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Week 1 TV Schedule and Rooting Guide for Vols fans

Everything a Vols fan needs to know to enjoy this weekend's slate of college football games.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

We're 48 hours from kickoff (and no, I don't count games played on other continents so far away they're in another time continuum). As I said in an earlier post, one of the upsides of having the Vols play on Thursday night is that we have the entire weekend to enjoy a full slate of other really, really good games. You can find the entire schedule in a lot of places, but below there's one specially curated for you, you orange-spectacled winner you.

First, though, a word on my rooting philosophy:

1. Root for the Vols to win. Always.
2. Root for outcomes in other games that are good for the Vols.
2A. Root for SEC West teams over SEC East teams, because it helps the Vols in the SEC East race. In games between SEC East teams, root for the one with fewer wins.
2B. Root for outcomes that will cause teams ranked higher than the Vols to fall below them.
3. Root for outcomes that make 2A more likely in a future game.
4. Among SEC and non-conference games that don't impact the SEC East race, root for past and future Vols' opponents.
5. Root for the SEC.
6. Root for good games, good stories, good people.
7. If any rule is in conflict with another, the higher numbered rule takes precedence.

That's not fool-proof, but it is a fairly consistent and concise explanation of the decision-making process I use to choose sides.

So here's this week's TV schedule, along with the rooting guide.

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
Appalachian State at (9) Tennessee 7:30 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN

Root for the Vols in this one, obvs.

Friday, Sept. 2, 2016
Goodwill Friday

You could watch Michigan State host Furman or Stanford host Kansas State , but you'd be better off putting some goodwill in the bank this evening. You're going to need it the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
(3) Oklahoma vs. (15) Houston (at NRG Stadium) Noon ABC / WatchESPN
(5) LSU vs. Wisconsin (at Green Bay, WI) 3:30 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
(18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina (at Atlanta, GA) 5:30 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
(20) USC vs. (1) Alabama (at Arlington, TX) 8:00 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
(2) Clemson at Auburn 9:00 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN

Houston's enjoyed a nice run recently, but we're going to find out something about them right at high noon when they run into Oklahoma. At 3:30, we find out if LSU is a legit contender to beat Alabama in the SEC West, and then at 5:30, we start to find out if Georgia's going to cause us a problem this season. Alabama and Lane Kiffin then take on USC, and we get a first look at Clemson and Auburn.

Root for:

  • Houston (Oklahoma's ahead of us in the polls)
  • LSU (SEC)
  • Georgia (SEC)
  • Alabama (SEC)
  • Auburn (SEC, and Clemson's ahead of us in the polls. Plus, Auburn being good enough to beat Georgia could give us some cushion in the SEC East race if we need it.)
Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
(10) Notre Dame at Texas 7:30 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN

Root for Texas here, because Notre Dame's a little too close to us in the current rankings.

Monday, Sept. 5, 2016
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
(11) Ole Miss vs. (4) Florida State (at Orlando, FL) 8:00 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN

Root for Ole Miss here, because Florida State's ahead of us in the polls, because the Rebels are in the SEC, and because them being good enough to beat Georgia could be help we might need at some point.