Saturday Slate: SEC Football Season Begins, Pitt Looks to Prove Itself, and Cincinnati Hosts the Troops | Elev – Eleven Warriors

We eagerly await the return of Buckeye football, but that doesn’t mean we won’t watch some other college football showdowns in the meantime.

Back With a Bang South

  • #23 Kentucky at #8 Auburn – NOON

Slowly but surely, every FBS conference is getting back to action. This week, the SEC joins the fray and kicks off with a top-25 matchup at noon.

Sure, this may only be a top-25 showdown because some teams are still missing from the rankings – namely, the Big Ten – but Auburn comes into this season with quite a bit of hype and Kentucky has a chance to play early-season spoiler.

Auburn returns freshman quarterback Bo Nix after he turned in the most productive freshman season in program history.

On the other side, Kentucky actually has a quarterback with senior Terry Wilson returning from an injury that sidelined him for the final 11 games of last season, in which the Wildcats were forced to replace him with receiver and former Ohio high school quarterback Lynn Bowden.

At the very least, Vegas seems to believe this game will be a tight matchup with the Tigers only favored by a touchdown. It could be worth your time on Saturday afternoon

Merry Pittsmas?

  • #24 Louisville at #21 Pitt – NOON

Early-season college football is full of “is this team actually good?” games, and we’ve got ourselves another here with No. 21 Pitt looking to prove its 2-0 start isn’t a fluke with a showdown against No. 24 Louisville.

The Panthers find themselves 2-0 entering Saturday’s game after absolutely demolished Austin Peay 55-0 in the season-opener and pulling out a 21-10 win over Syracuse last week, but neither of those are wins you’d exactly write home about.

But Pitt will get a chance for a statement win against a ranked opponent in dire need of a big win itself, after a lopsided loss to Miami last week.

One of these teams is going to get a perception-building win on Saturday, the other is going to be quickly labeled “fraudulent” and promptly returned to mediocrity where it belongs.

A lot at stake!

Bearcats Hosting the Troops

  • #22 Army at #14 Cincinnati – 3:30 p.m.

Our third and final ranked matchup of the pits Luke Fickell and his Bearcats against the undefeated troops.

Sitting at No. 22 in the latest AP Poll, Army has yet to be tested but just laid waste to its first two opponents, outscoring Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana Monroe by a combined score of 79-7.

Meanwhile, No. 14 Cincinnati enters the game equally untested, but similarly dominant after rolling Austin Peay 55-20 in its season-opener last week.

It’s tough to call a make-or-break game this early in the season, but if either of these teams wants an outside chance at crashing the College Football Playoff, or even just earning a New Year’s Six bid, they’re going to have to go undefeated. And only one of these teams is walking away from this game without a notch in the L column.

MATCHUP TIME TELEVISION BETTING LINE
Georgia Southern at #19 Louisiana NOON ESPN2 ULL (-11.5)
Georgia Tech at Syracuse NOON RSN/ESPN3 GT (-7.5)
#24 Louisville at #21 Pitt NOON ACCN PITT (-3)
Kansas State at #3 Oklahoma NOON FOX OKLA (-28)
Campbell at Appalachian State NOON ESPN+  
#5 Florida at Ole Miss NOON ESPN UF (-14)
#23 Kentucky at #8 Auburn NOON SECN AUB (-7)
#13 UCF at East Carolina NOON ABC/ESPN+ UCF (-27)
FIU at Liberty 1:00pm ESPNU LIB (-8)
Iowa State at TCU 1:30pm FS1 ISU (-3)
Tulane at Southern Miss 2:30pm Stadium TUL (-3)
#22 Army at #14 Cincinnati 3:30pm ESPN CINCY (-13.5)
UTEP at ULM 3:30pm ESPN2 ULM (-9.5)
Mississippi State at #6 LSU 3:30pm CBS LSU (-16.5)
West Virginia at #15 Oklahoma State 3:30pm ABC OKY STATE (-7)
#8 Texas at Texas Tech 3:30pm FOX TEXAS (-17.5)
#4 Georgia at Arkansas 4:00pm SECN UGA (-28)
Duke at Virginia 4:00pm ACCN UVA (-4.5)
Texas State at Boston College 6:00pm RSN/ESPN3 BC (-18)
Houston Baptist at Louisiana Tech 7:00pm ESPN3  
#2 Alabama at Missouri 7:00pm ESPN BAMA (-28)
Stephen F. Austin at SMU 7:00pm ESPN+  
Florida State at #12 Miami (FL) 7:30pm ABC MIAMI (-11)
Kansas at Baylor 7:30pm ESPNU BAY (-17.5)
#16 Tennessee at South Carolina 7:30pm SECN TENN (-3.5)
Vanderbilt at #10 Texas A&M 7:30pm SECN Alt. TAMU (-30.5)
NC State at #20 Virginia Tech 8:00pm ACCN VT (-7)
Troy at #18 BYU 10:15pm ESPN BYU (-14.5)