TBFTW Week Zero

Ten Best For The Weekend – Week One

Welcome to the first real week of college football.

Last week was nice, but it was kind of like a homemade popsicle. It does the job, but you’re never going to go to the grocery store and pay for something like that. And you’re definitely never going to serve it to company.

“Hey, you have anything cool and refreshing in the freezer?”

“Um, no. No, definitely not.”

“Well, let me just look because I find it hard to believe that you would invite company over and not have anything frozen and delicious to serve to us.”

“No, please don’t open that –“

“What in the world? Is this Kool-Aid frozen in ice trays with toothpicks sticking out of them. How did you even get past the HOA’s screening process? Janet, call the police! We have poors!”

Yes, we were all poors last week. But now we are all rich. (Unless, of course, we put any money on any of those stupid games last week.)

Now, however, our freezers are full of all kinds of novelties and we don’t care who finds out. We don’t have anything to hide anymore because the full season is finally here.

And it starts with a bang Thursday night.

If this is your first time reading this, we’ll be looking at the 10 most interesting games of the weekend, and maybe some tips for a little action on the side as well.

Thursday August 31

Nebraska at Minnesota (-7.5) | 8:00 pm | FOX

Matt Rhule is making his debut as Nebraska’s head coach and he has a nation of Cornhusker fans longing for a return to the heyday of Frank Solich. The football program will never match the women’s volleyball program, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t at least try. I have been on the Nebraska bandwagon for more years than I’d like to admit (because they were the Scott Frost years). The first step towards a Big Ten championship for both of these teams starts tonight. A loss doesn’t end their hopes, however, because a 5-4 conference record might still win the division. I really think trying to pick Big Ten West games is a fool’s errand, but we didn’t get dressed up for nothin’. Let’s ride with Rhule and (1) take the 7.5 points for the Huskers.

Florida at No. 14 Utah (-5.5) | 8:00 pm | ESPN

It looks like Utah quarterback Cam Rising is out, which is a blow to the Utes, but that dude has so much moxie that you can’t keep it from getting all over the rest of the team. It’s like cat dander. There’s no avoiding it. This Utah team is going to be sneezing vengeance all over the Gators. Florida, meanwhile, is traveling out of the state for a non-conference road game for the first time since 1991. I just hope all of the Florida parents have signed the permission slips to allow the travel. You would hate to see some players left back home. This game without Cam Rising and with Graham Mertz feels like it’s going to be low scoring, which is why (2) I’m liking the under on 44.5.

Friday September 1

Miami (OH) at Miami (FL) (-16.5) | 7:00 pm | ACCN

This is being labeled as The Battle of the Miamis, and while these two schools may share a name, there aren’t any other similarities between them. Miami University has been around since 1809 and was essentially born from a proclamation by George Washington. The University of Miami, meanwhile, was established in 1925 as a place to store British convicts.* The Hurricanes return a ton of starters and have added additional pieces as well. The hope is that quarterback Tyler Van Dyke can get back to his form of 2021 when he threw for 366 yards per game with 20 touchdowns and three interceptions over the final six games of the season. The hope for the RedHawks is that they provide the most devastating win of the weekend. You’d just hate to see John Ruiz not get his money’s worth here. Speaking of money, how about (3) taking the over on Tyler Van Dyke’s passing yards of 274.5?
*citation needed

Saturday September 2

Colorado at No. 17 TCU (-20.5) | 12:00 pm | FOX

After much ballyhoo, Deion Sanders will finally make his debut as Colorado’s head coach. He has turned over the Buffs’ roster almost completely. There is obviously a ton of excitement and interest around the program right now, but this isn’t going to be an easy process for Sanders and Colorado. You don’t just show up, kick everybody off the team, bring in a bunch of players from other teams, and then suddenly have a thing. I don’t care how nice your luggage is. It’s still just luggage. It’s what’s inside the luggage that matters. I will be interested to see if anybody transfers out at halftime, or if anybody transfers in. Will Colorado be throwing jerseys on new players at halftime like Bishop Sycamore? Even with the excitement, we’re all going to be patient with Coach Prime. So patient, in fact, that we’re going to (4) take the under at 63.5. But there is some concern that TCU will go over that number on their own.

