No. 2 Georgia @ Mizzou, 11:00 AM, ESPN
Under head coach Kirby Smart, the Georgia Bulldogs hauled in the nation’s top recruiting class and, aside from maybe Clemson’s duo of Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence or Alabama’s duo of Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, no team in the country is as loaded at the quarterback position as Georgia is with Jake Fromm and Justin Fields.
Georgia clobbered Missouri last season, 53-28, but because Mizzou is coming off of a win at Purdue and have an elite-level quarterback in Drew Lock, this game in the early slot is can’t-miss.
No. 22 Texas A&M @ No. 1 Alabama, 2:30 PM, CBS
Alabama running back Damien Harris hardly broke a sweat last season when he ran for 124 yards and added a touchdown on just 14 carries in the Tide’s win over the Aggies in College Station. Texas A&M is turning heads in 2018 because new head coach (and former Nick Saban assistant) Jimbo Fisher has completely turned things around in Aggieland/College Station.
Texas A&M has always had the talent, but now it appears they finally have the mental, emotional and tactical discipline to compete with the big boys under Fisher. A&M proved that when they played Clemson a couple of weeks ago. Alabama sets the bar in college football, so where exactly is A&M at this point? There’s no better test than a trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium deep in the heart of Dixieland.
No. 7 Stanford @ No. 20 Oregon, 7:00 PM, ABC
Expect Stanford running back and Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love to absolutely go off in primetime on Saturday night in a big road conference game in one of the toughest places to play in the entire country. Stanford coach David Shaw held Bryce Love out for precautionary reasons against FCS UC Davis, and now he appears ready unleash the beast for a game that really matters.
Oregon is off to a hot start under new head coach Mario Cristobal (shocking, another former Nick Saban assistant coach known as arguably the top recruiter in college football), but the Ducks had the weakest non-conference schedule of any Power 5 team to start the season. Stanford is more battle tested. Keep an eye on Oregon QB Justin Herbert who is very much on the radar of NFL scouts.
Arizona State @ No. 10 Washington, 9:30 PM, ESPN
The Washington Huskies lost two conference games last season: at Arizona State and at Stanford, by a combined 14 points. If Washington has any hope of going to the College Football Playoff, they’ll likely have to run the table the rest of the way, and that includes this Pac-12 home opener against Herm Edwards’ Arizona State Sun Devils.
Arizona State upset Michigan State at home, only to lose this past week to the always-competitive San Diego State Aztecs on the road. That’s what should be expected of ASU this season: Many ups and downs and a hard-to-predict win total. Washington on the other hand will be looking to dominate this #Pac12AfterDark contest. The Huskies have the better players at every position and have more experience across the board.
For vintage inspired, high quality, and well-designed University of Illinois apparel, check out Fourth and Kirby, and look for the TCR Collection while you’re at it!