Clear Your Schedule – It’s Time…

By Brian Wilmer -

Picture it, everyone.

Whether it’s this Saturday afternoon, when FCS powers North Dakota State and Montana square off, or next Thursday for one of 18 contests, you’ll be there. Whether you’re eating grilled food at a tailgate and settling into a seat at your favorite stadium, or ordering a pizza and settling down for an evening with your HDTV, you’ll be there.

We’ll be there, too.

Thus begins year five of this little feature we call Clear Your Schedule. I am, as always, grateful to Kevin for the space and for everything he does for all of us. I’m proud to be here. I’m also grateful to all of you for reading and continuing to be involved. Agreement is not required here — it never has been — but our passion binds us.

There comes a time when all good things must change, though, and this year will be a year of change for this humble column. We will continue our weekly look at the ACC here; however, our weekly SEC feature will disappear. Eric will continue his “weakly” SEC feature, and you can save your SEC commentary, pitchforks and angry mobs for one central location. It’s all about saving you some keystrokes, everyone.

Just because the SEC feature is going away does not mean that you will only see one feature a week this year, though.

You see, long ago, on a radio show I co-hosted far, far away, there used to be a weekly feature called The Sixer. This is not an alcohol reference — I don’t drink, not that it matters to anyone — but instead one that references a six-pack of some of the more intriguing games across the country each week. I’ve frankly missed this feature, and bringing it here allows for some fresh analysis in each column. We can also do some interesting theme weeks, and we very well may break out some of those through the year.

I have also said — millions of times, actually — that I’m a terrible prognosticator. This is why you won’t see too many predictions here. However, we’re going to try out a little bit of a different element in this space in 2015. You’ll be able to test your prognostication skills against mine — and anyone else who chooses to participate — each week. You can join here, and it’s free to play. There are no prizes yet, only bragging rights — unless any of you can convince Kevin otherwise — but think of the pride you’ll feel in knowing you properly picked more games than your fellow readers. Also, when choosing a name for your selections, consider something we can use to easily identify you.

This will be an exciting year, as is the case with every college football season. It’s great that you’ll be along for the ride, and that the ride starts — at the FBS level, anyway — in just one week.

Check back here next week for week one’s games. Enjoy the season, everyone!


  1. Craig
    August 27, 2015 at 9:12 am

    North Dakota St vs Montana – Game of the week and game of the month!

    Happy to see both programs in the national limelight. The FCS kickoff game the week before the P5/G5 get going is a great idea.

    • Brian Wilmer
      August 27, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Totally agreed! I’m a huge fan of FCS football, and you won’t see a matchup of that quality again until the playoffs. I hope this becomes a regular “thing” af the FCS level.

    • David
      August 27, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Really? The CAA has a lot of quality matchups among its top teams each year. Maine vs. New Hampshire is always a quality game. JMU vs. W&M. Villanova vs. Delaware. All quality, and that’s just from the CAA. Other FCS conferences have more than one or two quality teams, too. There’s great quality every week somewhere in FCS, especially when you consider schools playing FBS. Maine (where I teach) is taking on both Boston College and Tulane this year. They’ll play their hearts out for sure. Any FCS team that goes like David against Goliath…. can be watchable early at least.

  2. jerry wilmer
    August 27, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Very interesting choice for the game of the week.You won’t see that in too many articles.Looking forward to your ‘pearls of wisdom’,again this year.

  3. David
    August 27, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I’ll go with the Bison. Hard to pick against NDSU, even if they’re playing an FBS.

  4. Josh
    August 27, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Very disappointed SEC Clear Your Schedule is disappearing in favor of Weakly SEC. I guess it’s all about pandering to the lowest common denominator.

    • Brian Wilmer
      August 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Worry not – I’ll still be talking quite a bit of SEC. They usually end up with two or three of the top games of the week. :)

    • Kevin Kelley
      August 27, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      SEC Clear Your Schedule is disappearing by Brian’s choice because he wants to write a national piece.

      Eric’s “Weakly” column will be different this season, at my request, and will be a straightforward SEC prediction piece.

  5. Bill
    August 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    how many people would actually clear their schedule for ACC games?

  6. Todd
    August 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    That Grizzlies-Bison game was a classic. I’m a fan of top tier FCS programs from all the FCS conferences, and would enjoy more of these games. Hope to see a TV networks pickup a FCS game of the week, as well as televise the top games in the FCS playoffs. Maybe the network could help the conferences coordinate their schedules so there is always a big game every week. I’d tune in for sure.

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