College Football Preview: 5 Must-Watch Games This Weekend

Everything about life will take on a heightened sense of sh*tt*ness after Monday. Gone are lackadaisical Summer Fridays (or the idea they exist), weekend getaways to large bodies of water where alcoholic beverages come in coolers, and your boss’ prolonged absence from the office because of vacation.

All of that’s in the toilet. It’s an Usain Bolt sprint to Christmas at work with clients waiting until 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening to send their stuff. Fifty-million meetings and appointments will spring up every hour forever and, sh*t, did you get those reports to David? You got those reports to him before his meeting with marketing, right? F*CK.

But college football is back! At least there’s that. This year’s supposed to be good, what with the college football playoff starting, which means you’ll get even more drama and insipid debate about which teams are elite and which teams Kirk Herbstreit thinks just don’t have enough to squeak into that fourth playoff spot. The second-place SEC West team will always have it, though–but not Boise State. Never Boise State.

This season we’ll highlight each week the five games you should spend your Saturday watching, drowning yourself in booze and food and happiness derived from the fact that it’s not time for the Monday morning commute. And the first weekend of college football match-ups, despite being filled with mid-major check-chasing, provides several. Here are Week 1’s best.

Appalachian St. vs. Michigan, ESPN2: 12:00 p.m.

Ohio State fans still get half a chub watching this clip because Big Ten fans, unlike SEC fans, don’t operate under the guise of being fans of the “conference.” Conference fans are horsesh*t. You openly cheer for rivals to step knee-deep into misery. The 2007 App State upset of Michigan was like mainlining black-tar heroin into a Buckeyes fan’s arm.

So here we are seven years later. App State again will travel to the Big House to play the Wolverines. Like seven years ago, the chances for an App State upset are low, but Michigan fans are wary of the match-up. But with dual-threat quarterback Devin Gardner and virtuoso tight-end/receiver Devin Funchess, both operating under newly installed offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, back, the Wolverines should win this time–should.

West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama, ABC/ESPN2: 3:30 p.m.

This will be fun primarily because Alabama is the sexy pick to be the SEC representative in the college football playoff–and, subsequently, the national championship game. Plus, all Saban-lead campaigns of death and destruction must start with a sacrificial lamb, all the better that it comes at the hands of a team coached by this guy. Anyways, Dana Holgorsen’s offense could make things interesting–maybe–but this game will just serve to showcase how dominant wide receiver Armani Cooper, running back T.J. Yeldon and the ‘Bama defense could be this season. Roll Tide.

No. 16 Clemson vs. No. 12 Georgia, ESPN: 5:30 p.m.

My regular job allows me to comb through ESPN video content, and already I’ve seen approximately 5,000 different “hot take” segments on this particular game. Clemson’s lost their entire offense from last year, so they’ll lose. But hey, Vic Beasley and that Clemson defense–probably enough to overcome Todd Gurley and the Bulldogs, right? So Tigers win. Whatever. Both programs aren’t the cream of the crop, but are consistently good (relative term), basically down the road from each other (electric atmosphere) and run by coaches who can get to a big-time bowl every couple of years (playoff? eh.). They’re also ranked and last year’s match-up was great, so round two’s a must-watch as well.

No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State, ABC: 8:00 p.m.

The defending national champions don’t play Savannah State to kick things off, opting instead to travel to Arlington, Texas, to face Mike Gundy’s gun-slinging Cowboys. Florida State, lead by quarterback Jameis Winston, are just as scary as they were last year, and USA TODAY notes that Oklahoma State is bringing back the lowest amount of starters among Big Five Conference teams. For the Cowboys, that’s scary stuff. This very well could be a blowout before the third quarter or halftime. Don’t expect an OSU win–this is all about seeing how the Seminoles will play in 2014–but its younger players will get to test their mettle against the best of the best and could inspire themselves into more winnable games later in the season.

No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU, ESPN: 9:00 p.m.

Surprisingly, Wisconsin hasn’t played LSU in the Outback or Capital One Bowl recently, which seemed like a match-up that might’ve happened at some point. So there’s no recent history to rely upon, but it is Big Ten versus SEC, which signals Wiscy will be in the game for the first quarter or so before getting demolished. However, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon–a Big Ten offensive player of the year candidate–could cause some problems for the Tigers defense. However, the same could be said for the Tigers’ freshman running back Leonard Fournette, and coupled with a young LSU quarterback this game could be closer than many expect and excite those who enjoy seeing the ball played on the ground.