Football is fully back! Well, it has been since Wednesday at least, but Saturday makes it feel all the more real, doesn’t it? There are five, yes, FIVE, games between AP Top 25 opponents, the most-ever for a Week 1, so it’s safe to say we’re in for a real treat. And with fans being able to attend in full force this season, there’s no shortage of excitement to go around.
Come back here throughout the day for the latest results, reaction and revelry from throughout the land.
Early game of the day: No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin
The Nittany Lions and Badgers went a combined 21-6 in 2019 and 8-8 in 2020. The former had a pair of statistically unlikely losses during a jarring 0-5 start (they outgained Indiana and Nebraska by a combined 480 yards but fell a combined eight points short) but rebounded to win its last four games; the latter couldn’t keep its starters on the field due to injury and COVID protocol, couldn’t run the ball all that well despite its reputation and fell into a massive midseason funk before rebounding.
Both James Franklin’s and Paul Chryst’s squads are generally among the most reliable in the country. You can’t count on them to be elite, but 2020 aside, you can count on them to be very good. The winner of this battle at Camp Randall will have an excellent shot at a top-10 finish, but the loser could battle a nagging “Here we go again” feeling right out of the gate. That’s doubly true if Penn State loses, as the Nittany Lions still face road trips to Ohio State, Iowa and a potentially pesky Maryland squad later in the season (plus home games against Indiana, Michigan and Auburn). Read more from Bill Connelly’s Week 1 preview (ESPN+)
How to watch: ESPN+ | ESPN streaming | SEC Network | ACC Network | All games also on the ESPN App
Complete schedule and scores: All teams | Top 25
Well, this seems … ill-advised.
Run, Ralphie VI, Run!
Yep, you heard that right. There’s a new Buffalo in town in Boulder, and she’s making her debut Saturday as Colorado hosts Northern Colorado to kickoff the season.
Wondering what the Oregon Duck has been up to lately? Well, probably safe to say it’s best that the football season is back.
Tulsa and Oklahoma were originally supposed to play in New Orleans, but the aftermath of Hurricane Ida caused the game to move. Oklahoma then painted a Green Wave on their field for their opponent.
Utah football honored Ty Jordan, who died in December, by dedicating the 22 portal to him, which was his number.
Here’s the deal: Gardner-Webb and Campbell just announced and annual BBQ bowl football game. The winner of the game will be the recipient of a hefty trophy that is topped with none other than a hog. And it gets better. The losing team will have to provide a barbecue feast from its region to the winners.
How does a rivalry game get better than that?
A new season means time to debut some new threads, or even some classic combos.
North Texas is rocking with a tribute to former coach Hayden Fry.
And Washington also went with a throwback look, too.
Now this isn’t necessarily your typical uniform, but we want to know where someone could find such an outfit? Asking for a friend.
Games have been underway since Wednesday, and there have been no shortage of highlights, like this 99-yard kickoff return TD from Weber State’s Rashid Shaheed.
And this long TD from Ohio State.
Then, we got an incredible comeback from UCF, and this INT sealed the deal.
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