Breaking Down Our Top Week 1 CFB Games
National Signing Day has come and gone, but there’s no need for college football fans to feel down. Sure, the season might be over and a lot of the excitement around signings will now start to fade away, but there’s still a lot to look forward to. We may have to wait just over half a year until the action kicks off once again, but Week 1 of the next college football season is set to be pretty special. Today, we’ll run through ten of the best games that you should start getting ready for.
Missouri at West Virginia
The Mountaineers might not be a top choice for the Big 12, but they have an ever-entertaining head coach in the form of Dana Holgorsen. West Virginia lost star RB Wendell Smallwood but the team still has a lot of potential and could cause a few upsets. Over on the Missouri side of things, where do we start? Gary Pinkel was forced into retirement, signal caller Maty Mauk got kicked off the team and the Tigers have been making lots of headlines for all the wrong reasons. Still, this is a good team with a strong defense, so it’ll be very exciting to see which team comes out on top.
Kansas State at Stanford
At first glance, this game looks fairly easy to predict, but Stanford doesn’t always live up to its name. The team lost its opener last year against the Northwestern wildcats and fans will probably have a few nerves heading into the new season. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder decided to stick around for another year and has been doing a great job so far. He’ll be eager to start the season with a win, making that matchup a big one to watch.
Wisconsin vs LSU
Wisconsin likes to kick off its seasons with a challenge and the new season will be no different as the Badgers pit themselves against the Tigers. We can’t really hold out too much hope for the Wisconsin players, with this team ranked pretty poorly. LSU, on the other hand, is one of the finest teams in college football. Boasting star RB Leonard Fournette and a particularly solid defense, fans should expect the Tigers to roll over their opposition in Week 1.
North Carolina vs Georgia
This could be a truly interesting matchup. If you aren’t a Kirby Smart will be making his head coaching debut and will want to impress his new employers and fans. Getting a win won’t be easy though, as Georgia will be going up against a very strong North Carolina squad. The Tar Heels won 11 games last season and have a rock solid defense. Georgia fans will be looking to young QB recruit Jacob Eason to put on a show.
UCLA at Texas A&M
This clash was originally set to feature two of the finest young signal callers in the game: Josh Rosen on the UCLA side and Kyle Allen or Kyler Murray for Texas A&M. Unfortunately, Murray and Allen moved on, leaving the Aggies with Trevor Knight and Jake Hubenak. Knight should be the man to start this game and it will certainly be exciting to see how it all plays out. Rosen has all the potential in the world and could be a big Heisman contender this year, while Knight has a reputation to recover, so we should still get to see a good QB battle.
Notre Dame at Texas
Last year, Texas was crushed by the Fighting Irish in a 38-3 demolition. The Longhorns will want to set the record straight next season and may finally have the tools to do so. The squad has gained experience and can boast some real talent in the form of players like Chris Warren and Malik Jefferson. On the Notre Dame side, it should be fascinating to see which QB does enough to start the game. Both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer are highly-rated players and will want to earn that starting spot.
Clemson at Auburn
Clemson had a great season last year, very nearly managing to win the College Football Playoff. A lot of the big players from that squad will still be around this year, including star QB Deshaun Watson. That said, the Auburn players will still feel confident heading into this game. The team has got a very strong defense and Gus Malzahn knows how to get the best from his players.
Oklahoma vs Houston
Cougars fans will have been glad to hear that Tom Herman decided to stay for another season. Herman knows he has a great squad, with guys like Greg Ward Jr. and Steven Taylor putting in big performances on a regular basis. The team has added a couple of exciting recruits to its ranks as well, like 5-star defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Fans are excited about this squad, but they might not feel too hopeful about the Week 1 matchup. Oklahoma made it to the Playoff Semi-Final last season and will be the favorite.
Florida State vs Ole Miss
The Rebels will be without a lot of the stars they recruited back in 2013, but can still rely on exciting signal caller Chad Kelly. Ole Miss has a lot of good players all around the field, while Florida State is really lacking a signal caller. The Seminoles have some highly-rated players like Dalvin Cook and Derwin James, but it’ll be up to QB contenders Sean Maguire and Deondre Francois to round out the team. Either way, this is a huge match, and the winners could quickly be regarded as playoff contenders.
USC vs Alabama
This has got to be the biggest Week 1 game, with two of the biggest and most decorated teams in the game going up against each other. The National Champions will begin the defense of their title against Clay Helton’s Trojans. It’s worth remembering that Helton was trained and hired by Lane Kiffin, who will be featuring as the offensive coordinator for Alabama. Pregame drama will be high for this one and the clash itself is too close to call.