I have good news and better news: The good news is that the first weekend of the 2013 college football season was awesome. The better news is that it's only just beginning, and we have jubilant months ahead. Week 2 has plenty of intriguing matchups, so let's try to get a bead on which games you should devote your precious viewing.
Same as last week, we'll be grouping games together by day and time slot -- Saturday Lunch, Afternoon, Evening, and Night -- and ranking those games in tiers by anticipated relative viewing quality: Best option, Plan B, Keep it in mind, and Break in case of emergency. Personal fandom obviously can make a difference, but this is trying to be as objective as possible.
Update: We've removed games that have already happened as of Saturday morning.
|Saturday, September 7|
|12 p.m. ET||12 Florida 1-0||at||Miami 1-0||ESPN|
|12 p.m. ET||13 Oklahoma State 1-0||at||UTSA 1-0||FOX Sports 1|
|12 p.m. ET||TTU 1-0||at||21 Wisconsin 1-0||Big Ten Network|
|12 p.m. ET||SE Louisiana 1-0||at||24 TCU 0-1||FSN, MASN2|
|12 p.m. ET||EKU 1-0||at||8 Louisville 1-0||ESPN3.com|
|12 p.m. ET||Cincinnati 1-0||at||Illinois 1-0||ESPN 2|
|12 p.m. ET||Missouri State 0-1||at||Iowa 0-1||Big Ten Network|
|12 p.m. ET||Bowling Green 1-0||at||Kent State 1-0||ESPN Regional, ESPN3.com|
|12 p.m. ET||Miami (Ohio) 0-1||at||Kentucky 0-1||FSN, ESPN3.com|
|12 p.m. ET||USF 0-1||at||Michigan State 1-0||ESPNU|
|12 p.m. ET||EMU 1-0||at||Penn State 1-0||Big Ten Network|
|12 p.m. ET||Indiana State 0-1||at||Purdue 0-1||Big Ten Network|
|12 p.m. ET||Norfolk State 0-1||at||Rutgers 0-1||CBSSN|
|12 p.m. ET||Houston 1-0||at||Temple 0-1||Altitude, MASN, ESPN3.com|
|12:21 p.m. ET||WKU 1-0||at||Tennessee 1-0||SEC Network, ESPN3.com|
|12:30 p.m. ET||SC State 0-1||at||4 Clemson 1-0||RSN, ESPN3.com|
|12:30 p.m. ET||Middle Tennessee 1-0||at||North Carolina 0-1||ACC Network, ESPN3.com|
|1 p.m. ET||Army 1-0||at||Ball State 1-0||ESPN3.com|
|1:30 p.m. ET||Western Carolina 0-1||at||Virginia Tech 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Chattanooga 0-1||at||Georgia State 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Maine 1-0||at||UMass 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Weber State 1-0||at||Utah 1-0||Pac-12 Network|
|3 p.m. ET||UT-Martin 1-0||at||Boise State 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|3 p.m. ET||New Hampshire 0-0||at||CMU 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||2 Oregon 1-0||at||Virginia 1-0||ESPN 2/ABC|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Buffalo 0-1||at||23 Baylor 1-0||FSN, MASN2|
|3:30 p.m. ET||San Diego State 0-1||at||3 Ohio State 1-0||ABC/ESPN 2|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Utah State 0-1||at||Air Force 1-0||CBSSN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Alcorn State 1-0||at||Mississippi State 0-1||CSS, ESPN3.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Toledo 0-1||at||Missouri 1-0||ESPN News|
|3:30 p.m. ET||South Alabama 0-1||at||Tulane 1-0||CST|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Delaware State 0-0||at||Delaware 1-0||NBCSN|
|4 p.m. ET||Old Dominion 0-1||at||Maryland 1-0||ESPNU?|
|4 p.m. ET||Idaho 0-1||at||Wyoming 0-1||ROOT Sports|
|4:30 p.m. ET||6 South Carolina 1-0||at||11 Georgia 0-1||ESPN|
|4:30 p.m. ET||Duke 1-0||at||Memphis 0-0||ESPN3.com|
|5 p.m. ET||Portland State 1-0||at||California 0-1||Pac-12 Network|
|6 p.m. ET||Syracuse 0-1||at||19 Northwestern 1-0||Big Ten Network|
|6 p.m. ET||Southern Miss 0-1||at||22 Nebraska 1-0||Big Ten Network|
|6 p.m. ET||James Madison 1-0||at||Akron 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|6 p.m. ET||Wofford 0-1||at||Citadel 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|6 p.m. ET||Navy 0-0||at||Indiana 1-0||Big Ten Network|
|6 p.m. ET||Richmond 1-0||at||NC State 1-0||ESPN3.com|
|6 p.m. ET||Alabama State 0-1||at||Jackson State 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|6:30 p.m. ET||Louisiana 0-1||at||Kansas State 0-1||FOX Sports 1|
|6:30 p.m. ET||Gardner-Webb 1-0||at||Marshall 1-0||N/A|
|7 p.m. ET||15 Texas 1-0||at||BYU 0-1||ESPN 2|
|7 p.m. ET||West Virginia 1-0||at||16 Oklahoma 1-0||FOX|
