The Titans Fan Guide is back for another tour of the college landscape! If you missed out last year's fun times, here's a quick refresher course. We take a look at some of the bigger names that could be future Titans and great games every weekend across Division 1. Whether it be a big time program taking on a patsy or two great schools competing against each other, week one has something for everyone. Without further ado, welcome to week 1!
Friday August 30
Florida Atlantic at Miami 8 pm ESPNU
- We get our first look at a much heralded and extensively traveled Hurricane OT Seantrel Henderson who needs a stellar 2013 to get his draft stock back on track. Miami QB Stephen Morris is also draft eligible but needs a good year to solidify his weak stock. Canes RB Duke Johnson can get the 2015 draft hype train rolling with a great sophomore campaign. FAU will be treated as a tuneup game before next week's Sunshine Showdown with the feared Florida Gators.
Texas Tech at SMU 8 pm ESPN
- Will the high flying antics of Red Raiders past continue with a new but familiar face in HC Kliff Kingsbury (played for Mike Leach and most recently served as the Texas A&M OC last year)? Will SMU begin yet another step in the redemption story of the much maligned program?
Saturday August 31
Purdue at Cincinnati NOON ESPNU
- Big 10 doormat versus whatever the new Big East is called now. Also another interesting storyline is that of a familiar face in SEC country, new HC Tommy Tuberville beginning his journey for the Wildcats. Tuberville pulled a Bobby Petrino when he abruptly left the Texas Tech job during a recruiting weekend dinner without so much a word. Cincy has been a prominent coach resume builder as it has sent Brian Kelly to Notre Dame and more recently, Butch Jones to Tennessee.
Rice at Texas A&M 1 pm ESPN
- A game that will be of some interest for the Matthews household. Life without Luke Joeckel for stud tackle Jake Matthews begins Saturday. Matthews is certainly in the conversation for first tackle off the board and possibly a top 10 lock. And oh, that Manziel guy has been in the news of late. Johnny Football and his finances are in the news (in a bad way) and he's been suspended for the first half.
Mississippi State vs (13) Oklahoma State 3:30 pm ABC/ESPN2
- A potentially wacky, scoreboard breaking style of game if Okie State decides to bring a QB. This game will be played at Reliant Stadium (home of the hated Houston Texans) as one of many neutral site "kickoff classics" around the country. Miss State's senior QB Tyler Russell really needs a good year to get back into the discussion to be drafted.
BYU at Virginia 3:30 pm ESPNU
- Another potentially sneaky underrated game. BYU WR Cody Hoffman will look to get off to a fast start for his final year. Virginia has a tough road to travel early as it's BYU and Oregon in back to back weeks.
Syracuse vs Penn State 3:30 pm ABC/ESPN2
- Year 2 of the Bill O'Brien era begins after a successful rookie year which saw them go through massive NCAA sanctions (whether or not they were warranted is another story for another time and place) and public scandal. Another neutral site game at MetLife Stadium
(1) Alabama vs Virginia Tech 5;30 pm ESPN
- Despite losing a bevy of talent to the NFL, Alabama returns as the clear cut top program. Some of their prospects include S Haha Clinton Dix, OT Cyrus Kouandijo, LB CJ Moseley, QB AJ McCarron, WR Amari Cooper and RB TJ Yeldon (class of 2015). Virginia Tech is in for a long day at the Georgia Dome as its missing several key starters due to injury like CB/S Antoine Exum.
(22) Northwestern at California 10:30 pm ESPN2
- Two of the most prestigious academic institutions battle it out with surprisingly good teams. Northwestern went bowling last year and won for the first time in almost 70 years. Cal brings in a Mike Leach apprentice in Sonny Dykes after firing long time coach Jeff Tedford.
GAME OF THE WEEK
(5) Georgia at (8) Clemson 8 pm ABC
- So many good prospects in this game but so little time to cover them all. Expect this one to be a wild shootout until the end. UGA is led by QB Aaron Murray, RBs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, WR Malcolm Mitchell. Clemson features QB Tajh Boyd and WR Sammy Watkins. Both Murray and Boyd will battle it out to be the second QB taken behind Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. Watkins has the potential to push USC's Marqise Lee as the top WR in the country after a disappointing sophomore season.
(12) LSU vs (20) TCU 9 pm ESPN
- LSU will look to replace a whopping 11 total juniors who declared for the draft. They still have a monstrous DL, which should help a beleaguered offense. S Craig Loston returns to anchor the usually talented secondary. As for TCU, they are traditionally a tough out under HC Gary Patterson. QB Casey Pachall returns to the team after a year long hiatus for substance abuse related issues. Neutral site game held at Jerry World.
Monday September 2
(11) Florida State at Pittsburgh 8 PM ESPN
- FSU begins their reloading process at Pittsburgh after losing 11 draft picks and 7 assistants in the past 7 months. The Noles aren't completely devoid of draft talent either with CB/S LaMarcus Joyner, LB Christian Jones, OL Cam Erving, OL Bryan Stork, RB James Wilder, Jr, DL Timmy Jernigan, S/LB Karlos Williams, and DL Eddie Goldman all poised to go pro within the next two years.