NCAA Football

Texas vs. Notre Dame: Live Score and Highlights

15:00 2nd Quarter

Notre Dame - 14

Texas - 0 


God is good, and football is back, as two of the most historic programs in college football history—the Texas Longhorns and Notre Dame Fighting Irish—square off in South Bend. 

Ranked No. 11 in the country, the Irish will defend their home turf as heavy favorites against a Longhorns team that went 6-6 in last year's regular season then got slaughtered by Arkansas in the Texas Bowl. 

With 2015 bringing fresh beginnings, Charlie Strong will look to make an emphatic statement in Year 2 of his rebuilding project in Austin. A win on the road against Notre Dame is a good way to accomplish that. 

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LSU vs. McNeese State: Live Score and Highlights

LSU 0, McNeese State 0 in the First Quarter.

Game is currently in a weather delay due to lightning.

The LSU Tigers are kicking off their 2015 with a home battle against McNeese State on the SEC Network. 

Head coach Les Miles and his team are looking to rebound after a disappointing 8-5 campaign in 2014. The key to that will be the play of quarterback Brandon Harris, who is making his second career start. 

Stay here for live reactions to this season opener, and feel free to join the discussion in the comments section.

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QB Greyson Lambert Proves He's the Right Man for Georgia Football

Five months ago, Greyson Lambert looked like a man without a football future.

After serving as Virginia’s starter for 2014, the junior quarterback was cast aside by coach Mike London and the Cavaliers, passed on the depth chart by fellow junior Matt Johns.

His arrival at Georgia as a graduate transfer received little attention, largely because Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta were regarded as the clear leaders to replace Hutson Mason as the Bulldogs’ new starting quarterback.

A funny thing happened on the way to September: Lambert won the job. And although a lightning-shortened season opener against Louisiana-Monroe is a small sample size, the forgotten man has done everything he can to prove he’s the right man for Georgia’s offense.

Lambert was highly efficient in new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s system, completing 8-of-12 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 51-14 victory, which was called with just under nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter following a pair of lightning delays.

While Ramsey also played, completing both of the passes he attempted for 51 yards and a touchdown, this was clearly Lambert’s show, and he took full advantage of it.

Lambert utilized the talent around him, finding Sony Michel for a screen pass that turned into a 48-yard gain to jump-start a 94-yard scoring drive and hitting Jeb Blazevich for a 15-yard touchdown after a UGA interception gave the offense excellent field position at the ULM 15.

But he also showed some solid touch. His final pass of the day was a 28-yard fade that Malcolm Mitchell brought down in the right front corner of the end zone for a touchdown and a 44-14 Georgia lead.

UGA coach Mark Richttold reporters, including Mike Sammond of 92.9 The Game, that Lambert was "still our starting quarterback" following the matchup. Lambert told Sammond that "I'm happy with the game plan and how I played, but I've still got to fight for the job every week." 

Saturday, Lambert flashed some skills, but it’s fair to note that he might be a better fit in Georgia’s offense than he was in Virginia’s. The Bulldogs boast a deep backfield led by Heisman Trophy candidate Nick Chubb, who rushed for 1,547 yards as a freshman. He was excellent Saturday, carrying 16 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns, but Michel (41 yards rushing, 79 yards receiving) and Keith Marshall (10 carries, 73 yards, two touchdowns) are also highly capable of carrying an offense.

Throw in four returning starting offensive linemen and a solid group of receivers and tight ends, and you have a ready-made situation for a quarterback to step into.

This is also Schottenheimer’s first season as UGA offensive coordinator after replacing Mike Bobo, who left to become Colorado State’s head coach.

Everyone, including Lambert, had a clean slate, and he made the most of that opportunity. Per Logan Booker of Bulldawg Illustrated, Lambert continued former starter Aaron Murray's tradition of taking his offensive line out for ice cream after it didn't allow him to be sacked. 

We’ll find out a lot more about the Bulldogs the next two weeks against Vanderbilt and South Carolina as Georgia builds toward a tough October that features a visit from Alabama, a trip to Tennessee, a visit from two-time defending SEC East champ Missouri and the annual Cocktail Party tilt with Florida in Jacksonville.

With all that talent around him, Lambert doesn’t have to be a world-beater. He just has to avoid giving the game away. That wasn’t always the case at Virginia, where he threw 10 touchdowns against 11 interceptions last fall.

But if he can be continually efficient, Lambert could be just the man Georgia needs in its offense.

And the man that Virginia let get away.