|7 p.m. ET||Sam Houston St 1-0||at||7 Texas A&M 1-0||PPV, ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||UAB 0-1||at||9 LSU 1-0||ESPNU|
|7 p.m. ET||Samford 1-0||at||Arkansas 1-0||PPV, ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||South Dakota 1-0||at||Kansas 0-0||Jayhawk Network|
|7 p.m. ET||Lamar 1-0||at||Louisiana Tech 0-1||KXKZ|
|7 p.m. ET||North Texas 1-0||at||Ohio U 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||SE Missouri State 0-1||at||Ole Miss 1-0||PPV, ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Prairie View 1-0||at||Texas State 1-0||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Stephen F. Austin 0-1||at||Texas Tech 1-0||FSN, MASN2|
|7 p.m. ET||Savannah State 0-1||at||Troy 1-0||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Colorado State 0-1||at||Tulsa 0-1||CBSSN|
|7 p.m. ET||Grambling St 0-1||at||ULM 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Nicholls 0-1||at||Western Mich 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Monmouth 0-1||at||Liberty 0-1||LFSN|
|7:05 p.m. ET||Western Oregon||at||Eastern Washington 1-0||SWX|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Arkansas State 1-0||at||Auburn 1-0||FSN, ESPN3.com|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Austin Peay 0-1||at||Vanderbilt 0-1||CSS, ESPN3.com|
|8 p.m. ET||14 Notre Dame 1-0||at||17 Michigan 1-0||ESPN|
|8 p.m. ET||Central Arkansas 1-0||at||Colorado 1-0||Pac-12 Network|
|8 p.m. ET||Hawaii 0-1||at||Oregon State 0-1||Pac-12 Network|
|8 p.m. ET||Minnesota 1-0||at||New Mexico State 0-1||NMStateSports.com|
|8 p.m. ET||Montana State 1-0||at||SMU 0-1||ESPN3.com|
|8 p.m. ET||New Mexico 0-1||at||UTEP 0-0||FOX College Sports|
|8:30 p.m. ET||Arkansas-Pine Bluff 0-1||at||18 McNeese State 1-0||CSN-HOU|
|9:05 p.m. ET||UC Davis 0-1||at||Nevada 0-1||NevadaWolfPack.TV|
|10 p.m. ET||Cal Poly 1-0||at||Fresno State 1-0||ESPN3.com|
|10:30 p.m. ET||Arizona 1-0||at||UNLV 0-1||CBSSN|
|10:30 p.m. ET||Washington State 0-1||at||25 USC 1-0||FOX Sports 1|
|11 p.m. ET||San Jose State 1-0||at||5 Stanford 0-0||Pac-12 Network|
Best option: Florida at Miami, 12 p.m.
Announcers: Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, and Tom Luginbill
Odds: Miami +3
Weather: Isolated thunderstorms with a high in the upper 80s.
The Gators and Canes renew pleasantries for the first time since 2008, and Miami can make their preseason hype flip into overdrive with an upset win over Florida. Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson make for a pretty good offensive combo for Miami, but Florida's defense will provide a tough test. Their offense? Well, that's another story. Either way, this figures to be a good game, and an excellent early season measuring stick for both squads. Also, there might be fights.
Plan B: Bowling Green at Kent State, 12 p.m.
The Falcons and Flashes meet up for what could be a crucial MAC East showdown. Bowling Green was expected to be better this year, but their 34-7 smashing of Tulsa on the opening weekend opened a lot of eyes. Kent State probably isn't a candidate to win double digit games like last year, but they still have Dri Archer, and why do I need to keep explaining this, just watch the game, it'll be fun.
Keep it in mind: Cincinnati at Illinois, 12 p.m., Oklahoma State at UTSA, 12 p.m.
I would normally advise against voluntarily exposing yourself to Illinois football, but Cincinnati is a fun team, so give it a whirl if you're feeling spicy. Oklahoma State managed to beat Mississippi State last week, but they disappointed on offense. Tune in and see if things look better with J.W. Walsh pulling the strings at quarterback.
Break in case of emergency: South Florida at Michigan State, 12 p.m.
USF got blown out by McNeese State (!) at home (!!) on Saturday, so they should get chopped to bits by Michigan State. There's a certain level of entertainment in that, so tune in if you like car crash videos and snuff films.
Best option: South Carolina at Georgia, 4:30 p.m.
Announcers: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe
Odds: Georgia -3
Weather: Mostly sunny with a high in the upper 80s.
