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College Football Week 1 Schedule Guide: Don’t Watch This; Watch That

We’re not ready for 18. In any sense of the word.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Northwestern Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Move-In Day here on campus. Barely past 30 years old and still not out of breath when I climb a couple flights of stairs, I never feel older or fatter than I do today.

We’re all supposedly at our prime on Day 1, and something about where fashion has gone in the last decade makes me feel particularly old: shorts are shorter, tops are more cropped than ever, hair is somehow simultaneously longer (on top and in back) and shorter (on the sides) than ever before.

My kid went back to daycare last Tuesday. In the past, it was eyes-wide-open, excited kid to see all the toys and barely giving us a second glance. Instead, after three months home with me—daddy daycare beat the second mortgage that is childcare—or just turning one last Friday, every drop-off is an ordeal. She screams. She cries. It lasts for 10 minutes after we leave. Here we thought we had a well-adjusted kid and the hardest part would be leaving them at college when they turn 18. Idiots, thinking we know anything.

I had planned, originally, to make this about how it’s going to be even harder to do Power Polls now that the Big Ten will have 18 teams in 2024—as of this writing, at least. I had even begun cooking up a list and was going to explore them in-depth, with the idea that while doing things like Archer or Game of Thrones or B-side Sufjan Stevens cuts is hypothetically limitless, it’s fun in my mind to have a list of 18 things to pair, one-to-one, with a Big Ten team.

Not a lot of things come in eighteens! My ideas:

You can tell me what else there should be. Today’s “three hour-and-a-half meetings in 6 hours day,” and I naively thought “Oh, that extra half-hour will be when I finish DWT;WT,” not “Oh, that’s when another colleague is going to take me to lunch and then try to get me to co-write his grant so he doesn’t have to learn digital history methods.”

See? Idiot, thinking you know anything.

Thursday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Eastern Illinois at Indiana State [5pm, ESPN+]
North Greenville at Charleston Southern [5pm, ESPN+]
West Virginia State at Morehead State [5pm, ESPN+]
Elon Phoenix at Wake Forest Demon Deacons [6pm, ACCN]
Kent State Golden Flashes at UCF Citronauts (-36, O/U 56) [6pm, FS1]
Rhode Island Rams at Georgia State Panthers [6pm, ESPN+]
St. Francis (PA) Red Flash at Western Michigan Broncos [6pm, ESPN+]
Shorter Hawks at Samford Bulldogs [6pm, ESPN+]
Florida Gators at #14 Utah Utes (-6.5, O/U 45.5) [7pm, ESPN]
South Dakota Coyotes at Missouri Tigers [7pm, SECN]
UA-Pine Bluff Golden Lions at Tulsa Golden Hurricane [7pm, ESPN+]
NC A&T Eagles at UAB Blazers [7pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

Glenville State at Northwood (MI)

1pm | GMAC Digital Network

NC State Wolfpack at UConn Huskies

6:30pm | CBSSN | NCSt -14.5 | O/U 47

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

7pm | FOX | Minnesota -7 | O/U 45.5

In a testament to the true bureaucratic hell that is an academic department, we were planning a happy hour after the last of three departmental and college-wide meetings today. It was to begin at 3pm.

One retiring faculty member proposed a cocktail bar downtown (it’s a small town, that doesn’t mean much). It sounded good!

Yesterday, finally, one colleague actually bothered to check their hours. They did not open until 5pm. So it was time to propose another one.

The townie bar downtown and the brewery across the street from campus—god bless wisconsin for some very specific things—are for some reason anathema to a very specific subset of our department. They were ruled out.

One colleague finally had the brilliant idea to start at a beer bar downtown, then move over to the distillery’s cocktail lounge, which opens at 4pm. So we went from no happy hour to no townie bars to TWO bars in the span of two hours.

Did you know that, in Wisconsin, your first DWI is just a traffic offense?

Then, today in the departmental meeting, some folks complained that a cocktail bar was too stiff a drink for their drive home. So we settled on the brewery across the street from campus.

Hooray for finally being a voting faculty member, after these five years of grinding across America.


College football is BACK for the second straight week, and so I will be watching...

