Maybe it's the cardinal and white adorning DWRRS or riding up the Pig Trail again that gives you chills again despite the late August heat. Maybe it's CBS' or ESPN's intro music that gets the hair on the back of your neck standing (God knows it can't be Big and Rich on College Gameday). Maybe it's spending all day with family and friends even if you pull for different teams. Or maybe it's that you know PAAAWWWLL will have a fresh batch of hate channeling through the telephone lines come Monday afternoon.
Whatever it is, however you enjoy college gamedays, you need not wait any longer. She's back and come 2:30 tomorrow we will all get to watch the Razorbacks run through the "A" and play football once again.
For the past few years, I have used this space to relay a viewing schedule and make picks. Last year, our friends over at RazorBloggers challenged us to a competition, which resulted in a narrow victory for the good guys. This year, instead of the the typical viewing guide, I'll give you the 10 games to watch over the weekend with a pick (Some weeks limiting it to 10 games will be a challenge).
Of course the Arkansas game is of the utmost importance and games influencing the Hogs' run towards the National Championship; I will also use this space to provide more of a national perspective with some #SECbias. Let's get started! Woo pig!
1) UTEP at Arkansas (-33), 2:30 p.m., ESPNU- There is no better place to start on opening weekend. Needless to say, there is favoritism shown to one team in particular on this site, but everyone should be take some time to watch some good ole natural, real American football.
2) No. 3 Alabama (-10) vs. No. 20 Wisconsin, 7 p.m., ABC- As FoxSports writer Stewart Mandel tweeted earlier this week, "Alabama could put a mannequin back there (at QB) & I'd still take the Tide by 10". I couldn't agree more. Put your paycheck on the Crimson Tide
3) No. 6 Auburn (-10.5) vs. Louisville, 2:30 p.m. CBS- Welcome to the "Which Team Does Arkansas Hate More?" Bowl. On one one hand is the Cardinals, coached by one Bobby Petrino. No explanation needed. On the other is Bret Bielema's favsies, the Tigers. I tend to take Coach B's lead here but can certainly find enough disdain in my heart for UL if need be. We saw firsthand what AU quarterback Jeremy Johnson can do to a defense, and while Louisville will front a strong D, I still like the Tigers to cover.
4) No. 1 Ohio State (-12) at Virginia Tech, Monday @ 7 p.m., ESPN- This is no revenge game. Ohio State is just as proud of a one-loss national champion as they would have been of an undefeated season. The Hokies' defensive coordinator Bud Foster played a perfect scheme last year. Urban will be ready this time. The VT entrance into Lane Stadium is one of the best in all of college football so be sure to be watching early. Buckeyes in a blowout.
5) No. 15 Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (-3), 6 p.m., ESPN- This has the feeling of one of those games that, depending on which conference comes out victorious, will be used in arguments to prove conference strength even into late November. The Sun Devils and Aggies come from the loaded PAC-12 South and SEC West, respectively, which are the two deepest divisions in football. The SEC homer in me doesn't like to do this, but take the points and bet ASU.
6) Texas at No. 11 Notre Dame (-9), 6:30 NBC- Two of the biggest brands in college football (both in followers and merchandise) come together in South Bend for hopefully a preview of many big out-of-"conference" matchups to come thanks to the College Football Playoff. The Irish have national title hopes once again. The Longhorns are still licking their wounds after a royal beatdown from a certain school in Northwest Arkansas. That sentence is fun to read. Take the Longhorns for the points only.
7) Louisiana-Monroe at No. 9 Georgia(-31), 11 a.m., SEC Network- UGA should be wary of an early kickoff against this scrappy ULM team, who has shown it can beat an SEC team as we all know too well. If you though John L. caught hell for losing to the Warhawks, it will pale in comparison as to what Mark Richt will receive if he slips up here. Georgia should win handily with a 100-yard day from Nick Chubb. Georgia covers this with a top-flight defense.
8) No. 4 Baylor (-35.5) at SMU, Friday at 6 p.m., ESPN- All to see here is how many touchdowns Baylor tight end LaQuan McGowan can rack up as he begins his Heisman campaign. If you don't know who he is, try and watch a Baylor game and not see the 400-plus-pound behemoth. Baylor covers this gaudy number, too.
9) Eastern Washington at No. 7 Oregon, 10 p.m., PAC-12 Network- Can quarterback Vernon Adams play as well on green turf as well as he did on red turf? Hard-hitting questions will be answered early for the Oregon QB who spent his previous seasons as an Eagle before transferring under college football's free agency rules.No betting line has been set.
10) Arkansas State at No. 8 Southern Cal (-27.5), 10 p.m., PAC-12 Network- This will be the first time a football team from Arkansas will play at USC since Frank Broyles was coaching. You're thinking, "But what about that 70-17 drubbing the Trojans doled out to the Hogs in 2005?" Thanks to vacated wins, that game never happened. Here's to USC getting a 53-point win back in the record books!