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Week 1 Game Magnitude - Part 1

Using S&P+'s win probability from the team previews, I created a metric that weighs the magnitude of each game based on its potential to affect the big picture of the season. Basically, the more games a team could potentially win, and the more uncertain the outcome in a particular game, the higher the score. While I'm basically testing it live, here is my best guess as to the scale:

0-2: Of interest to fans of the teams involved
2-4: Interesting games for fans of the sport on a national level
4-6: A game that will likely affect the trajectory of at least one good team (or two decent ones)
6+: One of the more impactful games of the season.

The scale maxes out at 11.5, which would occur if two teams projected to otherwise win 11 no-doubt games had a 50% win probability against one another. Again, I might be wrong, but that's my hunch as to how it plays out.

I've used this metric to create a viewing guide for the weekend - times are Eastern. As always, this isn't meant to be a hard and fast schedule, but more of a guide when there isn't something obvious to you (or, specifically, me, as this was born out of my general indecision). Monitor the big name teams, and if it looks more interesting than expected in the 3rd Q, call an audible.

Due to the way the first weekend's schedule plays out, I've split it into two posts. Enjoy!

THURSDAY

7:00 - UC Davis at San Jose State (KHTK 1140 AM) - 1.13
7:00 - Central Connecticut at Ball State (ESPN+) - 0.98
7:00 - Kennesaw State at Georgia State (ESPN+) - 1.66
7:00 - Central Florida at Connecticut (ESPNU) - 0.92
7:00 - New Mexico State at Minnesota (Big Ten Network) - 2.98

While I personally will be locally interested in the tilt at old Turner Field, and what it could mean for metro Atlanta 2nd tier recruiting in the coming years, New Mexico State/Minnesota is the way to start your opening Thursday.

8:00 - Northwestern at Purdue (ESPN) - 5.51
8:00 - Wake Forest at Tulane (CBS Sports) - 2.90
8:00 - Savannah State at UAB (ESPN+) - 0.14
8:00 - Missouri State at Oklahoma State (FS1) - 0.16
8:00 - Weber State at Utah (Pac 12 Network) - 0.42
8:00 - SE Louisiana at UL-Monroe (ESPN+) - 1.01

More mostly disappointing fodder, aside from the ESPN headliner. This begins the roller-coaster ride that will be Purdue's 2018 season. Purdue's going to need a few of these to go bowling, while Northwestern likely has higher aspirations - aspirations that could quickly go awry with a loss to the Boilermakers.

8:30 - Northwestern State at Texas A&M (ESPN+) - 0.07

Friday guide (Main Channel / Recall button during commercials):

7:00 - Big Ten Network / KSU-GSU ESPN+
8:00 - ESPN / Big Ten Network

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FRIDAY

6:00 - Syracuse at Western Michigan (CBS Sports) - 5.34

WMU is another team with a wide variance of possibilities this year, and they get your Friday action started with what could be a fun, unpredictable game against a high octane offense, or at the very least, a high octane offensive mind.

6:30 - Monmouth at Eastern Michigan (ESPN+) - 0.91

Stick with CBS.

7:00 - Utah State at Michigan State (Big Ten Network) - 1.78

East Lansing offers a better alternative than Ypsilanti, but I still expect the Spartans to handle this one somewhat easily, likely making it a backup option at best.

8:00 - Army at Duke (ESPNU) - 2.86

Both are projected around 6-6, so this would be a really helpful game to win for either. It's also fun to see different offensive styles go up against each other. Still sticking with Baberball as my primary game, though.

9:00 - Western Kentucky at Wisconsin (ESPN) - 1.23
9:00 - San Diego State at Stanford (FS1) - 3.80
9:00 - Portland State at Nevada (ESPN Radio) - 0.11

The 9:00 hour gives us the debuts of the two favorite running back Heisman contenders, so that's a bonus reason to tune in.

9:30 - Colorado vs. Colorado State (CBS Sports) - 4.44

The Rocky Mountain Showdown strikes me as an underrated rivalry game. Last year CSU shot itself in the foot with penalties en route to a two score loss despite a yardage and 1D advantage. Neutral Field! In-state rivalry with a brand name! With the Rams 0-1 and the Buffs not exactly looking like serious contenders, this could be a key game for both teams' bowl chances.

Friday guide:

6:00 - CBS Sports
6:30 - CBS Sports / ESPN+ (EMU)
7:00 - CBS Sports / Big Ten Network
8:00 - CBS Sports / ESPNU
9:00 - CBS Sports / FS1

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Part 2 on Friday...

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