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    NC State AT UConn
    (4 votes)
  • 84%
    (96 votes)
  • 2%
    You think I wouldn’t see Glenville State-Northwood on there, MNW?
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    Something else really intrigues me here
    (11 votes)
114 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk (on Thursday)...
You Can’t Watch This

Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Arizona State Sun Devils [9pm, Pac-12]


You can’t vote in this poll

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Goddamnit, MNW
    (0 votes)
0 votes total Vote Now

Friday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Howard Bison at Eastern Michigan Eagles [5:30pm, ESPN+]
Central Michigan Chippewas at Michigan State Spartans (-14, O/U 45.5) [6pm, FS1]
Miami Hydroxide Redhawks at Miami Fluoride Hurricanes (-17, O/U 45.5) [6pm, ACCN]
Missouri State Bears at Kansas Jayhawks [7pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

Louisville Cardinals at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

6:30pm | ESPN | Lhvl -7.5 | O/U 48.5

Y’know what? Maybe watch the Battle of Miami. Good God.

Also, I realized as I’m doing this frantically before/during another meeting that SBNation fucked up its Chorus editor so that now when I run the auto-tag and link function to hyperlink team names, it only works if the text is in Paragraph format, not heading format. So none of these games will be tagged from here on out. God I loathe this place.


Friday evening! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Fire up Chips!
    (26 votes)
  • 27%
    The Battle for Miami
    (33 votes)
  • 9%
    (11 votes)
  • 12%
    I’ll be down at the local high school, telling everyone who’ll listen that I could’ve made State if only Coach would’ve put me in.
    (15 votes)
  • 29%
    Something else, probably.
    (35 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk (on Friday)...
Don’t Watch This

probably baseball

Watch That

Stanford Cardinal at Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

10pm | CBSSN | Stanford -3.5 | O/U 59.5

I don’t know anything about Stanford in the 2023 season, but I do know Hawai’i looked vaguely competent at points in their one-score loss at Vanderbilt in Week 1. It’s a testament to how Timmy Chang has shored up that program and motivated them to play in the wake of the devastating Maui fires.

Go Bows.


It’s late on Friday, you’re drunk, and...

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    (49 votes)
  • 3%
    whatever the bar has on
    (3 votes)
  • 45%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (43 votes)
95 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning
Don’t Watch This

East Carolina Pirates at #2 Michigan Wolverines (-36, O/U 52) [11am, Peacock]
Virginia Cavaliers at #12 Tennessee Volunteers (-28, O/U 56) [11am, ABC]
Colorado Buffaloes at #17 TCU Horned Frogs (-20.5, O/U 64) [11am, FOX]
Arkansas State Red Wolves at #20 Oklahoma Sooners (-35, O/U 58.5) [11am, ESPN]
Utah State Aggies at #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (-25, O/U 44.5) [11am, FS1]
Balls Tate Robotbirds at Kentucky Wildcats (-26.5, O/U 49) [11am, SECN]
Bowling Green Falcons away (+9.5, O/U 50) [11am, CBSSN]
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at SMU Mustangs (-20, O/U 65.5) [11am, ESPNU]
Northern Illinois at Boston College (-9, O/U 50.5) [11am, ACCN]
Long Island Sharks at Ohio Bobcats [11am, no tv?]
Western Carolina at Arkansas [12pm, ESPN+]
Bobby Morris at Air Force [12pm, MNW]

Watch That

Fresno State Bulldogs at Purdue Boilermakers

11am | BTN | Purdue -3.5 | O/U 48

Addressing the college of arts and sciences, the provost is currently bragging about our business administration and nursing programs. I do not think she knows which meeting she is addressing.



This poll is closed

  • 57%
    (68 votes)
  • 19%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (23 votes)
  • 22%
    (27 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon
Don’t Watch This

Mercer Bears at #22 Ole Miss Rebels [1pm, ESPN+]
East Tennessee State Buccaneers at Jacksonville State Gamecocks [1pm, ESPN+]
Northern Iowa Panthers at Iowa State Cyclones [1pm, ESPN+]
Portland State Vikings at #15 Oregon Ducks [2pm, Pac-12]
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-30, O/U 59) at Indiana Hoosiers [2:30pm, CBS]
Boise State Broncos at #10 Washington Huskies (-14.5, O/U 58.5) [2:30pm, ABC]
Rice Owls at #11 Texas Longhorns [2:30pm, FOX]
Tennessee State Tigers at #13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish [2:30pm, NBC]
Buffalo Bulls at #19 Wisconsin Badgers (-28, O/U 54) [2:30pm, FS1]
UMass Minutemen at Auburn Tigers (-35, O/U 52) [2:30pm, ESPN]
Towson Tigers at Maryland Terrapins [2:30pm, BTN]
Wofford Terriers at Pittsburgh Panthers [2:30pm, ACCN]
Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Cincinnati Bearcats [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs at Appalachian State Mountaineers [2:30pm, ESPN+]
SE Louisiana Lions at Mississippi State Bulldogs [3pm, SECN]
Colgate Raiders at Syracuse Orange [3pm, ESPN+]
Bryant Bulldogs at UNLV Rebels [3pm, MWN]

