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College Football Saturday: #25 Stanford vs. Northwestern Highlights Early Action

The first Saturday of the season starts out sleepy.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Northwestern Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Ahh, college football. How we’ve missed you.

The first week of the year is always an interesting one. There are usually a few marquee games on the schedule but, for the most part, the good teams tend to ease into the season with a weaker opponent before the true non-conference bangers take place. This year is no different with only one matchup between AP Top 25 teams on the slate for the entire day, and, with that being in the late slate, that means we’re stuck trying to scrounge around for meaning here in the early games.

If there is anything representing a clear highlight of this early slate, it’s probably the #25 Stanford Cardinal hosting the Northwestern Wildcats. Stanford is certainly not the team it was at its pinnacle, but it’s still a formidable team that has aspirations to win the Pac-12 North. Northwestern, meanwhile, is coming off a Big 10 West division championship. The last time these two teams met was the infamous “body clocks” game, where Stanford coach David Shaw complained that the early 9am kickoff had hurt the Cardinal and they had never adjusted to the time shift. So, I’m excited to see if Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald will use the same excuse should his Wildcats lose.

There are some smaller storylines at play in the early slate as well. The country will get their first look at Georgia Bulldogs transfer Justin Fields as he takes over for the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes, who are under new head coach Ryan Day. The #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, fresh off a humiliating loss in last year’s National Championship Game, open the year against an actual Power 5 opponent! Yes, that opponent is the Duke Blue Devils, but that has to count for something! Especially because, of the eight ranked teams kicking off before 4:00 pm PT, only them and Stanford are playing a Power 5 team. The rest, including the #13 Washington Huskies, are all playing cupcake opponents, the best of which is probably Eastern Washington.

If you’re looking for a fun early game, you can’t go wrong with the Memphis Tigers hosting the Ole Miss Rebels. At 12:30 pm, we have the return of Mack Brown to college coaching when he leads the North Carolina Tar Heels against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Charlotte. Quick aside: neutral site games early in the season are a pox on this earth.

Here is the full Saturday lineup:

College Football Saturday, August 31 2019

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Florida Atlantic at #5 Ohio State 9:00 AM FOX
Northern Iowa at #21 Iowa State 9:00 AM FS1
South Alabama at #24 Nebraska 9:00 AM ESPN
Akron at Illinois 9:00 AM BTN
Indiana vs. Ball State 9:00 AM CBSSN
Howard at Maryland 9:00 AM BTN
Indiana State at Kansas 9:00 AM Fox Sports Net
Toledo at Kentucky 9:00 AM SEC Network
Ole Miss at Memphis 9:00 AM ABC
Mississippi State vs. Louisiana 9:00 AM ESPNU
East Carolina at NC State 9:00 AM ACC Network
James Madison at West Virginia 11:00 AM AT&T SportsNet None
Rhode Island at Ohio 11:00 AM ESPN+ ESPN+
Eastern Washington at #13 Washington 12:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Bucknell at Temple 12:00 PM ESPN3
Duke vs. #2 Alabama 12:30 PM ABC
Idaho at #15 Penn State 12:30 PM BTN
Colgate at Air Force 12:30 PM ESPN3
Holy Cross at Navy 12:30 PM CBSSN
Eastern Michigan at Coastal Carolina 12:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
South Carolina vs. North Carolina 12:30 PM ESPN
Georgia State at Tennessee 12:30 PM ESPNU
East Tennessee State at Appalachian State 12:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Northwestern at #25 Stanford 1:00 PM FOX
Portland State at Arkansas 1:00 PM SEC Network
Montana State at Texas Tech 1:00 PM Fox Sports Net
Virginia Tech at Boston College 1:00 PM ACC Network
#22 Syracuse at Liberty 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Sam Houston State at New Mexico 3:00 PM None None
Incarnate Word at UTSA 3:00 PM ESPN3
Campbell at Troy 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
UC Davis at California 3:30 PM Pac-12 Networks
VMI at Marshall 3:30 PM Stadium
Norfolk State at Old Dominion 4:00 PM ESPN3
Alcorn State at Southern Mississippi 4:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Illinois State at Northern Illinois 4:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Monmouth at Western Michigan 4:00 PM ESPN3
SMU at Arkansas State 4:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Boise State vs. Florida State 4:00 PM ESPN
Nicholls at Kansas State 4:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Stephen F. Austin at Baylor 4:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#3 Georgia at Vanderbilt 4:30 PM SEC Network
Georgia Southern at #6 LSU 4:30 PM ESPNU
Middle Tennessee at #7 Michigan 4:30 PM BTN
#11 Oregon vs. #16 Auburn 4:30 PM ABC
Miami (OH) at #20 Iowa 4:30 PM FS1
Missouri at Wyoming 4:30 PM CBSSN
Abilene Christian at North Texas 4:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Virginia at Pittsburgh 4:30 PM ACC Network
Louisiana Tech at #10 Texas 5:00 PM Longhorn Network
Houston Baptist at UTEP 5:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at TCU 5:00 PM Fox Sports Net
Grambling at UL Monroe 5:00 PM ESPN3
Weber State at San Diego State 6:00 PM None None
New Mexico State at #23 Washington State 7:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Southern Utah at UNLV 7:00 PM None
Fresno State at USC 7:30 PM ESPN

This is your College Football Saturday open thread.

Go Bruins!