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How to watch college football's Week 1: TV times, online streaming and the best games

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It’s going to be a long, glorious weekend of football. Make sure you have your viewing strategy ready.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's officially a college football weekend. A five-day college football weekend, in fact. That's a lot of TV-watching ahead of you, so be certain you're physically prepared for the onslaught.

To further prepare, either know what's happening when or keep a guide handy. Hey, you're in luck.

Below, we've presented the full FBS TV and online streaming schedule, along with notes on the likeliest best games to start with in each time slot. Things change rapidly, so we've also included potential backup options. Toward the end of each group, we've picked some flyers, usually opting for closely matched teams or pure entertainment value, rather than games featuring one good team and one cupcake.

This is an especially good opening weekend, with four games between ranked teams and a bunch of other good stuff, with everything spread across five days. So let's have some fun out there.

We'll do this schedule guide every week of the season, right here at

[Thursday and Friday have been removed, for your convenience.]

Saturday, Sept. 3

Game Time TV / Online streaming
Georgia Tech vs. Boston College (Ireland) 7:30:00 a.m. ET ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Boise State at UL Lafayette Noon ET ASN / WatchESPN
Bowling Green at No. 6 Ohio State Noon ET BTN / BTN2Go
EKU at Purdue Noon ET ESPNews / WatchESPN
Fordham at Navy Noon ET CBSSN
Hawaii at No. 7 Michigan Noon ET ESPN / WatchESPN
Howard at Maryland Noon ET BTN / BTN2Go
Missouri at West Virginia Noon ET FS1 / FS Go
No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Houston (NRG Stadium) Noon ET ABC / WatchESPN
South Alabama at Mississippi State Noon ET SECN / WatchESPN
Western Michigan at Northwestern Noon ET ESPNU / WatchESPN
Liberty at Virginia Tech 12:30 p.m. ET ACCN / WatchESPN
Villanova at Pittsburgh 1:30 p.m. ET ACCNExtra
Abilene Christian at Air Force 2 p.m. ET MWN
Rutgers at No. 14 Washington 2 p.m. ET Pac-12N /
Kent State at Penn State 3:30 p.m. ET BTN / BTN2Go
No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin (Green Bay) 3:30 p.m. ET ABC / WatchESPN
Miami (Ohio) at No. 17 Iowa 3:30 p.m. ET ESPNU / WatchESPN
Murray State at Illinois 3:30 p.m. ET BTN / BTN2Go
Richmond at Virginia 3:30 p.m. ET ACCNExtra
SE Louisiana at No. 21 Oklahoma State 3:30 p.m. ET FSN / FS Go
Texas State at Ohio 3:30 p.m. ET CBSSN
No. 16 UCLA at Texas A&M 3:30 p.m. ET CBS /
Louisiana Tech at Arkansas 4 p.m. ET SECN / WatchESPN
UC Davis at No. 24 Oregon 5 p.m. ET Pac-12N /
No. 18 Georgia vs. No. 22 North Carolina (Atlanta) 5:30 p.m. ET ESPN / WatchESPN
Austin Peay at Troy 6 p.m. ET WatchESPN
Florida A&M at Miami, FL 6 p.m. ET ACCNExtra
Hampton at Old Dominion 6 p.m. ET
NC Central at Duke 6 p.m. ET ACCNExtra
Savannah State at Georgia Southern 6 p.m. ET WatchESPN
Southern Illinois at Florida Atlantic 6 p.m. ET
Western Carolina at East Carolina 6 p.m. ET WatchESPN
VMI at Akron 6:30 p.m. ET WatchESPN
Alabama A&M at Middle Tennessee 7 p.m. ET TBA
Alabama State at UTSA 7 p.m. ET KMYS-CW 35
Rhode Island at Kansas 7 p.m. ET Jayhawk TV
San Jose State at Tulsa 7 p.m. ET CBSSN
SE Missouri State at Memphis 7 p.m. ET WatchESPN
SMU at North Texas 7 p.m. ET ASN
South Carolina State at UCF 7 p.m. ET WatchESPN
Southern at ULM 7 p.m. ET WatchESPN
Towson at USF 7 p.m. ET WatchESPN
Southern Miss at Kentucky 7:30 p.m. ET ESPNU / WatchESPN
UMass at No. 25 Florida 7:30 p.m. ET SECN / WatchESPN
EWU at Washington State 8 p.m. ET Pac-12N /
Fresno State at Nebraska 8 p.m. ET BTN / BTN2Go
New Mexico State at UTEP 8 p.m. ET beIN SPORTS
Northern Iowa at Iowa State 8 p.m. ET
South Dakota State at No. 13 TCU 8 p.m. ET FSN / FS Go
Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech 8 p.m. ET FSN / FS Go
No. 20 USC vs. No. 1 Alabama (Arlington) 8 p.m. ET ABC / WatchESPN
New Hampshire at San Diego State 8:30 p.m. ET TBA
No. 2 Clemson at Auburn 9 p.m. ET ESPN / WatchESPN
Arizona vs. BYU (Glendale) 10:30 p.m. ET FS1 / FS Go
Northern Illinois at Wyoming 10:30 p.m. ET CBSSN
Northern Arizona at Arizona State 10:45 PM Pac-12N /