Holy smokes, this is a huge game. If Georgia starts the season 0-2, they can kiss their already-slim national title hopes goodbye, and they'll need some help to stay alive for the SEC East title. I just hope this Georgia fan can put himself back together in time for the game.
South Carolina looked good in their opener against North Carolina, but there will always be lingering doubts around the program until they actually go ahead and win the conference. This team has the tools though, even if Jadeveon Clowney is the worst football player of all time.
Plan B: Oregon at Virginia, 3:30 p.m. ET
Virginia picked up a tough win in their season opener over BYU, but Oregon is a different animal altogether. The Ducks set a school record for total offense in their opener against Nicholls State, and even without Chip Kelly at the helm, they look as dangerous as ever. Make no mistake, Oregon is going to win this game, but if the Hoos can make things tough on them, it could bode well for their 2013 ACC campaign.
Keep it in mind: Syracuse at Northwestern, 6 p.m., San Diego State at Ohio State, 3:30 p.m.
Northwestern played a late night blinder at Cal last week, and should get a decent test at home against Syracuse. People thought San Diego State would provide tough competition for Ohio State, but after losing to an FCS team in week one, that... may not happen. Maybe, though!
Break in case of emergency: Southern Miss at Nebraska, 6 p.m.
Nebraska's reputation is built on great defense, but they've been gashed for an average 610 yards and 49 points over the past three games. Just what Southern Miss, which has lost 13 straight games, needs to get healthy.
Best option: Notre Dame at Michigan, 8 p.m.
Announcers: Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, and Heather Cox
Odds: Michigan -3.5
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high in the lower 80s.
Michigan and Notre Dame may not appeal to everyone, but it's a great rivalry game (provided you don't ask Brian Kelly about it). They've played some seriously entertaining games over the past several years too, and there's no reason to believe this year's edition won't be close as well. Both teams looked strong in their season openers, but don't get too close lest the smug cloud emanating from Michigan Stadium overtake you.
Plan B: West Virginia at Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
The shine has come off the Mountaineers since the middle of last season, and things got off to a shaky start when they needed to come back to beat William & Mary. Oklahoma might not be at the height of their powers, but they should be able to take care of West Virginia without that much of an issue. This is a significant early season barometer game in the Big 12.
Keep it in mind: Texas at BYU, 7 p.m.
Texas crushed New Mexico State in their season opener, but there isn't much that can be gleaned from that game that's really instructional. BYU's defense should provide a much better test for the Longhorns, but they're coming off a tough loss to Virginia.
Break in case of emergency: Arkansas State at Auburn, 7:30 p.m.
GUSBOWL is here, and keep your remote control handy just in case Auburn still has some of the heebie-jeebies they picked up last year.
Best option: San Jose State at Stanford, 11 p.m.
Announcers: Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker, and Drea Avent
Odds: Stanford -27
Weather: Sunny with a high in the upper 80s.
Washington State and USC will probably be the more competitive game, but this is our first look at the Cardinal in 2013 after they began with a bye last week. San Jose State are embarking on life without Mike MacIntyre, but they should be a competent squad this year. If Stanford can reduce them to ground beef in an efficient manner, it bodes pretty well for their season.
Plan B: Washington State at USC, 10:30 p.m.
Washington State may have taken the loss at Auburn last weekend, but they looked much more frisky than they did in 2012. USC wasn't particularly impressive in beating Hawaii, so we could have a live one on our hands here. The prospect of Mike Leach firebombing Lane Kiffin is quite inviting.
Keep it in mind: Arizona at UNLV, 10:30 p.m.
UNLV is pretty bad and should get waxed by Arizona. Hopefully the Wildcats do so with a little theatricality.
Break in case of emergency: Cal Poly at Fresno State, 10 p.m.
Hey, Fresno won a total screamer over Rutgers last week, but it probably won't be so close against Cal Poly.
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The weekend's 39 best college football photos:
- A look at the newly-renovated Husky Stadium. Otto Greule Jr
- Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
- Christian Petersen/Getty Images
- Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
- Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
- Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
- Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
- Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
- Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports
- Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is a popular man. Mike Cashore, USA TODAY Sports
- Paul Abell, USA TODAY Sports
- Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports
- Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports
- Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
- Streeter Lecka
- Scott Sewell, USA TODAY Sports
- Greg Bartram, USA TODAY Sports
- Thomas Campbell, USA TODAY Sports
- Scott Halleran
- Brendan Maloney, USA TODAY Sports
- Scott Olmos, USA TODAY Sports
- Stephen Lam
- Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports
- Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY Sports
- Scott Olmos, USA TODAY Sports
- Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
- Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
- Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
- Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
- Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
- Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
- Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
- Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
- Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
- Michael Chang/Getty Images
- Streeter Lecka
- Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
- Vernon Adams celebrates Eastern Washington's stunning win over Oregon State Jamie Valdez, USA TODAY Sports
- Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports