Three Games to Watch: Week One


Photo by James Tatum.

Steve Sherk

At long last, college football is back.

It seems like forever ago that Deshaun Watson and Clemson took down Alabama in the last minute of the National Championship. But here we are on the cusp of opening weekend as we anxiously await to see how the drama will all unfold.

There are several intriguing games that will be sure to have us glued to the TV all Saturday long. Here’s a look at the top 3 matchups heading into the weekend:

  1. (1) Alabama vs. (3) Florida State (in Atlanta):

What better way to kick off the season than with a top-three matchup between two college football bluebloods? Florida State is riding off last year’s great finish that was capped off with an upset win over heavily-favored Michigan in the Orange Bowl, while Alabama still has a sour taste in their mouth after losing a heartbreaker to Clemson in the National Championship. This game will have major playoff implications come December, and both teams desperately want an early marquee win for their resumes. Nick Saban usually rolls in big early season games, but don’t count out a loaded Seminole squad.

  1. (11) Michigan vs. (17) Florida (in Dallas):

Much like the Alabama vs. Florida State game, this one is another big top-25 showdown between two traditional powers. After a mass exodus of over 40 seniors last year, fans will get their first look at a Jim Harbaugh Michigan team with almost entirely Harbaugh recruits. Meanwhile, Florida will be undermanned after suspending 10 players for the opener, including explosive playmaker Antonio Callaway. Look for Michigan to capitalize on this advantage and get a solid non-conference win to start the year.

  1. Texas A&M at UCLA:

The losing head coach of this game could feel his hot seat start to warm up a little with a loss, especially if it’s Kevin Sumlin at A&M. Sumlin has become notorious for starting the year off incredibly strong, then tailing off come late October into November. Last year, the Aggies held off the Bruins in overtime, and this year’s edition is shaping up to be another close one. Josh Rosen, the outspoken and talented gunslinger for UCLA, will be the star of the night and should carry the Bruins to victory in a close game.