Unlike the NFL, college teams don't get the preseason to work out kinks; they kick off full speed. While some teams elect to make their first games cupcake contests, several teams are taking on real competition, including other ranked opponents, to start the year.
So, which teams need to be on upset alert, and more importantly, how real is the chance for an upset to occur out of the Top 25?
Alabama's taking on Michigan, and on paper, what you have is the second-ranked team taking on the eighth-ranked squad. In reality, the odds are stacked against Michigan, and Alabama is expected to beat the Wolverines by double digits.
Can the Wolverines pull off the seemingly improbable?
Boise State and Michigan State both have to transition from last year's leaders, but the Spartans enter as the home favorite in this contest of ranked opponents. The Broncos have a history of spoiling teams' seasons early, but with transition at the quarterback spot and on defense, can Chris Petersen's team do it again?
South Carolina and Vanderbilt start not only the SEC conference season, but they kick off the entire football year with the 7 p.m. ET start time Thursday. Vanderbilt is trying to improve under James Franklin, and a win over a top-10 team at home to start the year would go a long way.
Can South Carolina avoid starting the season on an SEC East Championship bid-crushing loss?
We'll get you squared away on this edition of The Program.