College Football 2017-18

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Season Preview
Preseason Rankings TOP 25
Conference Predictions
Bowl Projections
Heisman Contenders
TOP 15 Must Watch Games
College Football on TV
Links

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapping Up 2016

 

Clemson won the College Football Playoff, defeating Alabama 35-31 in the championship game.

 

College Football 2016-2017 Year in Review

 

Click here for all 2016 FINAL College Football Stats

 

 

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Preseason Rankings TOP 25

 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

There’s a good chance the Tide opens No. 1 in the AP Poll for the fourth time under Nick Saban. We’re not worried about the Jalen Hurts-Brian Daboll dynamic after watching Hurts pass for 301 yards and a pair of TDs in the spring game. The bigger questions remain on defense. According to BamaInsider.com, nine different players had a sack in the spring game. Will that front seven be as nasty as it was in 2016?

 

2. USC Trojans

We’re sticking with the Trojans at No. 2. Sam Darnold still is the Heisman favorite and potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but injuries along an offensive line that already replaces three starters makes us a little nervous. The focus for USC is to get healthy before fall camp.

 

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State will throw the ball more effectively with new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. The Buckeyes’ offense looked good in the spring game, and J.T. Barrett has a few new playmakers to work with in running back Demario McCall and receiver Johnnie Dixon. Urban Meyer’s talent accumulation adds up to another run at a playoff spot.

 

4. Florida State Seminoles

Five-star freshman Cam Akers totaled 102 total yards in the spring game, and that has to make quarterback Deondre Francois smile. The Seminoles will answer questions about Alabama all offseason in advance of the season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. FSU is shooting for a sixth consecutive season with double-digit wins under Jimbo Fisher, but the standard is higher than that for this program.

 

5. Clemson Tigers

That quarterback battle is going to stretch into fall camp for Dabo Swinney, and the winner has the unenviable task of replacing Deshaun Watson. Odds are it comes down to Kelly Bryant against five-star freshman Hunter Johnson. The good news is the defense, which is loaded with Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence up front, should be defensive coordinator Brent Venables’ best since his arrival in 2012.

 

6. Penn State Nittany Lions 

James Franklin is trying to temper bubbling expectations around the defending Big Ten champions, but that won’t be easy. Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s scheme fits. a 40-points-per-game-type profile with two Heisman Trophy contenders in quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley. The emergence of 6-foot-4 receiver Juwan Johnson this spring is an added bonus. Cornerback John Reid’s knee injury was the only serious blow in the spring.

 

7. Oklahoma Sooners

Bob Stoops is out and Lincoln Riley is in, but the Sooners found a few new supporting cast mates for Baker Mayfield and should be the best team in the Big 12 once again. The Sooners open with UTEP, but it’s difficult not to look ahead to the Sept. 9 showdown at Ohio State knowing last season the Buckeyes throttled the Sooners 45-24 in Norman, Okla.

 

8. Washington Huskies 

Jake Browning threw just 10 passes in the spring game, but the news here is he appears to be healthy and ready to build on a season in which he passed for 43 TDs. Dante Pettis looks fill the void left by John Ross, and the secondary showed signs of progress after heavy losses to the NFL. Chris Petersen’s will quietly contend for another Pac-12 championship.

 

9. Michigan Wolverines

Jim Harbaugh enters his third year with the challenge of returning just five starters, but the team has built on the strength of back-to-back top-10 recruiting classes. The defensive line will dominate with Rashan Gary and Maurice Hurst, but the spring game offered the hint of a fall camp quarterback battle between Wilton Speight and Brandon Peters. It’s a competition worth monitoring heading into the opener against Florida at Jerry World.

 

10. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia’s spring game attendance was down a little bit, but the excitement level is up heading into Kirby Smart’s second season. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both returned to school and are healthy, and that’s good news for Jacob Eason heading into his second season. Of course, Eason is going to be pushed in fall camp by Jake Fromm. These are nice problems to have for a team poised to compete for the SEC East championship.

 

11. Auburn Tigers 

Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham’s emergence in new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey’s offense is the biggest reason for optimism on The Plains for Gus Malzahn. The tandem of running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson doesn’t hurt. If the Tigers add a consistent down-field passing game to all that, then they’ll be a worthy challenger for Alabama in the SEC West.

 

12. Louisville Cardinals 

Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson returns, and despite a late-season slide this is going to be a prolific passing game. The Louisville Courier-Journal pointed to receiver Dez Fitzpatrick as a potential breakout player in the offense, but the defense will need to be more consistent under new defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon.

 

13. Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers are 21-6 the last two seasons under Paul Chryst and have a no-doubt starter at quarterback in Alex Hornibrook. The competition at running back among Bradrick Shaw, Chris James and Taiwan Deal will be interesting. Will the Badgers find a consistent back to replace Corey Clement, who rushed for 1,375 yards in 2016. The Badgers remain the favorite in the Big Ten West, and with good reason.

 

14. LSU Tigers 

The offense didn’t exactly produce rave reviews under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada in the spring game, but Ed Orgeron’s first full season will revolve around some familiar themes. LSU will have a power running game built around an excellent offensive line and Heisman Trophy contender Derrius Guice. It’s on Danny Etling to come through at quarterback in Canada’s new scheme. The talent is always there.

 

15. Florida Gators 

This might be a disservice to the Gators given Jim McElwain has guided the team to back-to-back SEC East championships. Feleipe Franks looked the part of a starting quarterback in the spring game, and the defense should be more aggressive with new defensive coordinator Randy Shannon. Florida can make a statement — and is capable of doing so — in the season opener at Jerry World against Michigan.

 

16. Oklahoma State Cowboys

The connection between Mason Rudolph and James Washington will be key for the Cowboys’ Big 12 championship hopes, and it’s worth knowing the Bedlam Game against Oklahoma will be bumped up to Nov. 4. Expectations are high for the Cowboys, and they can meet those if the defense can take a few more steps forward after allowing 26.5 points per game in 2016.

