College football is returning in a big way in 2021.
On Tuesday, ESPN and ABC announced their Week 1 slate of marquee matchups, with four elite programs getting the national spotlight on Labor Day Weekend.
Alabama and Miami (Fla.) kick things off Sept. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC, followed by Clemson and Georgia at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
That sets up a Sunday showdown between Notre Dame and Florida State at 7:30 p.m. ET, also on ABC. ESPN gets its first high-profile prime-time broadcast with Louisville and Mississippi playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
Clemson and Alabama will enter the 2021 season amid major offensive transitions following the departures of quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones, respectively. Both were selected in the first round of the NFL draft.
It should be the first time the Tigers will face a ranked Power Five opponent to begin the year since getting blown out by No. 12 Georgia 45-21 to open the 2014 campaign. ESPN's Mark Schlabach listed both Clemson and UGA in the Top 10 in his post-spring Top 25.
Sophomore quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is expected to lead the Tigers, while JT Daniels will hold down the role of QB1 for the Bulldogs.
Barring a significant change from May to August, the Crimson Tide should be one of the top-ranked teams yet again.
Schlabach has the program ranked No. 2 behind the Oklahoma Sooners, with quarterback Bryce Young taking over for Jones under center. Notre Dame is ranked 12th—one spot behind the Indiana Hoosiers—with Ole Miss coming in at No. 19 and the Miami Hurricanes at No. 25.
The opening week should feature a number of College Football Playoff contenders as the race for the 2022 title begins in earnest.