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Bowling Green DL Loses Shoe, Drops Down and Plays Dead to Stop Clock

During the Bowling Green-Tennessee game Saturday afternoon, Falcons defensive lineman Mike Minns lost his shoe and tried to come off the field.

Once he realized there wasn't enough time to do so, Minns did what any sensible person would do.

He played dead.

While not convincing, the obvious flop was probably effective. When in doubt, just hit the deck.


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Arizona State vs. Texas A&M: Live Score and Highlights

Texas A&M 14, Arizona State 7-Early Second Quarter

The Texas A&M Aggies and the Arizona State Sun Devils have kicked things off at NRG Stadium in Houston. The game is airing on ESPN.

The Aggies had a disappointing 2014 season (8-5, 3-5 SEC), and they look to get back on track with the help of sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen. 

Senior quarterback Mike Bercovici will lead the Sun Devils. Last year, Bercovici threw for 1,445 yards and 12 touchdowns in part-time action. 

Be sure to have this blog open all game long for the latest scoring updates and highlights.

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Penn State's 5'10", 259-Pound Freshman Kicker Becomes Instant Legend

Joey Julius is not your typical kicker.

The Penn State freshman has been dubbed "The Big Toe," and on Saturday the nation got its first taste of this legend.

Julius booted in a successful 34-yard attempt for the Nittany Lions, which was the first of his career.

The Internet instantly fell in love with the Pennsylvania native, who is listed on the team’s website as being 5’10” and 259 pounds:

Julius' kick gave Penn State a 3-0 first-quarter lead over host Temple.


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Stanford vs. Northwestern: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction for Upset

Northwestern put together an outstanding defensive display to score a Week 1 upset of No. 21 Stanford, 16-6, Saturday in front of its home fans at Ryan Field.

The Cardinal opened the game with a drive that lasted more than six minutes and resulted in a Conrad Ukropina field goal. The Wildcats scored the next 13 points, highlighted by a 42-yard touchdown run from quarterback Clayton Thorson in the second quarter, en route to the victory.

ESPN put the clinching interception from Northwestern's Kyle Queiro on display:

SportsCenter showcased the celebration:

Stanford finished the game with just 240 total yards of offense and turned the ball over twice. The inability to move the football with any level of consistency is concerning, but Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated tweeted that the Northwestern defense deserves much of the credit:

A single-digit outing for the Cardinal offense is extremely rare. The last time it happened was all the way back in 2007, when Washington held the unit to nine points, per ESPN College Football.

On the flip side, it's been two decades since the Wildcats opened the regular season with such a marquee win, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:

Brett McMurphy of ESPN pointed out how they seem to thrive in these types of situations:

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald didn't downplay the nature of the victory afterward in an interview on ESPN (via Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch).

"Obviously this is a big win for our program," he said.

Fitzgerald also called it a "dominant performance by us on the line of scrimmage," according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.

One of the theories tossed around as a reason for the loss was Stanford had to travel east for an early kickoff. Former San Diego Chargers fullback Jacob Hester isn't buying that as a legitimate excuse:

The task for Northwestern is to build off the victory, as it has a favorable schedule on the horizon. The Wildcats face Eastern Illinois next Saturday and aren't scheduled to face another ranked opponent until Wisconsin in late November.

While the loss is certainly a setback for Stanford, an early defeat is survivable as long as it serves as a wake-up call. The Cardinal have a clash with UCF next weekend before a high-profile meeting with USC on Sept. 19. Should they pull off victories in those games, their season will be back on track. 


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Laquon Treadwell, Chad Kelly and Ole Miss Offense Make Big Week 1 Statement

As the 2015 season begins, Ole Miss fans are excited and ready for more. Much more. 2014 was a special year, with Hugh Freeze's team rising above SEC West mediocrity thanks to a nine-win season that included victories over then-No. 3 Alabama and rival Mississippi State.

But thanks to a 42-3 Peach Bowl rout at the hands of TCU, the season ended with a thud. As 2015 opened Saturday against FCS foe UT-Martin, there was reason for, at the very least, some apprehension. 

The quarterback situation was uncertain, and standout wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was returning from a broken leg that ended his 2014 campaign after nine games.

It's hard to draw conclusions from a single game against an FCS team, but Ole Miss made an impressive statement Saturday with a 76-3 rout. The Rebels got an excellent contribution from new starting quarterback Chad Kelly. Treadwell looked healthy. And even massive defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche got in on the offensive party.

