We’ve got No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina on Thursday, we’ve got No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia on Saturday afternoon and we’ve got No. 14 Wisconsin taking on No. 13 LSU Saturday evening. Oh, and we’ve also got No. 1 Florida State opening on the road at Oklahoma State.
It’s going to be a heck of an opening weekend for college football, isn’t it?
“It sure is,” football analyst Adam Archuleta said on The MoJo Show. “Being an analyst is a great job, whether it’s NFL or college football. But one of the more frustrating things about being a college football analyst is we spend all summer talking about guys we’ve never seen play before. So you have no idea how these guys who haven’t played football since high school are going to replace guys who were superstars in the SEC and across the country. So I’m finally looking forward to seeing how these guys are going to get on the field and actually play when the lights go on.”
Of course, for every highly touted freshman – such as LSU running back Leonard Fournette – there are plenty of veterans hoping to win the Heisman Trophy and lead their team to the national title.
Marcus Mariota. Brett Hundley. Jameis Winston. The list goes on.
“You look out West (and) certainly those are the high-profile guys with Mariota and Hundley and (Arizona State quarterback) Taylor Kelly and those guys,” Archuleta said. “(But) Jameis Winston, I think he’s going to have ridiculous numbers again – because I think he’ll be better again, but also I’m not really sold on a lot of the defenses in the ACC this year. So I expect him to have another monster year.”
Florida State doesn’t play a single opponent ranked in the top 15 in the preseason poll, and its toughest games – No. 16 Clemson and No. 17 Notre Dame – are both at home.
Another program with a seemingly soft schedule is Ohio State, which plays just one ranked team – albeit a top-10 team on the road in Michigan State. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they’ll have to do so without Braxton Miller, who will miss the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury.
“I’m really bummed out – just like I think everybody in the country is – about Braxton Miller going down,” Archuleta said. “That’s just about as devastating (of) an injury at this time of year – right before the season is going to start – as I think you could possibly get.”
Auburn’s Nick Marshall, meanwhile, is the quarterback Archuleta is most excited to watch.
“I watched him develop last year,” Archuleta said. “I saw him get better. I saw him make key throws in key moments late in games to come back and win, so we know about his athletic ability. He’s got the arm for the long ball. And some of the balls he threw on the run deep – especially (in the) SEC Championship Game against Missouri – were just on point. So I look for him in his second year in this offense to kind of take off. I’m excited to see what he can do in the passing game.”