What a crazy opening week of college football already, especially for the Florida State faithful. We sat through the schadenfreude week zero train wreck of Florida-Miami last weekend, and we’ve updated our travel and TV schedules to accommodate Hurricane Dorian before FSU has even taken the field for pre-game warmups. All this is of course in addition to the collective eagerness of Seminole fans everywhere to finally put the 2018 season behind us.
That being said, now that the ‘Noles have been relegated to a nooner on ESPN News (which, much to my surprise, still exists), there is a full slate of games occurring throughout Labor Day weekend to help ring in week one of the 2019 college football season. Along with the uncertainty surrounding coverage for the ACCN, the supposed new certainty surrounding targeting calls, and the likely increase in personal foul calls on blindside blocks (all three of which I’m sure will be worked out without any issue whatsoever by the ACC and its various officials), many of these games should be of interest to Florida State fans. With that, let’s get squared away with the match-ups and rooting interests (all times listed below are EST):
Friday, August 30
Tulsa at No. 18 Michigan State, 7pm, FS1: Tulsa. Michigan State is ranked, Tulsa is not. Root for the Golden Hurricane accordingly.
No. 19 Wisconsin at USF, 7pm, ESPN: This one is a tossup. Wisky is obviously ranked, but it probably doesn’t do FSU a ton of good to have USF pull off this upset. In the quest to regain legitimacy in the state of Florida, FSU doesn’t need any additional competition.
Utah State at Wake Forest, 8pm, ACCN: Wake. This would be a nice opening win for Dave Clawson and his Deacs over a solid Utah State squad. FSU plays divisional foe Wake in October, an out-of-conference win here would look good on Wake’s resume.
Colorado State vs. Colorado (in Denver), 10pm, ESPN: Colorado State. The Rams aren’t in the Power Five, and Colorado is in the Pac 12. One major conference will get left out of the CFP, and the Pac 12’s reputation is struggling mightily. In a game with virtually no impact on FSU, why not root for the underdog?
Oklahoma State at Oregon State, 10:30pm, FS1: Oklahoma State. Same rationale as above, except that Oklahoma State could be useful to pull off an upset against Big 12 rivals Texas or Oklahoma down the road. Oregon State is still in rebuild mode, so don’t expect much from the Beavers.
Saturday, August 31
Florida Atlantic at No. 5 Ohio State, 12pm, FOX: Florida Atlantic. Imagine the sight of Lane Kiffin going into Columbus and pulling off this upset in week one. We’re here for it. Go Owls.
Northern Iowa at No. 21 Iowa State, 12pm, FS1: Northern Iowa. Iowa State is ranked in the twenties, a spot FSU should be coming for. Why not pull for the unlikely upset here?
South Alabama at No. 24 Nebraska, 12pm, ESPN: Same applies. Also, enough with the Scott Frost love fest. These guys won four games last year.
East Carolina at NC State, 12pm, ACCN: NC State. Like the Wake matchup, divisional foe NC State comes to Tallahassee in October. It would be detrimental to have the Wolfpack drop an early ugly game to a bad East Carolina team, which would do nothing for FSU at this point.
Toledo at Kentucky, 12pm, SECN: Toledo. Why not? If UK wins their first two games, they’ll be ranked, hurting FSU’s chances of the same. The Wildcats have Florida coming to Lexington in two weeks. Maybe they can add two in a row over the Gators after snapping their 31-game losing streak last year.
Ole Miss at Memphis, 12pm, ABC: Memphis. Always root for an AAC win over a SEC opponent.
Mississippi State vs. Louisiana (in New Orleans), 12pm, ESPNU: Louisiana. Substitute the Sun Belt for the AAC and see above.
Eastern Washington at No. 13 Washington, 3pm, PAC12: Eastern Washington. The Huskies are ranked and could be the flag-bearer for the Pac 12 this year. Meanwhile, Eastern Washington is a powerhouse in the FCS and could cause Washington some headache. There’s no reason not to root for the Eagles upset in this one. Crazier things have happened.