It was a message to the rest of the Rebels' opponents: You aren't getting rid of us so easily.

Ole Miss returned 16 starters from 2014, but quarterback was a major question mark. Bo Wallace was inconsistent, but he finished his career as the SEC's most experienced signal-caller. Freeze spent spring and summer choosing from a trio of replacements: former Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly and sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade.

While all three played Saturday, Kelly got the start and was impressive. He had a pair of explosive plays, throwing a 56-yard touchdown pass to Markell Pack and a 57-yarder to Cody Core.

He even showed off his mobility with an impressive 20-yard sprint around left end for a score, finishing with 211 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 9-of-15 passing.

Per Brad Crawford of Saturday Down South, Freeze said Kelly was "really solid."

"Missed a touchdown throw to Evan and probably could've thrown one a little bit better on the fade to Laquon earlier in the game," Freeze said. "Thought he had a solid day. Look forward to watching the film, but felt pretty good about it out there."

It was a good start for Kelly, although it must be noted that talent was never the biggest question surrounding him. He was dismissed from Clemson following an on-field incident with an assistant coach and was arrested in December in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, on charges of resisting arrest and menacing following a fight with bouncers outside a bar. He eventually pleaded guilty to non-criminal disorderly conduct.

Buchanan and Kincade were also sharp in limited chances (Buchanan completed four of six passes for 58 yards and two scores, and Kincade completed six of seven passes for 55 yards and a touchdown). Nevertheless, Freeze gave Kelly the biggest opportunity, and he took advantage.

You could argue 2014 turned on Treadwell's last play of the season. With his team down 35-31 late against Auburn, the speedy wideout lunged for the goal line but fumbled the ball into the end zone while being tackled from behind. He broke his leg, and the Ole Miss offense was never the same. The Rebels lost their second straight game and won only two of their final four. 

Treadwell is healthy, and he's 15 pounds lighter than his 230-pound playing weight of a year ago. He didn't have a touchdown Saturday but looked to be in perfect form, catching four passes for 44 yards.

"He looked explosive," Freeze said. "It's really good to see him get tackled and bounce back up. He's just got to get to some more plays." 

With Treadwell back, the Ole Miss offense will be dangerous, and that doesn't even include new wrinkles such as the one Freeze unveiled Saturday.

Nkemdiche is one of the nation's most dominant defensive linemen, but he also has excellent athleticism, which he displayed by coming out of the backfield to catch a 31-yard touchdown pass. Just another thing for opposing defensive coordinators to worry about, right?

And it should be noted the Rebels did all this without junior left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who was held out of the game as a "precautionary measure" connected to an NCAA investigation of his contact with an agent, per Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger.

If Tunsil, one of the game's best offensive tackles, is cleared, Ole Miss will be even more dangerous.

As Saturday showed, the Rebels are plenty dangerous already.

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Bowling Green vs. Tennessee: Live Score and Highlights

It's football time in Tennessee! The No. 25-ranked Volunteers begin their season against Bowling Green as they try to get off to a rousing start before a brutal schedule kicks in.

Are the Vols for real? Everybody will get their first look today.



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Rutgers Returns 2nd-Half Kickoff for TD, Students Miss Chance at $100,000

Rutgers was going to give out $100,000 to the student body—100 lucky kids would get $1,000 each—if the team took the season's opening kickoff back to the house.

Speedy junior return man Janarion Grant did run one back against Norfolk State on Saturday...but in the second half.

So, for those cash-strapped college kids hoping to high heavens for a touchdown, you got one.

Just at the wrong time.


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Louisville vs. Auburn: Live Score and Highlights

Auburn 14, Louisville 0—Late 2nd Quarter

The Louisville Cardinals and No. 6 Auburn Tigers are squaring off in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

CBS is broadcasting the clash, and Bleacher Report is providing scoring updates, highlights and analysis. Feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.

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Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche Shows Blazing Speed with 31-Yard TD

If there were such a thing as fantasy college football, Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche would be having a huge, yet strange, day.

The big fella caught a 31-yard score while appearing to line up at fullback with 12 minutes and 35 seconds to go in the second quarter vs. Tennessee-Martin. The effort would normally draw headlines calling it some sort of “fat-guy touchdown.”

Nope, not here. With that type of speed at 6’4”, 296 pounds, he is an athletic monster.

