College Football Week 1: See Every Game This Weekend

by Dustin Schutte
college-football-week-1-see-every-game-this-weekend

College football season has arrived! After a long offseason, the sport returns in glorious fashion. Fans can sit back, relax and enjoy five straight days (Thursday, Sept. 1- Monday, Sept. 5) of college football.

More than 80 (!) games will be played this weekend. While we love ALL college football, some of these matchups are better than others.

We’ve created a schedule of some of the most enticing games Week 1 has to offer. It should be a fun start to the 2022 season.

Must-Watch Games

West Virginia vs. #17 Pitt

  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 1
  • Location: Acrisure Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Spread: PITT -7.5

The “Backyard Brawl” is back for the first time in over a decade! Though these two teams don’t play frequently any longer, there’s no love lost between West Virginia and Pitt.

#11 Oregon vs. #3 Georgia

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadiym
  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ABC
  • Spread: UGA -17

One of the premier matchups of the opening week! A Pac-12 power takes on the reigning national champion. Former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning now is the leader at Oregon — adding more intrigue to the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game.

#23 Cincinnati vs. #19 Arkansas

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Razorback Stadium
  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Spread: ARK -6.5

Does Cincinnati still have that College Football Playoff-level talent? Can Arkansas challenge in the SEC West? We’ll find out a lot about both of these teams in Week 1.

#5 Notre Dame vs. #2 Ohio State

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Ohio Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ABC
  • Spread: OSU -17

Despite the deep history of both Notre Dame and Ohio State, these teams have played each other just six times. Former Buckeye Marcus Freeman enters his first season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish, adding a personal element to this game.

Florida State vs. LSU

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 4
  • Location: Caesars Superdome
  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ABC
  • Spread: LSU -3

Brian Kelly makes his debut as the head coach at LSU, taking on Florida State in a Sunday night clash. Both teams are looking to bounce back after disappointing runs in 2021.

Best of the Rest

Penn State vs. Purdue

  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 1
  • Location: Ross-Ade Stadium
  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
  • Channel: FOX
  • Spread: PSU -3.5

Opening with a conference game always magnifies a season opener. Purdue hopes to build off a 9-4 campaign while Penn State looks to return to the upper echelon of the Big Ten East.

North Carolina vs. Appalachian State

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium
  • Kickoff: 11 a.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN U
  • Spread: UNC -1

Appalachian State has been known to pull off upsets of major college football teams. Can it add in-state foe North Carolina to the list?

#7 Utah vs. Florida

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Spread: UTAH -3

Urban Meyer Bowl? Many believe Utah can land a spot in the Playoff. Florida enters a rebuilding year under Billy Napier. Still, this Pac-12-SEC showdown should be fun.

Memphis vs. Mississippi State

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Davis Wade Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN U
  • Spread: MSU -16

The first two years of the Mike Leach era at Mississippi State have been underwhelming. The Bulldogs are 11-13 and have a bit of a test in the opener.

Virginia Tech vs. Old Dominion

  • Date: Friday, Sept. 2
  • Location: S.B. Ballard Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN U
  • Spread: VT -6

A battle of former Penn State coordinators takes center stage Friday night. Ricky Rahne (ODU) and Brent Pry (VT) are incredibly familiar with each other, creating a fun chess match.

#4 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech

  • Date: Monday, Sept. 5
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Spread: CLEM -22

Not a great matchup, but it’s the only game Monday. If nothing else, it’s an ACC game to cap off an incredible weekend of football.

Honorable Mentions

Louisville vs. Syracuse

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: JMA Wireless Dome
  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ACC Network
  • Spread: UL -4.5

Both teams hovered around .500 last season. It’s an early-season ACC showdown, adding some significance to the Week 1 bout.

Illinois vs. Indiana

  • Date: Friday, Sept. 2
  • Location: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington)
  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
  • Channel: FS1
  • Spread: IND -1.5

Another game that won’t get much attention because of the names on the jerseys. But it’s a Big Ten game to start the season and both teams need a win for bowl eligibility hopes.

TCU vs. Colorado

  • Date: Friday, Sept. 2
  • Location: Folsom Field
  • Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Spread: TCU -13.5

Two Power Five schools meeting in Week 1 always gets some attention. Maybe it’s not the most exciting matchup, but it’s better than a lot of games on the slate.

Troy vs. #21 Ole Miss

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
  • Kickoff: 3 p.m. CT
  • Channel: SEC Network
  • Spread: MISS -21.5

You’re probably not tuning into this game for the competitive factor. It’s all about Lane Kiffin and whether Ole Miss’s offense can compete with the top of the SEC West.

#13 North Carolina State vs. East Carolina

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
  • Kickoff: 11 a.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Spread: NCST -11.5

Could we see a massive upset in Week 1? North Carolina State should cruise, but it being a road game makes it a little more interesting.

Other Top 10 Teams in Action

Utah State vs. #1 Alabama

  • Date: Saturday Sept. 3
  • Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: SEC Network
  • Spread: BAMA -41.5

How quickly will Alabama put Utah State away? That’s really the only question.

Sam Houston vs. #6 Texas A&M

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Kyle Field
  • Kickoff: 11 a.m. CT
  • Channel: SEC Network
  • Spread: NA

Other than the offseason drama Jimbo Fisher created, there probably isn’t much of a reason to tune in.

Colorado State vs. #8 Michigan

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
  • Kickoff: 11 a.m. CT
  • Channel: ABC
  • Spread: MICH -30.5

How does Michigan look with two new coordinators and major changes to the defensive personnel?

UTEP vs. #9 Oklahoma

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: Memorial Stadium
  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CT
  • Channel: FOX
  • Spread: OU -30

Brent Venables enters his first season as a head coach. Will this be the Oklahoma of old? Or will there be some rust in the first game of a new era?

Albany vs. #10 Baylor

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Location: McLane Stadium
  • Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
  • Channel: ESPN+
  • Spread: NA

Baylor looks to build off an impressive 12-2 season in 2021. Unfortunately, we probably won’t learn much about the Bears in their opener.

Tailgating in Week 1? Here’s Everything You Need

If you’re heading to a college football game this week, then be sure to check out our 10 Essentials for Football Season. Outsider’s Jim Casey tells you everything you’ll need to host the perfect tailgate this fall!

Outsider.com