Extremely early option, other than College GameDay

Georgia Tech vs. Boston College, 7:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2

Visit From the Rumble Seat and BC Interruption
Spread: Georgia Tech by three

The game won't be particularly fun, but it's on before you're up for breakfast.

Early shift

Best option

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 Houston, noon ET, ABC
Visit Crimson and Cream Machine and Underdog Dynasty
Spread: Oklahoma by 11.5

There should be plenty of points and storylines. Oklahoma is looking to redouble its efforts after making it to the Playoff, and Houston wants to serve notice that last year wasn’t a fluke.

Plan B

Rutgers at No. 14 Washington, 2 ET, Pac-12 Network

This is the first step on the "Did we just spend a whole summer wildly over-hyping Washington?" tour.

Keep in mind

Bowling Green at No. 6 Ohio State, noon ET, BTN

Ohio State gets one of its annual games against an in-state MAC team, but there’s plenty of new faces for the Buckeyes. Bowling Green could mess around and keep this close for a while.

Break in case of emergency

Boise State at UL Lafayette, noon ET, ASN
Western Michigan at Northwestern, noon ET, ESPNU

Middle shift

Best option

No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin, 3:30 ET., ABC
Visit And the Valley Shook and Bucky's 5th Quarter
Spread: LSU by 10.5

LSU goes north to Lambeau Field. As neutral sites go, this is excellent stuff.

Plan B

No. 16 UCLA at Texas A&M, 3:30 ET, CBS

Whoa boy, Kevin Sumlin needs to win, lest the hollerin’ about his job become deafening. It's also a really fun QB battle.

Keep in mind

No. 18 Georgia vs. No. 22 North Carolina, 5:30 ET, ESPN

Quietly could be the most interesting game of the day. Georgia has a whole bundle of storylines, and North Carolina is trying to prove its 2015 wasn’t a fluke. It's showtime for Carolina's new quarterback.

Break in case of emergency

Louisiana Tech at Arkansas, 4 ET, SEC Network
Texas State at Ohio, 3:30 ET, CBSSN

Late shift

Best option

No. 20 USC vs. No. 1 Alabama, 8 ET, ABC
Visit Conquest Chronicles and Roll Bama Roll
Spread: Alabama by 12

Another neutral-site opener for Alabama against a power conference opponent. These have usually been blowouts, but USC has lots of talent. The Trojans just need to put it together for new head coach Clay Helton. This could be like watching an anaconda take its evening meal, but we can always hope for the best.

Plan B

No. 2 Clemson at Auburn, 9 ET, ESPN

Tigers! We got Tigers here! And an Eagle! And a Deshaun Watson! The team that has him is probably going to win.

Keep in mind

Eastern Washington at Washington State, 8 ET, Pac-12 Network

Two entertaining programs! WSU lost to a nearby FCS team last year before winning nine games! Better not try that again!

Break in case of emergency

Southern Miss at Kentucky, 7:30 ET, ESPNU
Northern Iowa at Iowa State, 8 ET,

Best extremely late option

Arizona vs. BYU, 10:30 ET, FS1
Visit Arizona Desert Swarm and Vanquish the Foe
Spread: Arizona by 1

This game will end deep in the dark of night on the East Coast. If you’ve made it all the way from the breakfast game in Ireland, we salute you.

Sunday, Sept. 3

Your only FBS option

No. 10 Notre Dame at Texas, 7:30 ET, ABC
Visit One Foot Down and Burnt Orange Nation
Spread: Notre Dame by 4

Notre Dame embarrassed Texas last year to the tune of 38-3. Let’s hope this is closer.

Monday, Sept. 4

Your only option

No. 11 Ole Miss at No. 4 Florida State, 8 ET, ESPN
Visit Red Cup Rebellion and Tomahawk Nation
Spread: FSU by 4.5

Two immensely talented teams throwing haymakers. Sounds like the perfect way to cap off a long weekend.

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