Later on in the game, Nkemdiche blocked an extra point, which further cements the notion that he’s a straight-up beast:


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Mike Williams Injury: Updates on Clemson WR's Neck and Return

Clemson Tigers wide receiver Mike Williams was the subject of a scary moment Saturday at Memorial Stadium as he collided with the base of the goal post and was subsequently transported to the hospital with a neck injury, according to the team's official Twitter account.

Continue for updates.

Williams Taken to Hospital, Has Movement in Extremities Saturday, Sept. 5

Although there is always a great deal of concern regarding injuries to the head and neck area, Clemson reported some positive news about Williams' status as he had movement in his extremities while being taken to the hospital, per ESPN's Jared Shanker:

As seen in this video, courtesy of ESPN College Football, the incident occurred when the 6'4" junior attempted to make a touchdown catch in the first quarter against Wofford:

While Williams was able to hang on to the ball, medical personnel immediately tended to him when it became clear he was in distress.

No further updates on Williams' condition are available, but his absence is significant for a Tigers team that leaned heavily on him last season to the tune of 1,030 yards and six touchdowns.

Clemson shouldn't have much of an issue getting past the Terriers on Saturday, but if Williams is forced to miss an extended period of time, the Tigers will need increased production from young pass-catchers such as Ray-Ray McCloud III and Artavis Scott.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Michigan Fans Leave $3,000 Tip for Waitress After Loss to Utah

Michigan began its season with a clunker against Utah on Thursday, giving coach Jim Harbaugh a less-than-heroic start to his new job.

But a few fans were feeling especially generous after the 24-17 loss. A waitress named Breanne received a tip for $3,000, with the Instagram handle @TipsForJesus and the hashtag “#GoBlue” written on the receipt.

Here's Breanne:

This is a kind gesture, for sure, and the rest of the IG page contains similar instances of generosity.

If fans are planning on shelling out the big bucks after every Michigan loss, though—at least in the first year of the Harbaugh era—they had better have some pretty deep bank accounts.


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Texas A&M QB Will Not Use a Fork Before Playing Arizona State

Texas A&M quarterback Conner McQueen is getting ready for his team's game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday night by refusing to use a fork.

For those who don’t know, ASU helmets have pitchforks on them.

Eating eggs with a spoon is fathomable, but bacon? C’mon—bare hands only, dude.

Regardless, this is still a pretty funny troll from McQueen.

[Twitter, h/t SB Nation]

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'College GameDay' Signs Are Back and Already in Midseason Form

Nobody watches College GameDay for the analysis, right?

Well, maybe some people do. But the ones who get the most out of the viewing experience have a sharp eye for signs.

The crew kicked off the college season with a Saturday morning episode from Fort Worth, Texas, for a showdown between Wisconsin and Alabama.

The fans did not disappoint:

[Twitter, Instagram]

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Terrel Hunt Injury: Updates on Syracuse QB's Achilles and Recovery

Big things were expected out of Syracuse dual-threat quarterback Terrel Hunt in 2015, but his senior campaign may be over before it ever really got started.

Continue for updates.

Shafer: Hunt Suffered 'Significant' Achilles InjurySaturday, Sept. 5

The Orange cruised to a 47-0 win over Rhode Island in their season opener Friday night, but the celebration was tempered due to Hunt's status.

According to Stephen Bailey of, Orange head coach Scott Shafer revealed after the contest that his star signal-caller suffered an Achilles injury in the first quarter while rolling out of the pocket:

He just cut really hard and that Achilles just popped on him. They said it was an Achilles injury and it's not good. ... Keep your prayers out there for Terrel. Tough deal, tough deal. ... Terrel's deal is not good so please keep your thoughts and prayers out there for his family. He'll be OK. He's got a bunch of brothers who love him and will take good care of him.

Non-contact injuries often make for scary situations, and it appears as though Hunt's case is no different. The injury is especially disconcerting since the Rosedale, New York, native missed seven games last season with a broken leg.

The fact that Hunt got injured so quickly after returning to competitive action doesn't sit well with Bailey in particular:

Syracuse has yet to make an official announcement regarding Hunt's status, but a torn Achilles would almost certainly end his season as well as his collegiate career since he has already redshirted.

Hunt looked like a star in the making in 2013, as he topped 2,000 total yards and scored 17 touchdowns, but he never reached his full potential due almost entirely to injuries.

Freshman Eric Dungey stepped in for Hunt on Friday night and looked excellent, but there may be some growing pains when the level of competition increases, especially in ACC play.

