Game of the Week
#3 Florida State vs #1 Alabama (in Atlanta, GA)
Saturday 9/2, 8:00 PM, ABC
Unsurprisingly, Alabama is playing in the headline matchup for Week 1. Obviously preseason rankings aren’t always reliable, but having two of the generally agreed upon top three teams in the country facing off is a fun way to start the season. The Tide should be as good as always, and they’ll be tested immediately by an FSU team that’s picked to win the ACC this season. Time will tell whether this has the postseason ramifications that many expect, but it’s a must-watch game no matter what.
Florida A&M at Arkansas
Thursday 8/31, 8:00 PM, SEC Network
Arkansas kicks the season off for the SEC with a game against Florida A&M on Thursday night. The Rattlers have a short week after beginning their season by beating Texas Southern on Saturday.
Missouri State at Missouri
Saturday 9/2, 12:00 PM, SEC Network
Missouri is hosting a nearby FCS opponent to kick off their season before jumping into the tougher games and beginning SEC play in Week 2.
NC State vs South Carolina (in Charlotte, NC)
Saturday 9/2, 3:00 PM, ESPN
The Gamecocks aren’t beginning the season on a Thursday night for the first time in a while, which means there won’t be quite as many casual fans as usual watching Carolina’s opener. That’s probably a good thing, since this is a matchup that has historically been rather ugly .
#11 Michigan vs #17 Florida (in Arlington, TX)
Saturday 9/2, 3:30 PM, ABC
This is one of only three ranked matchups in Week 1, so theoretically it should be a good game. Unfortunately the game itself has been somewhat overshadowed by a ton of Florida player suspensions, Harbaugh’s refusal to release a roster until Wednesday, and questions about McElwain’s shark-related offseason activities. At least the game will feature eye-catching uniforms!
Kentucky at Southern Mississippi
Saturday 9/2, 4:00 PM, CBS Sports Network
Kentucky will be looking for revenge for last year’s season-opening loss as they travel to Southern Miss.
Charleston Southern at Mississippi State
Saturday 9/2, 4:00 PM, SEC Network
The Bulldogs begin their season hosting a good FCS team that has made the playoffs the past two seasons.
Appalachian St at #15 Georgia
Saturday 9/2, 6:15 PM, ESPN
As usual, the season begins with high hopes for UGA. The Bulldogs are favored by a couple of touchdowns in this game, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it’s closer than that.
Georgia Southern at #12 Auburn
Saturday 9/2, 7:30 PM, SEC Network
Auburn has high expectations this year and big matchup with Clemson looming in Week 2, but first they’ll have to take care of a Georgia Southern team that’s coming off of a rough year but often causes trouble for opponents.
South Alabama at Ole Miss
Saturday 9/2, 7:30 PM, ESPNU
The Rebels will be glad to see the season start, as it will distract from a disastrous offseason that culminated in the firing of Hugh Freeze.
Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee
Saturday 9/2, 8:00 PM, CBS Sports Network
The Commodores have struggled in season openers for the last few years, but they’ll look to break the losing streak as they take on a team they’ve typically played well against.
BYU vs #13 LSU (in New Orleans)
Saturday 9/2, 9:30 PM, ESPN
The Tigers will face a non-conference opponent from across the country in a game that was relocated from Houston to New Orleans due to Hurricane Harvey. BYU didn’t look particularly impressive against Portland State on Saturday, but they got the win and should be a good early test for the Tigers.
Texas A&M at UCLA
Sunday 9/3, 7:30 PM, FOX
A holiday weekend means a few extra days of games, and this should be a fun one on Sunday. Neither of the teams is in the preseason rankings, but an SEC-PAC12 matchup is unusual enough to be interesting just for its novelty.
#25 Tennessee vs Georgia Tech (in Atlanta, GA)
Monday 9/4, 8:00 PM, ESPN
Opening weekend wraps up with a matchup between the Vols and the Yellow Jackets in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. This is the final game in a trio of SEC-ACC contests on opening weekend.