OK, now college football season has truly arrived. Week 1 brings the first full Saturday with games across the country, meaning our direct coverage of all the chaos is back.
We were immediately treated to a thriller as Colorado held on in a 45-42 battle with No. 17 TCU, giving Deion Sanders a emphatic victory in his Power Five debut.
The entire offseason has been Coach Prime’s show, but his stars delivered for him in every way on Saturday. His son, Shedeur Sanders, threw for a school record 510 yards and four touchdowns in his major debut. Four Buffaloes receivers finished with over 100 yards receiving in the game – one of them was Travis Hunter, the former five-star recruit who played for Coach Prime at Jackson State. Hunter finished the game with 11 catches for 119 yards and was intercepted in both directions.
There are plenty more good matchups to look forward to as most teams open their 2023 season. Here are some of the key games we’ll be keeping an eye on for the rest of the day (Eastern time):
Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: UW -14 | Overall: 58.5
Washington’s offense was outstanding during a surprise 11-2 season last year, and most of that unit is back, including QB Michael Penix, a legitimate Heisman candidate who has one of the best receiver groups in the country. Can the Huskies build on last year’s success? A win against a potentially difficult Boise State team would be a good start. Boise State has had ups and downs in recent seasons, but is the betting favorite to win the Mountain West and has a long history of making life difficult for Pac-12 opponents.
Time: 7:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: UNC -2.5 | Total: 64.5
Can North Carolina make a splash in the ACC? Clemson and Florida State are the clear favorites, but UNC was picked third in the preseason ACC poll. The Tar Heels return Drake Maye, who emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the country last fall. South Carolina, meanwhile, is entering its third season with Shane Beamer as head coach. The Gamecocks went 7-6 in 2021 and 8-5 last year in a season that included triumphant late-season wins over Tennessee and Clemson. Can this momentum continue into 2023?
Time: 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBC | Line: Power supply -20.5 | Overall: 49.5
The Drew Allar era begins in State College. Following the departure of four-year starting QB Sean Clifford, Allar takes over the under center position for a Nittany Lions team that has high expectations this season. The defense is stacked and Allar has a lot of potential to lead Penn State to a lot of wins. This is a tough season-opening away matchup for a West Virginia team that has struggled mightily in four years under head coach Neal Brown. He could be working for his coaching job this season.