Without Hunt's veteran presence under center, the 2015 season may be a long and difficult one for an Orange team that is looking to make its mark in a power conference.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Daily Fantasy College Football Week 1: DraftKings Last-Minute Picks, Best Values

It's about time to focus in on the DraftKings daily fantasy college football. Week 1 may have kicked off on Thursday, but the first full slate begins on Saturday, with 36 games (*cracks fingers*) to pick apart.

Yeah, owners are preparing to get down to business and need to make last-minute tweaks to lineups before locking them in. Before setting your roster, consider these bargain players to build a winning lineup on the opening Saturday.


Quarterback: Vernon Adams Jr., Oregon ($8,400)

Having a dual-threat quarterback is a prized commodity in fantasy football. Whether it's college or pro, owners seek out the special talents like Joshua Dobbs or Dak Prescott.

What if I told you there is a quarterback out there who can come at thousands less than those two on the price sheet? Well, there is, and his name is Vernon Adams Jr. He also just so happens to be taking over for Marcus Mariota at Oregon in the same offensive scheme.

Still a relative unknown to Power Five football, Adams isn't a surefire 30-plus point lock just yet. But going against Eastern Washington—the school he just graduated from—he knows the defense he's playing pretty well. Looking to make a statement in the opener, Adams will be a great No. 2 for owners.


Running Back: Tarean Folston, Notre Dame ($5,100)

OK, maybe Tarean Folston isn't a massive bargain at $5,100. But when he's nearly half the price of the top option at the position on Saturday, we'll take Folston all day at this price.

Take into consideration that Folston averaged 14 fantasy points per game last year despite being benched at times last season. This year, he comes in with the confidence of head coach Brian Kelly, per J.J. Stankevitz of CSN Chicago:

He's going to be called on this year to carry a larger load for us as a featured back. But what we like about him is we know what we have there, and he is an established, national caliber running back, and that is a strength for any football team going into the season. We know what he can do coming out of the backfield and catch the football. He's excellent now — he struggled at times, but later in the year he showed himself to be very strong in our protection.

Carrying the load against Texas, Folston will be leaned on throughout the game to produce for the offense. Tab Folston as you're RB2 and expect solid results you would normally see from a top-tier back.


Running Back: Brandon Ross, Maryland ($4,200)

Brandon Ross didn't put up gaudy numbers last year, but he shined when he was given the opportunity. Now the lead back for Maryland, Ross is looking to step up in a big way and still comes at a low price for fantasy owners.

In just 86 carries last year, Ross registered 417 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. That averages out to 4.85 yards per carry, which is kinda decent at the college level. Expect great numbers from Ross against Richmond as he looks to solidify his spot at the top of the Terrapins' depth chart.


Wide Receiver: Speedy Noil, Texas A&M ($4,700)

Speedy Noil didn't do anything spectacular toward the end of his freshman campaign to earn a high price to start 2015. So maybe call it a hunch, but the huge prospect coming out of high school seems like a great option at this low price.

Going up against Arizona State, Texas A&M will need all hands on deck to pull out a win. Noil is a player who can break the game wide open with his blazing speed—hence the name—so owners get huge-play potential out of a low-price option. Pair him with other star receivers, and Noil will form a balanced lineup.


Wide Receiver: Marquez North, Tennessee ($4,200)

Earlier this week, we told owners that Marquez North was a great bargain at this price. Still slotted as a No. 1 receiver for the Volunteers, North offers even more value than the aforementioned Noil thanks to the opportunity he'll have against Bowling Green.

Pig Howard is suspended for the opening game, leaving North as the No. 1 option for Joshua Dobbs. On one of the most exciting SEC East teams this season, North should shine in the opener for Tennessee and DraftKings owners alike.


DraftKings owners can win $300k in the "Dive for the Pylon" tournament to start off the college football season!

Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter for more MLB DraftKings advice.

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Louisiana-Monroe vs. Georgia: Live Score and Highlights

The Georgia Bulldogs are getting ready to kick off their 2015 season when they face Louisiana-Monroe at Sanford Stadium. The game will be on the SEC Network and it will start at noon EDT.

The Bulldogs are looking to start their 2015 season on the right foot. Running back Nick Chubb is back and he's looking to have another fruitful season after he rushed for over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.

But the one player to watch is quarterback Greyson Lambert. The Virginia transfer won the job over Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta during fall camp, and he will look to bounce back after a disappointing season with the Cavaliers where he threw 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Bulldogs' opponent, Louisiana-Monroe, is looking to improve on its 4-8 2014 record. The Warhawks look to do it with a new quarterback in Garrett Smith and an experienced defense led by linebacker Michael Johnson.

