Well hello there and welcome back to the College Football Weekly Buffet here at SB Nation. No reservations are required. We ask only that you bring a voracious hunger for college football, a bib, goggles in case Lou Holtz eats near you and that the presence of Pam Ward's dulcet tones don't ruin your appetite.
Every week, I'll be breaking down the weekend schedule, separating the tasty morsels from the leftovers with the help of SB Nation's college bloggers. By the time you wake up Saturday morning, grab your plate and head for the food line, you'll already know exactly what you're going to dine on.
So let's find out what looks tasty and what might be worth pushing to the side of your plate in this weekend's college football buffet (All times are Eastern).
GIVE ME A HEAPING HELPING
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU (8PM, ABC) - You don't need much to know that you're watching this one, but make sure you're ready. Want to know the reasons the Ducks will beat the Tigers and vice versa? Have at it. Want to know the players and situations you should be keeping an eye on? Here you go. Any not covered there is certainly covered here. There...now you're ready.
No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia (8PM, ESPN) Georgia played their first football game in 1891, just a year after Idaho's statehood. So they've got a little bit of a head start going. That said, the Broncs have made up for lost time and all of a sudden this is one of the marquee match-ups of week one.
I'LL HAVE A SCOOP OF THAT, PLEASE
Miami @ Maryland (Monday, 8PM, ESPN) - The Hurricanes aren't the only team dealing with multiple player suspensions. Maryland will be without RB D.J. Adams and OL Cody Blue. Opportunity to wear the Turtle Shell Dome...wasted.
South Florida @ No. 16 Notre Dame (3:30, NBC) - It has been just under twenty-one months since Notre Dame hired Brian Kelly and the Irish are beginning to act like winners again. Our USF blog just wants to make sure Bulls fans don't act like a-holes while they're in South Bend.
East Carolina vs. No. 12 South Carolina in Charlotte, NC (7PM, FSN-National/ESPN3) - All eyes on Connor Shaw, who got the starting nod over incumbent Stephen Garcia. Spurrier rolls the dice once more...
SMU @ No. 8 Texas A&M (Sunday, 7:30, FSN) - A match-up between a current Big 12 team that wants to be a ex-Big 12 team against a possibly-future Big 12 team. It sounds more complicated than it is.
I'LL TASTE IT FIRST...
Northwestern @ Boston College (Noon, ESPNU) - Wildcat QB Dan Persa is questionable for this one, causing massive concern for Purp Nation. The Eagles will be playing without RB Montel Harris and need to find a way to make up for it.
Appalachian State at No. 13 Virginia Tech (12:30PM, ACC Network/GamePlan/ESPN3) - Hokie fans are tired of seeing their team start the season 0-1. They probably shouldn't have scheduled a team notable for causing FBS opponents to start their seasons 0-1, then.
BYU @ Mississippi (4:45PM, ESPN) - For BYU, there's so much hype about Jake Heaps' and the BYU passing offense that if they sleep on J.J. Di Luigi, Bryan Kariya or Joshua Quezada, Ole Miss could be in trouble. Meanwhile, Ole Miss fans aren't too sure what to make of Houston Nutt and whether or not he's on the hot seat.
Fresno State at California (7PM, CSN-California) - Last year, Fresno St. was awful at forcing turnovers. Cal fans were dismayed that the Bears only forced 19 turnovers on the year, but Fresno St. was markedly worse with just 13. In other words, don't expect too many interceptions.
Minnesota @ No. 25 USC (3:30, ABC/ESPN2) - ESPN's Pat Forde is looking for the Gophers to upset USC, which means the Trojans should be just fine. Minny's offensive line is going to be a mystery and fans may learn more from that unit after Saturday's game than any other one on the field.
I'LL KEEP THAT IN MIND FOR THE NEXT TRIP
No. 14 TCU @ Baylor (Friday, 8PM, ESPN) - The Frogs travel to Waco to face the Bears in the last of a four-game series that begin in 2006. Baylor is 0-3 so far in the series and things don't look that much better in 2011.
I DON'T KNOW...SMELLS FUNNY...
Youngstown State at No. 17 Michigan State (Friday, 7:30PM, BTN) - Will the Spartans throw more on first down? Will their offensive line live up to expectations? These are just some of the questions MSU hopes to answer in their "tune-up."
Kent State at No. 2 Alabama (Noon, SEC Network/GamePlan/ESPN3) - The season opener for Alabama figures to be an obligatory affair unless injuries strike. Don't expect to see QB A.J. McCarron for too long.
Miami (OH) at No. 21 Missouri (Noon, FSN-National) - The last time Missouri began a football season with a sophomore from Texas at starting quarterback was also the last time Missouri began a season against somebody other than Illinois.
Tennessee Tech at Iowa (Noon, BTN) - Tennessee Tech describes their offense as "The Fastest 60 Minutes in Football." Meanwhile, the Iowa Hawkeyes defense over the past few years has been, too often, Dickensian in their efforts to defend against a no huddle offense, "It was the best of times" is usually followed by, "it was the worst of times."
Troy at Clemson (3:30PM, ESPN3) - Did you know Troy has won five consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championships? Did you even care?
