The 2014 FBS season begins tonight – yes, tonight. Kicking off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU, Abilene Christian makes the trip from West Texas to the Georgia Dome to face Trent Miles and his Georgia State Panthers. This is actually the second Division I game on the 2014 calendar, following Eastern Washington’s win over Sam Houston State last Saturday. And, I’m not going to lie to you, the quality of this game won’t confuse you with the game the Georgia Dome will host 24 hours later – Boise State vs. Ole Miss. In fact, both of the teams from Saturday’s FCS game would be favored to win this game.
Still, it’s football.
With the 2014 FBS season now just hours away, here are seven reasons to tune in tonight:
1. It’s football.
2. It’s our only chance to watch football on a Wednesday until November 5. That’s 10 long, dark, MACtion-less weeks with no Wednesday football.
3. Georgia State has lost 16 consecutive games, tied with Miami (Ohio) for the longest losing skid in FBS. Chuck Martin’s new team opens with Marshall, and then gets a winnable game with Eastern Kentucky in Week 2. This is a golden chance to stick the RedHawks with sole possession of the nation’s longest losing skid. The Panthers host New Mexico State in Week 2, and then won’t get a puncher’s chance at victory until late October.
4. Again, it’s football.
5. This is Abilene Christian’s first game as a full-fledged, card-carrying member of Division I. The Wildcats posted a 6-5 record as an FCS Independent in 2013, and join the Southland Conference as a full member in 2014.
6. Abilene Christian Parker McKenzie’s circuitous, unlikely route to the Georgia Dome. McKenzie was born and raised in the Atlanta area, and grew up dreaming of playing quarterback in the Georgia Dome for the Atlanta Falcons. The McKenzie family moved to the San Antonio area during McKenzie’s teenage years, but he kept the dream alive. Starring at quarterback at Smithson Valley High School, McKenzie sent highlight tapes to the Georgia State coaching staff, but the interest was not reciprocated, so he ended up at ACU, a Division II school at the time. In the time since, Abilene Christian has moved to Division I, and McKenzie has won the starting job. And now, voila, McKenzie is set to play quarterback inside the Georgia Dome like he always dreamed – just not in the path anyone could have predicted.
7. Again, it’s football.