If you think an 11-game College Football Saturday was intense, may I interest you in five days of Week 1 action starting with 16 games on Friday and culminating in an ACC clash between No.4 Clemson and Georgia Tech on Monday night?
There were a lot of storylines heading into the so-called Week 0 and I would say that the theatre really lived up to its billing. Nebraska still can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot. Nevada is going to be a shell of what they’ve been over the last few seasons. Hawaii really is a dumpster fire and Vanderbilt may not score 63 points in all their SEC games combined.
So where does that leave us heading into Week 1 action? Well, we have some very tasty matchups that feature ranked teams, and we have some games that should not garner even a second of your time.
Here are three of the biggest storylines heading into Week 1 of the College Football Season
Will Ohio State get its revenge tour off to a dominating start?
The Buckeyes enter this season with a chip on their shoulder. I’m not sure why, considering they went 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl last season. Every single player and coach that’s put out a quote has talked about how focused and ready this group is to get back to where they belong – the College Football Playoff.
Well, step one of getting back to that stage is to beat No.5 Notre Dame on Saturday night at The Shoe’. The oddsmakers have listed the Buckeyes as 17.5-point favorites and the total sits at 58.5. The Buckeyes return a ton of talent on both sides of the football and figure to be a force to be reckoned with this season. As for Notre Dame, head coach Marcus Freeman was asked if he knew what the point-spread was listed at for the game, which he admitted he did not and then said, “we’ll use that in the team meeting today – it’s good to know.”
Whether or not his Notre Dame side can use the lack of respect to fuel their game remains to be seen, but with key returning pieces on both sides of the ball, Notre Dame should give Ohio State a very tough fight.
Can Georgia get off to a winning start on route to defending their National Championship?
Offensively, Georgia should be fine. They have Stetson Bennett under center for his senior year, coming off a campaign where he threw for 2,862 yards and 29 touchdowns. They also welcome back their top three receiving targets, led by Brock Bowers (56/882/13) and they bring back two key pieces of the offensive line. Defensively, that’s where the issues may appear. The Bulldogs return just two starters in the secondary and one linebacker. Given the schedule and the fact that they must face a No.11 ranked Oregon side that’s going to be much improved to kick off the season, I’m putting the Bulldogs on upset alert. Oregon will score points this season for fun and with another disrespectful line of -17 for the home side, Oregon may have some extra piss and vinegar heading into Georgia.
How will the shiny new transfers fare with their new teams?
This year’s college football offseason was something I haven’t seen in quite some time. Star players transferred on a whim, and coaches up-and-left high-profile schools in hopes of finding greener pasture elsewhere.
If you are a USC fan, there is immense pressure on the program to perform after securing the likes of Lincoln Riley for your head coaching position and star QB Caleb Williams. Not to mention the addition of the Biletnikoff winner, Jordan Addison from Pitt.
Speaking of Pitt, the Panthers secured the services of Kedon Slovis in the transfer portal, who was a former standout for USC. He’ll have big shoes to fill as he looks to replace Heisman finalist, Kenny Pickett who has since moved on to the NFL.
Elsewhere, the mass exodus from Oklahoma benefited South Carolina as they struck gold with QB Spencer Rattler. The Gamecocks are hoping to have a good season and get to a bowl game, and with a talented Rattler under center, the Gamecocks should be in line to do so.