Your spouse flips through college football games on Friday night and lands on the Utah State–Michigan State game. You: "Utah State terrified Wisconsin in the first half of last year's opener before getting obliterated. It'll be interesting to see if the Aggies can compete in East Lansing despite losing two good cornerbacks."
Your spouse: "I love you."
On Saturday, your spouse randomly lands on Miami (OH)–Marshall during a commercial break in the Washington–Auburn game. You: "James Gardner vs. Tyre Brady. One of the best receiver matchups of Week 1 — maybe all season."
Your spouse: "I've never loved you more."
If you're a dumb college football, you're not alone. With 130 FBS teams (plus 125 FCS teams) across 10 conferences and 41 states, most fans don't know anything about most teams. We're here for you. We're here to make you, a dumb college football fan, sound smart in Week 1 with one talking point for each opening-week game.
All times are Eastern.
Thursday, Aug. 30
Central Conn. State at Ball State – 7:00 PM
"I know Ball State has only nine wins since 2015 but there's no way they'll be that bad this season. Remember, they were gutted by injuries last year."
Kennesaw State at Georgia State – 7:00 PM
"Penny Hart is one of the most underrated players in the entire country. Why doesn't anyone talk about him?"
New Mexico State at Minnesota – 7:00 PM
"Minnesota's defense isn't as good as Wyoming but New Mexico State's offense could struggle again. Did you see how bad they looked vs. Wyoming in Week 0?"
UCF at UConn – 7:00 PM
"Sure, UCF's offense will be just as good — if not better — than last year, but I have real concerns about a defense that lost Shaquem Griffin and Mike Hughes."
Missouri State at Oklahoma State – 8:00 PM
"This game might suck but really curious to see how Oklahoma State looks in the post-Mason Rudolph/James Washington era."
Northwestern at Purdue – 8:00 PM
"As much as Jeff Brohm supposedly loves Purdue — who, by way, is making some serious financial commitments to their football program after a disastrous run under Darrell Hazell — it's hard not to wonder if he'll leave after a big year."
Savannah State at UAB – 8:00 PM
"I still can't believe what Bill Clark did at UAB last year. They were ranked among the worst teams in the country in the preseason and won eight games. Unreal."
SE Louisiana at UL-Monroe – 8:00 PM
"App State, Troy and Justice Hansen are getting all this attention in the Sun Belt, and deservedly so, but why isn't anyone talking about ULM quarterback Caleb Evans? He had a really nice season."
Wake Forest at Tulane – 8:00 PM
"Talk about two coaches who've done a phenomenal job at historically poor programs. Kansas might call Willie Fritz if David Beaty gets fired."
Weber State at Utah – 8:00 PM
"Tyler Huntley and Utah's first-team offense might leave early in a blowout but I can't wait to watch him again. He established himself as one of the conference's premier quarterbacks last year."
Northwestern State at Texas A&M – 8:30 PM
"Texas A&M is just praying they escape this game without any major injuries so they're healthy when Clemson visits Kyle Field next week."
UC Davis at San Jose State – 10:00 PM
"Guys, remember Dan Hawkins, the former Boise State and Colorado head coach? He coached in the CFL and Austria but took the UC Davis job — his alma mater — last year."
Friday, Aug. 31
Syracuse at Western Michigan – 6:00 PM
"I've been waiting for Dino Babers to get a big job but aside from last year's win over Clemson, he's been mostly unimpressive in two years at Clemson. Think he can break through this year?"
Monmouth at Eastern Michigan – 6:30 PM
"Chris Creighton kinda reminds me of Jerry Kill. Coached at lower levels and now he's working magic at Eastern Michigan. Also, I can't wait to watch Maxx Crosby after last year."
Army at Duke – 7:00 PM
"I still can't believe Army had almost as many wins (10) as pass completions (13) last year."
Utah State at Michigan State – 7:00 PM
"Utah State terrified Wisconsin in the first half of last year's opener before getting obliterated. It'll be interesting to see if the Aggies can compete in East Lansing despite losing two good cornerbacks."
Portland State at Nevada – 9:00 PM
"Nevada looked a lot better late last season but they're not going anywhere if that defense doesn't limit big plays. Remember, Portland State beat Washington State just three years ago."
San Diego State at Stanford – 9:00 PM
"San Diego State beat Stanford last year. If they do it again this year, the Aztecs have a legitimate path to the playoff, don't you think?"
