Pat Dooley’s High Five (April 21st)

It’s not too early, is it? I mean, college football is still more than four months away, but all these spring games and the USFL and Billy Napier’s speaking tour kind of gets you going.

Or is that just me?

It forced me, held me down and made me look it up, to see what the first weekend of college football is going to look like. We usually wait until the summer, but when a new coach comes in the excitement level gets ramped up.

So, the High Five today gives you five games to watch on the first real weekend of the season Sept. 3-4. I loathe the term Week Zero for the August games, but it may actually apply this season. There’s not a great game then.

There are plenty to follow:

 

  1. Georgia vs. Oregon in Atlanta

Georgia going up against its old defensive coordinator as the Bulldogs try to defend their national title?

Yummy.

The ‘Dogs will have the crowd on their side, but it will be a fascinating game with two really good defenses on display.

 

  1. Notre Dame at Ohio State

Marcus Freeman’s second game as coach (he was interim for the bowl game after Brian Kelly went carpetbagging) should be a great one.

Early analysis: I don’t think Notre Dame will be able to score with the Buckeyes. But I know we will be watching.

 

  1. Utah at Florida

It’s Billy Napier’s debut, which should be enough. But Utah could be a top 10 team when the Associated Press poll comes out.

The Utes are really good, but you can’t help but wonder about the humidity, especially if this is a 3:30 p.m. game.

 

  1. Cincinnati at Arkansas

A College football playoff team a year ago, the Bearcats are not going away. Neither is an Arkansas team that has another difficult schedule, but plenty of talent to handle it.

 

  1. LSU at FSU (Sunday)

Perfect way to finish the first big weekend of college football (there is a game Monday night, but it doesn’t make the list.)

It will be interesting to see Mike Norvell’s team in his third season and certainly fascinating to see Kelly’s debut as the LSU coach. Who to root for (or against)?

 

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