Alabama vs USC

Lamenting the end of college football season? Week 1 of 2016 will be epic

There is only one game left in the 2015 college football season. It’s sad.

It’s exciting that we get what looks like a really good College Football Playoff National Championship Game, but it’s a little sad that we will then have to go almost eight months without any college football that counts in the standings.

Well, I’m here really early to remind you that there’s nothing to be sad about. Why?

College football won’t merely be back in September; it will be as awesome as ever. On paper, week one of 2016 will be one of the most highly-anticipated weeks of college football many of us have ever seen. It certainly has the best slate of opening-week games I have ever seen, and nothing else is even close.

It’s too early to really analyze the games in depth, but it’s never too early to peek at the mouth-watering lineup. Most of us have seen that Alabama and USC will kick off the season in Arlington. That game will have tremendous hype, even if USC is coming off an 8-6 season while Alabama is playing in the title game, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • In another SEC-versus-Pac-12 matchup (which we don’t see nearly enough of), UCLA will travel to College Station to face Texas A&M.
  • LSU and Wisconsin will play in Lambeau Field. When these two met to open the 2014 season, we saw an amazing game with an incredible second-half comeback by LSU. Now they travel into Wisconsin’s territory for the rematch.
  • Clemson will visit Auburn. The battle of the Tigers might not have been great had it been played this year, but it will be well-hyped to kick off next season.
  • In what will be the biggest Power 5-Group of 5 regular-season game, Oklahoma will face Houston in an early battle of potential CFP contenders.
  • North Carolina and Georgia will kick off the season in the Georgia Dome in a battle of teams coming off 10-win seasons.
  • To close the weekend, Florida State will face Ole Miss in Orlando on Labor Day.

On top of this, we will get a game between two potential top Group of 5 teams when Toledo visits Arkansas State. Also, Tennessee will host Appalachian State in a game that could begin to change the perception of the Sun Belt. Appalachian State is a good program that has a lot of talent. Tennessee will be the favorite, but this is a game to look forward to.

There are a bunch more non-conference games between Power 5 schools (plus Notre Dame and BYU), including:
Arizona-BYU, Rutgers-Washington State, Kansas State-Stanford (Friday), Oregon State-Minnesota (Thursday), Notre Dame-Texas, and Missouri-West Virginia.

Whether this is just a happy set of circumstances or will begin to be the new normal is anybody’s guess. Regardless, this is an amazing slate of games, both in terms of the sheer number of P-5 games and how high-profile they are.

I can’t wait for next September. Can you?

About Yesh Ginsburg

Yesh has been a fan and student of college football since before he can remember. He spent years mastering the intricacies of the BCS and now keeps an eye on the national picture as teams jockey for College Football Playoff positioning.