It's here: The 2012 college football season has officially begun.
Four months from now, we'll know whether Alabama is going to make another run at a national title, or whether LSU will exact revenge and thwart the Crimson Tide this year, or whether USC is truly capable of living up to the hype in its first year back from a postseason ban.
We could even have some early ideas about how to answer those questions by the end of the day on Saturday.
Here's a look at the full TV schedule for Saturday's Week 1 action, as well as a couple of key games you don't want to miss.
|No. 1 USC||Hawaii||7:30 p.m ET, Fox|
|No. 2 Alabama||No. 8 Michigan||8 p.m. ET, ABC|
|No. 3 LSU||North Texas||7 p.m. ET ESPNU|
|No. 4 Oklahoma||UTEP||10:30 p.m. ET Fox Sports Net|
|No. 5 Oregon||Arkansas State||10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN|
|No. 6 Georgia||Buffalo||12 p.m. ET, SEC Network|
|No. 7 Florida State||Murray State||6 p.m. ET, ESPN3|
|No. 8 Michigan||Alabama||8 p.m. ET, ABC|
|No. 9 South Carolina||Vanderbilt||USC wins 17-13 (Thurs.)|
|No. 10 Arkansas||Jacksonville State||7 p.m ET, GamePlan|
|No. 11 West Virginia||Marshall||12 p.m. ET, FX|
|No. 12 Wisconsin||Northern Iowa||3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network|
|No. 13 Michigan State||No. 24 Boise State||8 p.m. ET, ESPN|
|No. 14 Clemson||Auburn||7 p.m. ET, ESPN|
|No. 15 Texas||Wyoming||8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network|
|No. 16 Virginia Tech||Georgia Tech||8 p.m. ET, ESPN|
|No. 17 Nebraska||Southern Miss.||3:30 p.m. ET, ABC, ESPN2|
|No. 18 Ohio State||Miami (Ohio)||12 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network|
|No. 19 Oklahoma State||Savannah State||7 p.m. ET, Fox College Sports|
|No. 20 TCU||Grambling State||7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Southwest|
|No. 21 Stanford||San Jose State||10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network|
|No. 22 Kansas State||Missouri State||7:10 p.m. ET, K-State HD.TV|
|No. 23 Florida||Bowling Green||3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN|
|No. 24 Boise State||No. 13 Michigan State||8 p.m. ET, ESPN|
|No. 25 Louisville||Kentucky||3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN|
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 8 Michigan
You usually don't find two top-10 teams squaring off in the very first game of the season, but that's the way the cards fell for the reigning national champs and Michigan this year. And whichever team blows it on Saturday is going to suffer the consequences.
For Alabama, a loss would likely mean it loses its top-five ranking—and, of course, its designation as one of this year's primary teams to beat. For Michigan, a loss would likely mean it would be knocked out of the top 10—and it would indicate the Big Ten still has some work to do before it can really compete with the big, bad SEC.
No. 14 Clemson vs. Auburn
This is a tough draw for Clemson in terms of a kickoff game, because Auburn may not be ranked—and it may have kind of fallen off the map in the last year—but this is a team that went undefeated in 2010 and won the national championship.
The pressure is on for Clemson. As one of the few remaining "powerhouses" left in the ACC, an opening-game statement win over an SEC team, and a recent national champ, would be huge. But a loss would be a big blow to Clemson's ranking—and it's a huge opportunity for Auburn to put itself back on the map.
The ACC may have grown considerably weaker than the NCAA's power conferences over the last few years, but an opening-game win over one of the conference's top teams would be huge for Auburn as it attempts to right the ship after an 8-5 2011 season.
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