While college football season technically began a week ago, the true chaos and excitement begins today with the first full Saturday slate of games. It’s Week 1, which as usual includes some massive non-conference matchups that could have huge implications down the line.
We’ll have our eye on everything, but here’s a breakdown of the day’s best games to watch.
No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 3 Georgia
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET | Television: ABC | Line: UGA-17.5 | Overall: 52.5
Georgia begins its national title defense against a familiar face. Dan Lanning, the defensive coordinator for the first Bulldogs team to win the national title since 1980, is now at Oregon and will make his head-coaching debut in a marquee Week 1 matchup in Atlanta.
No. 23 Cincinnati at No. 19 Arkansas
Time: 3:30 pm | TV: ESPN | Line: Arkansas-6 | Overall: 52.5
Cincinnati made history last season by becoming the first team from a Group of Five conference to reach the College Football Playoff. But with stars like Sauce Gardner, Desmond Ridder, Alec Pierce, Coby Bryant and Jerome Ford now in the NFL, the 2022 Bearcats will look a little different as they begin the season in SEC country. Last year, the Bearcats picked up a marquee road win over Notre Dame, providing a significant early season resume boost. Can they do it again in Fayetteville?
No. 7 Utah at Florida
Time: 7 pm | TV: ESPN | Line: Utah-3 | Total: 50.5
Utah finally broke through and won the Pac-12 title last year. A significant chunk of that squad is back in 2022 and many are projecting the Utes as a team capable of making a run to the CFP. That run begins with a big challenge in Gainesville against Florida. UF will be playing its first game under Billy Napier after things deteriorated under Dan Mullen last fall. Having Anthony Richardson, one of the most electric playmakers in the country, at quarterback will certainly be a plus for Napier.
No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Ohio State
Time: 7:30 pm | Television: ABC | Line: OSU-17 | Overall: 59.5
The Marcus Freeman era at Notre Dame begins with a massive challenge. The Irish have consistently been in the national championship picture in recent years but haven’t been able to get over the hump. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes won 11 games last year but lost to Michigan for the first time since 2011 and did not win the Big Ten for the first time since 2016. The OSU offense was one of the nation’s best and QB CJ Stroud, WR Jaxon Smith -Njigba and RB TreVeyon Henderson are all back in 2022.