 

17. Kansas State Wildcats 

The Wildcats have all the makings to make their own run at the Big 12 championship under Bill Snyder, who is coaching while undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Quarterback Jesse Ertz returns along with four offensive linemen, and Kansas State hosts West Virginia and Oklahoma. The schedule is set up to make that run.

 

18. Stanford Cardinal 

Christian McCaffrey is gone, but David Shaw has a stable of running backs to work with in Bryce Love, Trevor Speights, Cameron Scarlett and Dorian Maddox. There will be a battle between Ryan Burns and Keller Chryst, who is coming off a knee injury suffered in the Sun Bowl, for the starting quarterback job in fall camp.

 

19. Miami Hurricanes 

Mark Richt should enjoy better results in his second season, but that starts with a quarterback battle between Malik Rosier and Evan Shirreffs. Miami didn’t have a true spring game, but the talent through recruiting is building. This program still is looking for that first ACC championship.

 

20. West Virginia Mountaineers 

Two interesting stories emerged in the spring. Will Grier looks like he’s finally ready to return as a starting quarterback in the FBS. Grier’s top target in the spring game was David Sills, who began his career at West Virginia but played quarterback in junior college last season. An opener against Virginia Tech will be a good early-season test for the Mountaineers.

 

21. Texas Longhorns 

Collin Johnson enjoyed a monster spring game with 117 yards and two TDs, and that’s good news for sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele. Tom Herman will make an instant impact on this program in Year 1, but the question is whether the Longhorns are ready to compete for a Big 12 championship. Isn’t that always the question?

 

22. South Florida Bulls 

Will this be Charlie Strong’s revenge? Quinton Flowers is the quarterback who could take the Bulls through to the Group of 5 bid in the New Year’s Day Six, and Strong should be motivated after the fallout at Texas.

 

23. Washington State Cougars

Luke Falk decided to return for another season, and that should keep Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense in business in the Pac-12 North. The Cougars have a history of slow starts the last two seasons, and they face Boise State and USC in September.

 

24. Pittsburgh Panthers 

Pittsburgh had an up-and-down season in 2016, but keep in mind they beat Penn State and Clemson. Pat Narduzzi’s third season should bring better results, and the addition of USC transfer Max Browne at quarterback is exciting. The Panthers must be more consistent to stay on here.

 

25. Tennessee Volunteers 

This is a pivotal season for Butch Jones, who has danced from hot seat and high expectations through his time on Rocky Top. The Vols have a lot of talent to replace, and that starts at quarterback. Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano will continue to sort that out at fall camp.

 

source | sporting news

 

Other Preseason Polls

 

USA Today Coaches Poll

ESPN

cbssports

Athlon Sports

si.com

bleacher report

Yahoo.com Dr. Saturday

Vegas Insider

Profootballfocus

Lindy’s

Saturday Down South

Saturdayblitz.com

Mcillecesports

College Football News

bucknuts

 

 

 

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Conference Predictions

here are links for predictions for each Power 5 conference after their respective media days. Picks for the Pac-12SECACCBig Ten and Big 12 are in. Get our picks for divisions winners, Heisman candidates, biggest games, and, of course, conference champions.

 

 

 

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Bowl Projections

 

The 2017-18 college football schedule features 40 bowl games between FBS teams, which culminates with the College Football Playoff Championship on Jan. 8 in Atlanta. This year’s semifinals will be played on Jan. 1 for the first time since 2014 at the Rose and Sugar Bowls.

So, who makes the 2018 College Football Playoff? Here is a compilation of prediction and projections from across the web.

Sporting News

sbnation

cbssports

bucknuts

college sports madness

 

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Heisman Contenders

 

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson returns as the Heisman Trophy winner,  and will to try to become the second two-time winner in the award’s history alongside Ohio State’s Archie Griffin. but he has competition at quarterback from USC’s Sam Darnold and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, among others, and at running back from Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and LSU’s Derrius Guice.  Given that the Heisman winner has been either been a quarterback or running back for the last 20 years, it’s a good bet the winner is on one of those.

 

10. South Florida QB Quinton Flowers

2016 Stats: 2,812 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, 1,530 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns

Odds: 75-1

If you’re looking for the chic pick to win the Heisman out of the Group of Five, South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers is your guy.

The Bulls’ rising senior signal-caller racked up 4,342 total yards in 2016, accounted for 42 touchdowns and shouldn’t miss a beat with head coach Charlie Strong and uptempo offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert in charge of the program in 2017.

He’s a true dual threat who, outside of Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, is the most electric running quarterback in the country. The Flowers hype should continue to grow throughout the offseason as analysts search for fringe candidates to tout prior to toe meeting leather.

 

9. Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph

2016 Stats: 4,091 yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 61 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns

Odds: 60-1

Mason Rudolph will fight an uphill battle for attention in a Big 12 that will include Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, new Texas head coach Tom Herman and systems that produce video game numbers from quarterbacks around the conference.

Rudolph will have some of the best, though.

The rising senior has proved over the course of his career that he has the arm strength and knowledge of head coach Mike Gundy’s system to run it at an elite level. He plays on a team that is consistently relevant in November and should be in the conference title mix again in 2017 thanks to Rudolph’s return and that of star wide receiver James Washington.

If Rudolph can lead the Cowboys into the College Football Playoff mix, he is probably the best Heisman bet on the board.

 

8. LSU RB Derrius Guice

2016 Stats: 1,387 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns, 106 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown, 223 kickoff return yards

Odds: 55-1

Derrius Guice wasn’t supposed to be the featured running back at LSU in 2016, but that changed in the season-opener when former Tiger Leonard Fournette injured his ankle and was limited during the season.

In Fournette’s stead, Guice proved he is a monster.