Western Kentucky at Wisconsin – 9:00 PM
"Western Kentucky sucks but I'm still curious what this Wisconsin passing offense looks like without Quintez Cephus and Danny Davis. Think Jonathan Taylor will run for 800 yards?"
Colorado vs. Colorado State – 9:30 PM
"Did you know they're finally moving this game back to campus in 2020? It should've been done a long time ago."
Saturday, Sept. 1
Coastal Carolina at South Carolina – 12:00 PM
"A lot of people are picking South Carolina as a dark horse in the SEC East. Sure, Jake Bentley could have a huge year but I'm really concerned about a rushing attack that's been garbage recently."
FAU at Oklahoma – 12:00 PM
"I want to think Lincoln Riley is the real deal but I'd like to see him without Baker Mayfield. If FAU wins, are they ranked in the top 15 of polls for Week 2?"
Houston at Rice – 12:00 PM
"Rice has already equaled their win total from last year, though did you see that Week 0 game vs. Prairie View A&M? They almost lost to a bad FCS team at home."
James Madison at NC State – 12:00 PM
"Dude, James Madison's corners are legit. Jimmy Moreland and Rashad Robinson might play in the NFL and could give Ryan Finley some trouble in Week 1."
Kent State at Illinois – 12:00 PM
"I know Lovie Smith has done an admirable job recruiting to Illinois and they played like 500 freshmen last year, but you still wonder who's the Illini's next head coach. Go for someone younger?"
Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech – 12:00 PM
"Think we'll see 15 touchdowns in this game?"
Villanova at Temple – 12:00 PM
"I'll be watching Temple's linebackers, especially Shaun Bradley. He was a beast in his first year as a starter."
Oregon State at Ohio State – 12:00 PM
"Oregon State could've spent some of that money Gary Andersen saved them on a bigger-name coach but Jonathan Smith was a great hire. It's his alma mater and he seems committed to taking his time."
Southern at TCU – 12:00 PM
"Wanna bet that Shawn Robinson will be way better than Kenny Hill this season?"
Texas vs. Maryland – 12:00 PM
"This season feels meaningless for Maryland. It's become the, 'When will D.J. Durkin be fired?' season."
Texas State at Rutgers – 12:00 PM
"I know Texas State is a tough job but I thought Everett Withers would be on the verge of a good Group of Five job or lower-tier Power Five job by now. He laid the foundation at James Madison before Mike Houston took over."
Furman at Clemson – 12:20 PM
"Did you see that story of the Furman quarterback who's a student at Clemson?"
Alcorn State at Georgia Tech – 12:30 PM
"What do you think will happen first: Paul Johnson gets sick of Georgia Tech, or Georgia Tech gets sick of Paul Johnson? It feels like either could happen soon."
UMass at Boston College – 1:00 PM
"This is Boston College's best team in years. A.J. Dillon, the best offensive line in the ACC and a stud in defensive end Zach Allen? The Eagles are gonna be good."
Howard at Ohio – 2:00 PM
"No way Ohio is overlooking Howard after the Bison pulled off the biggest point-spread upset in college football history last year vs. UNLV."
Stony Brook at Air Force – 2:00 PM
"Air Force better take Stony Brook seriously. Their quarterback, Joe Carbone, is really darn good and could stretch an Air Force pass defense that sucked last year."
Albany at Pittsburgh – 3:30 PM
"Who's Pittsburgh gonna upset this year? It was Clemson two years ago and Miami (FL) last year. Who's it gonna be this year?"
Austin Peay at Georgia – 3:30 PM
"For as good as Georgia was last year, they really sucked at forcing turnovers (1.4 per game, 75th in the FBS). I know Deandre Baker and a bunch of other talent is back for Mel Tucker but it's hard to see them improving on that number this year."
Appalachian State at Penn State – 3:30 PM
"Everyone, we get it; App State beat Michigan at Michigan 11 years ago. It was one of the most incredible upsets in sports history. Stop talking about that game like it means anything when the Mountaineers are visiting Penn State in 2018."
Central Michigan at Kentucky – 3:30 PM
"Mark Stoops has gotta be on the hot seat with another season with seven or fewer wins, right? He's done a good job but needs to turn the corner at some point."
Marshall at Miami (OH) – 3:30 PM
"James Gardner vs. Tyre Brady. One of the best receiver matchups of Week 1."
Northern Illinois at Iowa – 3:30 PM
"Remember when Northern Illinois beat Iowa in Iowa City in 2014? I wonder if Sutton Smith and the Huskies can do it again."
