Notre Dame-Ohio State, Oregon-Georgia lead the way as college football arrives in full force

Northwestern has their quarterback in Ryan Hilinski, not to mention an offensive line that’s going to take some people down, a defense that has some life to it, after all, and a coach in Pat Fitzgerald who’s looking great again. Oh, and mojo: the Wildcats have all kinds of mojo.

We can say all of that after their 31-28 victory over Nebraska in Dublin in Week 0 of the college football season.

The Wildcats, 3-9 last season, are pretty good again, and he sure beats the alternative. Illinois, which defeated Wyoming 38-6 in its first game, could also be pretty good. Anyone who has seen our teams play on Saturday must be at least a little impressed.

But now, we return to reality. The rest of the college football world has already forgotten about the Wildcats and the Illini because, just do the math, people, Week 1 is here. Defending national champion Georgia, ranked No. 3 going forward, has a tough opening test against No. 11 Oregon. And that sexy matchup is almost an afterthought compared to No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Ohio State. What did college football fans do to deserve such an extraordinary gift in early September?

Is it Ohio State’s turn to win the Big Ten again? Is it Alabama’s turn to win it all again? It says here that the answer is “yes” on both.

Is it Northwestern and Illinois’s turn to slip back into the background? Yeah, you know how it goes. They too.

And this is what is happening:

MON 29

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Cubs at Blue Jays (6:07 p.m., marquee)

Look at it this way: It can’t get any worse than the Cubs’ last trip to Toronto, in 2014, when they were swept in three games by a combined score of, wow, this is bad, 28-3.

Diamondbacks_White_Sox_Baseball.jpg

Well, this is a bit awkward.

MAR 30

Royals at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

It’s just another delicious night at the Guaranteed Rate, where $10.75 will get you a 16-ounce beer and an extra coin will get you your very own “Sell the Gear” sign.

WED 31

Sun at Sky, Game 2 (7 p.m., ESPN2)

The Sky lost Game 2 to Connecticut in last year’s WNBA semifinals, then went on to its first championship. It’s a tough decision, but we think it’s better that they win this one.

Storm on Aces, Game 2 (9 p.m., ESPN2)

The Aces may be the favorites to win the title, but the Storm have championship experience pouring out of their ears. Don’t worry, it’s nicer than it looks.

THU 1

Royals vs. White Sox (1:10 p.m., YouTube)

We all know how much time a person can waste clicking on YouTube, but watching Red Sox craters on this app is taking it to a new level.

Penn State at Purdue (7 p.m., Fox-32)

A visit to West Lafayette is not as easy to get in and out of as it used to be. The Boilermakers were a nine-win team in 2021.

Wyoming vs. Illinois

The Illini mistreated Wyoming.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

FRI 2

Illinois at Indiana (7 p.m., FS1)

The Illini triumphed in their first game, but Indiana is one step ahead of Wyoming. Unless Indiana is one step below Wyoming. Look, don’t act like it’s not possible.

Twins at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

After all those weeks where the Twins were in first place and we expected the Red Sox to beat them, this feels terribly disappointing.

SAT 3

Oregon in Georgia (2:30 p.m., channel 7)

They’re calling this non-conference opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta a neutral-site game, huh? Phil Knight’s backyard in Beaverton, Oregon would have been less neutral.

Columbus Fire (4:30 p.m., Ch. 9)

Were we fools a few weeks ago to think the Fire could make the playoffs? Don’t answer that.

Illinois State at Wisconsin (6 p.m., FS1)

A rare prime-time game against such a big opponent should be a real treat for Redbirds fans. Until, you know, the game begins.

Notre Dame in Ohio (6:30 p.m., channel 7)

Irish coach Marcus Freeman, an OSU alumnus, opens his first full season with simply the biggest September game in college football. I guess that’s why he’s making a lot of money, right?

SUN 4

Sky at Sun, Game 3 (noon, ESPN2)

One step closer to what Sky hopes will be a successful replay. We don’t have enough banners waving around this town, do we?

Cubs vs. Cardinals (1:15 p.m., marquee)

It’s the last game of the season between these old rivals, which means it’s also the Cubs’ last game against the great Albert Pujols. Put him in, coach. It is ready to play.

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