College football fans won't have to wait long for big games this season. With elite programs thinking about strength-of-schedule in the playoff era, the marquee match-ups begin in Week 2 and keep coming:
Sept. 2: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State — This rare opener between Top 5 teams, played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, will show if the Seminoles belong in elite company.
Sept. 2: No. 17 Florida vs. No. 11 Michigan — Wolverines Coach Jim Harbaugh has made a lot of noise but has been so-so in big games. The talented Gators need to find a leader at quarterback right away.
Sept. 9: No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 2 Ohio State — The Sooners stumbled badly in this matchup last season before rebounding to win the Sugar Bowl. Buckeyes Coach Urban Meyer promised changes after his team fell to Clemson, 31-0, in a 2016 College Football Playoff semifinal.
Sept. 9: No. 15 Georgia at Notre Dame — Neither of these teams sparkled in 2016. Georgia is looking to bounce back and Irish Coach Brian Kelly is trying to get off the hot seat in South Bend.
Sept. 9: No. 14 Stanford at No. 4 USC — Can Sam Darnold keep the Trojans on the roll that saw them finish last season with nine straight wins? Will Stanford have a healthy Keller Chryst at quarterback and find a replacement for do-everything Christian McCaffrey?
Oct. 14: No. 12 Auburn at No. 13 Louisiana State — Transfer Jarrett Stidham could be the passer Auburn has been searching for. This game against LSU and defensive-minded Coach Ed Orgeron — eager to impress in his first full season — represents a test.
Oct. 28: No. 6 Penn State at No. 2 Ohio State – The Nittany Lions stunned the Buckeyes on the way to a berth in last season's Rose Bowl. To exact revenge, Meyer will need solid play from quarterback J.T. Barrett.
Nov. 4: No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 10 Oklahoma State — The rivalry known as "Bedlam" has produced high scores and some close finishes over the past decade. This time, it could figure into the CFP rankings.
Nov. 10: No. 8 Washington at No. 14 Stanford — The road to the Pac-12 championship game runs through the Huskies, who reached a CFP semifinal in 2016. Stanford must win to reclaim its northern superiority.
Nov. 11: No. 3 Florida State at No. 5 Clemson — If all goes as expected, this will serve as the unofficial ACC title game. These teams have won two of the past four national titles, so it's a true heavyweight brawl.