LOS ANGELES — College football is no longer the “Saturday’s America” sportswriter Dan Jenkins wrote about all those years ago.
It is now “Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s America … and Monday’s too.”
It used to be only hungry-for-exposure conferences took midweek, bowling-night games, but even the major conferences are moving to seven-day workweeks.
Television might be driving this trend, but that’s just a guess.
In looking to identify the best college football games every weekend, I was struck by how many quality non-Saturday matchups there are this season.
College’s once holy day will still have a big say in dictating this year’s champion. The nonconference game of the year, Alabama at Texas A&M, is a Saturday kick on Sept. 14.
Yet, though many traditional rivalry games are still on Saturday’s calendar, the Apple Cup and Civil War are not.
College football will play games on every day of the week.
Here’s a look at the top non-Saturday games by day (best read while humming the “Happy Days” theme.
Brigham Young doesn’t play on the Sabbath but there’s plenty of Sunday pew space starting Sept. 1 as Bowl Championship Series contender Louisville hosts Ohio on a day Colorado also plays Colorado State.
The Mamas & the Papas couldn’t stand this day, but that was before the Supreme Court deregulated college football programming. This year, Monday has an opening-weekend booking for Sept. 2, Florida State at Pittsburgh, and will also finish the season Jan. 6 with the BCS title game at the Rose Bowl.
Had he stayed at Arkansas, this might have been Bobby Petrino’s night out with his motorcycle club. Instead, Petrino’s fall from his bike (and from grace) landed him at Western Kentucky and an Oct. 15 Sun Belt showdown against Louisiana Lafayette.
Also, on Nov. 5, the Mid-American Conference offers a two-for-Tuesday special: Bowling Green at Miami and Ohio at Buffalo.
Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn and Texas Tech coach, has taken over at Cincinnati just in time for an exciting Oct. 30 road trip to Memphis.
There hasn’t been this much quality programming on Thursdays since the 1980s lineup starting with “The Cosby Show.”
College football opens with 17 games on Aug. 29. USC has two Thursday games, starting with the opener at Norm Chow’s Hawaii. On Oct. 10, at the Coliseum, the Trojans seek revenge for last year’s horrific folding-tent defeat at Arizona.
UCLA plays at Utah on Oct. 3 and, in a game that should decide the Pac-12 North, Oregon visits Stanford on Nov. 7.
Also on Thursday: North Carolina at South Carolina, Utah State at Utah (Aug. 29), Texas Tech at Texas Christian (Sept. 12), Clemson at North Carolina State (Sept. 19), Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Sept. 26), Rutgers at Louisville (Oct. 10), Oklahoma at Baylor and Oregon at Stanford (Nov. 7), Georgia Tech at Clemson (Nov. 14), Mississippi at Mississippi State (Nov. 28) and Louisville at Cincinnati (Dec. 5).
This is known as “date night” at Boise State as the boys in blue play three times on Friday against Air Force, Fresno State and Brigham Young.
The Pac-12 Conference also encroaches all over high school football with several marquee games: USC at Oregon State (Nov. 1), Washington at UCLA (Nov. 15), Washington State at Washington and Oregon State at Oregon (Nov. 29).