Jimbo Fisher has a lot on his plate in Week 1. (Getty Images)

All times EDT.

Saturday, Sept. 2

Time Game TV
Noon Kent State at No. 5 Clemson ESPN
Noon Akron at No. 6 Penn State ABC
Noon Maryland at No. 23 Texas Fox Sports 1
Noon Bowling Green at Michigan State ESPNU
Noon Missouri State at Missouri SEC Network
Noon Ball State at Illinois Big Ten Network
Noon Wyoming at Iowa Big Ten Network
12:20 California at North Carolina WDCA-20 (D.C. area)/WatchESPN (streaming)
12:30 Bethune-Cookman at No. 18 Miami CSN Mid-Atlantic (D.C. area)/WatchESPN (streaming)
2 Portland State at Oregon State Pac-12 Network
3 South Carolina vs. N.C. State in Charlotte ESPN
3:30 UTEP at No. 7 Oklahoma Fox
3:30 No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 17 Florida in Arlington, Tex. ABC
3:30 Temple at Notre Dame NBC
3:30 Nevada at Northwestern Big Ten Network
3:45 Troy at Boise State ESPNU
4 Kentucky at Southern Miss CBS Sports Network
4 Charleston Southern at Mississippi State SEC Network
5:15 Western Michigan at No. 4 Southern Cal Pac-12 Network
6:15 Appalachian State at No. 15 Georgia ESPN
7:30 Georgia Southern at No. 12 Auburn SEC Network
7:30 Purdue vs. No. 16 Louisville in Indianapolis Fox
7 Liberty at Baylor Fox Sports 2
7:30 South Alabama at Ole Miss ESPNU
8 No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State in Atlanta ABC
8 Arkansas State at Nebraska Big Ten Network
8 Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee CBS Sports Network
8:15 Southern Utah at Oregon Pac-12 Network
9:30 No. 13 LSU vs. BYU in New Orleans ESPN
10:30 Montana St. at No. 24 Washington St. Fox Sports 1
11 Northern Arizona at Arizona Pac-12 Network

Last season, Kent State played at defending national champion Alabama in its fourth game. The Golden Flashes lost, 48-0. This season, Kent State opens with defending national champion Clemson and is a 39.5-point underdog. Not only that, but the Golden Flashes will be without Coach Paul Haynes, who is taking a medical leave of absence. The Tigers have to replace quarterback Deshaun Watson, wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, tight end Jordan Leggett and running back Wayne Gallman, but the offensive line returns four of five starters and the defense also has a whole lot coming back. …

Texas hasn’t necessarily been a bad team over the past seven seasons, it’s just been exceedingly average, which obviously doesn’t cut it in Austin. Enter Tom Herman, who has both the winning pedigree (he went 22-4 at Houston and led the Cougars to their first top 10 finish since 1979) and a penchant for putting a shine on unpolished quarterbacks (third-stringer Cardale Jones at Ohio State; Greg Ward, a former wide receiver with the Cougars). Now he gets to work with Shane Buechele, who wasn’t spectacular last season but still threw for nearly 3,000 yards and completed 60 percent of his passes. He’ll also be protected by an experienced offensive line when Texas hosts Maryland. …

At this point, it might be easier to say who isn’t suspended for Florida in its opener against Michigan. We’re at 10 (and perhaps rising) after starting running back Jordan Scarlett (889 rushing yards, six touchdowns last season) and wide receiver Rick Wells were suspended indefinitely Wednesday, allegedly because of an ongoing university police investigation into fraudulent textbook sales involving Gators football players. They join leading returning wideout Antonio Callaway (89 career catches, seven career touchdowns plus three career kick-return touchdowns) and seven other players not making the trip for Florida, which will start redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks at quarterback. As of Thursday morning, Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh was keeping the identity of his starting quarterback under wraps, with either fifth-year senior John O’Korn or junior incumbent Wilton Speight getting the call. …

Oklahoma hosts UTEP with Lincoln Riley, the youngest head coach in the nation at 33, making his debut as Bob Stoops’s replacement. Having Baker Mayfield, the No. 2 odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, back under center should ease the transition, as will an opener against a pretty bad team in 2016 that now has to replace its all-time leading rusher (Aaron Jones, now with the Packers) and three of its top four receiving targets. …

If Alabama-Florida State isn’t the biggest opening-night game in the history of college football, it makes a convincing argument. It’s the first time a team ranked No. 1 has played a team ranked as high as No. 3 in the season’s first weekend, the Associated Press reports, and the game features two of the previous four national champions and five of the past eight. The Crimson Tide returns its starting quarterback in Jalen Hurts (last year’s SEC offensive player of the year) for the first time since 2013 but also must replace the seven defensive players who were selected in this year’s NFL draft. Florida State also has a standout returning quarterback in Deondre Francois, but perhaps more important is the return of safety Derwin James from a knee injury that limited him to two games last season. The Seminoles allowed at least 35 points and at least 7.6 yards per play in the three games immediately following his injury last season.

Sunday, Sept. 3

Time Game TV
7:30 No. 22 WVU vs. No. 21 Va. Tech in Landover, Md. ABC
7:30 Texas A&M at UCLA Fox

Dana Holgorsen has come full circle at West Virginia. He won 10 games in his first season (2011) but then saw his win total drop in each of the next two seasons, reaching a nadir of four in 2013. Then came the rebound, with the Mountaineers winning seven games in 2014, eight in 2015 and then a return to double digits with 10 last season. This year, Holgorsen is turning over play-calling duties to new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, just as Gundy once turned over play-calling duties to Holgorsen at Oklahoma State in 2010, to great offensive success. But defense will be the key for the Mountaineers, starting with Virginia Tech. West Virginia lost just about everyone of importance on that side of the ball, especially on the line and in the secondary, and the Mountaineers might struggle to keep teams off the scoreboard.

Monday, Sept. 4

Time Game TV
8 No. 25 Tennessee at Ga. Tech ESPN

Tennessee averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season but also allowed opponents to rush for five yards per attempt, becoming one of just five FBS teams last season that were able to make that strange boast. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, assumed its usual spot in the NCAA rushing top 10 in 2016, finishing ninth overall and second behind Auburn among Power 5 teams (258.1 rushing yards per game). But the Yellow Jackets enter the Labor Day showdown with Tennessee without leading returning rusher Dedrick Mills, who was dismissed from the team in August for violating athletic department rules. Mills was one of just two FBS true freshmen to lead his team in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns last season.

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