Students are returning to school, and that means that college football is here. College football lines are quickly taking center stage as people try to predict the winners.
A lot of football will be played before the season is done. For many teams, their performance in week 1 will make a real statement while others need to build the hype surrounding their presence.
Considering the length of the season, as fans, you will have to learn to pace yourself, especially as you look at what this week has to offer in these 5 battles (mostly) among AP-ranked teams:
NRG Stadium, Houston
Saturday, September 3, 12P.M ET, ABC)
The quarterbacks of these two teams will take center stage as they face off in a neutral site matchup at the NRG Stadium in Houston (Home of the Houston Texans). Houston cannot afford a loss in this time, not if they want to make the playoffs, this as opposed to Oklahoma whose defeat wouldn't count them out of the playoffs at the end of the season.
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Saturday, September 3, 5:30P.M ET, ESPN
This Chick-fil-A Kickoff game will see the Bulldogs and Tar Heels face off after relatively successful 2015 seasons; though UNC is probably still mourning its two straight losses while UGA basks in the glory of the five straight victories it garnered at the end of the year).
At the moment, UNC has all the confidence in the world in Mitch Trubisky, the junior QB under center who will depend on a number of talented skill position players to carry his load.
UNC needs to win in this game far more than UGA.
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Saturday, September 3, 8:00P.M ET, ABC
The Trojans and Crimson Tide both have very successful programs, which is why theirs is considered to be a primetime matchup.
Alabama must begin their title defense strongly; they must defend their top ranking, depending on their vaunted defense to overcome USC's potent offense. USC cannot wait to put their new starting quarterback Max Browne to the test, though his inexperience might scare a few fans.
Alabama needs to choose between Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett for the game. USC's victory over the defending champions could make all the difference in their campaign in the new season.
Saturday, September 3, 9:00P.M ET, ESPN
The only reason to tune into this matchup is to watch a Heisman hopeful in Deshaun Watson. Clemson has the stronger position in the match, having made it all the way to the national championship game.
They need to wash the bitter taste of defeat away, which means they will not take it easy on Auburn or anyone else for that matter.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Monday, September 5, 8:00P.M, ET, ESPN
This game between the No.4 and No.11 is going to have serious implications for the playoffs. While not quite the battle between senior quarterbacks (FSU's Sean Maguire is recovering from a foot injury sustained in training camp), the battle between Chad Kelly (Mississippi) and redshirt freshman Deondre Francois should prove interesting.
FSU performed wonders the last time it started a redshirt freshman at quarterback; so Ole Miss should probably watch out.
Other games to watch include LSU-Wisconsin, BYU-Arizona, and Notre Dame-Texas, among others.