The rising junior packs enough punch to be a force between the tackles, and he is one of the most electric running backs in the game. With new offensive coordinator Matt Canada in the house, the Tigers offense should be much more creative.

That means additional touches and highlights for Guice, which are what he needs to become a serious Heisman threat.

 

7. Washington QB Jake Browning

2016 Stats: 3,430 passing yards, 43 passing touchdowns, 45 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns

Odds: 45-1

Jake Browning led Washington to the Pac-12 championship and a berth in the CFP last year and finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting. With that experience in his back pocket and an offense that is designed to accentuate a quarterback’s strengths, another run should be in the cards for Browning.

He proved as a sophomore that he’s one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the game. He has a firm grasp of what head coach Chris Petersen asks him to do and can take the top off a defense when the time is right to create big plays.

He will get receiver Dante Pettis back to help him out but will have to find another option in the passing game after John Ross declared for the NFL draft. If Browning can create offensive balance again, he should be a legitimate threat to get an invitation to New York as a finalist in December.

 

6. Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough

2016 Stats: 812 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 22 receiving yards

Odds: 35-1

Bo Scarbrough emerged as a force in the Peach Bowl national semifinal win over Washington, and he repeated the feat with two touchdowns in the national title game against Clemson before a fractured leg ended his outing in the third quarter.

His encore should be fascinating.

The 228-pound rising junior has speed to burn and the power to run through anybody. With quarterback Jalen Hurts providing more of the “lightning” option on the ground, expect new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to use Scarbrough’s “thunder” early and often as the Crimson Tide look to get back to the peak of the college football world.

 

5. Florida State QB Deondre Francois

2016 Stats: 3,350 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 196 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns

Odds: 30-1

Deondre Francois was sensational during his redshirt freshman campaign, topping the 3,000-yard mark through the air with inconsistent wide receiver play and an offensive line that let him down early and often.

The tough rising sophomore should have better protection in 2016, but he will have more of the offense on his shoulders thanks to the departure of star running back Dalvin Cook. With a big arm and athleticism he could showcase more as a sophomore, Francois should be the centerpiece of an explosive Seminoles offense.

Whether he gets into the Heisman mix, though, depends on the team’s success. If he can lead Florida State to a season-opening win over Alabama and re-establish the program as the ACC’s best, get ready for the Francois hype train.

 

4. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

2016 Stats: 1,496 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 402 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns, 74 kickoff return yards

Odds: 25-1

Saquon Barkley kicked off his 2017 Heisman campaign in the Rose Bowl loss to USC, when he rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns and showed the world he is one of the best all-purpose running backs in the game.

He isn’t even close to reaching his ceiling, though.

With Trace McSorley entrenched as the starting quarterback, expect head coach James Franklin to get creative with how Barkley is used, emphasize his pass-catching ability and help Barkley produce the kind of season running backs dream of.

 

3. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

2016 Stats: 3,965 passing yards, 40 passing touchdowns, 177 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns

Odds: 20-1

Baker Mayfield will return to Norman for his final year as the quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners, and it could be his best.

The electric dual-threat quarterback who owns back-to-back Big 12 titles has his sights set on a return to the CFP. For that to happen, he’ll have to find success without running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, as well as receiver Dede Westbrook.

No worries, though. Mayfield ran for 405 yards as a sophomore in 2015, so he can pick up some slack in the ground game. Through the air, he’s known as one of the most prolific passers in the country and plays in a system under offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley that he knows well.

Mayfield went to New York as a Heisman finalist as a junior, and a return trip to the Big Apple should be in his future. Whether he can win it might depend on how much voters expect him to improve upon his 2016 season.

 

2. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

2016 Stats: 3,543 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 1,571 rushing yards, 21 rushing touchdowns

Odds: 6-1

It’s unfair, but Lamar Jackson will be held to a much higher standard as a junior than he was during his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 2016. Voters will want to see him improve, evolve and be even better to earn their votes.

Nothing is impossible for Jackson, but that seems close to it.

He was electric as a sophomore behind an offensive line that was average at best and atrocious at worst, and that line should improve in 2017.

How will teams attack Jackson? Will he improve upon his completion percentage of 56.2? These are the questions that will determine his Heisman fate this year, even if he produces a similar season production-wise to his award-winning campaign.

 

1. USC QB Sam Darnold

2016 Stats: 3,086 passing yards, 31 passing touchdowns, 250 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns

Odds: 5-1

Sam Darnold established himself as a star in 2016, and he did so in a pinch after Max Browne was benched prior to USC’s Week 4 game against Utah. All Darnold did was lead the Trojans to nine straight wins to close out the season—including a 52-49 Rose Bowl win over Penn State—and entrench himself as one of the most gifted quarterbacks in college football.

That was on the fly. Think about what he’s capable of now that he’ll have a full offseason as the unquestioned starter with a coach in Clay Helton who is a little more comfortable in his own job heading into his second full campaign.

Expect the playbook to expand, Darnold to be more of a factor on the ground and the rising redshirt sophomore to take home the 2017 Heisman Trophy.

 

Just Missed the Cut

 

  • Florida State S Derwin James
  • Alabama QB Jalen Hurts
  • Washington State QB Luke Falk
  • Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald
  • Penn State QB Trace McSorley
  • Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham
  • Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
  • Georgia RB Nick Chubb
source | bleacherreport

 

Other Heisman Predictions:

nfl.com

ESPN Heisman Watch

Sportsonearth

cbssports Heisman Watch

sbnation

odds shark

hero sports

 

 

 

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TOP 15 Must Watch College Football Games

 

The season offers a plethora of marquee nonconference games in Alabama-Florida State, Oklahoma-Ohio State and Auburn-Clemson, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It will be a winding road to the College Football Playoff, and every single one of these games will have an impact on which four teams vie for the national championship.

