College football is back.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a new season with a lot of coaching and player shakeups make for an interesting season. Couple that with the exciting news that the college football playoffs (CFP) will be expanding in the coming years, and you have every reason to be excited.
Here are the top match-ups for Week 1.
Game Of The Week: #3 Georgia vs. #11 Oregon
The Dawgs kick off the season vs. Oregon today at 3:30pm in Atlanta.#GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/bry3e8NH5C
— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) September 3, 2022
The defending national champion Bulldogs will take on the Ducks. This is the game of the week not because it’s expected to be close (the spread is 16 at last check), but because the Bulldogs have to prove to the rest of the country that they aren’t rebuilding their defense, just reloading. That defense was vital to their season last year, and a big reason they were able to shut down Alabama.
#2 Ohio State vs. #5 Notre Dame
If you think Ohio State is seventeen and a half points better than Notre Dame, you are a fool, a coward, and probably a veteran of the Ohio secondary education system
— Barstool Irish (@BarstoolIrish) September 3, 2022
If you want a game that could potentially through the entire race to the CFP into chaos early in the year, look no further than Columbus, Ohio, where the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish. This Top 5 match-up will feature the Buckeyes high-powered offense looking for championship gold versus the Irish and their direction under new head coach Marcus Freeman, himself a graduate of Ohio State.
#1 Alabama vs. Utah State
This isn’t a game you watch for the back-and-forth. It’s a game you want to see what the Crimson Tide is bringing to the table this year. Ranked No. 1, as is (unfortunately) tradition, the Tide are always looking at a strong run into the CFP, and this year is no different. If the Bulldogs are looking to prove they can reload instead of rebuild, the Tide routinely prove that’s what they do. Under legendary (if not somewhat terrifying) head coach Nick Saban, Alabama will have a major impact once again this year.
#4 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
Rounding out a look at the top five in college football today, the Clemson Tigers have a high-powered offense that will be a big problem for every team on their schedule. Their biggest problem this week will be the underrated defense of Georgia Tech, which could very well keep parts of that offense in check. It is very likely not enough to keep the Tigers from dominating the game, but they make not be able to have their way with the Yellow Jackets. In 2021, Tech kept Clemson to just 14 points.
#7 Utah vs. Florida
The Utes are ready to make noise on the national scene. 🔊
No. 7 @Utah_Football takes on Florida in the Swamp on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 4p PT / 5p MT on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/76vqSDvBE9
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) September 1, 2022
Billy Napier takes over as head coach of the Gators after an incredibly successful run turning the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana into a team to watch nationally. Now, he’s leading Florida against a Utah team that is poised to make their way into the CFP if they play their cards (and offense) right. The Utes open their season in The Swamp in probably one of the most interesting non-conference matchups of the year. Expect both offenses to impress with a higher-scoring game, but Utah does have more weapons available.
#6 Texas A&M vs. Sam Houston
I expect that the Aggies have this one well in hand, but I would not be surprised if Sam Houston does cause some problem for them at least early on. In-state matchups can sometimes be tricky, and for the Aggies, there is a lot to prove this year. Coming off of an 8-4 season, the Aggies want to be in the running for post-season play, but they have to pull it together better this year than they did last year.
#8 Michigan vs. Colorado State
A 12-win season and a Big Ten title at their backs, the Wolverines should not have any trouble with the returning 3-9 Rams. But they need a dominant start to the season. September shouldn’t be an issue, but the moment October hits, the Wolverines get hit with Iowa, Indiana, Penn State, and Michigan State.
LSU vs. Florida St.
It’s not a Top 25 matchup, but it’s a game to watch. The Seminoles had a dominant Week 0 performance against Hawaii, but now have an interesting game against a rebuilt LSU Tigers under the leadership of new head coach Brian Kelly. On the Tigers’ side, we still don’t know who the starting quarterback will be as Kelly is keeping it a secret until game time. There are a lot of eyes on the Tigers this year with no one quite sure what will come out of Baton Rouge.
Where It’s All Going
This is what we’re looking at down the road, and it’s honestly the most exciting news in college football in a long time.
College football fans, let’s ride.#CFBPlayoff 🏈🏆 pic.twitter.com/IEKUSI2BGx
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) September 3, 2022
Not this year, but soon enough. However, it’s this season, right here, has one of the most exciting Week 1 match-up slates you could ask for. Happy CFB Season.