The Mountain West has released its 2013 football schedule, which means the national slate is now more or less set. Thus the most important work of the entire offseason, curbing the damage done by your friends scheduling fall weddings, can now begin in full.
We must try to go an entire fall without any weddings scheduled for Saturdays. However, recognizing (A) every age of human history belches forth its own monsters, and (B) family circumstances are always a wild card, below is a guide to which Saturdays would be oh-so-slightly less unacceptable to miss due to a wedding.
I would say you could just schedule your wedding for a Sunday, but fall Sundays are for (in order of importance) physical recovery, driving back home, fretting about the BCS standings, reviewing highlights and box scores, spleening in internet comment sections, mental recovery, analyzing next week's college football schedule, and dealing with NFL football. The safest bet for a fall wedding is a Wednesday morning, which means a #MAChelor party the night before, but still.
This has been published months ahead of fall. That's plenty of time to schedule a wedding for any point between tonight and mid-August. As of now, your loved ones have no excuse to ask you to attend a fall wedding on a critical Saturday. You're very welcome.
Five biggest games: Georgia at Clemson, Alabama-Virginia Tech, TCU-LSU, Boise State at Washington, Mississippi State-Oklahoma State
One game to watch anyway: Washington State at Auburn
One game to not watch: Colorado State at Colorado
Verdict: To schedule a wedding that coincided with the first Saturday of college football season would be to attempt the most improbable thing that has ever been attempted. Not a single soul will show. And I do not use soul as a synonym for person. Not even the spirits of your ancestors will honor your request, nor will your fiancee. There is not a single thing in the world you could ever venture that would yield poorer results, save attempting to play the new SimCity, and surely even that will be fixed by August 31. Think about what you've done.
Five biggest games: Florida at Miami, South Carolina at Georgia, Notre Dame at Michigan, Texas at BYU, Oregon at Virginia
One game to watch anyway: Western Kentucky at Tennessee
One game to not watch: Chattanooga at Georgia State
Verdict: If the Gators can come thiiiiis close to leaving the state of Florida in an out-of-conference game for the first time since 1991, you can get married in July.
Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
Five biggest games: Alabama at Texas A&M, Ole Miss at Texas, UCLA at Nebraska, Tennessee at Oregon, Ohio State at Cal, Wisconsin at Arizona State, Tulsa at Oklahoma, Vanderbilt at South Carolina, Virginia Tech at East Carolina. That's way more than five, but this is a great week.
One game to watch anyway: Louisville at Kentucky
One game to not watch: Maryland at UConn
Verdict: You are out of your mind, no matter what the photo above led you to believe about this Saturday's quality. You have just been tested.
Five biggest games: Tennessee at Florida, Utah at BYU, Arizona State at Stanford, Kansas State at Texas, North Carolina at Georgia Tech
One game to watch anyway: ULM at Baylor
One game to not watch: Michigan State at Notre Dame
Verdict: Look, Michigan State at Notre Dame is a pretty big game and all, especially with how lucky Notre Dame was last year and how unlucky Michigan State was last year. I'm just recommending you do things besides watching it, things which do not include weddings.
Five biggest games: LSU at Georgia, Wisconsin at Ohio State, Oklahoma at Notre Dame, Ole Miss at Alabama, Cal at Oregon
One game to watch anyway: SMU at TCU (also Oklahoma State at West Virginia, Florida at Kentucky, Stanford at Washington State (it's a great week for oddities))
One game to be very confused by: Army vs. Louisiana Tech in Dallas
One game to not watch: Virginia at Pitt
Verdict: This is probably the week to do it, if you're gonna do it. Just know you will be divorced within two years if you pick this Saturday. Your call.
Five biggest games: TCU at Oklahoma, Ohio State at Northwestern, Arizona State-Notre Dame, Georgia at Tennessee, West Virginia at Baylor
One game to watch anyway: CLEMSON AT SYRACUSE HOW IS THIS A CONFERENCE GAME
One game to not watch: Georgia State at Alabama
Verdict: Guilt is a powerful emotion. Your reception refreshments will taste like lukewarm regret, like clammy shards of gristle and hate, like apocalypse almonds, like mealy proverbs of pain as you dwell upon having abandoned poor Georgia State in its darkest hour.
Five biggest games: Oklahoma-Texas, Oregon at Washington, Texas A&M at Ole Miss, Michigan at Penn State, Florida at LSU
One game to watch anyway: Northwestern at Wisconsin
One game to not watch: Pitt at Virginia Tech
Verdict: Even Nebraska at Purdue is better than your wedding. Don't push me on this, because I've been to some really fun weddings, and I've never enjoyed a Nebraska-Purdue anything. Forget I said that.
Five biggest games: Florida State at Clemson, UCLA at Stanford, USC at Notre Dame, LSU at Ole Miss, TCU at Oklahoma State
One game to watch anyway: Navy at Toledo
One game to not watch: Florida at Missouri
Verdict: Look at you. Just look at you. Do you really need the spotlight so badly that you're willing to deprive the ACC of its one chance at attention? Dabo is a genuine bridezilla, but let him have his moment.
Five biggest games: Texas at TCU, UCLA at Oregon, Tennessee at Alabama, Penn State at Ohio State, Stanford at Oregon State
One game to watch anyway: N.C. State at Florida State
One game to not watch: Boise State at BYU, which is on Friday. Continue not watching it on Saturday. It might be a great game, but you can't take the risk after what happened last year.
Verdict: "We're getting married on the fourth Saturday in October." No, sir or ma'am, this is the third Saturday in October.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Five biggest games: Georgia-Florida, Miami at Florida State, Michigan at Michigan State, Northwestern at Nebraska, Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
One game to watch anyway: Navy at Notre Dame
One game to not watch: Southern Miss at Marshall
Five biggest games: LSU at Alabama, Oklahoma at Baylor, Nebraska at Michigan, Texas at West Virginia, Vanderbilt at Florida
One game to watch anyway: TCU at Iowa State
One game to not watch: Old Dominion at Idaho
Verdict: You won't listen to me, but maybe you'll listen to Tony Stark:
Five biggest games: Stanford at USC, Florida at South Carolina, Oklahoma State at Texas, TCU at Kansas State, Cincinnati at Rutgers
One game to watch anyway: Miami at Duke
One game to not watch: Maryland at Virginia Tech
Verdict: Missing some of this stuff here wouldn't be the worst thing to ever happen in the world. I didn't say that.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Five biggest games: Texas A&M at LSU, Oregon at Arizona, Boise State at San Diego State, Nebraska at Penn State, BYU at Notre Dame
One game to watch anyway: USC at Colorado (also, it's SEC-SoCon Challenge Week 2013)
One game to not watch: USC at Colorado (also, the SEC-SoCon Challenge)
Biggest games: It's Hate Week. The answer is all games.
One game to watch anyway: All others.
One game to not watch: Rutgers at UConn
In the comments below, please share both the other Saturday games that cannot be missed and your own wedding horror stories. Thank you.