These picks might look stupid as teams reveal themselves to be good and bad. But we’re in deep offseason waters now, and these are the best games of each week in 2018.
Week 0: Wyoming at New Mexico State
The only other all-FBS game in the mini-week is Hawaii at Colorado State, and that one involves the Rainbow Warriors traveling many time zones to probably get beaten up. This one’s got two bowl teams.
Week 1: Washington more or less at Auburn (in Atlanta)
The Huskies could be double-digit favorites in every game except this one. Auburn could entrench itself as a legitimate Playoff threat by winning with a de-facto home-field edge. Jarrett Stidham’s going up against maybe the best secondary in the country.
Also: Michigan at Notre Dame. See 90 other games ranked here.
Week 2: Clemson at Texas A&M
Jimbo Fisher’s first FBS game at his new school comes against the team that unseated him as king of the ACC. A&M being at home might make it competitive, too!
Also: USC at Stanford, UCLA at Oklahoma, Penn State at Pitt
Week 3: USC at Texas, Ohio State at TCU, or LSU at Auburn
Another loaded week, with a rematch of 2017’s surprisingly awesome rematch of 2005’s BCS classic, a meeting between two top teams who haven’t played since 1973, and an SEC West game that’s bonkers just about every year.
Also: Boise State at Oklahoma State
Week 4: FAU at UCF
The winner might be the Group of 5 New Year’s bowl frontrunner.
You’d rather watch A&M-Alabama, Stanford-Oregon, TCU-Texas, or — God help you — Florida-Tennessee? That’s a personal choice.
Week 5: Ohio State at Penn State
It could decide the Big Ten East, and it’s been a classic two years running.
Also: Stanford at Notre Dame, Dan Mullen’s Florida at Mississippi State
Week 6: Florida State at Miami
Miami’s probably really good. FSU might be. More importantly, they despise each other, and a Miami win would make a two-year streak after years of FSU ruining the Canes.
Also: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, Nebraska at Wisconsin, Washington at UCLA, Texas vs. Oklahoma, and more. This is one of the year’s deepest weeks.
Week 7: Washington at Oregon
The hate is strong with this one, and for once, they might both be good enough at the same time that this is a rivalry worth caring about.
Also: Georgia at LSU, Michigan State at Penn State, Wisconsin at Michigan
Week 8: Oklahoma at TCU
Two OU-TCU games last year turned out to be Sooner blowouts, but OU’s lost a lot of guys, TCU’s at home, and the other pickings this week are slim.
Also: Ohio State at Purdue, USC at Utah, Michigan at Michigan State
Week 9: Clemson at Florida State
By this point, Willie Taggart’s team should have its sea legs. Even if the Noles have lost a few games, they’ll be a handful for the Tigers in Tallahassee.
Also: Oregon at Arizona, Texas at Oklahoma State, USF at Houston
Week 10: Alabama at LSU and Penn State at Michigan
If you’re not worried about division standings ramifications, Chip Kelly takes UCLA to his old stomping grounds at Oregon this week. Oklahoma State-Oklahoma and WVU-Texas are compelling.
Week 11: Auburn at Georgia
They played twice last year and have a heated rivalry. If either’s out of the Playoff hunt by now, there are ample options for the top slot. Wisconsin-Penn State, Ohio State-Michigan State, and FSU-Notre Dame could all be awesome.
Week 12: West Virginia at Oklahoma State
This here is a PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW BIG 12 OFFENSE game. It also might decide the team that gets to lose to Oklahoma in the conference title game, if that interests you.
Also: Miami at Virginia Tech, for the right to get beaten by Clemson a few weeks later
Week 13: It’s rivalry week. Just watch everything.
But especially watch Michigan at Ohio State and the Iron Bowl, as usual. Could make four weeks in which Auburn plays in the most attractive game. That’s highly Auburn.
Week 14: Alabama vs. Georgia