5 Can’t-Miss College Football Matchups This Opening Weekend


College pigskin is back. And now that programs have had some time to adjust to the playoff system, they’re starting to amp up their non-conference schedules to help their chances of getting in. Now more than ever, every game counts. Hopefully gone are the days where powerhouse schools schedule two or three FCS schools and coasting to their conference play. It’s made for an unprecedentedly awesome opening weekend for the season. Here are some shockingly competitive games you won’t want to miss.

1. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 20 USC Trojans

It seems like the Pete Carroll era was a lifetime ago for the Trojans. After hiring Lane Kiffin (Bama’s offensive coordinator) as their head coach, the Trojans have been plagued by NCAA sanctioned mediocrity. On the other hand, the Crimson Tide are like an iron-fisted Frank Underwood lookalike in Nick Saban. The Trojans spent the better part of the 2000s embarrassing teams all over the country, but they’re going to have their work cut out for them against another great Alabama team.

2. No. 4 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels

Florida State looks poised to make another title run this year, but will be relying on a redshirt freshman quarterback who has yet to start a game in college so far. The folks in Oxford have a lot to be excited for this year, but should maybe just enjoy the party instead.

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3. No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No. 15 Houston Cougars

Don’t expect OU QB Baker Mayfield (yes, his real name) to take it easy on the Cougars despite both his parents being alumni. This game should be a high-scoring affair, so for those that like offense, this one cannot be missed.

4. No. 5 LSU Tigers vs. Wisconsin Badgers

They’re playing this one at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, which is awesome because maybe we’ll get to see college players doing the Lambeau leap. The only real shame is that this game isn’t going to be played in the later months of the season, because there’s nothing like those snowy games where the final score is 5-2.

5. No. 2 Clemson Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers

The battle of the tigers. Seriously there are too many Tiger teams. LSU. Missouri. Auburn. That’s just in the SEC. Can we get some new mascots or something? You can still keep it in the feline family too. There are pumas, panthers, leopards, jaguars, bengals, lions, cheetahs, Siamese…the list goes on. Yet here we are with all these Tigers. It’s lazy. Why even have mascots if they’re all going to be the same?

That’s a lot of excellent football, and so you’re going to want to prepare and not miss out on all your favorite tailgating rituals. This year we are not dipping our toes into the season to see if the temperature is warm, it’s more of a belly flop of the high dive into scalding hot football drama.