The time has come: college football has finally returned. This weekend will be the first complete slate of games for the season, and it will be a busy one. UNC specifically kicks off this Saturday at noon against Cal in Kenan Stadium.
Of course with the start of a new season, there is also a new list of teams that are jockeying for position to end up in the CFB playoffs. Last Monday, the Associated Press released their first Top 25 list for the season:
- Alabama (52)
- Ohio State (3)
- Florida State (4)
- USC (2)
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- South Florida
- Kansas State
- Virginia Tech
- West Virginia
- Washington State
*()=First Place Votes
Where is UNC?
- The North Carolina Tar Heels did not receive any votes for the week one AP poll. If UNC manages to pull out a win this Saturday at Cal, they set themselves up to take on #16 Louisville. Barring an upset when Louisville faces Purdue, UNC should find themselves earning some votes if they manage to take down the Cardinals.
On the Outside Looking In
- TCU is the first team on the outside of the top 25 to start week one. Their first couple games will likely not do much for them should they win them and all else hold constant, but they have a few top 25 games early on in their schedule that can potentially move them up the rankings.
- Utah received 85 points in the AP voting, not far behind TCU’s 98. Utah’s schedule picks up steam in October when they face back-to-back top 25 opponents in Stanford and USC.
- Notre Dame begins their season against Temple, and then will quickly face a tough challenge against #15 Georgia. The Fighting Irish, out of these three teams, likely have the best chance to move up the rankings quick if they are able to find a way to defeat the Bulldogs.
Top 25 Conference Breakdown
- ACC: 5 teams
- American: 1 team
- Big Ten: 4 teams
- Big 12: 5 teams
- Pac-12: 4 teams
- SEC: 6 teams
Top 25 Games this Week
- Thursday night, Tulsa will travel to #10 Oklahoma State, while #2 Ohio State will play Indiana in Bloomington, IN.
- Friday Night is another pair of top 25 games where we will see #8 Washington take on Rutgers, and Utah State will play #9 Wisconsin.
- Saturday afternoon, we will see:
Maryland @ #23 Texas
Akron @ #6 Penn State
Kent State @ #5 Clemson
Bethune-Cookman @ #18 Miami
#11 Michigan @ #17 Florida
UTEP @ #7 Oklahoma
Stony Brook @ USF
W Michigan @ #4 USC
Appalachian State @ #15 Georgia
Central Arkansas @ #20 Kansas State
GA Southern @ #12 Auburn
#16 Louisville @ Purdue
#3 Florida State vs #1 Alabama (Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
BYU vs. #13 LSU (Advocare Texas Kickoff, scheduled to be at NRG Stadium)
Montana State @ #24 Washington State
- Sunday night #22 West Virginia will play #21 Virginia Tech in an in-state showdown at Fedex Field.
- Finally, Monday night #25 Tennessee will take on Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
While there doesn’t seem to be any upsets predicted this week according to Vegas, there are a couple games that are worth keeping an eye on:
- #11 Michigan is currently a -3.5 point favorite over #17 Florida
- #25 Tennessee is currently a -3.0 point favorite over Georgia Tech