One season after BYU legend Lavell Edwards leaves Provo, the Cougars welcome Tulane for the Black Coaches Association Classic. The Cougars have been picked third in the Mountain West Conference this season. BYU has not lost a home opener since 1997. In that time, BYU has beaten Washington and Virginia in home openers. The BCA Classic is a rematch of the 1998 Liberty Bowl, which Tulane won 41-27 capping a 12-0 season.
Colorado v Fresno State
Colorado hosts Fresno State in Bolder on Sunday and the game has a 6pm local start. The game will be shown nationally on ESPN2. The Colorado game is one of seven road games for the Bulldogs. A brutal road schedule for Fresno State includes trips to Colorado, Wisconsin, and a not so brutal trip to Hawaii. Fresno State plays on ESPN2 the week after the Colorado game against west coast power Oregon State. The Bulldogs have four nationally televised games scheduled for this season. Colorado only has three national games as of right now, but that will change due to the Big 12's agreement with ABC. Colorado tailback Cortlen Johnson is has an injured ankle, but will likely play against Fresno State.
Georgia Tech v Syracuse
Probably the biggest game of the preseason in so far as the match up itself. Tech has been floating in the top 15 of most of the preseason polls. Last season Tech's preseason game with Virginia Tech was cancelled due to weather. The game is in New Jersey so there should be a nice contingent of Syracuse fans in the crowd, but Tech has supposedly sold its fair share of tickets for the game too.
George Godsey's injury has been, for the most part, dealt with and he will be ready to go. The biggest loss to Tech, however, is the loss of their long time offensive coordinator. Can Syracuse's defense stop the previously explosive Tech offense? That will be the key to the game. The game is on ABC Sunday at 2pm.
Louisville v New Mexico State
One of the more non-descript games of the pre-season, the NMSU and Louisville match up might put you to sleep. But knowing that you have spent the whole summer waiting for football here are some things to know about the game.
Georgia pounded NMSU last season and Louisville's stadium is named after a pizza company. Beyond that, the game will be on College Sports Southeast Thursday night.
TCU v Nebraska
Can Nebraska destroy TCU? If the last three seasons mean anything they will. Nebraska has destroyed San Jose State, Iowa, and Louisiana Tech their last three season opening games. Nebraska will be too tough for a TCU that has lost its star running back and coach. Depth should prove too great for the Horned Frogs. But this is one of the preseason match ups that features two teams that played in bowl games last season. North Carolina v Oklahoma
Darian Durant passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns in North Carolina's scrimmage last week, but he will need to do a lot more against one of the best defenses in the country. Oklahoma, the defending national champs will start the defense of their title against the Heels in Norman. North Carolina's schedule is absurd. Starting with Oklahoma and then Maryland, Texas, SMU, Florida State, and NC State. The Heels will be lucky to get 3 wins in that stretch.
Oklahoma's early season schedule, on the other hand, is a breeze through early September until the Sooners host Kansas State. Oklahoma's first four of five games are in Norman with the 6th, Texas, in Dallas at the neutral Cotton Bowl. Overall the Sooners have seven home games, one neutral, and four road games against the likes of Air Force, Kansas, arch-rival Nebraska, and Texas Tech. Oklahoma's scrimmage last week feature their Senior placekicker Tim Duncan, who made five field goals of 45 or more yards, including a 64-yarder.
Wisconsin v Virginia
Virginia has carved out another ambitious schedule for themselves in 2001. Starting in Madison, the Hoos play Wisconsin, Penn State, and Clemson in their first four weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Wisconsin takes on Virginia, pre-season tough guy Oregon, and three weeks later travels to Penn State.
Wisconsin has recently had a "ladies night" in order to instruct women more about the sport of football. Not really sure how that matters, it is just interesting that the Badgers are running promotions like this in the summer. Virginia is learning football from their new head coach, the former head coach of the New York Jets, Al Groh. Groh and Alvarez, the Wisconsin coach, have their teams scheduled for kickoff at 1pm local time on Saturday.