There were just 20 college football games played last week and only two dozen are on tap for the coming weekend. Some bleachers were empty and a few teams limited attendance to 20 or 25 percent of the stadium’s capacity. But who cares — we have college football!

Even with just a fraction of the fans present, having them and a band at the game makes it better to watch. Florida State-Georgia Tech was the most exciting ACC game of the week.  The Seminoles made about 19,000 seats available for their fans, but attendance came up short by 2,000 or so. The fans are taking the pandemic seriously. The Virginia Tech- N. C. State game was postponed and this week, the Sept. 19 Virginia-Virginia Tech game is also postponed. Fasten your seat belts, the pandemic is here for the long haul.

It was a bad opening weekend for the Big 12. Three teams (Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State,) lost home games to unranked mid-majors. Only Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU look like winning teams in the Big 12. As for the ACC, Clemson looked great while North Carolina and Notre Dame passed their first tests but still have some homework to do.

Let’s mount the board and toss the magic darts and tell yawl right now whooza gonna win this weekend’s big games.

TOFF COMPOSITE RANKINGS  (Avg. Top 3 polls):  1. Clemson  2. Alabama  3.  Georgia 4.  Oklahoma 5. LSU  6. Florida  7. Auburn 8.  Texas 9. Notre Dame 10.  Texas A & M.  Also, 13. UNC  24. Appalachian.

SOUTH FLORIDA AT NOTRE DAME:  Neither team looked that great last week.  South Florida sloshed past The Citadel while the Irish got a bigger fight than expected from Duke.  Notre Dame 42, South Florida 10.

CENTRAL FLORIDA AT GEORGIA TECH:  The Jackets got a huge opening day win at FSU, 16-13.  Tech made some mistakes in the game and their kicking game was anemic.  But they found a QB in freshman Jeff Sims, who originally was an FSU commit.  UCF comes in expecting to win. So what, Tech also expects to win. A toss-up, it’s… Georgia Tech 27, UCF 26, but it’s even.

THE CITADEL AT CLEMSON:  Could be a hundred to nothing.  Clemson calls off the cats early in the third quarter. Does this game count as a win? Clemson 56, The Citadel 7.

MIAMI AT LOUISVILLE:  Much like its old rival in the Florida panhandle, Miami just ain’t what it was way back when. The ACC ain’t that strong and Miami will get some wins. Louisville is trending upward since they hired Coach Scott Satterfield from Appalachian.  The Cardinals looked sloppy at times last week, but should be primed this Saturday.  Very close, it’s Louisville 27, Miami 25.

BOSTON COLLEGE AT DUKE:  Fearless thought Duke looked great for three quarters at Notre Dame. The Blue Devils ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, but this was a competitive clash. Boston College at home is winnable but Duke better be ready. Duke 31, Boston College 28.

CHARLOTTE AT NORTH CAROLINA:  Charlotte is better than you think — if you think they aren’t very good. The Niners program improved in 2019 and they know it.  But this game is in Chapel Hill and the Tar Heels will win it comfortably.  North Carolina 38, Charlotte 14.

WAKE FOREST AT N. C. STATE:  The Deacons have the huge advantage of having played a game, while this is the Wolfpack’s opener. Most teams make their biggest improvement from week one to week two.  The second half of the 2019 season was a disaster for State, and Fearless thinks they will be motivated in this one. Dead even, Fearless sez, Wake Forest 24, N. C. State 23.

OTHER GAMES THIS WEEKEND:  Pitt over Syracuse,  Appalachian over Marshall  (close), and Coastal Carolina over Campbell (both teams are good.)

Southeast Sports Syndicate, 2020