'Bout Time! College Lads in Pads Are Teeing It Up
Don't look now -- all but 61,000 Australians didn't -- but the college football season is underway.
In a matchup so lopsided, it had to be played in a nation far, far away, the California Golden Bears predictably dismantled Hawaii's Rainbow Warriors -- back since 2013; it's cool again -- by a score, 51-31, that resembled Aussie Rules Football's at the half.
And that's because point totals in footy are down these days. But it's not for lack of trying.
The big news was Fox Sports Australia inking a deal with the Pac-12 to air 13 conference games and 21 of their hoops match-ups.
If so, more West Coast teams may soon be making the trip, bringing their Sheilas to cheer and trying not to chunder after too much hi-octane Aussie grog.
Meanwhile, the game of the weekend was a dynamic FCS opener, with powerhouse North Dakota State getting a break that the Bison turned into an overtime victory over Charleston Southern, 17-10.
The action was as breathless as the play-by dude:
Don't be surprised to see this pairing again in December, when the real Division I playoff produces a champion.
That victory improved State's record to 43-3 in the FargoDome, part of their 72-5 run since 2011. Four of those triumphs, incidentally, were road wins against FBS schools. The Bison will go for a fifth on Sat 17 Sep against Iowa, while the Buccaneers will meet Florida State on Sat 10 Sep.
Thanks to TV dollars, the first full weekend of scholastic football is packed with marquee matchups spanning from Thursday to Labor Day Monday.
These are the headliners:
Defending FBS titlist Alabama gets to meet USC and those cheeky Trojan t-shirts, to which the Tide promptly responded:
- ACC champ Clemson -- FBS runner-up last season -- gets Auburn.
- Pac-12 North favorite -- and hero to Caterpillar D8's everywhere -- Stanford pits its men-mountains of an o-line against folksy Bill Snyder's lavender crew at the home of wine-&-cheese tailgating parties.
- Houston should've run the table last season, but an upset loss at UConn put paid to that and the delicious prospect of putting heat on the Selectors; if they're to do it this season, the Cougars have gotta top last year's playoff qualifier Oklahoma this weekend.
But that's not all. There's more!
- LSU and Wisconsin get to see one of Leonard Fournette's future playgrounds as they square of at Lambeau Field;
- UCLA and soph chucker Josh Rosen try to make Kevin Sumlin's seat a tad hotter at Texas A&M;
- Notre Dame opens against the Texas Longhorns, and Irish coach Brian Kelly still has to choose between Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer;
- Ole Miss meets Florida State on Labor Day evening, and everyone in Oxford will be tuned in, including the NCAA investigators, who could probably use a break.