 

Best 2017 college football games 

 

#15: Stanford at USC

Sept. 9

USC faces an early Pac-12 litmus test in Week 2 against Stanford. This one’s tricky for several reasons: It’s a big conference game that comes just a week before the Trojans’ Rose Bowl rematch against Texas. It will also let us know whether USC is really “back” under second-year coach Clay Helton.

Sam Darnold will be the star of this show, but don’t sleep on Stanford running back Bryce Love, who rushed for 7.2 yards per carry in backup duty to Christian McCaffrey from 2015-16. An early loss wouldn’t derail USC’s chances of winning the Pac-12 … but that hype train sure would take a hit.

 

#14: LSU at Alabama

Nov. 4

Ed Orgeron knows he has to beat the Tide if he wants keep his job, and there’s no time like the present. Orgeron’s Tigers gave Alabama a tough test in a 10-0 loss last season while he was interim coach, but more will be expected of him in 2017.

This game is usually a slugfest, but LSU brass will expect to see more offensive output from new offensive coordinator Matt Canada, architect of Pitt’s high-flying offense last season, and running back Derrius Guice, considered one of the best backs in the nation. That said, another loss won’t do a lot to engender favor for Orgeron in Baton Rouge.

 

#13: Texas at USC

Sept. 16

No offense to Maryland or San Jose State, but the Tom Herman era at Texas starts in earnest with a monster test at USC in Week 3. We can’t help but note this will be the teams’ first meeting since that classic Rose Bowl in 2006.

The stakes won’t be as high now as they were then, but that won’t make this game any less important for Clay Helton or Herman, who would love to start his Texas tenure with a win against one of the nation’s top teams. Conversely, a Trojans loss would be a serious step back for the program.

 

#12: LSU at Florida

Oct. 7

How often do you see a conference rival schedule you as their homecoming opponent? The answer is never, which makes this game can’t-miss for fans who like a little drama with their football.

Predictably, neither team hyped this game up at SEC Media Days, but you can bet the Gators scheduled LSU here because, long story short, Hurricane Matthew forced the teams to play in Baton Rouge last year. Don’t forget the Gators won this game on a last-second goal-line stand by stuffing Derrius Guice at the line of scrimmage. Expect him to come in with redemption on his mind, and for both teams to come in with a bad attitude.

 

#11: Michigan vs. Florida (Arlington)

Sept. 2

Is it too much to assume Florida wants to make this a revenge game? The last time these two programs played, Michigan crushed the Gators 41-7 in their own back yard at the 2016 Citrus Bowl.

A few years have passed since Jim Harbaugh and Jim McElwain’s first seasons at their respective programs, but you can bet it’ll be a major talking point leading up to the game. Florida has the same-old questions at quarterback, but goes up against a Michigan team replacing 10 of 11 starters on defense. This game should be a bit more competitive than last time.

 

#10: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Nov. 4

If the Cowboys want to usurp rival Oklahoma as kings of the Big 12, now is the time to do it. This game has decided the conference champion in each of the last two seasons, though it hasn’t been particularly close. Will Bob Stoops’ retirement factor into this year’s game?

Lincoln Riley doesn’t exactly inherit a bare cupboard, but Oklahoma State has the offensive firepower to get in a shootout with Oklahoma, which has to visit Stillwater this year. Bedlam will have even higher stakes if the Sooners can get a win against Ohio State in Week 3, setting up a potential matchup of undefeateds.

 

#9: Miami (Fla.) at Florida State

Sept. 16

Mark Richt has to remember how he nearly upended FSU last season. Had it not been for a blocked extra point attempt on an otherwise game-tying touchdown in the final minutes, this one could have gone to OT, and then … who knows. Richt and Miami have big plans in Year 2, and that involves taking down a Seminoles squad considered an early favorite to win the ACC.

Miami knows they can win this after the way last season’s matchup played out, even with Florida State returning quarterback Deondre Francois and a talented defensive secondary. This game has the added twist of being a possible precursor to the ACC championship game: If Richt’s Hurricanes improve in his second season, then this might not be the last time these teams meet in 2017.

 

#8: Ohio State at Michigan

Nov. 25

This game doesn’t have quite the same luster of last season’s matchup, but “The Game” still has heavy implications on college football in 2017. This game could decide who represents the East division in the Big Ten championship game.

Regardless, this game just means something more, and both Ohio State and Michigan would love nothing more than to end their rival’s regular season with a loss — or end their hopes of a playoff berth. This is also the first meeting in The Big House since Ohio State shellacked the Wolverines 42-13 there in 2015. Will the third time be the charm for Harbaugh?

 

#7: Auburn at Clemson

Sept. 9

Alabama isn’t the only SEC team that wants another crack at Clemson in 2017. Auburn had perhaps one of the best defensive performance against the Tigers last year, but still lost 19-13, in part, because they rotated three quarterbacks during the game.

Now, Auburn finally has a clear No. 1 quarterback in Jarrett Stidham and two proven playmakers at running back with Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. Clemson’s D-line, of course, will likely be the best in college football, and returns players who produced 24.5 of 49 sacks last season. It all points to another great matchup.

 

#6: Georgia at Notre Dame

Sept. 9

Brian Kelly enters this season on the hot seat after going 4-8 in 2016, and he’s in danger of getting the boot at Notre Dame if his team doesn’t reel off eight or nine wins this season. A win over a tough Georgia team in Week 2, then, would go a long way in extending his tenure.

Conversely, if the Fighting Irish can’t stop the Bulldogs’ combination of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Jacob Eason and Isaac Nauta, talks of moving on will definitely heat up in South Bend. Kelly simply can’t afford to lose on what will be a national stage this early in the season. Georgia, meanwhile, would love a win over a traditional power to show they’re the real deal under second-year coach Kirby Smart.

