2016 College Football Opening Weekend: Exciting and Challenging
The opening of the college football season might be my favorite four or five days of the year. Okay, minus birthdays and anniversaries and the kickoff of the Texans season a week or so later, but you get the point. Throughout much of my college football watching years, though, teams weren’t willing to kick off the season with a tough opponent. Many teams offered non-power 5 conference or FCS teams a big check to travel to their campus and be a financial sacrificial lamb, so to speak. Of course, there was the monumental upset or two in the past (Michigan fans still cringe at the words “Appalachian” and “State”), but for the most part, the joy was just in the fact that college football was back.
The past four or five years, though, that mindset began to change and that paradigm shift could result in one of the best opening weekends, on paper anyway, to start any college football season in 2016.
The season will kick off on Thursday night but there’s truly no stellar match-up to get anyone excited. But, let’s fast forward to Saturday, September 3rd, though.
The day starts with the game everyone in this community is so excited about – Houston v. Oklahoma in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff. Both teams will be ranked in the top 15 in the country prior to the season and feature two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the nation. No matchup in the nation will feature a QB tete-a-tete quite like the one here in Houston with Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Houston star Greg Ward Jr.
The afternoon slate of games features two intriguing interconference matchups, highlighting the SEC. UCLA and QB Josh Rosen travel to College Station, TX to face their former OC Noel Mazzone and Texas A&M. The Aggies’ SEC West foe LSU travels to Wisconsin to face the Badgers at Lambeau Field in the very first college game ever played at the hallowed NFL stadium in Green Bay. The SEC continues its run through the Power 5 conferences as Georgia tackles North Carolina in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta following those two afternoon SEC games.
Saturday evening features last year’s National Championship finalists. Alabama travels back to Arlington, TX (Jerry World) to face Pac-12 heavy USC and Clemson travels to face the Auburn Tigers on campus at Auburn.
No opening weekend has ever seen matchups between such college football powers. Suffice it to say, the 2016 CFB opening weekend has plenty of meat on the bone to start the season. No appetizers here, folks, it’s a full on entree smorgasbord with some of the best programs in the country facing one another to kickoff 2016.