Don’t get caught looking ahead.
How can this possibly happen in Week 1 of college football, you ask?
Coaching staffs, whether they’re preparing for a low-level opponent as a double-digit favorite or going into a hostile environment as an underdog, try to stay even keel ahead of season openers, ensuring their players hold a similar mindset as they take the field.
At this point, preseason rankings and early lines mean nothing since no one has seen or been able to grade how these teams look when the lights come on. Call it a hunch, but “upsets” are easier to call now than they’re are closer to the midseason point when there’s an established baseline out there differentiating college football’s 25 best teams from those with a few missing pieces.
Ask Nick Saban and he’ll tell you his game prep never changes, whether the Crimson Tide are traveling to LSU or welcoming Charleston Southern to Tuscaloosa. When a team’s mindset stays the same and outside narratives don’t affect play, strengths prevail and the best shines through.
With that in mind, which underdogs during opening weekend have a chance at turning heads nationally?
Here are six games worth taking a closer look at with favorites clearly on Upset Alert in Week 1: