College football officially started last Saturday when FCS No. 12 Montana stunned four-time defending national champion North Dakota State. Now FBS starts with a relatively loaded Thursday night, better-than-average Friday, solid Saturday night, activities on Sunday that are technically football, and a battle with College Football Playoff stakes on Labor Day night.
As far as the rankings go, the biggest game is No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 20 Wisconsin in Texas, but there's a good chance we'll see a top-10 team or two go down elsewhere. Fellow top-six teams Ohio State, TCU, Baylor, Michigan State and Auburn are all playing away from home, and all but the Bears face what should be tough competition. No. 7 Oregon's in an interesting matchup of its own, with new quarterback Vernon Adams playing his former team, FCS power Eastern Washington.
Below, full viewing and streaming info for the five-day weekend, plus notes on what to try and watch when.
(Thursday and Friday removed for your convenience)
|Noon ET||Louisiana-Monroe||No. 9 Georgia||SEC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|Noon ET||Tennessee-Martin||No. 17 Ole Miss||SEC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|Noon ET||No. 21 Stanford||Northwestern||ESPN||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|Noon ET||Colgate||Navy||CBS Sports Network|
|Noon ET||Norfolk State||Rutgers||ESPNews||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|Noon ET||Illinois State||Iowa||Big Ten Network||btn2go.com|
|Noon ET||South Dakota State||Kansas||FSN Affiliates||http://www.foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/|
|12:30 p.m. ET||Wofford||No. 12 Clemson||ACC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|1 p.m. ET||Youngstown State||Pittsburgh||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|1 p.m. ET||Maine||Boston College||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|2 p.m. ET||Portland State||Washington State||Pac-12 Networks||pac12.com/live|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Louisville||No. 6 Auburn||CBS||http://www.cbssports.com/seclive|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Virginia||No. 13 UCLA||FOX||http://www.foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/|
|3:30 p.m. ET||UTEP||No. 18 Arkansas||ESPNU||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||BYU||Nebraska||ABC||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Old Dominion||Eastern Michigan||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Penn State||Temple||ESPN||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Florida Atlantic||Tulsa||CBS Sports Network|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Morgan State||Air Force||RSRM/RSNW/RSSW+|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Sam Houston State||Texas Tech||FSN Affiliates||http://www.foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Albany||Buffalo||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Presbyterian||Miami (OH)||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Howard||Appalachian State||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Wagner||Rice||SNY/CSCA/CST|
|4 p.m. ET||Southeast Missouri State||No. 24 Missouri||SEC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|4 p.m. ET||Bowling Green||No. 25 Tennessee||SEC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|4 p.m. ET||Southern Illinois||Indiana||ESPNews||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|4 p.m. ET||Savannah State||Colorado State||http://campusinsiders.com/network/mw/live|
|5 p.m. ET||Grambling State||California||Pac-12 Networks||pac12.com/live|
|6 p.m. ET||Bethune-Cookman||Miami||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|6 p.m. ET||Troy||NC State||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|6 p.m. ET||Towson||East Carolina||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|6 p.m. ET||Gardner-Webb||South Alabama||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7 p.m.. ET||No. 15 Arizona State||Texas A&M||ESPN||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7 p.m. ET||Akron||No. 19 Oklahoma||FSN PPV|
|7 p.m.. ET||Florida A&M||South Florida||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7 p.m. ET||Missouri State||Memphis||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7 p.m. ET||Alabama A&M||Cincinnati||FCSN/FSOH||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7 p.m. ET||Louisiana Lafayette||Kentucky||ESPNU||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7 p.m. ET||Jackson State||Middle Tennessee||http://www.conferenceusa.com/collegesportslive/?media=503230|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Texas||No. 11 Notre Dame||NBC||http://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra/|
|7:30 p.m. ET||McNeese State||No. 14 LSU||SEC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Georgia Southern||West Virginia||FSN Affilliates||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|7:30 p.m. ET||New Mexico State||Florida||SEC Network||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|7:30 p.m. ET||UNLV||Northern Illinois||CBS Sports Network|
|8 p.m. ET||No. 20 Wisconsin||No. 3 Alabama||ABC||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|8 p.m. ET||Eastern Washington||No. 7 Oregon||Pac-12 Networks||pac12.com/live|
|8 p.m. ET||Texas State||No. 10 Florida State||ESPNews||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|8 p.m. ET||Tennessee Tech||Houston||espn.go.com/watchespn|
|8 p.m. ET||Northern Iowa||Iowa State||Cyclones.TV|
|8 p.m. ET||San Diego||San Diego State||http://campusinsiders.com/network/mw/live|
|10 p.m. ET||Mississippi State||Southern Mississippi||Fox Sports 1||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|11 p.m. ET||Arkansas State||No. 8 USC||Pac-12 Networks||pac12.com/live|
Best option: No. 21 Stanford at Northwestern
There's not much going on in the first batch. Despite Stanford losing a lot on defense, it's hard to lose faith in the Cardinal. Northwestern's been consistent, but a rebuilding year is a possibility.
Plan B: Louisiana-Monroe at No. 9 Georgia
The only other game between FBS programs in this time slot, it's a chance to see Georgia running back Nick Chubb, one of the most explosive talents in the country. The Bulldogs are the best bet to win the SEC East, and this will be the first chance to see newly minted starter Greyson Lambert.
Best option: Louisville at No. 6 Auburn
Even Louisville's GIANT MEAN BIRD PICTURE helmets won't steer us away.
Plan B: BYU at Nebraska
The Cornhuskers have the pieces for success, but new head coach Mike Riley faces a big first task. The Cougars offense, led by explosive quarterback Taysom Hill, could be one of the best in the country.
Keep it in mind: Virginia at No. 13 UCLA
This was mighty close last year ... in Charlottesville. Mike London has been stashing talent at Virginia and improving, though, and a top-notch secondary could pose problems for UCLA's true freshman quarterback.
In case of emergency: Penn State at Temple
The Owls' defense is really good, and Temple could compete for the AAC title. But Penn State's defense is even better, and their somewhat struggling quarterback (no thanks to the offensive line) is former five-star recruit Christian Hackenberg, a top NFL prospect.
Best option: No. 15 Arizona State vs. Texas A&M
The Sun Devils won 10 games in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and should be a major contender in one of the toughest divisions. The Aggies break in a new defensive coordinator and one of the best receiving corps in the country. Add all that to a perfect match of styles, and it's one of the best games of the day.
Plan B: No. 20 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Alabama
Keep it in mind: Texas vs. No. 11 Notre Dame
In case of emergency: Georgia Southern at West Virginia
Only FBS option: Purdue at Marshall, 3 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1, FoxSportsGo
Only option: No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
Virginia Tech was the only team to beat Ohio State last season, and now gets to play the Buckeyes at home without having to face arguably the best player in the country and three other Ohio State contributors. Ohio State looks poised for another title run, but the Buckeyes will be faced with one of the best defenses in the country.