 

#5: Alabama at Auburn

Nov. 25

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said at SEC Media Days he hasn’t felt this good about his team since 2013. Interestingly enough, that’s also the last time Auburn beat Alabama, by way of “Kick Six.” This could be the Tigers’ best shot at shifting the in-state rivalry back in their favor in years, thanks in part to quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

In fact, this game could very well decide the SEC West champion if both teams get by LSU, as they did last year. Alabama will likely be in the running for a college football playoff berth at this point in the season, but Nick Saban will make sure his team understands the value of that state title.

#4: Penn State at Ohio State

Oct. 28

If the Big Ten has a representative in a fourth consecutive CFP, it will likely be one of these two teams. Penn State is one of the most hyped teams in the country this season, and with good reason: The defending Big Ten champs have some of the best players at their respective positions in quarterback Trace McSorley, running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Mike Gesicki.

The Buckeyes have their own one-two punch in quarterback J.T. Barrett and running back Mike Weber, not to mention one of the best coaches in the game in Urban Meyer. It’s not out of the question that both teams enter this game undefeated — either way, Ohio Stadium will be raucous come Oct. 28.

 

#3: Oklahoma at Ohio State

Sept. 9

It’s hard to consider any nonconference matchup as a “must-win,” but this game might be the exception for Oklahoma, which missed last year’s playoff thanks to its 45-24 loss to Ohio State. That’s despite the fact the Sooners went 9-0 in Big 12 play, beating opponents by an average of 19.4 points a game.

First-year coach Lincoln Riley has a tough test at Ohio Stadium against Meyer and Co. Baker Mayfield will be without running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, making him the Sooners’ de facto go-to guy against an Ohio State team that lost four defensive players in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. On the other side, J.T. Barrett will go against a defense that improved considerably over the course of last season. This one will have an aura of a playoff game.

 

#2: Florida State at Clemson

Nov. 11

Once again, the Clemson-Florida State game should decide the outcome of the ACC. These two teams have combined for the last six conference titles, half of the last four national titles (FSU in 2013, Clemson in 2016) and feature two of college football’s best coaches in Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher.

FSU’s Deondre Francois struggled last year against Clemson’s defense, so expect him to come in with a chip on his shoulder. Clemson won’t be willing to relinquish their hold on the ACC, either. The loser takes a back seat in the race for the ACC Atlantic Division title — which, in recent years, has pretty much been a ticket to the playoff.

 

#1: Alabama vs. Florida State (Atlanta)

Sept. 2

This is one of those games that needs no introduction — but we’ll give it one anyway. This matchup pits Saban against former LSU assistant Jimbo Fisher — both of whom have won national titles in the last four years. The Tide is coming off a national championship loss to Clemson, and a defeat against FSU would do nothing to quiet talks that the ACC has overtaken the SEC as the nation’s top football conference.

On the field, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts will be tasked with finding open receivers between FSU defensive backs Derwin James and Tarvarus McFadden. Expect running backs Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris to take some pressure off him. The Tide’s defense, meanwhile, has plenty of four- and five-star players to try and corral Deondre Francois — but has suffered a mass exodus of NFL talent.

If we’re lucky, this might not be the only time these teams meet in 2017: There’s talk of a potential rematch in the CFP if both teams run the table after this one. Oh, and this game will be a matchup of top-five teams. This game is one you definitely don’t want to miss.

 

 

 

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College Football on TV

 

The 2017-18 college football season gets underway August 26 and runs through the National Championship Game on January 8.

For the second straight year, the season kicks off a week early with a handful of games the weekend of August 26-27. The season gets started in earnest on August 31 with Ohio State-Indiana leading the opening night slate on ESPN. With the new Big Ten TV deal beginning this year, there will be some major changes to the TV line-up, none bigger than Ohio State-Michigan airing on FOX. Notre Dame-Michigan State and Ohio State-Penn State will also air on FOX, while ESPN has marquee matchups Florida State-Alabama in week one and Oklahoma-Ohio State in week two.

 

 

To jump to a particular week, click one of the following links: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14Week 15Bowls & Playoff.

Schedule

 

