No game is talked about longer or receives more coverage than the season opener. The combination of eight months of build up and season-opening excitement make it one of the most-anticipated games of the year, regardless of the opponent. Like they did last season, WSU will open the season against a notable opponent, but what if you got to pick the schedule?
If you could play schedule maker and change only the Week 1 opponent, who would WSU play this weekend? Maybe you like the matchup with Auburn and would stick with the Tigers. Maybe you'd enjoy the Cougars opening the season against the defending National Champions and would have them playing Alabama.
You could choose for WSU to play a marquee opponent, or you could go the opposite way and schedule a guaranteed win. Hello Nicholls State. With 125 FBS teams and over 100 more FCS schools, there are a lot of possibilities. I'm excited for the matchup against Auburn and think it's going to be a closer contest than some believe. Still, looking at the rest of WSU's schedule I would swap the Tigers out for a lower-level FBS school in a second.
Opening on the road at Auburn and then at USC was never an ideal slate to start the season. Getting to six wins isn't going to be the easiest task playing in the Pac-12 North, so adding another likely win, in place of a toss up game (or worse depending on how you see it) would be a boost for the overall season.
That said, it would make WSU's non-conference schedule extremely weak with said weak opponent, Idaho and Southern Utah. Previewing the Tigers and a SEC opponent has also been a lot more fun than say previewing Sacramento State would have been. No offense, Hornets.
If you could change Saturday's opponent, who would WSU play?