Football Anticipation: A Look at the Ridiculous Lineup for Labor Day Weekend


It’s time to kick off another season on the college gridiron, so kiss the wife (or husband or life partner or wife who identifies as a husband or whatever) goodbye for four months. This year the first weekend of football is simply ridiculous. Just look at the slate for Sept. 1-5.

Thursday, Sept. 1: South Carolina at Vanderbilt. OK, kind of wish I had not started with this game, but it is an SEC contest. I am not turning down anything but the collar after a pigskin-less summer. Besides, it’ll be fun to watch Will Muschamp have an aneurism on the sidelines again.

Friday, Sept. 2: Colorado at Colorado State. When these two teams get together, you can throw out the record books—unless, of course, that’s where you keep your dope. And Lord knows you are going to need a Jurassic-sized doobie to watch this snooze fest. However, it is still football. Just consider it a crappy hors d’oeuvres to the unbelievable main course that is coming the next day.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Oklahoma at Houston. Hooking up with Cougars has become pretty popular these days, and these Cougars are certainly augmented. Two years ago, this would have been considered a cupcake for OU, but Houston is hotter than a taped conversation between an Alabama governor and his mistress right now. Perhaps Houston can use this game as an audition for the Big 12 since they want to be in a Power Five conference. Meanwhile, Oklahoma had better not be looking ahead to their other big out-of-conference game with Ohio State in a few weeks, or else this Cougar team may motorboat the Sooners all the way back to Norman. (I don’t think I am using that metaphor right, but whatever.)

Clemson at Auburn. These two schools meet up so much I assume they don’t schedule one another so much as their athletic directors just “swipe right.” (That’s a Tinder joke for the older crowd.) Regardless, this game’s atmosphere will be as electric as Vegas vibrator since Alabama alum and current Clemson coach Dabo Swinney takes on Gus Malzahn—who desperately needs a win like this one or the only electricity he’ll feel will come from his hot seat.

UCLA at Texas A&M. Any other weekend this game would be the marquee matchup. This weekend it isn’t even the third best one in TEXAS. UCLA went to Austin and destroyed Texas many moons ago, and based on the turmoil the Aggies have had this summer, that outcome may repeat itself in College Station. I wonder if we can get odds on Johnny Manziel streaking across the field in the third quarter?

LSU v. Wisconsin (Lambeau Field, Green Bay). Talk about a “gouda” game—could it get any “feta” than this? It’s an absolute “Munster” matchup. Get your friends on the phone and tell them they “ricotta” watch this one. I fully expect LSU to “cream” Wiscy as the Tigers will be “pepper jack”-ed up for a big season. (These cheese puns doing anything for you? Yeah, I figured they didn’t. I am sure you said, “Luke, this is ‘nacho’ best effort; you are ‘cheddar’ than stooping to this level.”)

Georgia v. North Carolina (Atlanta). Like the A&M/UCLA contest, this game would have been better suited for another weekend, but it is not bad. New UGA coach Kirby Smart certainly knows his way around the Georgia Dome after being Bama’s defensive coordinator for years. Hopefully, he found a good parking spot over there. Those are hard to come by.

Alabama v. Southern Cal (Dallas). Woot. College football’s former dynasty takes on its current one. The Tide has had fantastic results at Jerry’s World in Dallas dispatching of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Michigan State by a combined 114-31 in a trio of trips there since 2012. USC has more talent than any of those three Big Ten foes, though, so this game will be a huge challenge. Also, USC has those cheerleaders and those tight sweaters. It’s distracting—in a good way, but still distracting.

Sunday, Sept. 4: Notre Dame at Texas. Oh yeah—now it’s going to be popping like Orville Redenbacher at the bubble wrap factory. Neither team is a national title contender, but the sheer history on the field makes this must-watch TV. It’s a fantastic after-dinner drink post-big Saturday.

Monday, Sept. 5. Ole Miss v. Florida State (Orlando). Good Lord, what a way to end the weekend. We may have to take Tuesday off to do the usual Labor Day drunk stuff so we can focus on this game on Monday.

So happy Labor Day weekend everyone! Yeah, it’s a month away, but I may not see you before then.


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