Rice at No. 24 Texas (7PM, Longhorn Network) - This one's going to be on the Longhorn Network, which I'm sure you've heard of. I'm also pretty sure you've never actually watched it.
NO THANKS, PLATE'S FULL
Akron @ No. 18 Ohio State (Noon, ESPN) - Head coach Rob Ianello leads Akron into year two of his rebuilding plan after a disastrous 2010 campaign. Things might not improve this week, where the Buckeyes will look to roll in spite of their off-season issues.
Utah State @ No. 23 Auburn (Noon, ESPN2) - Heading into 2011, the Tigers lost over 30 players from the 2010 team, including Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, most of the offensive and defensive lines, several wide receivers and plenty of other key contributors. That is a lot!
Indiana State at No. 25 Penn State (Noon, BTN) - The Lions QBs, Rob Bolton and Matt McGloin are a two-headed monster until one separates himself from the other.
Middle Tennessee State at Purdue (Noon, BTN) - Look for both teams to spread the ball around as much as possible. MTSU took that literally last year with 24 interceptions among three quarterbacks.
Chattanooga @ No. 10 Nebraska (3:30, BTN) - Ball security is key to a successful season for the Huskers. Nebraska was 117th in the nation last season in fumbles lost.
Louisiana Monroe @ No. 6 Florida State (3:30, ESPNU) - ULM comes into this new season hoping for more success than it enjoyed in 2010 when first-year head coach Todd Berry led the Warhawks to a 5-7 record. That success will probably have to wait until next week...
Arkansas State at Illinois (3:30PM, BTN) - Illini fans want to see how much Nathan Scheelhaase has advanced this off-season. Scheel played some very good games last year, and gave Illini fans a lot to be hopeful about, but he also had some rough outing as well.
James Madison at North Carolina (3:30PM, ACC Network/GamePlan/ESPN3 - An ACC team should never sleep on JMU. The Dukes made a big splash last season when the knocked off Virginia Tech, behind a late-game series of offensive heroics from quarterback Drew Dudzik.
San Jose State at No. 6 Stanford (5PM, CSN-Bay Area) - There's nowhere to go but up for San Jose State, coming off a 1-12 season. That said, they aren't going too far up this week.
Liberty at North Carolina State (6PM, ESPN3) - The Wolfpack's biggest concerns are with their offensive line and whether or not it can hold up.
William & Mary at Virginia (6PM, ESPN3) - As many a Wahoo can tell you, William & Mary beat the Hoos 2 years ago in the first game of Al Groh's final season. Coach Mike London isn't interested in a repeat performance.
Montana at Tennessee (6PM, PPV/GamePlan/ESPN3) - Tennessee has a ton of unknowns heading into their season-opener.
Buffalo at Pittsburgh (6PM, ESPN3) - The Todd Graham era gets underway on Saturday. Should be a good start, Buffalo finished near the bottom in passing and rushing in Division I-A last season and was dead last in scoring.
Missouri State at No. 14 Arkansas (7PM, PPV/GamePlan/ESPN3) - Someone picked Arkansas to win the National Title? It was Rick Reilly? Oh that can't be good...
Ball State vs. Indiana (7PM, ESPN3) - There's some history between these two schools, though it's all very recent.
Richmond at Duke (7PM, ESPN3) - Our Duke blog doesn't really care about football (go figure) and we haven't locked in our Spiders blog (yet) so I got nothing for you. I highly doubt that will ruin your day.
Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 8 Oklahoma State (7PM, FCS-Central) - OSU has been beating UL-L for so long, they even beat them when they were called University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Austin Peay at Cincinnati (7PM, Big East Network/GP/ESPN3) - The Govs return 9 starters from a defense that surrendered yards and points in bunches last season. That's not a good sign as this year's Bearcats' offense is said to resemble the Brian Kelly one.
Army at Northern Illinois (7PM, ESPN3) - The vaunted Army triple option returns a whole mess of skill players, but will have to replace 4 out of five offensive linemen.
Florida Atlantic at No. 23 Florida (7PM, ESPNU) - Howard Schnellenberger visits The Swamp for the final time. Unless he wants to go as a fan, which is totally cool.
Eastern Washington at Washington (7:05PM, Root Sports-Northwest/FCS-Pacific) - EWU is the defending FCS National Champion. Still...
Elon at Vanderbilt (7:30PM, CSN-Regional/BH-Tampa/CST/GamePlan/ESPN3) - This is Elon's first ever football game against an SEC opponent. I suppose of all the choices, they chose wisely.
Tulsa @ No. 1 Oklahoma (8PM, FX) - The question isn't really if Oklahoma will win the game, it's which Sooners will help them do it?
Northern Arizona at Arizona (9PM, FSN-AZ/KWBA (AZ)/FCS-Atlantic) - The two programs’ last meeting was a 34-17 Wildcat win two years ago, in which UA did not shut the door until the fourth quarter. They're nice hosts like that.
Colorado @ Hawaii (10:15PM, ESPN2) - The Buffs are trying to get their first road win since October 27th, 2007 some 1,407 days ago in case you're counting.
Marshall @ No. 24 West Virginia (Sunday, 3:30, ESPN) - We Are Marshall? No, no, no...#YouAreMarshall.
H/T: Awful Announcing