Welcome back to game week, Loyal Readers. The 2021 season is upon us, and HLS is ready for our final lap. Since historians will likely check this site years from now, we’ll go on record and say Florida State shouldn’t concern Notre Dame fans…but current COVID case rates certainly should. At the time of this writing, Leon County is at 100%+ ICU bed capacity, with strong advisories against travel and large outdoor events. So what follows assumes you’re enjoying this kickoff weekend from the comfort of your own living quarters and avoiding a super spreader event. If you’re in the stands, you have a better chance of catching COVID rather than seeing Notre Dame lose.
</holds hand to earpiece>
And I’m being told we’re sticking to sports.
Bill Connelly’s preseason SP+ rankings didn’t give Irish much respect for the season as a whole (and you can hear more on our thoughts on preseason hype on this podcast episode), but the SP+ overall and personnel matchups heavily favor the visitors this weekend. FSU will try to assemble some transfer pieces as the season progresses, but even with the question marks on ND’s offense the talent and depth are superior.
Now watch Thursday night’s Sim blow a gigantic hole in this theory and fray our nerves heading into the opener.
What to Watch: Virginia Tech vs North Carolina (Thu 6:00PM ET, ESPN)
Here’s what’s going on with the rest of the 2021 schedule this weekend, but I recommend you dive right in on Thursday night with TWO future opponents. Bask in the return of the most stupid sport, and then jump over to Twitch during halftime to watch us forecast precisely how the wheels will fall off the Notre Dame Bandwagon come Sunday night.
- Wisconsin vs Penn State (Sat 12:00PM ET, Fox)
- Stanford at Kansas State (Sat 12:00PM ET, Fox Sports 1)
- Cincinnati vs Miami (OH) (Sat 3:30PM ET, ESPN+)
- Navy vs Marshall (Sat 3:30PM ET, CBS Sports Network)
- Southern Cal vs San Jose State (Sat 5:00PM ET, Pac-12 Network)
- Toledo vs Norfolk State (Sat 7:00PM ET, Watch ESPN)
- Purdue vs Oregon State (Sat 7:00PM ET, Fox Sports 1)
- Virginia vs William & Mary (Sat 7:30PM ET, Watch ESPN)
- Georgia Tech vs Northern Illinois (Sat 7:30PM ET, ACC Network)