Be sure to come back to this live blog as soon as the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates and highlights.

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College Football Rankings 2015: Final NCAA Overview of Week 1 Standings

This is going to be a great year for Ohio State. At least that's what the pollsters are saying.

A year after winning the first College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes start the season as the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation. They received all 61 votes in the first AP poll of the year, and as they begin the year, there doesn't appear to be many pitfalls on their way to repeating.

However, they start their season Monday night with a game at Virginia Tech. Few expect the Hokies to give Ohio State a four-quarter challenge in Blacksburg, Virginia, but the home team has not been consulted. While the oddsmakers have installed the Buckeyes as a 14-point favorite, courtesy of OddsShark, Virginia Tech does not need to be reminded that it went into Columbus and handed Ohio State its only defeat last year.

We all had fun watching Cardale Jones' run to the title, but J.T. Barrett can do so much more.

— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 4, 2015

Now they see the defending champions coming into their stadium as a double-digit favorite, and it may not be quite so easy. Virginia Tech should be prepared to play an excellent game. Head coach Frank Beamer knows how to get a team ready for its opener, and he can play the disrespect card as well as anyone.

No. 2 TCU got started with a less-than-stellar opener at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers were in the game for 60 minutes, but the Horned Frogs held on for 23-17 victory. Trevone Boykin is one of the Heisman contenders as the season gets underway, and he started off by completing 26-of-42 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 92 yards and a score. The TCU quarterback will almost certainly see a wider gap on the scoreboard in many of the coming weeks.

Despite the narrow victory, @TCUFootball's Trevone Boykin showed some serious promise.

— Campus Insiders (@CampusInsiders) September 4, 2015

Alabama starts the year as the No. 3 team in the nation, and that does not make Nick Saban happy. He is much more used to seeing his Crimson Tide in the No. 1 or No. 2 slots, but it really doesn't matter that much any longer. If the Tide can land one of the top four spots in the nation at season's end, they will be in the College Football Playoff for a second consecutive year.

While Saban lost T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper, Alabama still boasts strength along the front. The team has powerful offensive and defensive lines, and that should allow its skill position players to have plenty of opportunities.

The Crimson Tide open up with a huge national TV game against Wisconsin in Dallas at AT&T Stadium, and Alabama is a 10-point favorite. Alabama often plays power opponents from the top conferences in its openers, so don't expect Alabama to come through with anything but its best game here.

Boarding the plane in Tuscaloosa. Next stop ... Texas!

— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) September 4, 2015

The Baylor Bears have been dominant in earning a share of the Big 12 title the last two years and have a powerful offense that has the ability to strike quickly from all over the field. Look for running back Shock Linwood to make a run at 1,300 yards or more this season.

Michigan State started its season with a win Friday night at Western Michigan, but all eyes will be focused on East Lansing Sept. 12 when the Oregon Ducks, rated seventh in the AP poll, come calling. The Spartans played a credible game for 30 minutes at Eugene last year before falling short, and they would like to return the favor this year.

Oregon has quite a bit of competition this year in the Pac-12 from USC, UCLA, Stanford and Arizona. The Trojans could be the best of the bunch with Cody Kessler at quarterback. He threw for more than 3,800 yards and 39 TDs last year, while completing 69.7 percent of his passes. If he can continue along that path this year, the Trojans could end up at the top of the Pac-12.

USC's Cody Kessler is back one season after rewriting the Trojans' star-studded record book:

— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) September 2, 2015

Notre Dame starts the season as the 11th-ranked team in the nation, and Brian Kelly's team could be formidable with Malik Zaire at quarterback. Zaire beat out Everett Golson in the spring, and that's why Golson transferred to Florida State. Zaire will throw to a pair of standout receivers in Corey Robinson and William Fuller.

Louisiana State starts the year as the No. 14 team in the nation, and if the Tigers are going to jump into contention they need to fix an offense that has become one-dimensional in recent years. Leonard Fournette looks like a stud at running back, but Brandon Harris is going to have to pick it up at quarterback if the Tigers are going to be dangerous.

It has been a while since Tennessee was a relevant college football program, but the Vols posted their first winning record last year (7-6) since 2009, and they start the season as the No. 25 team in the nation. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs helped turn the Vols around and head coach Butch Jones is counting on the quarterback to be even better this year. Jones has also brought a solid recruiting class to Knoxville, and the Vols could be very difficult to beat this year.

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