(Jaime Valdez/USA Today Sports)

Thursday, Sept. 4

Time Game D.C. TV
8 Texas-San Antonio vs. Arizona Fox Sports 1

In only its fourth season of existence as a football program — and its first as a full-fledged, bowl-eligible FBS team — Texas-San Antonio has come a long way since Coach Larry Coker bought a makeshift helmet and jersey at Walmart and brought them to his introductory news conference. Coker knows something about building a powerhouse, having won the BCS title at Miami in 2001 and coming within a very controversial call against Ohio State from repeating in 2002. The Roadrunners won eight games in 2012 and seven last season, and last week they pummeled Houston, 27-7, forcing six turnovers and holding the Cougars scoreless for nearly 59 minutes. The road gets a bit tougher Thursday night, as Texas San-Antonio plays Arizona, which put up 58 points on UNLV in its opener. But with 10 returning starters on each side of the ball, the Roadrunners probably aren’t going to be a pushover for anyone this season.

Friday, Sept. 5

Time Game D.C. TV
7 Boston College vs. Pittsburgh ESPN
10:30 Nevada vs. Washington State ESPN

Boston College and Pittsburgh meet for the first time since 2004, when both were still in the Big East. Both are now in the ACC. Interest in the matchup has not grown since then.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Time Game D.C. TV
Noon No. 2 Alabama vs. Florida Atlantic SEC Network
Noon Tennessee vs. Arkansas State SEC Network
Noon Tulsa vs. No. 4 Oklahoma ABC/ESPN2
Noon Penn State vs. Akron ABC/ESPN2
Noon No. 18 Wisconsin vs. Western Illinois Big Ten Network
Noon Illinois vs. Western Kentucky Big Ten Network
Noon Rutgers vs. Howard Big Ten Network
Noon No. 19 Nebraska vs. McNeese State ESPNU
Noon Iowa State vs. No. 20 Kansas State Fox Sports 1
Noon Toledo vs. No. 24 Missouri ESPN
Noon Army vs. Buffalo CBS Sports Network
Noon Purdue vs. Central Michigan ESPNews
Noon North Texas vs. SMU MASN2
12:30 No. 23 Clemson vs. South Carolina State WDCA-20
3 Utah vs. Fresno State Pac-12 Network
3 California vs. Sacramento State Pac-12 Network
3:05 Washington vs. Eastern Washington Pac-12 Network
3:30 No. 13 Stanford vs. No. 14 USC ABC
3:30 Kentucky vs. Ohio ESPNU
3:30 Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois Big Ten Network
3:30 Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee Big Ten Network
3:30 South Florida vs. Maryland CBS Sports Network
3:30 Iowa vs. Ball State ESPN2
3:30 Oklahoma State vs. Missouri State MASN2
4 Tulane vs. Georgia Tech ESPNews
4 Florida vs. Eastern Michigan SEC Network
4 Arkansas vs. Nicholls State SEC Network
4:30 Vanderbilt vs. No. 15 Ole Miss ESPN
6:30 No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 7 Michigan State Fox
7 No. 5 Auburn vs. San Jose State ESPN2
7 New Mexico vs. No. 17 Arizona State CBS Sports Network
7 No. 21 South Carolina vs. East Carolina ESPNU
7:30 No. 9 Texas A&M vs. Lamar SEC Network
7:30 No. 12 LSU vs. Sam Houston State SEC Network
7:30 No. 16 Notre Dame vs. Michigan NBC
7:30 Texas vs. BYU Fox Sports 1
7:30 No. 10 Baylor vs. Northwestern State MASN2
8 No. 8 Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech ESPN
8 No. 21 North Carolina vs. San Diego State ESPNews
10 No. 11 UCLA vs. Memphis Pac-12 Network
10:15 Wyoming vs. Air Force ESPNU
10:15 Boise State vs. Colorado State ESPN2
10:30 Hawaii vs. Oregon State CBS Sports Network
11 UTEP vs. Texas Tech Fox Sports 1


Of the 14 televised games in the early going, four feature FCS teams and five feature teams that have either a directional or an ocean in their names. So it’s the most early-September weekend ever. Alabama hosts Florida Atlantic coming off a tougher-than-expected season-opening win over West Virginia. Blake Sims played the meaningful part game at quarterback for the Crimson Tide against the Mountaineers, but Coach Nick Saban more or less said that both Sims and Jake Coker will play against the Owls, last seen getting trampled by Nebraska. “I still don’t hesitate to say that there’s a quarterback competition,” Saban told the AP. “In some way, we’ll probably try to play both quarterbacks in this game. I don’t know how and when I figure it out, I’m probably not going to tell the media. And I don’t know that it’s that important, to be honest with you,” Saban said, in all you need to know about his thoughts on Florida Atlantic. … On Tuesday afternoon, Wisconsin issued a statement saying quarterback Joel Stave — who started all 13 games last season — would miss some time because of “issues with his throwing shoulder.” Six hours later, Badgers Coach Gary Andersen and Stave met with reporters to clarify some things, namely that Stave “had no physical issues, but he remains out because his recent performances in practice have been subpar and he isn’t in position to help the team,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. In other words, it sounds like the yips. Anyway, Wisconsin likely won’t need Stave against FCS Western Illinois, but the Badgers also would like to get better production from Tanner McEvoy, who was dreadful (8 of 24 passes, 50 yards, two interceptions) against LSU in the opener.


It seems awfully early for Stanford and USC to be slugging it out in the Pac-12, but here we are. The Cardinal isn’t deviating from its recently successful game plan, in which it routinely uses between seven and nine linemen to plod down the field. In a USA Today story from this week, Stanford junior guard Josh Garnett recounted the reaction on Twitter to the Cardinals’ 26-20 win over previously unbeaten Oregon last season, when it held the ball for a ludicrous 42 minutes. “[A tweet] had our Jumbo formation and said ‘What Stanford lines up in,’ then a picture with 50 of us and ‘What Oregon saw,’ ” Garnett said. “I think that showed the mentality. People were like, these guys have eight dudes but it feels like 40. That’s how powerful and physical we were.” Standout trojans defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who had an interception and seven tackles last weekend against Fresno State, missed some practice time this week with an ankle injury but should play against the Cardinal. … Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace threw three interceptions and the running backs mustered 71 rushing yards, but the Rebels still beat Boise State by 22 in their opener. Now Ole Miss gets a Vanderbilt team that committed seven turnovers in a horrifying 37-7 home loss to Temple.


Oregon and Michigan State warmed up for their clash of contrasts last weekend with easy wins over FCS teams, so it’s hard to predict exactly what’s going to happen here, other than that the Ducks will go fast and the Spartans will hit hard. Ducks freshman running back Royce Freeman had 75 rushing yards and two scores against South Dakota, and he’ll get a true welcome to the college game from Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun, a preseason all-American, and linebacker Taiwan Jones, who sits on the Butkus Award watch list. Still, the Spartans lost six starters from last season’s menacing defense, while Oregon returns Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota at quarterback. … Notre Dame and Michigan have been trolling each other ever since Fighting Irish AD Jack Swarbrick informed Dave Brandon, his Michigan counterpart, that he would be ending the series for the foreseeable future. As reported by the AP, Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly called it a “big regional game” instead of “a historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalry” last year before reversing course, and Wolverines Coach Brady Hoke accused Notre Dame of “chickening out” on the series. Everyone seems to be on their best behavior with the last game in the rivalry on Saturday, which is a shame, because college football coaches trolling other college football coaches is fun.