Labor Day weekend is the start of the college football season. Its a mixed bag like in prior years where there are some decent games but a glut of FCS-FBS matchups.
All times Eastern
Really, there is only one good game of note and you should stay up for it.
Oregon at Boise St. (ESPN HD, 10:15pm) - Chip Kelly's 1st game running the ship for the Ducks vs. a juggernaut in Boise St. Kellen Moore needs to avoid any form of the sophomore jinx to give the Broncos a marquee win as they attempt to again represent the non-AQ conferences in a BCS bowl.
Minnesota at Syracuse (ESPN2 HD, 12pm) - Minnesota is coming off a two season stretch where they improved by six wins from 2007 to 2008. Doug Marrone, in his 1st season at SU, is hoping to make a similar leap with the Orange, his alma mater. Plenty of press for the Orange, from the culture changes at practice (more focus on conditioning) and who will be the QB (former Duke point guard Greg Paulus).
Georgia at Oklahoma St. (ABC HD/ESPN2 HD, 3:30pm) - An early season matchup of upper tier Big 12 and SEC teams and a rematch of a 2007 matchup than ended in a 35-14 victory for the Dogs in Athens. Oklahoma St. has made some marked improvements since then, but like a fair amount of the Big 12, it is more known for its offensive firepower than its defensive work. Georgia's balance could be the difference, but they'll need someone to step up to replace both Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno at QB and RB, respectively.
BYU vs. Oklahoma (ESPN HD, 7pm) - This one will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington as part of an agreement between the Big 12, ESPN and the Cowboys to play an opening Big 12 non-conference game there every season. BYU's Max Hall vs. defending Heisman winner Sam Bradford is the QB battle and OU may be the most complete team in the nation, but BYU will not be a cakewalk as coach Bronco Mendenhall will have his team prepared, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (ABC HD, 8pm) - Another neutral site game and the game of the day involving two teams involved in BCS bowls last year. Virginia Tech's top RB had his year cut short and the Hokies will need to control the ground game to keep themselves within reach of the Tide. A blocked punt or two couldn't hurt.
Cincinnati at Rutgers (ESPN HD, 4pm) - Important conference game to start off the Big East season. Rutgers finished strong last year, winning their last seven including their bowl against NC State. Cincy won the Big East for the 1st time but lost the Orange Bowl to Virginia Tech. The key will be the Bearcats defense, which is almost entirely turned over at the starter level.