After a long wait, college football finally makes its return. The first week should be full of excitement with four top-25 matchups and one top-10 matchup.
No. 6 University of Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn University
Both teams are lead by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterbacks—Jake Browning for Washington, and Jarrett Stidham for Auburn.
Browning threw for 2,719 yards and 19 touchdowns last season for the Huskies. Stidham amassed 3,158 yards and 18 passing touchdowns last season for the Tigers.
Washington and Auburn will play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.
No. 14 University of Michigan at No. 12 University of Notre Dame
It doesn’t get much better than two highly ranked, big-time college football powerhouses playing each other the first week.
Shea Patterson will make his first start for Michigan at quarterback. Patterson joined the Wolverines after transferring from the University of Mississippi. He threw for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.
Notre Dame is led by returning quarterback Brandon Wimbush. The senior threw 16 touchdowns last season, while running for 803 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Jim Harbaugh, who is still trying to get the Wolverines back to elite status, has a chance to get this season started with a big win on the road against a program like Notre Dame.
The last time the Fighting Irish started a season with high expectations, Texas upset them in their 2016 season opener. The team spent the rest of the season fighting to get back on track.
Notre Dame has a chance to start off strong this year and make it to the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame and Michigan is one of the greatest college football rivalries of all-time. The two teams are playing for the first time since Notre Dame shutout Michigan, 31-0 in 2014.
Michigan leads the series 24-16-1 all-time.
The rivalry will be reignited Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on NBC.
No. 20 Virginia Tech University at No. 19 Florida State University
Since the college football season starts one week before the NFL season, college football will hold the Sunday and Monday night spotlight.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Jackson led Virginia Tech in 2017, throwing for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Sophomore James Blackman and junior Deondre Francois will battle it out for the position of the Seminoles’s starting quarterback. Last year, Blackman stepped up the position after Francois suffered an injury in the team’s season opener.
With former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher’s departure to Texas A&M in the offseason, Willie Taggart is now in place to continue the winning tradition Fisher started. Taggart has an opportunity to prove he can win at a powerhouse program against a good Virginia Tech team.
The Seminoles are the favorite to win in this closely ranked matchup.
This Hokies and the Seminoles will play at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. Kickoff is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.