Washington vs. Auburn – 3:30 PM
"With Taylor Rapp and Byron Murphy, Washington has the best secondary in the country, and if the front seven can fill a few holes, the Huskies might reach the playoff. Beating Auburn gives them some margin for error in the Pac-12, too."
Washington State at Wyoming – 3:30 PM
"As everyone keeps staring at Boise State in the Mountain West, I'm gonna stare at Wyoming. That defense is the best in the Group of Five and maybe one of the best in the FBS. Andrew Wingard, Youhanna Ghaifan and Carl Granderson are beasts."
West Virginia at Tennessee – 3:30 PM
"Over/under 90 days before Tennessee has a new head coach? Kidding…but seriously, over/under 90 days?"
Eastern Illinois at Arkansas – 4:00 PM
"I'm a little sad that Chad Morris left SMU because he was doing such an incredible job with the Mustangs."
UT Martin at Missouri – 4:00 PM
"Was there a bigger FBS assistant downgrade that Josh Heupel to Derek Dooley? You lose a guy that worked magic with Drew Lock and replace him with a guy who hasn't coached college football in years and was average at best with the Cowboys' receivers."
North Carolina at Cal – 4:00 PM
"Justin Wilcox will be a candidate for a big-time job within two years. Write that down."
UNLV at USC – 4:00 PM
"USC will win this game — probably handily — but I'm curious to see if UNLV can take the next step under Tony Sanchez. That program sucked before he got there."
Boise State at Troy – 6:00 PM
"Tons of people are asking, 'If Boise State goes undefeated, will they make the playoff?' They just need to worry about beating a Troy team that nearly beat them in Boise last year."
Delaware State at Buffalo – 6:00 PM
"Last year, no one knew who Anthony Johnson was. This year, his NFL stock is going berserk."
Elon at South Florida – 6:00 PM
"South Florida wasn't bad last year but they didn't have the season I expected. And now they lost several key players, including Quinton Flowers. Think Blake Barnett can lead another 10-win season?"
Fordham at Charlotte – 6:00 PM
"What else is on?"
North Carolina A&T at East Carolina – 6:00 PM
"After North Carolina A&T's win last week at Jacksonville State, what was already a dangerous game became a terrifying game for ECU and hot-seat coach Scottie Montgomery."
Old Dominion at Liberty – 6:00 PM
"Liberty is paying Old Dominion $1.3 million to play this game. Why?"
Richmond at Virginia – 6:00 PM
"Virginia has won 10 games in a season only once in program history. They could do it in 2018…LOL."
South Carolina State at Georgia Southern – 6:00 PM
"It feels good to see Georgia Southern running the triple option again. Tyson Summers never felt like a great fit as head coach; Chad Lunsford feels like a great fit."
Central Arkansas at Tulsa – 7:00 PM
"Outside of Shamari Brooks, this Tulsa team doesn't seem to have much talent. And with another poor year, would they consider replacing head coach Philip Montgomery, whom I thought was spectacular hire."
Cincinnati at UCLA – 7:00 PM
"It'll be interesting to see how quickly UCLA picks up Chip Kelly's offense, especially vs. an improved Cincinnati team that's had a major talent infusion under Luke Fickell."
Grambling at Louisiana – 7:00 PM
"Billy Napier was one of the more interesting head-coaching hires of the offseason. This is a guy who's been at both Clemson and Alabama but only has a couple years of experience beyond position coach.
Indiana at FIU – 7:00 PM
"With Morgan Ellison suspended, it'll be interesting to see how Tom Allen and the Indiana staff split up carries. Cole Gest should get most of the opportunities but there are some young guys behind him to watch."
Jackson State at Southern Miss – 7:00 PM
"Talk about a huge blow for Southern Miss early in fall camp when Jay Hopson suspended quarterback Kwadra Griggs indefinitely. Let's see if Jack Abraham can step in."
Louisiana Tech at South Alabama – 7:00 PM
"Mason Fine and North Texas are earning all the offseason headlines in the Conference USA West but don't count out Louisiana Tech. Remember, they also bring back a talented quarterback in J'Mar Smith."
Mercer at Memphis – 7:00 PM
"Mike Norvell seems like he genuinely wants to stay at Memphis and build the Tigers' program into a power. If he takes them to the AAC Championship without Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller, give him all the money he wants."
Nicholls at Kansas – 7:00 PM
"If Kansas loses to Nicholls, which would be their third loss to an FCS team since 2010, David Beaty will be fired, right? Jeff Long might pull the trigger right away and start pitching donors on a big name."
