It’s the first Saturday of college football season, and that means wall-to-wall football. It’s also the final day of August, meaning there’s important playoff race baseball going. And after a dry summer, that adds up to a daily sports feast on Saturday.
The early portion of the afternoon begins at 1 PM ET. There were no two people in sports more hyped this summer—for negative reasons—than Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Manziel—and they’re both in action early. MLB Network has the Yankees hosting the Orioles from the Bronx. And Texas A&M opens its season against Rice, with Manziel eligible to play after halftime.
Alabama begins its push for a third straight national championship in the late afternoon/early evening. The last time we saw the Tide, they were rolling over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game. Today, Frank Beamer’s Virginia Tech team will take their swings at the champs in a 5:30 PM ET kickoff from Atlanta.
ESPN continues its showing of the SEC West in prime-time, when LSU takes on TCU from Cowboys Stadium in a prime-time kickoff. Without ever changing your channel, you can scout A&M, Alabama and LSU in succession.
But the big battle on Saturday night is on ABC, where two Top 10 teams in Georgia and Clemson square off. Clemson has this game at home, and is coming off a cathartic bowl victory over LSU to end last year. Opening this season with another high-profile SEC scalp would be a huge deal for Dabo Swinney’s program and quarterback Tajh Boyd’s Heisman hopes.
MLB Network continues its coverage of the big St. Louis-Pittsburgh series with a 7 PM ET telecast.
TheSportsNotebook will be off today, as I head an hour west to Madison for the Wisconsin Badgers’ home opener. In the meantime, please check out the previews of Week 1’s biggest college games, and several more on the undercard.