2017-18 COLLEGE FOOTBALL TV SCHEDULE
All times Eastern; subject to change
TimeGameNet
“WEEK ZERO”
Saturday, August 26
3:00
PM
Portland State (Big Sky)
BYU (Independent)
ESPN
6:30
PM
Chattanooga (FCS)
Jacksonville State (FCS)
ESPN
7:00
PM
Colgate (FCS)
Cal Poly (FCS)
ESPNU
10:00
PM
From Sydney, Australia
Stanford (Pac-12)
Rice (C-USA)
ESPN
Sunday, August 27
7:00
PM
Richmond (FCS)
Sam Houston State (FCS)
ESPNU
WEEK ONE
Thursday, August 31
6:00
PM
FIU (C-USA)
UCF (C-USA)
CBSSN
7:00
PM
Buffalo (MAC)
Minnesota (Big Ten)
BTN
7:30
PM
Tulsa (American)
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
FS1
North Dakota (FCS)
Utah (Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
8:00
PM
Ohio State (Big Ten)
Indiana (Big Ten)
ESPN
FAMU (FCS)
Arkansas (SEC)
SEC Network
9:00
PM
UL-Monroe (Sun Belt)
Memphis (American)
CBSSN
9:30
PM
New Mex. St. (Independent)
Arizona State (Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
Friday, September 1
6:00
PM
Fordham (FCS) at
Army (Independent)
CBSSN
8:00
PM
Washington (Pac-12) at
Rutgers (Big Ten)
FS1
Navy (American)
FAU (C-USA)
ESPNU
Colorado State (MWC)
Colorado (Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
9:00
PM
Utah State (MWC)
Wisconsin (Big Ten)
ESPN
9:30
PM
Boston College (ACC)
N. Illinois (MAC)
CBSSN
Saturday, September 2
NoonAkron (MAC)
Penn State (Big Ten)
ABC
Kent State (MAC)
Clemson (ACC)
ESPN
Bowling Green (MAC)
Michigan State (Big Ten)
ESPNU
Maryland (Big Ten)
Texas (Big 12)
FS1
Missouri St. (FCS)
Missouri (SEC)
SEC Network
Ball State (MAC)
Illinois (Big Ten)
BTN
Wyoming (MWC)
Iowa (Big Ten)
BTN
2:00
PM
Portland St. (FCS)
Oregon St. (Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
3:00
PM
N.C. State (ACC)
South Carolina (SEC)
ESPN
3:30
PM
From Cowboys Stadium
Michigan (Big Ten)
Florida (SEC)
ABC
Temple (American)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBC
UTEP (C-USA)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
FOX
Nevada (MWC)
Northwestern (Big Ten)
BTN
3:45
PM
Troy (Sun Belt)
Boise State (MWC)
ESPNU
4:00
PM
Kentucky (SEC)
Southern Miss (C-USA)
CBSSN
E. Washington (FCS)
Texas Tech (Big 12)
FSN
Charleston So. (FCS)
Mississippi State (SEC)
SEC Network
5:15
PM
W. Michigan (MAC)
USC (Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
6:15
PM
App. State (Sun Belt)
Georgia (SEC)
ESPN
7:30
PM
Purdue (Big Ten)
Louisville (ACC)
FOX
South Alabama (Sun Belt)
Mississippi (SEC)
ESPNU
Ga. Southern (Sun Belt)
Auburn (SEC)
SEC Network
8:00
PM
From Atlanta
Alabama (SEC)
FSU (ACC)
ABC
Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
Nebraska (Big Ten)
BTN
Vanderbilt (SEC)
Mid. Tenn. (C-USA)
BTN
Jackson State (FCS)
TCU (Big 12)
FSN
8:15
PM
So. Utah (FCS)
Oregon (Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
9:30
PM
From Houston
BYU (Independent)
LSU (SEC)
ESPN
10:30
PM
Montana State (FCS)
Washington State (Pac-12)
FS1
11:00
PM
Northern Az. (FCS)
Arizona(Pac-12)
Pac-12 Network
Sunday, September 3
2:30
PM
South Carolina State (FCS)
Southern (FCS)
ESPN2
7:30
PM
West Virginia (Big 12)
Virginia Tech (ACC)
ABC
Texas A&M (Big 12)
UCLA (Pac-12)
FOX
Monday, September 4
8:00
PM
From Atlanta
Tennessee (SEC)
Georgia Tech (ACC)
ESPN
WEEK TWO
Friday, September 8
8:00
PM
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
South Alabama (Sun Belt)
ESPN2
Ohio (MAC)
Purdue (Big Ten)
FS1
Saturday, September 9
12:00
PM
Cincinnati (American)
Michigan (Big Ten)
ABC or
ESPN
Louisville (ACC)
UNC (ACC)
ABC, ESPN
or ESPN2
Iowa (Big Ten)
Iowa State (Big 12)
ESPN or
ESPN2
Northwestern (Big Ten)
Duke (ACC)
ESPNU
USF (American)
UConn (American)
ESPNEWS
ECU (American)
West Virginia (Big 12)
FS2
Charlotte (C-USA)
Kansas State (Big 12)
FSN
3:30
PM
Pittsburgh (ACC)
Penn State (Big Ten)
ABC
Fresno State (MWC)
Alabama (SEC)
ESPN2
Miami (ACC)
Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
ESPNU
TCU (Big 12)
Arkansas (SEC)
CBS
San Jose State (MWC)
Texas (Big 12)
Longhorn
4:00
PM
Central Michigan (MAC)
Kansas (Big 12)
FSN
4:30
PM
Nebraska (Big Ten)
Oregon (Pac-12)
FOX
7:00
PM
Auburn (SEC)
Clemson (ACC)
ESPN
South Carolina (SEC)
Missouri (SEC)
ESPN2
Nicholls State (FCS)
Texas A&M (SEC)
ESPNU
7:30
PM
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Ohio State (Big Ten)
ABC
Georgia (SEC)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBC
8:00
PM
UT-San Antonio (C-USA)
Baylor (Big 12)
FSN
Memphis (American)
UCF (American)
ESPNEWS
8:30
PM
Stanford (Pac-12)
USC (Pac-12)
FOX
10:00
PM
Minnesota (Big Ten)
Oregon State (Pac-12)
FS1
10:15
PM
Utah (Pac-12)
BYU (Independent)
ESPN, ESPN2
or ESPNU
10:30
PM
Boise State (MWC)
Washington State (Pac-12)
ESPN, ESPN2
or ESPNU
Houston (American)
Arizona (Pac-12)
ESPN, ESPN2
or ESPNU
WEEK THREE
Thursday, September 14
8:00
PM
New Mexico (MWC)
Boise State (MWC)
ESPN
Friday, September 15
7:00
PM
Illinois (Big Ten)
USF (American)
ESPN
UMass (Independent)
Temple (American)
ESPN2
10:15
PM
Arizona (Pac-12)
UTEP (C-USA)
ESPN
Saturday, September 16
12:00
