By Ray Hamill
The college football season gets under way in earnest this weekend, and for many of the top teams there will be little time to adjust.
The opening action includes three all-top-25 matchups, with No. 1 Alabama’s showdown with No. 3 Florida State in Atlanta undoubtedly the game of the weekend.
With the extreme competitive nature of college football, and the fact only four teams make the playoff tournament, a loss on opening weekend will leave any team facing an uphill battle to fight its way back into contention.
That’s the beauty of college football, and what gives it an added intensity right from the opening kickoff. Every game is so important for any team that harbors championship ambitions. There is little room for letdowns.
Also on tap this week, No. 2 Ohio State opens tonight (Thursday) at Indiana, No. 8 Washington is at Rutgers on Friday night, while No. 5 Clemson and No. 6 Penn State host Kent State and Akron, respectively, on Saturday.
The USC Trojans, No. 4 in the preseason AP poll, feature quarterback Sam Darnold, who many feel could be the best player in the game.
The Trojans, who host Western Michigan on Saturday, are the preseason Pac-12 favorites ahead of Washington and Utah.
In other big games, No. 11 Michigan travels to No. 17 Florida, also on Saturday, while on Sunday No. 21 Virginia Tech plays No. 22 West Virginia.