College football on CBS Sports Network: Watch Memphis, Army, Boston College – CBSSports.com

College football isn’t just played on Saturdays anymore, and that can be easy to forget. With that in mind, there are several games airing on CBS Sports Network over the course of the next few days. You can think of it as an appetizer to Saturday’s full slate of games, but football is football and football season is back.

There will be doubleheaders played on both Thursday and Friday, as ACC and American Conference action are getting off the ground. Memphis is seeking to improve from its 8-5 2016 record, whereas Boston College is looking to forget its ghastly 2-6 conference record last season.

Thursday viewing information

Louisiana-Monroe at Memphis

Date: Thursday, Aug. 31

Time: 9 p.m. ET

Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium — Memphis, Tennessee

TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel finder

Live stream: CBS Sports Network is available via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fubo TV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to CBSSportsNetwork.com.

Storylines

Memphis: Memphis is a team that tends to “hang around” conversations in college sports. The game is proceeding as scheduled in spite of rain forecasts, an offshoot of Hurricane Harvey’s reach. All parties involved decided not to move the game. Athletic director Tom Bowen has been trying to put Memphis on the map, but it’s difficult for American Conference teams to find quality opponents. With Memphis facing Purdue in Week 3, they’re hoping to make a mark.

Memphis went 8-5, good for third in the AAC West, but their projections are still heading upwards. It all starts against Louisiana-Monroe, however, who will seek out an upset of their own Thursday against a confident Memphis team.

Prediction: Memphis is a good team, and they’re at a point that they can handle small-school opponents. like ULM. Although a 23-point spread might be a bit generous, especially in inclement weather, it’s time to start believing in Memphis. Pick: Memphis -23

Friday

Fordham at Army 

Date: Friday, Sept. 1

Time: 6 p.m. ET

Location: Michie Stadium — West Point, New York

TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel finder

Live stream: CBS Sports Network is available via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fubo TV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to CBSSportsNetwork.com.

Storylines

Fordham: Another intrastate match-up, this time based in New York. Fordham went 8-3, good for second in the Patriot League in 2016. Fordham has a formidable running back committee in senior Jerred Brevard, sophomore D’Angelo Palladino and freshman Zach Davis. Davis will look to make an early impression on Fordham. He averaged over 350 yards per game in high school, and he has a lot of people excited throughout training camp.

There’s a lot of potential on Fordham as they try to make a push for the Patriot League title, and they have the weapons to overtake Lehigh.

Army: Army went 8-5 in 2016, third best among Independent schools. Head coach Jeff Monken is entering his fourth year as Army’s head coach, and he’s coming off the momentum of not only a winning season, but also a victory over Army’s nemesis Navy. They eventually defeated North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. North Texas will get its rematch in November, where Army will hope to carry in a string of wins.

Army is always fun to watch, as they run the wild triple option offense under Monken. Their three best 2016 rushers are back, and all three of them rushed for 600 yards or more in 2016. There’s something amazing about watching a team run the same play over and over and having it inexplicably work, but then, the triple option is essentially several plays packed into one. With so much returning talent, Army’s expectations are even loftier heading into 2017 — and beating Navy is always at the top of the list.

Prediction: Army is poised for another big year, and Fordham will have a hard time standing in their way. Despite being an excellent team, the triple option can be such a unique tool to prepare for that it’s hard to imagine a situation in which experience doesn’t win out. Army should run for a significant amount of yardage in this one and ultimately come out on top. Pick: Army

Boston College at Northern Illinois

Date: Friday, Sept. 1

Time: 9:30 p.m. ET

Location: Huskie Stadium — DeKalb, Illinois

TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel finder

Live stream: CBS Sports Network is available via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fubo TV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to CBSSportsNetwork.com.

Storylines

Boston College: The Eagles have dealt with a lot of adversity over the last few years, and 2017 might not be any different. Boston College has one of their most difficult schedules in ages, and it starts against NIU. Its schedule only gets more difficult as they’ll be facing the likes of Clemson, Louisville and Florida State down the road, so if they want any momentum going into their nightmarish conference slate, they need to beat NIU, Wake Forest and arguably Notre Dame.

Last season BC was 2-6 within its conference, a nightmarish year, but it’s a step up from their 0-8 2015 season. The fact is, they simply can’t compare themselves to the talent that they face every year, so NIU may give them a better gauge as to where they’re at. Boston College had an ongoing QB competition throughout camp, and even though head coach Steve Addazio knows who will lead the team, he’s keeping the info close to his chest.

Northern Illinois: NIU has quietly become among the most fun teams to watch during the week in college football. They’re coming off of a down 5-7 year that netted them third place in the MAC’s western division. They also didn’t decide their quarterback until this week, which often doesn’t bode well for a team. Head coach Rod Carey, like Addazio, has his starter in mind but is keeping it to himself.

It’s a big non-conference game for NIU, which are few and far between for MAC teams. If NIU can capitalize, it would be a huge start for a team that had a tough time throughout last year, and it could help restore them to points of conversation within college football circles.

Prediction: Both teams are strong and coming off of down years, but one of them has been worse for longer. Boston College is definitely on the upswing, but they’ve had trouble settling in in recent seasons. Northern Illinois likely views last season as an anomaly, and Carey has his house back in order. Although ongoing quarterback competitions are always a concern, Carey always has a plan for his team, so it isn’t difficult to see them recovering better. Pick: Northern Illinois +3.5

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