College Football Preview: 10 Week 1 Games to be Excited About

College Football Preview: 10 Week 1 Games to be Excited About

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There’s just one month left until the start of the college football season, which means it’s time to get excited. Week 1 of the season is usually filled with a slew of blowouts between powerhouses and FCS programs, but here are 10 games during the opening week of the season that are worth getting excited about.

10. Texas A&M at South Carolina

Dylan Thompson
Jeff Griffith - USATODAY Sports

10. Texas A&M at South Carolina

Dylan Thompson
Jeff Griffith - USATODAY Sports

This game will kick off the season on Thursday night, as well as the much-anticipated SEC Network. More importantly, it's a critical early-season conference game for both teams. The Aggies will begin life without Johnny Manziel, while South Carolina is hoping to get back to the SEC Title Game -- but that won't happen if they lose this early in the season, so Steve Spurrier needs to have the Gamecocks ready from the start of the season.

9. Penn State vs. Central Florida (Dublin)

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Matthew O'Haren - USATODAY Sports

9. Penn State vs. Central Florida (Dublin)

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Matthew O'Haren - USATODAY Sports

This game will kick off the first Saturday of college football with an 8:30 a.m. start, since the game is being played in Ireland, and what could be better than that? More importantly, this game will start the James Franklin era for Penn State, even with the Nittany Lions still facing a postseason ban. Meanwhile, UCF starts a season with high expectations after winning the Fiesta Bowl last year; of course, they'll do so without Blake Bortles.

8. Boise State vs. Ole Miss (Atlanta)

Boise State Broncos
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8. Boise State vs. Ole Miss (Atlanta)

Boise State Broncos
Brian Losness - USATODAY Sports

Another Thursday night matchup to kick off the season in a big-time venue. Boise State isn't at the same level as they used to be, but the Broncos will love the chance to take on an SEC team in the heart of SEC territory. As for the Rebels, they're trying to make their way in a crowded and competitive SEC West, and they can make a statement about their season by beating Boise State on opening night.

7. Ohio State at Navy

Doran Grant Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
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7. Ohio State at Navy

Doran Grant Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Greg Bartram - USATODAY Sports

The Buckeyes are accustomed to blowing out some poor, unfortunate team the opening week of the season, but that may not be the case this year as they pay a visit to the Naval Academy. The Midshipmen will be at a disadvantage athletically, but they have a team that could push for 10 wins this season, and their style of play could give Ohio State some trouble.

6. Arkansas at Auburn

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6. Arkansas at Auburn

Auburn Tigers Football
John Reed - USATODAY Sports

After losing last season's national championship game, Auburn's campaign to get back to the title game begins at home with a conference matchup against Arkansas. On paper, these teams are a world apart, but both possess top-notch running games, which could help level the playing field and make this a compelling game between conference rivals the first week of the season.

5. Alabama vs. West Virginia (Atlanta)

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Marvin Gentry - USATODAY Sports

5. Alabama vs. West Virginia (Atlanta)

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Marvin Gentry - USATODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide are always a team to watch on opening weekend, especially when they play on the big stage against another BCS conference team. Of course, West Virginia's coming off its worst season in a long time, and the Mountaineers will be looking to turn things around with a win against a marquee team. But with losses in their last two games, Nick Saban should have Alabama ready to play this game and send the Mountaineers packing.

4. Miami at Louisville

Miami v Boston College
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4. Miami at Louisville

Miami v Boston College
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Week 1 comes to an end on Monday night as Miami heads to Louisville to welcome the Cardinals to the ACC. The Hurricanes are finally off probation and expectations are high, so a win in this game is critical for them to compete for an ACC championship. As for Louisville, the second Bobby Petrino era gets underway, as does the post-Teddy Bridgewater era, so the Cardinals entering a new conference isn't the only storyline in this game.

3. Wisconsin vs. LSU (Houston)

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Jeff Hanisch - USATODAY Sports

3. Wisconsin vs. LSU (Houston)

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Jeff Hanisch - USATODAY Sports

The Big 10 is always trying to prove itself against against the SEC, and they're wasting no time this year by sending Wisconsin down to Houston to play LSU, a team that's accustomed to playing marquee games the first week of the season. Both teams have high hopes for this season and they'll be looking to make a statement in this game. The only question is whether the Badgers can keep up with the speed of the SEC's Tigers.

2. Clemson at Georgia

SEC Football: Georgia vs. Clemson Best Game of Week 1
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2. Clemson at Georgia

SEC Football: Georgia vs. Clemson Best Game of Week 1
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The Tigers won this matchup last year on their way to a big season, but they lost several players with big shoes to fill, so they may not be ready for such a big game, especially on the road. Of course, Georgia is replacing its starting quarterback as well, although their roster is stacked just about everywhere else. The Bulldogs will be the favorites as they look for revenge, but the Tigers have enough talent to make this a competitive game.

1. Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Arlington)

Florida State v Pittsburgh
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1. Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Arlington)

Florida State v Pittsburgh
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Florida State's quest to repeat begins here with a game on neutral ground against a team that, at least on paper, has a chance to keep up with Jameis Winston and the Seminoles offensively. The expectations and the pressure on FSU are even higher than last year, and unlike their easy schedule last season, the Seminoles could get challenged right off the bat by the Cowboys in Week 1.

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