Virginia at No. 12 Tennessee (-28) | 12:00 pm | ABC

They say that Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton can throw a football 100 yards, which would perfect if head coach Josh Heupel wanted to recreate a 100-yard Tecmo Bowl touchdown pass. Outside of that, however, being able to throw a football 100 yards is about as useful as controlling a stapler with your mind. Yeah, it’s a neat trick, but we’re kind of going to a paperless society here. Do you maybe have a super power that involves laundry? Everybody is singing Milton’s praises and expecting him to pick up where Hendon Hooker left off, and then take the Vols higher. He may do that, but I need to have my memory erased of his time at Michigan because that clouds everything I see. I’m willing to be wrong because Tennessee’s offense is fun to watch when it’s clicking.

No. 3 Ohio State at Indiana (+30.5) | 3:30 pm | CBS

Welcome to the dawning of the age of Kyle McCord. The junior will get the first crack to be the latest greatest quarterback in Ohio State history. That’s way too much to put on him, but Ryan Day’s run of quarterbacks right now is the best in school history by multitudes. They aren’t asking McCord to be Dwayne Haskins or Justin Fields or CJ Stroud, however. They’re just asking him to get the ball to the best selection of skill players in the country. This is a huge line for the Buckeyes to match in week one, especially with a new quarterback. Combine that with what is expected to be a bad Indiana offense and a good Ohio State defense, and this feels like another good reason to (5) take the under at 59.5, and also (6) take the under on Indiana’s 14.5 total points.

No. 21 North Carolina at South Carolina (+2.5) | 7:30 pm | ABC

I realize North Carolina’s defense should be better this year, but I also realize the definition of “should.” In a week where I’m extolling the virtues of the under like a hellfire preacher in the middle of campus, I’m feeling like having a little sip of devilbrau and (7) taking the over at 64.5. Slow starts for offenses are a thing this early in the season, but there’s going to be a high-scoring game somewhere. Why not here?

West Virginia at No. 7 Penn State (-19.5) | 7:30 pm | NBC

You know NBC has to be thrilled to be aligned with the Big Ten. The network is finally partnered with a Midwestern entity that can reach a national audience. This is going to be a banner year for the network, and their new NBC Sports logo was a nice touch too. It’s good to see these two storied programs playing again. West Virginia against the West Virginia of Pennsylvania. What else could you ask for? While everybody is talking about Michigan and Ohio State, James Franklin and Penn State are laying in the weeds with designs on a Big Ten Championship. Get ready for the bold declarations coming out of this game one way or another based solely on PSU quarterback Drew Allar’s play this week. It could get Morellian. Even though Allar will get the attention, (8) I like Penn State’s over 34.5 total points because of their running game.

Sunday September 3

No. 5 LSU vs No. 8 Florida State (+2.5) (Orlando, FL) | 7:30 pm | ABC

The aura of the SEC is doing a lot of work here. You can generally count on that aura to be able to do two things: 1) alter the Vegas lines; and 2) know its way around an outboard motor. The latter has no factor on this game, but the former could be beneficial to us all. If this game was being played in Tallahassee, I’d like FSU’s chances more. But I still like them quite a bit. I don’t think taking them to win outright is all that crazy, but if you’re going to root for the Noles, maybe just (9) take the 2.5 points instead. Leave yourself a little room for error. This is still Florida State, after all. And you know what? Let’s go ahead and count on these two playmaking quarterbacks to (10) make enough plays to hit the over of 55.5. Even if it takes overtime.

Monday September 4

No. 9 Clemson at Duke (+13.5) | 8:00 pm | ESPN

Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney has finally gone outside of the program for help with his offense. He hired TCU’s Garrett Riley as offensive coordinator in the offseason, which should bode well for quarterback Cade Klubnik. He’s got weapons around him and a defense that should allow him to grow into a more confident player. I really think we need to applaud Dabo here. It shows maturity and growth to admit failure and go get somebody from the outside to run the offense. Sure, some would say that’s the sign of a weak family, but those people are Ferentzes. Duke won nine games last year. Their four losses were by a combined 16 points. Everything is screaming for me to take Duke and the points, but I’m worried I’m just overhearing the Ferentzes again.

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