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College Football Returns This Saturday: Here Is What To Watch

Los Angeles, California August 16, 2023-USC defensive lineman Bear Alexander practices at Howard Jones Field Thursday. `(Wally Skalij/Los Angles Times)

After months of discussions about conference re-alignment, and the never-ending arguments about Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL), it’s now time for college football games to take center stage on Saturdays. This week, referred to as Week 0, marks the start of the college football season, featuring matchups that might seem uneventful but we will all be glued to our TV enjoying the sight of big men hitting each other.

Here’s a ranking of the games based on how much I am interested in them:

  1. Ohio @ San Diego State: The Ohio Bobcats, a solid roster from the MAC, is taking on San Diego State in San Diego. A potential dark horse in the Group of Five, led by star QB Kurtis Rourke, faces the San Diego State Aztecs known for their solid defense. San Diego State could be getting ready for a jump to the PAC-12 so they’re most likely fired up and ready to show off.
  2. Navy vs. No. 13 Notre Dame (in Ireland): Navy and #13 Notre Dame play in Ireland in a matchup that shows a solid Notre Dame defense. While this is a ranked team playing, it should be a blowout in the favor of the Irish. Pretty cool that they are playing in Ireland.
  3. San Jose State @ No. 6 USC: While USC has the Heisman Trophy winner and a solid team surrounding him, this game will be terrible to watch strictly because you need to have the PAC-12 Network subscription to watch. The Trojans look to build off a solid year and maybe make a run at the CFP before the jump to the BIG Ten.
  4. Hawaii @ Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt, under head coach Clark Lea, seeks improvement and competitiveness in the SEC East. Hawaii, with its unique attributes, aims to entertain with its dynamic RB Tylan Hines. This shouldn’t even be close in favor of Vanderbilt even though they barely have a functioning stadium right now.
  5. UTEP @ Jacksonville State: Jacksonville State makes its Conference USA debut against UTEP. A chance to observe how an FCS team transitions to the G5 level.
  6. FIU @ Louisiana Tech: Despite their current challenges, FIU, under second-year head coach Mike MacIntyre, shows signs of progress. A game that could offer insights into FIU’s growth.
  7. UMass @ New Mexico State: An opportunity for football fans to enjoy the sport they’ve longed for. UMass head coach Don Brown’s motto of “Solve your problems with aggression” really shows off a true football guy.

Reminder, this is just Week 0, the worst week of college football. But hey, we made it!

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