FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE!!!! Time to have a beer, forget all that conference realignment nonsense, and focus on football.
Obviously at noon on Saturday we will all be watching App State @ ECU. But watching football is an all weekend thing. What other games are relevant to our season?
Thursday, Aug 30
8:00PM Mars Hill @ Western Carolina
This won’t be on TV obviously, but I’ll be peeking in on the score occasionally. Mars Hill is Div-2 but they went 8-2 during the regular season last year, eventually losing in the 2nd round of the NCAA Div-2 tournament. Meanwhile, WCU went 1-10 (0-8 SoCon). Who was the 1 team they beat last season? None other than Mars Hill (52-31) but it’s definitely not out of the realm that WCU could be upset here.
Prediction: WCU 38, Mars Hill 20
Saturday, Sept 1
12:30PM Elon @ North Carolina
This game starts just 30mins after the App State game, so obviously none of us will be watching, except maybe just flipping to it during commercials. Elon went just 5-6 (3-5 SoCon) last season, UNC went 7-6 (3-5 ACC). I’d say the chances of an upset are pretty low, but I’ll be cheering for Elon the whole way.
Prediction: UNC 41 / Elon 17
3:30PM South Dakota @ Montana
We play Montana in week 2 so this is an important one to keep an eye on.This is South Dakota’s first year in the MVC for football (Summit League for everything else). Last year they upset #1 (at the time) Eastern Washington in week 2. Overall they finished 6-5 (2-2 Great West). Meanwhile Montana finished 11-3 (7-1 Big Sky). An upset isn’t an impossibility, but I think Montana doesn’t look past USD and wins comfortably at home.
Viewing Options: Nothing listed at time of posting
Prediction: Montana 34 / South Dakota 17
4:30PM Furman @ Samford
The conference season starts in Birmingham this year. Last season Samford edged out Furman in Greenville 26-21. This year they get them at home in what should be another close game. This is probably the most important “other” game of the week to keep an eye on, simply because it features 2 teams we will face later on. I think Samford pulls it out at home.
Prediction: Samford 20, Furman 14
6:00PM Jacksonville @ Georgia Southern
We are no stranger to Jacksonville, and they aren’t a total pushover. They finished 7-4 last season but did lose to The Citadel 31-9. Georgia Southern may get a little scare in the first half, but I think they win very comfortably by the time the clock runs out.
Viewing Options: Gametracker
Prediction: Georgia Southern 41 / Jacksonville 27
6:00PM NC A&T @ Coastal Carolina
NC A&T is a team that we beat 58-6 last year, but it’s Coastal Carolina we’re interested in this year. If Coastal somehow lost this game it would take a lot of the excitement away from our game with them. I wouldn’t put money on that though.
Viewing Options: Gametracker
Prediction: Coastal Carolina 40 / NC A&T 10
6:00PM Wofford @ Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb went 4-7 last season. For example, they lost to Samford 14-41. Their only big win was a 2pt edging of Coastal Carolina. Sure they’re at home but I would be pretty shocked to see them even keep it close against what should be one of the most dangerous teams in the SoCon.
Viewing Options: Live Video
Prediction: Wofford 35 / Gardner-Webb 9
6:00PM Charleston Southern @ The Citadel
In case you aren’t big on geography, The Citadel is located in Charleston. That makes this game an in-town matchup that should be fun for all involved. Unfortunately, I’m not involved and this game sounds boring as hell. Charleston Southern didn’t win a single game last season. I guess we’ll find out if mercy is something they teach in their military studies classes at The Citadel.
Prediction: The Citadel 50 / Charleston Southern 6
7:00PM Chattanooga @ South Florida
Chatty is 1 of 3 SoCon teams with a chance at an FBS upset in week 1 (besides Elon and us). USF is a Big East team (for those unfamiliar) and went 5-6-1 last season with many close losses against tough competition. Chatty knows a little something about close losses too. This one won’t be close though. But for what it’s worth ChooChoo’s, I’ll be rooting for ya!
Viewing Options: ESPN3 / Gamecast
Prediction: USF 44 / Chattanooga 10
Also don’t forget, you only have a few days left to enter the AppStateNation Countdown to Kickoff Contest for your chance at winning a print commemorating our legendary win over Michigan!
Let me know what your predictions are in the comments!