PM
UCLA (Pac-12)
Memphis (American)
ABC or
ESPN2
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
Pittsburgh (ACC)
ABC or
ESPN2
Notre Dame (Independent)
Boston College (ACC)
ESPN
UConn (American)
Virginia (ACC)
ESPNU
Northern Illinois (MAC)
Nebraska (Big Ten)
FS1
3:30
PM
Tennessee (SEC)
Florida (SEC)
CBS
Clemson (ACC)
Louisville (ACC)
ABC or
ESPN
Wisconsin (Big Ten)
BYU (Independent)
ABC or
ESPN
North Texas (C-USA)
Iowa (Big Ten)
ESPN2
SMU (American)
TCU (Big 12)
ESPNU
4:30
PM
Army (Independent)
Ohio State (Big Ten)
FOX
7:00
PM
LSU (SEC)
Mississippi State (SEC)
ESPN or
ESPN2
Colorado State (SEC)
Alabama (SEC)
ESPN or
ESPN2
7:30
PM
Kansas State (Big 12)
Vanderbilt (SEC)
ESPNU
7:30
PM
Georgia Tech (ACC)
UCF (American)
ESPNEWS
8:00
PM
Miami (ACC)
FSU (ACC)
ABC
Arizona State (Pac-12)
Texas Tech (Big 12)
FSN
8:30
PM
Texas (Big 12)
USC (Pac-12)
FOX
10:00
PM
San Jose State (MWC)
Utah (Pac-12)
ESPN2
10:30
PM
Mississippi (SEC)
Cal (Pac-12)
ESPN
WEEK FOUR
Thursday, September 21
7:30/8
PM
Temple (American)
South Florida (American)
ESPN
Friday, September 22
8:00
PM
Virginia (ACC)
Boise State (MWC)
ESPN or
ESPN2
10:30
PM
Utah (Pac-12)
Arizona (Pac-12)
FS1
Saturday, September 23
3:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
6:30
PM
To be announcedFS1
8:00
PM
Notre Dame (Independent)
Michigan State (Big Ten)
FOX
10:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
WEEK FIVE
Thursday, September 28
7:30/8
PM
Texas (Big 12)
Iowa State (Big 12)
ESPN
Friday, September 29
7:00
PM
Miami (ACC)
Duke (ACC)
ESPN
8:00
PM
Nebraska (Big Ten)
Illinois (Big Ten)
FS1
10:30
PM
USC (Pac-12)
Washington State (Pac-12)
ESPN
Saturday, September 30
12:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
5:00
PM
Miami-Ohio (MAC)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBCSN
8:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
10:30
PM
To be announcedFS1
WEEK SIX
Wednesday, October 4
8:00
PM
Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)
ESPN2
Thursday, October 5
8:00
PM
Louisville (ACC)
N.C. State (ACC)
ESPN
Friday, October 6
7:00
PM
Memphis (American)
UConn (American)
ESPN
10:15
PM
Boise State (MWC)
BYU (Independent)
ESPN
Saturday, October 7
12:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
To be announcedFS1
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
To be announcedFS1
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
7:30
PM
To be announcedFS1
8:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
11:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
WEEK SEVEN
Wednesday, October 11
8:00
PM
South Alabama (Sun Belt)
Troy (Sun Belt)
ESPN2
Thursday, October 12
7:30
PM
Texas State (Sun Belt)
UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt)
ESPNU
8:00
PM
Georgia Tech (ACC)
Miami (ACC)
ESPN
Friday, October 13
7:00
PM
Clemson (ACC)
Syracuse (ACC)
ESPN
10:30
PM
Washington State (Pac-12)
Cal (Pac-12)
ESPN
Saturday, October 14
12:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
To be announcedFSN
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
To be announcedFS1
7:30
PM
To be announcedFS1
11:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
WEEK EIGHT
Thursday, October 19
7:30
PM
UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt)
Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
ESPNU
8:00
PM
Memphis (American)
Houston (American)
ESPN
Friday, October 20
7:00
PM
Marshall (C-USA)
Middle Tennessee (C-USA)
ESPN2
10:15
PM
Colorado State (MWC)
New Mexico (MWC)
ESPN2
Saturday, October 21
12:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
To be announcedFS1
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
To be announcedFS1
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
7:30
PM
USC (Pac-12)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBC
8:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
To be announcedFS1 or
FS2
10:15
PM
Wyoming (MWC)
Boise State (MWC)
ESPN2
WEEK NINE
Thursday, October 26
7:30
PM
South Alabama (Sun Belt)
Georgia State (Sun Belt)
ESPNU
9:00
PM
Stanford (Pac-12)
Oregon State (Pac-12)
ESPN
Friday, October 27
8:00
PM
FSU (ACC)
Boston College (ACC)
ESPN
9:00
PM
Tulsa (American)
SMU (American)
ESPN2
Saturday, October 28
3:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
3:30
PM
Penn State (Big Ten)
Ohio State (Big Ten)
FOX
Georgia (SEC)
Florida (SEC)
CBS
N.C. State (ACC)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBC
6:30
PM
To be announcedFS1
WEEK TEN
Tuesday, October 31
7:30/8
PM
Bowling Green (MAC)
Kent State (MAC)
ESPN2 or
ESPNU
7:30/8
PM
Miami-Ohio (MAC)
Ohio (MAC)
ESPN2 or
ESPNU
Wednesday, November 1
8:00
PM
Central Michigan (MAC)
Western Michigan (MAC)
ESPN2
Thursday, November 2
7:30/8
PM
Navy (American)
Temple (American)
ESPN
9:15
PM
Idaho (Sun Belt)
Troy (Sun Belt)
ESPNU
Friday, November 3
8:00
PM
Memphis (American)
Tulsa (American)
ESPN2
9:30
PM
UCLA (Pac-12)
Utah (Pac-12)
FS1
Saturday, November 4
TBDOklahoma (Big 12)