SE Missouri State at Arkansas State – 7:00 PM
"Justice Hansen clearly found a perfect opportunity at Arkansas State after transferring from Oklahoma. With Warren Wand and Justin McInnis at his disposal, is this the best offense in the Sun Belt?"
VMI at Toledo – 7:00 PM
"It sucks that Logan Woodside is gone but those Toledo receivers are incredible. I bet most Power Five teams wish they had Cody Thompson and Diontee Johnson."
South Dakota at Kansas State – 7:10 PM
"I'm here for the quarterbacks. Bill Snyder refused to name a starter and said both Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson will play. Whoever plays will have a great offensive line and one of the best running backs in the Big 12 in Alex Barnes."
Charleston Southern at Florida – 7:30 PM
"Florida hit the jackpot when defensive coordinator Todd Grantham joined Dan Mullen in Gainesville. A usually strong Gators' defense struggled last year."
Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt – 7:30 PM
"Richie James is gone for Middle Tennessee, but they return quarterback Brent Stockstill. I'm just not sure they have enough talent around him to win seven games for the fourth straight season."
Northern Arizona at UTEP – 7:30 PM
"Put me in the stunned group when Dana Dimel left K-State for UTEP. He played at K-State and has been at the school for almost his entire career. Now, he's head coach of a miserable program."
S.F. Austin at Mississippi State – 7:30 PM
"It was interesting that Joe Moorhead announced Nick Fitzgerald's Week 1 suspension five months after an incident in March. Think he did it to limit the cloud over his quarterback's head during the offseason?"
SMU at North Texas – 7:30 PM
"Can you believe the job that Seth Littrell has done with Mason Fine, a former two-star recruit with zero other offers? Littrell will be a favorite for the Texas Tech job if Kliff Kingsbury is fired."
Michigan at Notre Dame – 7:30 PM
"If Brandon Wimbush isn't much improved from last year, Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich and that nasty Michigan secondary is gonna demolish him and put Brian Kelly square on the hot seat."
Abilene Christian at Baylor – 8:00 PM
"Baylor was the best one-win team in college football history last year. The Bears still have holes and some depth issues but there's enough talent to return to bowl eligibility this year."
Akron at Nebraska – 8:00 PM
"First-year head coach with a true freshman starting quarterback at a program that's trying to get back to the '90s. How 'bout that? "
Bowling Green at Oregon – 8:00 PM
"I'll hop on the Justin Herbert train when I see him eliminate all those mental mistakes. Maybe he's a Heisman candidate and potential top-10 pick in the 2019 draft but I'm taking a wait-and-see approach for now."
Louisville vs. Alabama – 8:00 PM
"No one will pay attention to Louisville this season now that Lamar Jackson is gone, but Jawon Pass is a really capable replacement. And he has some weapons in guys like Jaylen Smith and Seth Dawkins. They won't score vs. Alabama but they'll score this season."
South Dakota State at Iowa State – 8:00 PM
"Did you know David Montgomery set the all-time FBS record for forced missed tackles last season? He shattered Dalvin Cook's record from a couple years ago."
Incarnate Word at New Mexico – 8:00 PM
"Clearly, Bob Davie isn't gonna be New Mexico head coach much longer. Why not fire him now and start another rebuild instead of waiting?"
Idaho at Fresno State – 10:00 PM
"Did you know Fresno State tied the all-time FBS record for biggest one-season win improvement last year? They went from one win to 10 wins, equaling their total from the three previous seasons combined."
UTSA at Arizona State – 10:30 PM
"Sure, the Herm Edwards hire was bizarre, but he could win some games this year. With Manny Wilkins, N'Keal Harry and others, the Sun Devils actually have a lot of talent."
BYU at Arizona – 10:45 PM
"Will Khalil Tate became the first-ever FBS quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in the same season?"
Navy at Hawaii – 11:00 PM
"Cole McDonald, ladies and gentlemen. After beating Colorado State in Week 1, this game — which was more about Navy's 5,000-mile trip from Annapolis than anything else — is suddenly extremely intriguing."
Sunday, Sept. 2
Miami (FL) vs. LSU – 7:30 PM
"How much of Ed Orgeron's job security rests of the arm of Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow? Probably a lot, if not all."
Monday, Sept. 3
Virginia Tech at Florida State – 8:00 PM
"Justin Fuente's name will be thrown around all season as a potential candidate at Ohio State if the Buckeyes backtrack and fire Urban Meyer. For now, I'm curious to see how he develops young quarterback Josh Jackson."