2018 College Football Week One Schedule

By Nicholas Volinchak

2018 College Football Week One Schedule

We are less than a week removed from the Crimson Tide defeating the Bulldogs for the National Championship. Here we are, though, talking about what the first week of the 2018 college football season is going to look like. Thats right; the 2018 college football week one schedule has been released.

It is always important to remember that the first month of the season ends up being a lot more lackluster than the rest. After all, division play is not hot and heavy, and there are a lot of mismatches.

Who cares though? College football will be back! Let’s take a look at the top five games of the weekend (as of now), in no particular order, and then the whole schedule!

Alabama at Louisville

 

This game definitely would have been more interesting if Lamar Jackson would have stayed put, but alas, it is not so. The storylines in January heading into September 1st will be endless.

What can we expect out of the National Champions? For one, we will probably hear all summer about the quarterback controversy. Jalen Hurts was successful in his tenure as the starter, but Tua Tagovailoa gave the team the spark and the title. The Tide is also going to be dealing with the loss of a number of stars. The most notable will be Calvin Ridley and DaRon Payne. While the Tide recruits well, it is tough to really know how this is going to affect them.

Louisville has their own issues. Lamar Jackson declared for the NFL Draft, which may end up being a mistake. I like his talents, but he likely could have ended up a higher pick in 2019. Jawon Pass sets up to be his replacement, but that is not guaranteed. Jackson was a star athlete, but this team never fully put it together under his watch.

This is still one of the more intriguing games on the weekend.

 

Auburn at Washington

 

This is almost the opposite of the above, as many of the main players are returning. We still have some question marks, but going into the 2018 season, these are two potential playoff teams.

Jarrett Stidham played well for the Tigers in 2017. It is not shocking considering somewhat of a down year defensively in the SEC. He was potent at Baylor before the scandal and I am looking forward to see him in 2018. He will lose both of his starting running backs, but returns his productive receivers. I think this team will still be a big part of the conversation.

Washington returns Jake Browning, but there is a big question mark with Myles Gaskin. If he comes back, this team stands a very good chance to win the PAC-12. 2017 was a disappointment, and the loss of Dante Pettis will hurt, just like the loss of John Ross. This also does not really consider the loss of Vita Vea, either. I still think that this team is the class of the PAC-12, so this is a big-time game to watch.

 

Boise State at Troy

 

This might be a game that some people scoff at, but these are two teams we could be talking about representing the Group of Five on New Year’s.

Boise State mauled Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl, and I think they will likely continue into 2018. Cedrick Wilson on offense and Leighton Vander Esch on defense will be monster losses. Boise State continues to recruit well, and Bryan Harsin will be able to make whatever he has on his roster work.

Troy is a very entertaining offense, but will be missing both Brandon Silvers and Jordan Chunn, who have seemingly been with this team forever. Neal Brown is now in his fourth year with the team, and that means the recruiting cycle will come full circle. He has been pounding the pavement to find the right fits for his schemes, and I think Troy is likely to be a tough team to play in 2018.

 

Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma

 

Oh boy! This one should be a slobber knocker, as friend of the podcast Jim Ross might say. These are two teams that should make some noise again in 2018, and this game should be a doozy to watch.

Lane Kiffin has worked his magic at FAU, and will be returning both Jason Driskel and ridiculously productive running back Devin Singletary. This offense should not miss much of a beat, and though they are not a power five team, we know that BIG 12 teams do not play great defense. This offense should have every opportunity to score in the opening weekend.

Oklahoma will be out Baker Mayfield. They will likely replace him with Kyler Murray, who transferred to the Sooners after the 2015 season from Texas A&M. He is a highly talented dual-threat QB and will have some talented options on offense to help him make the transition. I would look for some initial growing pains in the offense, but this should still be a good team, and this will be a fun game.

 

Michigan at Notre Dame

 

After taking a few years off, these two longtime rivals will meet again. I am curious to see if the Jim Harbaugh experiment will run its course if the Wolverines do not materialize this year.

It is unknown at this writing as to the status of Shea Patterson. He transferred from Ole Miss, but is trying to not have to sit the season out because of the scandal there. If he plays, he is the best QB in Ann Arbor under Harbaughs watch, and it is not remotely close. The team will still play solid defense, but they need to show something this year, as everything before this has been a huge disappointment.

Notre Dame is coached by Brian Kelley, whom I passionately hate. Alright, that might be strong wording, but when things go wrong, it is never his fault. Notre Dame looked like a competent team for much of the season, but still got in their own way. I would give them the advantage here, as I like what QB Brandon Wimbush brings to the table.

NOTE: Both the Virginia Tech/Florida State and LSU/Miami games have intrigue as well, but for one reason or another, I prefer the above matchups.

FULL SCHEDULE

 

Saturday, Aug. 25

 

Duquesne at Massachusetts

Prairie View A&M at Rice

Wyoming at New Mexico State

 

Thursday, Aug. 30

 

Central Connecticut at Ball State

Kennesaw State at Georgia State

New Mexico State at Minnesota

Northwestern at Purdue

VMI at Toledo

Wake Forest at Tulane

Weber State at Utah

 

Friday, Aug. 31

 

Utah State at Michigan State

Western Kentucky at Wisconsin

 

Saturday, Sept. 1

 

Abilene Christian at Baylor

Akron at Nebraska

Alabama at Louisville

Albany at Pittsburgh

Alcorn State at Georgia Tech

Appalachian State at Penn State

Army at Duke

Auburn at Washington

Austin Peay at Georgia

Boise State at Troy

Bowling Green at Oregon

BYU at Arizona

Central Arkansas at Tulsa

Central Michigan at Kentucky

Charleston Southern at Florida

Cincinnati at UCLA

Coastal Carolina at South Carolina

Colorado at Colorado State

Delaware State at Buffalo

Eastern Illinois at Arkansas

Elon at USF

Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma

Fordham at Charlotte

Fresno State at Minnesota

Furman at Clemson

Grambling State at Louisiana

Houston at Rice

Howard at Ohio

Idaho at Fresno State

Incarnate Word at New Mexico

Indiana at FIU

Jackson State at Southern Miss

James Madison at North Carolina State

Kent State at Illinois

Louisiana Tech at South Alabama

Marshall at Miami (OH)

Mercer at Memphis

Michigan at Notre Dame

Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Missouri State at Oklahoma State

Monmouth at Eastern Michigan

Navy at Hawaii

Nicholls at Kansas

NIU at Iowa

North Carolina at California

North Carolina A&T at East Carolina

NAU at UTEP

Northwestern State at Texas A&M

Old Dominion at Liberty

Ole Miss at Texas Tech

Oregon State at Ohio State

Portland State at Nevada

Presbyterian at Georgia Southern

Richmond at Virginia

San Diego State at Stanford

SMU at North Texas

South Dakota at Kansas State

South Dakota State at Iowa State

Southeast Missouri at Arkansas State

Southeastern Louisiana at Louisiana Monroe

Southern at TCU

Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State

Stony Brook at Air Force

Syracuse at Western Michigan

Tennessee at West Virginia

Texas at Maryland

Texas State at Rutgers

UC Davis at San Jose State

Massachusetts at Boston College

UNLV at USC

UT Martin at Missouri

UTSA at Arizona State

Villanova at Temple

Washington State at Wyoming

 

Sunday, Sept. 2

 

Virginia Tech at Florida State

 

Monday, Sept. 3

 

LSU at Miami (FL)

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