Watch That

Akron Zips at Temple Owls

1pm | ESPN+ | Temple -9.5 | O/U 56.5

USF Brahman Bulls at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

2:30pm | CBSSN | WKU -11.5 | O/U 69.5

California Golden Bears at North Texas Mean Green

3pm | ESPNU | Cal -6.5 | O/U 54.5

I love student papers when you can tell they were up against the clock, the word count, or both, and they just fucking phone the rest of it in.


Afternoon! MNW’s out on the boat, I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    USF-WKU and all the points
    (5 votes)
  • 11%
    (13 votes)
  • 28%
    my big ten team yadda yadda
    (32 votes)
  • 47%
    dear god mnw just go to the happy hour it’s not worth this
    (53 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening
Don’t Watch This

See the spreadsheet.

Watch That

UTSA Roadrunners at Houston Cougars

6pm | FS1 | UTSA -1.5 | O/U 60.5

#21 North Carolina Tar Heels at South Carolina Gamecocks

6:30pm | ABC | UNC -2.5 | O/U 64.5

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Wyoming Cowboys

6:30pm | CBS | Tech -14 | O/U 51.5

These are great. Go Coogs.


Evenin’ [/tips hat]

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    (6 votes)
  • 23%
    (23 votes)
  • 22%
    (22 votes)
  • 22%
    my big ten team
    (22 votes)
  • 24%
    something else
    (24 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...
Don’t Watch This

Western Illinois Leathernecks at New Mexico State Aggies [8pm, ESPN+]
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Arizona Wildcats [9pm, Pac-12]
Sam Houston Bearkats at BYU Cougars (-20, O/U 46.5) [9:15pm, FS1]
Idaho State Bengals at San Diego State Aztecs [9:30pm, CBSSN]

Watch That

Incarnate Word Cardinals at UTEP Miners

8pm | ESPN+ | Line, O/U TBD

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at UCLA Bruins

9:30pm | ESPN | UCLA -14.5 | O/U 66

UTEP looked so bad against Jacksonville State and UIW’s offense is historically so fast and fun that I could see the Cardinals sticking around here for a little bit.

Coastal-UCLA’s as good as we get, but unfortunately Chadwell’s gone off to fundamentalistier pastures (pastors?), so the Chants may not have quite the same success rate.


Too hot to have a fire. It’s late, I’m drunk, I’m inside, I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 37%
    (33 votes)
  • 13%
    something else
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    whatever the bar has on
    (2 votes)
  • 44%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (39 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now

Don’t Watch This

They’re all good Sunday games, Brent.

Well, except one.

#5 LSU Tigers (-2.5, O/U 58) vs. #8 Florida State Seminoles [6:30pm, ABC]

Brian Kelly back to talking normal yet?

Watch That

Northwestern Wildcats at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

11am | CBS | RU -6.5 | O/U 40.5

Watch it because: You’re sick and in need of penance after Mass.

#18 Oregon State Beavers at San Jose State Spartans

2:30pm | CBS | OSU -16.5 | O/U 54.5

Watch it because: You decided Northwestern-Rutgers wasn’t penance enough. Sinner.

Virginia Union vs. Morehouse

3pm | NFLN | Black Hall of Fame Game

Watch it because: D-II athletes duking it out while celebrating some cool HBCU legacy.

Fort Valley State vs. Tuskegee

6pm | ESPNU | Red Tails Classic

Watch it because: It beats watching LSU-Florida State.


Which Sunday game are you most excited for?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (80 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    They’re all good games
    (5 votes)
  • 9%
    ...well, all of them except that one.
    (11 votes)
  • 16%
    ...well, all of them except Rutgers-Northwestern.
    (20 votes)
119 votes total Vote Now

Don’t Watch This

Reluctantly, Watch That

#9 Clemson Tigers vs. Duke Blue Devils

7pm | ESPN | Clemson -13 | O/U 55.5

Off to avoid the gaze of freshman and their families as I sweat my ass off, dodging blue move-in bins on the way to my illegally-parked car. Which, come to think of it, has been that way for 6 hours.

See you all at the Happier Hour.