We are 13 Thursdays away from the long-awaited kickoff of the 2014 college football season. While Tuesday nights have become the weekly MAC contest (MACTION), and Saturdays are of course the all-day buffet of games, Thursday nights are very hit-or-miss and sometimes completely random. Last season we had perhaps the biggest Thursday night ever, featuring TWO top-ten games (Stanford-Oregon and Baylor-Oklahoma). Although some week's television coverages aren't finalized, the dates of the games are. Here is a look ahead to the 14 Thursday nights in '14:
Texas A&M AT South Carolina - 6:00 pm - SEC Network 2014 season kickoff, the innaugral game on ESPN's new SEC Network, and new-look Aggies without Johnny Football.
Ole Miss vs. Boise State (in Atlanta) - 8:00 pm - ESPN Neutral site battle between what looks like an improving Ole Miss squad and Boise State without Coach Petersen
Rutgers vs. Washington State (in Seattle) - 10:00 pm - Fox Sports 1 Rutgers travels coast-to-coast to face "The Pirate" and his pass-happy Cougars.
Arizona at UT-San Antonio The only Division 1 game on September 4th; Rich Rod faces Larry Coker's upstart football program in the Alamodome.
Houston at BYU - TBA - ESPN Intriguing matchup of two of the more talented non-Power5 teams
Auburn at Kansas State War Eagle flies to the midwest in a rare SEC-Big12 matchup that features two genius coaches (Malzahn and Snyder) and two Junior College QB sensations (Nick Marshall and Jake Waters)
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Known for their shocking upsets over Division 1 powerhouse programs (Michigan and Florida), both new Sun Belt members are in their first season of FBS ball.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Solid Big 12 matchup that should most definetly be televised somewhere, either FS1 or ESPN, whichever doesn't get the Pac-12 showdown
UCLA at Arizona State This could be the deciding game in the Pac-12 South Division, and one of the best overall Thursday night games of the season. Arizona State won in LA last fall and now have home-field advantage in the desert.
Central Florida at Houston Showdown between American Athletic Conference (AAC) top competitors
Arizona at Oregon Arizona lit up Oregon last season; Ducks have home-field advantage and seek revenge
BYU at Central Florida UCF has back-to-back Thursday primetime games, this one against a strong FBS-Independent BYU led by dynamic QB Taysom Hill
Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh - 7:30 pm - ESPN The ACC starts a 4-week stretch of Thursday night ESPN games. The Hokies travel north to face an improving Pitt squad
Utah at Oregon State Middle-of-the-road PAC-12 teams; game should be picked up by FS1
Miami at Virginia Tech - 7:30 pm - ESPN Known as the toughest Thursday night crowd in America, Lane Stadium will be rocking in a crucial ACC Coastal matchup with rival Miami
Florida State at Louisville - 7:30 pm - ESPN Defending champs Florida State travel to new ACC member Louisville. Charlie Strong leaves behind a tough Cardinals squad capable of giving the 'Noles a scare
Clemson at Wake Forest - 7:30 pm - ESPN Finishing the ACC 4-week stretch, this should be a snoozer as Clemson rips apart host Wake Forest.
East Carolina at Cincinnati - 7:00 pm - ESPN2 This game is already set for ESPN2; ECU is a new member to the AAC this season.
Southern Cal at California Depending on how Steve Sarkisian fares in his first season back at USC, this game could have a lot of importance (or not so much)
North Carolina at Duke - 7:30 pm - ESPN The rivalry always has the Victory Bell and pride on the line, but now it could have a serious impact on the ACC Coastal race as both teams look like strong competitors
Kansas State at West Virginia Big 12 closes the season with 2 Thursday night games; KSU could be fighting for a top spot in the standings, WVU will not be.
LSU at Texas A&M - ESPN LSU was Manziel's tragic flaw, dominating him in consecutive seasons; life after Johnny, could the Aggies reverse the trend
TCU at Texas Two mysteries coming into 2014, this could have some importance in the league race, but will be overshadowed by the SEC game.
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