Duke at No. 2 Alabama (in Atlanta), 3:30pm, ABC: Duke. If Daniel Jones can be drafted seventh overall, you’d think anything is possible. Unfortunately, Duke beating Alabama probably isn’t possible. Talk about a culture clash.
Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford, 4pm, FOX: Northwestern. Stanford is ranked and FSU isn’t, so we’ll root for the Chicago nerds over the Palo Alto nerds in this one.
Virginia Tech at Texas Tech, 4pm, ACCN: Texas Tech. FSU won’t play the Hokies this year, but a Virginia Tech win in this one wouldn’t be much help for the ‘Noles. On the flip side, conference rankings at the end of the year could determine bowl tie-ins and destinations. As such, FSU fans should pull for a Red Raider victory.
No. 22 Syracuse at Liberty, 6pm, ESPN+: Liberty. This was poor scheduling on Syracuse’s part. Going TO Liberty in Hugh Freeze’s first game as head coach of the Flames? You don’t just stroll into Lynchburg and come out with a W. At the minimum be better at scheduling out-of-conference games than Miami.
No. 3 Georgia at Vanderbilt, 7:30pm, ESPN: Vandy. This upset isn’t happening, but maybe the Dores can keep it close for a half if the Dawgs come out flat. Never forget, Vandy beat Georgia just three years ago.
Georgia Southern at No. 6 LSU, 7:30pm, SECN: Georgia Southern. Remember when the Eagles went into the Swamp and beat UF without completing a pass? Who’s to say that can’t happen here? LSU never has a viable quarterback. Maybe Georgia Southern can hog possession time and keep this game within reach late. Either way, FSU fans should be pulling for this massive upset.
No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 16 Auburn (in Dallas), 7:30pm, ABC: Auburn. This is likely the toughest game on Oregon’s schedule. Meanwhile, you know Auburn is going to take a loss or five with their schedule. Oregon running the table could be detrimental to the ACC, and in turn FSU’s bowl destination, down the road. In a repeat of the 2011 BCS national title game, FSU fans should root for Auburn.
Miami (OH) at No. 20 Iowa, 7:30pm, FS1: Miami (OH). Iowa is ranked and FSU isn’t. Nole fans should root for the real Miami in this one.
Virginia at Pitt, 7:30pm, ACCN: Virginia. The Cavs seem to be the Coastal favorite, but Pitt is the defending Coastal champion (Sad!). FSU plays Virginia in two weeks, but won’t play Pitt this season. It would be preferable for Virginia to come in to the FSU ranked and undefeated, while a Pitt win would do nothing positive for Florida State.
Louisiana Tech at No. 10 Texas, 8pm, LHN: La Tech. Again, an early season upset by a C-USA team over a top ten Texas squad riding a wave of momentum from last year is preferable.
New Mexico State at No. 23 Washington State, 10pm, PAC12: New Mexico State. Again, Washington State is ranked near the back of the Top 25, while FSU isn’t, and the Pac 12 is viewed as the weakest of the Power 5 conferences. A win by FBS independent New Mexico State would be helpful to FSU, perpetuate the slide of the Pac 12...and I would love to see Mike Leach’s post-game press conference if this upset were to happen.
Fresno State at USC, 10:30pm, ESPN: Fresno State. See above, except that Clay Helton would be run out of Los Angeles.
Sunday, September 1
Houston at No. 4 Oklahoma, 7:30pm, ABC: Houston. With no real impact on FSU likely, why not pull for the upset? Coach Holgorsen has had plenty of experience facing OU with West Virginia, maybe he can keep this one interesting in his new digs.
Monday, September 2
No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville, 8pm, ESPN: Louisville. FSU plays Louisville in three weeks, but won’t play Notre Dame this year. A Cardinal upset would theoretically benefit the ‘Noles the most. Join the conference already, Notre Dame.
Who will win the marquee week 1 matchup on Saturday?
This poll is closed