The 2017 college football season ended earlier this week and spring practice is still a few months away, but we're already pining for the return of Saturdays full of football.
We've compiled the top games for next season's opening below, as it's a full slate with several games that will have an impact on the College Football Playoff race in 208. Full warning: it's shaping up to be another great opening week full of incredible games that will likely be called "The Greatest Opening Weekend Ever" for what feels like the third consecutive year. With that in mind, let's get to the eight best college football games next season's opening weekend:
8) Cincinnati Bearcats at UCLA Bruins
Neither of these teams figures to be ranked in the preseason, but Chip Kelly's return to college football is enough to put this game on the list of ones you should watch on opening weekend. Plus, the Bearcats are a team that has proven they can compete with Power 5 schools on a consistent basis.
7) Tennessee Volunteers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (in Charlotte, NC)
Thanks to the return of quarterback Will Grier and several others, West Virginia heads into the season as the dark horse in the Big 12. Tennessee is likely in for a rebuilding year under new head coach Jeremy Pruitt, but this game will give us a good understanding as to where both of these teams stand.
These were two of the country's most explosive offenses last season and FAU returns most of their starters, including quarterback Jason Driskel. Kyler Murray will be tasked with replacing Baker Mayfield for Oklahoma, but this one is guaranteed to be an entertaining shootout.
5) Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Louisville Cardinals (Orlando, FL)
Had this game been last season and Lamar Jackson was still at Louisville, this game would easily be No. 1 on our list. However, the Cardinals will likely be rebuilding and going up against Alabama's juggernaut. It will also likely be title game hero Tua Tagovailoa's first career start for the Tide.
4) Virginia Tech Hokies at Florida State Seminoles
The only conference game on this list, these two teams will face off on Labor Day and haven't played each other since 2012. It will be head coach Willie Taggart's first game in charge of the Seminoles and will be a tough test for a Virginia Tech team that many believe could challenge for the ACC title. We'll learn how viable that thought is in this game.
3) LSU Tigers vs. Miami Hurricanes (Arlington, TX)
Two top 10 teams squaring off on a neutral field with the winner putting themselves in an early position to compete for a College Football Playoff berth. That's what these games are about, right?
2) Auburn Tigers vs. Washington Huskies (Atlanta, GA)
In terms of the playoff picture, this is the biggest game of the weekend. Auburn and Washington are both top 10 caliber teams with returning star quarterbacks in Jarrett Stidham and Jake Browning, respectively. The winner gets a huge win on their CFP resume - the loser can't suffer defeat again.
1) Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
How about reviving an old rivalry game to serve as the marquee game of opening weekend? Both will be ranked (likely in the top 20) to start the season, giving both the chance for an early signature win. Plus, Brian Kelly going up against Jim Harbaugh is must-see TV. And, should the Wolverines lose, how will the Michigan fan base react to Harbaugh losing yet another rivalry game?
Related Topics: Michigan Wolverines Football, UCLA Bruins Football, Oklahoma Sooners Football, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football, LSU Tigers Football, NCAA Football, Alabama Crimson Tide Football, Washington Huskies Football, Cincinnati Bearcats Football, West Virginia Mountaineers Football, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, Louisville Cardinals Football, Tennessee Volunteers Football, Miami Hurricanes Football, Florida State Seminoles Football, Auburn Tigers Football, Florida Atlantic Owls Football