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
FOX or
FS1
12:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
To be announcedFS1
To be announcedFSN
3:30
PM
Wake Forest (ACC)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBC
To be announcedCBS
To be announcedFS1
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
7:30
PM
To be announcedFOX
8:00
PM
To be announcedCBS
10:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
WEEK ELEVEN
Tuesday, November 7
7:30
PM
Bowling Green (MAC)
Buffalo (MAC)
ESPN2 or
ESPNU
Akron (MAC)
Miami-Ohio (MAC)
ESPN2 or
ESPNU
Thursday, November 9
7:30
PM
Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)
Appalachian State (Sun Belt)
ESPNU
8:00
PM
UNC (ACC)
Pittsburgh (ACC)
ESPN
Friday, November 10
7:00
PM
Temple (American)
Cincinnati (American)
ESPN2
10:30
PM
BYU (Independent)
UNLV (MWC)
ESPN2
Washington (Pac-12)
Stanford (Pac-12)
FS1
Saturday, November 11
12:00
PM
To be announcedCBS
To be announcedFOX
To be announcedFS1
To be announcedFSN
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
6:00
PM
Kansas (Big 12)
Texas (Big 12)
Longhorn
8:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
WEEK TWELVE
Tuesday, November 14
TBDOhio (MAC)
Akron (MAC)
ESPN2 or
ESPNU
Central Michigan (MAC)
Kent State (MAC)
ESPN2 or
ESPNU
Thursday, November 16
7:30/8
PM
Tulsa (American)
USF (American)
ESPN
Friday, November 17
9:30
PM
UNLV (MWC)
New Mexico (MWC)
ESPN2
Saturday, November 18
12:00
PM
To be announcedCBS
To be announcedFOX
To be announcedFS1
To be announcedFSN
3:30
PM
Navy (American)
Notre Dame (Independent)
NBC
To be announcedCBS
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
4:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
8:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
WEEK THIRTEEN
Tuesday, November 21
TBDKent State (MAC)
Akron (MAC)
ESPNU or
ESPN3
Miami-Ohio (MAC)
Ball State (MAC)
ESPNU or
ESPN3
Bowling Green (MAC)
Eastern Michigan (MAC)
ESPNU or
ESPN3
Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving)
7:30
PM
Mississippi (SEC)
Mississippi State (SEC)
ESPN
Friday, November 24
12:00
PM
Baylor (Big 12)
TCU (Big 12)
FS1
2:30
PM
Missouri (SEC)
Arkansas (SEC)
CBS
4:00
PM
Iowa (Big Ten)
Nebraska (Big Ten)
FS1
8:00
PM
Texas Tech (Big 12)
Texas (Big 12)
FOX
10:30
PM
Cal (Pac-12)
UCLA (Pac-12)
FS1
TBDMiami (ACC)
Pittsburgh (ACC)
TBD (ESPN networks)
Virginia Tech (ACC)
Virginia (ACC)
Navy (American)
Houston (American)
USF (American)
UCF (American)
Saturday, November 25
12:00
PM
Ohio State (Big Ten)
Michigan (Big Ten)
FOX
12:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
3:30
PM
To be announcedCBS
4:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
4:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
8:00
PM
To be announcedFOX
10:00
PM
To be announcedFS1
TBDOregon State (Pac-12)
Oregon
TBD (ESPN networks)
Utah State (MWC)
Air Force (MWC)
Wyoming (MWC)
San Jose State (MWC)
UT-San Antonio (C-USA)
Louisiana Tech (C-USA)
WEEK FOURTEEN
Date TBA
TBDBig 12 ChampionshipTBD
Saturday, December 2
4:00
PM
SEC ChampionshipCBS
7:45/8
PM
ACC ChampionshipABC or
ESPN
8:00
PM
Big Ten ChampionshipFOX
TBDAmerican Athletic
Championship
ABC or
ESPN
MAC ChampionshipABC, ESPN or
ESPN2
Mountain West
Championship
Conference USA
Championship
WEEK FIFTEEN
Saturday, December 9
3:00
PM
Army (Independent)
Navy (American)
CBS
BOWLS AND PLAYOFF
Saturday, December 16
12:00
PM
Celebration BowlABC
1:00
PM
New Orleans BowlESPN
2:30
PM
Cure BowlCBSSN
3:30
PM
Las Vegas BowlABC
4:30
PM
New Mexico BowlESPN
8:00
PM
Camellia BowlESPN
Tuesday December 19
7:00
PM
Boca Raton BowlESPN
Wednesday, December 20
8:00
PM
Frisco BowlESPN
Thursday, December 21
8:00
PM
St. Petersburg BowlESPN
Friday, December 22
12:30
PM
Bahamas BowlESPN
4:00
PM
Idaho BowlESPN
Saturday, December 23
12:00
PM
Birmingham BowlESPN
3:30
PM
Armed Forces BowlESPN
7:00
PM
Mobile BowlESPN
Sunday, December 24
8:30
PM
Hawaii BowlESPN
Tuesday, December 26
TBDHeart of Dallas BowlESPN
TBDDetroit BowlESPN
TBDCactus BowlESPN
Wednesday, December 27
1:30
PM
Independence BowlESPN
5:15
PM
Pinstripe BowlESPN
8:30
PM
San Francisco BowlFOX
9:00
PM
Texas BowlESPN
Thursday, December 28
1:30
PM
Military BowlESPN
5:15
PM
Tangerine Bowl
(aka the Camping World Bowl)
ESPN
9:00
PM
Alamo BowlESPN
9:00
PM
Holiday BowlFS1
Friday, December 29
1:00
PM
Belk BowlESPN
3:00
PM
Sun BowlCBS
4:30
PM
Music City BowlESPN
8:30
PM
New Year’s Six
Cotton Bowl
ESPN
Saturday, December 30
12:00
PM
Gator BowlESPN
12:30
PM
Liberty BowlABC
4:00
PM
New Year’s Six
Fiesta Bowl
ESPN
8:30
PM
New Year’s Six
Orange Bowl
ESPN
TBDArizona BowlCBSSN
Monday, January 1
12:00
PM
Outback BowlESPN2
12:30
PM
New Year’s Six
Peach Bowl
ESPN
1:00
PM
Citrus BowlABC
5:00
PM
College Football Playoff
Rose Bowl
ESPN
8:45
PM
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl
ESPN
Monday, January 8
8:00
PM
College Football Playoff
National Championship
ESPN

 

 

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