You did it. You survived the entire offseason. After months and months of Saturdays that didn't have any college football, you've reached the promised land once again. Sure, there were a few games last Saturday -- Thursday and Friday had some as well -- but nothing compares to a true college football Saturday.

Each one is like a national holiday that should be celebrated and cherished. But you have to cherish them the right way, and luckily for you, I'm here to let you know what games deserve your attention on Saturday.

All times Eastern


No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama (in Atlanta), ABC, 8 p.m.: We get to start the 2017 season with a game that could easily be a College Football Playoff matchup. Hell, it might still end up being a CFP game no matter what happens here. These are two of the most storied programs in college football history, and they're two programs that are perennial contenders to win national titles. This game features two of the four active coaches to have won national titles (Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney are the other two) leading two of the most talented rosters in the country. If you only watch one game on Saturday, this is the one you watch.

No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 17 Florida (in Arlington), ABC, 3:30 p.m.: While it may not have the same headlining appeal as Florida State and Alabama, this is another excellent game for opening weekend. Both teams enter 2017 with some questions -- some natural and a few by design. Florida has named Feleipe Franks its starting quarterback, but Jim McElwain has said all three could see time during this game. Then there's Michigan, which won't even publish a roster until it absolutely has to, let alone name its starting quarterback.

Of course, considering all the suspensions facing Florida, its starting QB and Michigan's depth chart could be the least of its worries. Is Florida strong enough to win a third straight SEC East crown? Will Michigan be able to overcome its youth and inexperience to topple Ohio State and Penn State? Neither of these questions gets answered on Saturday, but we'll have a much better idea of what the future holds afterward.


Maryland at No. 23 Texas, FS1, Noon: Texas is one of the more intriguing teams in the country for me as the 2017 season begins, and this will be Tom Herman's first game as its coach. Maryland doesn't have a lot of hype, but it's a better team than most realize. Considering the paucity of early games between Power Five teams, this is a good way to start the day.

NC State vs. South Carolina (in Charlotte), ESPN, 3 p.m.: All offseason, I've seen both NC State and South Carolina mentioned as sleepers within their respective divisions. So why not check in on them Saturday afternoon to see what all the fuss is about?

Appalachian State at No. 15 Georgia, ESPN, 6:15 p.m.: You might not think this will be a good game, but Georgia better not overlook Appalachian State. The Mountaineers are 21-5 the last two seasons. They aren't pushovers.

BYU vs. No. 13 LSU (in New Orleans), ESPN, 9:30 p.m.: This game has been moved from Houston to New Orleans because of  Hurricane Harvey, and although BYU struggled a little last week, I still believe they could provide some trouble for LSU.