What seems like forever, the wait is finally over and this weekend is the start of the 2021 college football season. There were a few games played on Saturday, but the rest of the games will start on Wednesday, September 1st, with the University of Alabama Birmingham versus Jacksonville State match up. I’m just excited for my Florida Gators to play on Saturday evening against Florida Atlantic. Here are the top five games I’m looking forward to as we dive into week 1 of college football.
#5 – Boise State vs UCF (Thu Sept 2 @ 7:00pm)
Even though I graduated at UF, I did complete a semester at the University of Central Florida before I transferred over to be a Gator, so I still have a soft spot for the Knights. Both of these teams will start the season with brand new coaches, so that will be interesting to see how each one manages the game on Thursday. The Knights finished last year with a 6-4 record, so hopefully their success will continue. UCF will be playing at home this week, so I’m going with the Knights to beat the Broncos.
#4 – Ohio State vs Minnesota (Thu Sept 2 @ 8:00pm)
While the UCF game is on ESPN, I’ll definitely be switching back and forth to watch Ohio State play against Minnesota on FOX. C.J. Stroud will lead the Buckeyes for 2021, so it will be fascinating to watch how he reacts to prime time college football. The red shirt freshman earned the start after Justin Fields went into the NFL. Hopefully not a blowout, but I don’t see Ohio State losing this game.
#3 – North Carolina vs Virginia Tech (Fri Sept 3 @ 6:00pm)
The GatorTim household will be a bit tense on Friday night’s match-up between the Hookies and the Tar Heels. My daughter graduated from Virginia Tech and my wife is a North Carolina Alumni, so things are going to get a bit crazy. The Tarheels are looking to rebound after that Orange Bowl loss by Texas A&M back in January. Virginia Tech, however, are playing at home and hope to start 2021 season with a win in Blacksburg. Should be a good game, but I’m going with the wife’s #10 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels to win this one.
#2 – East Illinois vs South Carolina (Sat Sept 4 @ 7:00pm)
Growing up near Columbia, South Carolina you were one of two things, a Carolina Gamecock fan or a highly picked on Clemson fan. I was the former. I could literally see Williams-Brice Stadium from my house and remember the great running back George Rogers from the late 70s. Even though in my adult life I ended up graduating a Florida Gator, I will always remember watching the Gamecocks play on TV. Should be an easy win for South Carolina against the Panthers as the Gamecocks will be playing at Williams-Brice and will look to capitalize on home field advantage. The game will be streamed on ESPN+, which is a good thing so I can watch USC and my Gators play at the same time!
#1 – Florida Atlantic vs Florida (Sat Sept 4 @ 7:30pm)
Can’t have fire up college football Saturday without watching my own Florida Gators play on opening weekend! Florida opens up the season against the Florida Atlantic Owls and will be playing at home in Ben Hill Griffen Stadium. The #13th ranked Gators are looking to the new starting quarterback Emory Jones to keep the momentum going after Kyle Trask left for the NFL. It will be interesting to see how the Gators will respond without receiver Kyle Pitts as well. Gators should win this one and will start 2021 with a 1-0 record.
Definitely getting the fired-up sauce and nachos ready and making sure the beer fridge is stocked up and ready to go. College football is finally back and I can’t wait for this weekend to get here! Go Gators!!
Source: CBS Sports / NCAA Football