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CFB Kickoff: What to Watch This Weekend

This really might be ‘the best opening week ever’

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl - Fresno State v USC
Trojan fans can’t wait for Saturday Night!
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Game of the Week: No 20 USC vs. No 1 Alabama in Arlington, TX. (Saturday, 5pm, ABC)

(all times listed in Pacific Standard Time)

We are officially watching the hours, minutes, even seconds tick down ahead of USC’s kickoff against Alabama. But until then, there’s a heck of a lot of football to watch. And this isn’t your typical weekend. In fact, it’s so good, it’s already been anointed as ‘The Best Kickoff Week Ever.’ So, if you’re wondering what to enjoy in addition to ABC’s game of the week, here’s the best of the rest.


The 102nd Rose Bowl Game - Iowa v Stanford
Christian McCaffrey and Stanford take on Kansas State.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

No 8 Stanford vs. Kansas St. (6pm, FS1)

This Friday night showcase is what Christian McCaffrey needed last year in his run for the Heisman. Stanford’s opener in front of a national audience should be a boost to his campaign this season. K-State will bring back 17 starters as they hope to bounce back from a disappointing 2015.

Reason to watch for USC: The Trojans travel to the Farm in Week 3. An early test against a Big 12 opponent will give us a better idea of just how good these guys really are.


Foster Farms Bowl - Nebraska v UCLA
Josh Rosen has turned up the heat ahead of UCLA’s game against Texas A&M.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

No. 16 UCLA at Texas A&M (12:30pm, CBS)

This is the first of two Pac-12 vs. SEC showdowns and it’s a good one. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen fired up Texas A&M fans when he said he doesn’t think the crowd noise at Kyle Field will be especially loud. Mid-day temperatures in College Station are set to touch the low 90’s, and Rosen just turned up the heat.

Reason to watch for USC: Like SC, the Bruins travel to take on an SEC opponent. The difference, however, is that UCLA must win to justify their #16 ranking.


No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field (12:30pm, ABC)

Another awesome Week 1 match-up with an SEC contender taking on a heavy hitter in non-conference play. This should be a good old fashioned slugfest. And it’s at Lambeau! How can you not watch this?

Reason to watch for USC: The loss to the Badgers in last year’s Holiday bowl still stings. Watching LSU put them in their place might help ease the pain.


NCAA Football: Texas at Notre Dame
The Longhorns get Notre Dame in their house this year.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Notre Dame at Texas (4:30pm, ABC)

The Fighting Irish go in to Austin to take on the Boys in Burnt Orange. There’s just something juicy about this one. Notre Dame, as usual, looks like a contender - but this is a much improved Texas team - and they get Domers at home. This might be the best Sunday night football game we see this year.

Reason to watch for USC: We all know that both of the these teams hold a special place in the hearts of Trojan fans. Notre Dame comes to the Coliseum this year, and it’s never too soon to start sizing ‘em up. Gawd, I hope they don’t wear those horrible green uniforms.


Allstate Sugar Bowl - Mississippi v Oklahoma State
Chad Kelly is the cream of the crop in the SEC.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 11 Ole Miss in Orlando (5pm, ESPN)

Another top team from the SEC going against an elite opponent from a rival conference. Is there a pattern here? Props to you SEC (I really mean that). Chad Kelly is the best quarterback in the SEC, but Florida State has one of the highest ranked defenses in the country - with a fast and physical secondary. If you’re curious about how the ACC and SEC stack up, this is one to watch.

Reason to watch for USC: If things go badly in Arlington, we may need more football on Monday to get us through the week. Hopefully there’s still some beer in the fridge.

For the full schedule of all games, check out Conquest Chronicles’ College football Week 1 TV times and online streaming info.