While college football is know for its Saturdays, you can find games pretty much any day of the week. Thursday night is a big night for college football with some big games across the nation, including those games from the Group of 5 conferences.
It’s a night to see programs that perhaps you wouldn’t normally go out and see, but we love football and any chance watch it.
Thursday Night College Football Trends
Typically when it comes to midweek football, we’re watching teams from the Group of 5 getting their time on national TV. These teams have offensive firepower and rarely is a game short on scoring unless you’ve got some crazy weather conditions.
Midweek MACtion has grown in the popularity because of the points the Mid-American Conference is known to put up each week when late fall comes around and MAC games are routinely shown by ESPN.
The oddsmakers know these games result in high scores, so don’t be shocked to see some high over/unders. The offenses make for fun games to watch and to bet on if you generally don’t care about either team.
Thursday Night College Football Week-by-week Headliners
The Thursday Night College Football schedule kicks off on August 30 and for the second year in a row there is Big Ten conference game right away.
Last year it was Ohio State taking on Indiana, this year looks to be a much better game between Purdue and Northwestern. Wisconsin is at the top of the West Division, but Purdue and Northwestern are both coming off bowl wins and look the be teams vying to knock off the Badgers in 2018.
There is a Week 2 hiatus for Thursday college football, don’t fret, it’s back for the rest of the season and in Week 3 we have an ACC matchup between Boston College and Wake Forest.
Both the Demon Deacons and Golden Eagles are coming off back-to-back bowl apperances and are looking to take a step up in the ACC standings.
Week 5 brings us another ACC matchup with Miami and North Carolina going head-to-head. The Hurricanes got themselves back in the national spotlight last season with the Turnover Chain.
While Miami had a strong 2017, UNC nearly knocked them off a season ago, losing 24-19 on late October. The Tar Heels are looking to bounce back after a 3-9 year and could really send a shockwave through the ACC on Thursday, Sept. 27.
In week 6 we have the Sun Belt Conference looking to show out with defending champions Troy and Georgia State facing off. These are two teams we don’t normally see, but the Trojans are more well known for some big wins over the years.
When you think of offense-heavy conferences, the Big 12 is probably the first that comes to mind and in Week 7 we’ll see Texas Tech and TCU slinging the ball around on Thursday night.
With Baker Mayfield no longer at Okalahoma, perhaps its the Horned Frogs year to shine or maybe this is the season the Red Raiders put it together and move up in the standings.
In Week 8 we go further west as Arizona State and new head coach Herm Edwards takes on Stanford in a PAC 12 matchup. The Sun Devils are looking to prove they are better than predicted, while the Cardinal are projected second in the North behind Washington.
Also in Week 8, we return to the Sun Belt with another look at Georgia State and Arkansas State, both of which went to bowls a season ago.
In Week 9 we have a couple big games and another showing of the Sun Belt with Appalachian State looking to stomp on Georgia Southern. Highlighting this Thursday however, is Baylor vs. West Virginia and Georgia Tech against Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers are looking to get into the Big 12 championship game while Baylor is fighting to become a player in the conference and nation once again. The Hokies are a sleeper to give Clemson a run for its money in the ACC while the Yellow Jackets were on the cusp of a bowl game last season and looking to get back into postseason play since a year off in 2017.
Week 10 is all about the American Athletic Conference with the self-appointed 2017 National Champions, UCF, taking on what could be a good Temple team. Can the Knights keep rolling after an incredible 2017 season or will the Owls bring them back down to the rest of the conference?
In Week 11 we’re back to the ACC with Wake Forest and NC State. The Wolfpack are coming off a good season at 9-4, but it could’ve been better with close loses to South Carolina, Clemson and the Demon Deacons late in the season.
Week 12 we have a showdown of the defending C-USA champion Florida Atlantic and West Division champion North Texas. The Owls are looking to remain at the top of the conference while the Mean Green are looking for revenge after getting blown away twice last season.
Finally, Week 13 — Thanksgiving isn’t just for the NFL anymore. College football has a pair of games, including a Mountain West Conference matchup between Colorado State and Air Force. It could be a fun game, but it’ll be overshadowed by the Egg Bowl and the SEC as Ole Miss and Mississippi State go head-to-head.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 9-4 season while the Rebels are looking to start the rebuild and winning rivalry games go a long way in the building process.
Thursday Night College Football Schedule
UCF at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
New Mexico State at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Central Connecticut State at Ball State, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
Kennesaw State at Georgia State, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
Northwestern at Purdue, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Southeastern Louisiana at Lousiana-Monroe, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)
Wake Forest at Tulane, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Missouri State at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Weber State at Utah, 8 p.m. (PAC-12)
Northwestern State at Texas A&M, 8:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tulsa at Temple, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
North Carolina at Miami, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Georgia State at Troy, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tulsa at Houston, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Georgia Southern at Texas State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Texas Tech at TCU, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Georgia State at Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Arkansas State looks to bounce back after a disappointing 35-9 home loss to Appalachian State as they host Georgia State in Sun Belt action. The Red Wolves are 0-2 in conference play, but they’re still the favorite to win their division. However, Thursday’s game against the Panthers is almost a must-win situation for Blake Anderson’s team.
The Red Wolves have three losses on the year as well as a close loss at Georgia Southern. Nevertheless, Arkansas State will likely be favored in each of its remaining six games. They are 3-3 now, but the potential is still there for double-digit wins.
Georgia State is 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the Sun Belt, and second-year coach Shawn Elliott has to turn things around quickly if he wants to lead the Panthers to another bowl game. Arkansas State opened as a 14-point home favorite as they look to get back on track.
Stanford at Arizona State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Despite early season losses, both the Cardinal and the Sun Devils are still alive in the Pac-12 standings. Neither team can afford to drop this one as Stanford travels to Arizona State on Thursday night.
Stanford is 4-2 on the year and 2-1 in the Pac-12, including a comeback win in overtime at Oregon. However, the Cardinal haven’t looked great in recent weeks, and they have back-to-back double-digit losses against Notre Dame and Utah. The next three games are very challenging as they take on Arizona State, Washington State and Washington.
Herm Edwards led Arizona State to an impressive home win against Michigan State in Week 2, but they followed that up with losses to San Diego State, Washington and Colorado. They are currently in last in the Pac-12 South, but that can change quickly if they can knock off Stanford on Thursday.
The Sun Devils opened as a two-point underdog, and they also have a pivotal three-game stretch upcoming. After Stanford, they travel to USC and host Utah. Those three games will determine whether the Sun Devils can contend for the Pac-12 South title.
Baylor at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Temple at UCF, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Wake Forest at NC State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Toledo at Kent State, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
Tulane at Houston, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida Atlantic at North Texas, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Colorado State at Air Force, 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Mississippi State at Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)