College football doesn’t technically have a preseason…although one might beg to differ after looking at a few of the games on the Labor Day weekend schedule.   Oregon-South Dakota?  North Carolina-Liberty?  Glorified scrimmages that pale in comparison to real games like Auburn-Arkansas and Georgia-Clemson.  For schools that don’t wade into the shallow end there’s always the danger of losing 52-28 like South Carolina (as you can see, there’s no D in South Carolina, Gamecocks or Spurrier).

 

Alma Mater Update– Syracuse-Villanova is a great Carrier Dome matchup…in February.  With first place in the Big East on the line and Jim Boeheim picking his nose on camera.  The Orange begin year two in the ACC with a Friday night showdown against the Wildcats (6-5 last season).  Terrell Hunt after winning the starting quarterback job last year has to show he’s more than just better than Drew Allen… can he average more than 10 yards per completion?  Will the runningback rotation of thrice named Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Ameen-Moore get their pass protection and hyphen placement right?  Break out the wings…with two containers of bleu cheese.  Like teams that alternate tailbacks, I set the “wing that’s on deck” in the sauce while I eat the other that’s already been dipped.

 

Maryland entertains James Madison– the Terps barely beat JMU five years ago, 38-35 in overtime.  CJ Brown was redshirting that year– and now the sixth year senior kicks off his final (we believe) season in school by facing his brother Jordan (a free safety for the Dukes).  JMU is coming off a 6-6 season where they didn’t win away from Harrisonburg.  Coach Randy Edsall is 3-0 in season openers in College Park–and although they’ve won both games against the Dukes by single digits (23-15 in 1998 the other game), the Terrapins are just too talented to slip up here.  Terps triumph, 41-16.

 

Virginia Tech hosts William & Mary– beware the ampersand.  The Tribe’s made life miserable for I-A/FBS opponents recently…losing by one to Maryland in 2012 and falling by seven to West Virginia last year.  Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer takes over for the departing Logan Thomas– will he have an effective running game to ease his transition?  Last year’s ground attack ranked 106th in the nation–and sophomore Trey Edmunds is banged up heading into Saturday’s opener.  Will a special teams unit that suffered more than a few breakdowns last year live up to its “Beamer Ball” name?  Hokies handle the Tribe, 36-17.

 

Virginia faces #7 UCLA– did Mike London not get the “Cupcakes will be served Labor Day weekend” memo?  Many are picking the Bruins to not only win the Pac-12 but be in the upcoming College Football Playoff.  After winning 2 games last year– this is how you get off the mat?  Much will be expected of runningback Kevin Parks as Greyson Lambert still sounds more like a shirt brand at Vineyard Vines than a quarterback in the ACC.  But Bruins beware— UVa is 4-0 in season openers under London.  Sadly this means that the team is 14-31 the rest of the way under their current coach.  Cavaliers come up short, 34-13.

 

Navy entertains #5 Ohio State–  Braxton Miller’s absence no doubt will give the Midshipmen reason for optimism…but the Buckeyes boast 11 other returning starters.  Keenan Robinson pilots the Mids option attack…fresh off a 2013 season where he ran and passed for over 1000 yards, but against major conference competition last year (Duke, Pitt, Notre Dame) the senior completed 50% of his passes and gained less than 3 yards a carry.  The game while not being played in Annapolis will be held nearby at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.  Under Urban Meyer Ohio State is 10-1 away from Columbus (not as good as the 14-0 record at the Horseshoe, but still…).  Midshipmen fall 32-14.

 

Howard falls to Akron, Georgetown over Wagner, Richmond beats Morehead State, Towson torches Central Connecticut State, Morgan State slips to Eastern Michigan, Old Dominion hammers Hampton.

 

Last Year: 68-29.

 

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