It is easy for the passionate college football fanatic, even the occasional weekend warrior that flips through a variety of games on Saturday afternoon, to get excited about the opening weekend of the 2017 college pigskin campaign.
At the close of the 2016-17 NCAA season ESPN revealed their prime time games for Week #1. USA Today’s Paul Myerberg wrote “Games featuring Clemson, Florida State, Alabama and the best of the Big Ten Conference highlight ESPN’s televised college football schedule for Week 1 of the upcoming season, providing an early look at those teams expected to make a charge at the College Football Playoff and national championship.”
The first Saturday of the 2017 season, September 2, “will feature the Crimson Tide and the Seminoles for the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. Two nights earlier, on Thursday, August 31, ESPN airs Ohio State at Indiana at 8 p.m. ET. The Big Ten in particular is strongly represented in the Week 1 slate. In addition to the Buckeyes meeting the Hoosiers, ESPN will air games involving Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan, with the Wolverines’ non-conference pairing with Florida set for broadcast at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. All four Big Ten teams are expected to be in contention for a New Year’s Six bowl and Playoff berth.”
The Big 10 and Big 12 faithful will get an eyeful when Ohio State and Oklahoma receives the prime time slot in Week #2.
Urban Meyer‘s program rematch with Oklahoma – a game the Buckeyes won convincingly in Norman a year ago – will air at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC on Saturday, Sept. 9.
As mentioned, the most anticipated game from Week #1 finds the Alabama Crimson Tide squaring off against the Florida State Seminoles, which is a No #1 versus No. #2 according to ESPN’s preseason Power Rankings. The 1-2 matchup will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
South Florida (10 Wins)
The Bulls have a 12-game regular season schedule and I published the following in the latest College Football Championship Game Futures update: “USF has been voted (by the author) as the most likely of any Group of 5 team, with some help from the power conferences, to sneak into a playoff spot. Charlie Strong‘s squad has but one non-conference game that offers them some national ranking juice, versus Illinois (Sept. 15). Conference events that are likely to serve as the team’s “tell” are home games against Houston (Nov. 4) and Tulsa (Nov. 16). The Bulls get intrastate rival UCF (Nov. 24) on Thanksgiving weekend. It isn’t a stretch to believe that South Florida could have a perfect mark at season’s end and be the top Group of Five team to be involved in a New Year’s bowl.”
Strong’s field general, Quinton Flowers, and South Florida don’t have a large number of prime time opportunities to offer their All-American quarterback legitimate Heisman looks, but any semblance of a successful season will have Flowers’ numbers equal to the other signal caller Trophy candidates. Like last year’s Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson, there isn’t a QB in the college ranks with the dual-threat skill set that Flowers possesses. The Bulls quarterback rushed for 1,530 yards and 18 touchdowns along with 24 touchdown passes in 2016.
|REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE|
|8/26/17||7:30 PM ET||@SJSU|
|9/2/17||4:00 PM ET||STON|
|9/9/17||12:00 PM ET||@CONN|
|9/15/17||7:00 PM ET||ILL|
The Bulls are not only favored to win the AAC but have a schedule that allows them to be the top power conference club in the college ranks with a chance of going a perfect 12-0 on the season.
The Las Vegas SuperBook, WestGate, updated College Football Team 2017 Regular Season Wins teams and odds are as follows;