independent and it’s what the Cougars have to look forward to. Last year, BYU won their first four, lost their next four and then won their last four. Starting 4-0 will certainly be a challenge this time around. Former Oregon State head coach Mike Riley takes over for the fired Bo Pelini. Speaking of fired, Nebraska fired their PA announcer one day after he was hired. Social Media strikes again.
ARIZONA STATE (+3.5) AT TEXAS A&M—Saturday, 6pm, ESPN (Houston)—This might be the game of the week in college football. Arizona State plays in the second toughest division in college football. Texas A&M plays in the toughest. Both teams are considered to be dark horse candidates in divisions with much better known teams. This could be a pretty good offensive show in Houston on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how the Sun Devils handle the rowdy crowd.
TEXAS (+10) AT NOTRE DAME---Saturday 6:30, NBC—Year two of the Charlie Strong era at Texas and he still has plenty of work to do. A road opener against a top 20 team will give the fans in Austin an early barometer on the 2015 season, since their opponent is as good as most of the teams in the Big 12. Notre Dame doesn’t play the world’s toughest schedule. If they have their sites on the playoff, an early loss isn’t a good idea.
WISCONSIN (+10.5) vs. ALABAMA---Saturday, 7pm, ABC (Arlington, TX)—It’s not normal for us to say that the Tide has some question marks, but the reality is, they do. Most pundits are picking their in-state rival to win the SEC West and some have even suggested Alabama might be a tad (gasp) overrated. Well, we’re going to find out some things about this team Saturday. Wisconsin, along with Michigan State are the two best teams in the Big Ten not named Ohio State. The Badgers break in a new head coach….against Alabama….at Jerry World.