College Football – Here we go again!
A week before the NFL, the college championship returns. The 2020 season had been bizarre, delayed in several conferences and largely shortened in others. At the end of the year, Alabama won the national title.
For this 2021 season, the favorites are more or less the same as in previous years, but there may be more questions. Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State will launch new Quarterbacks. If Oklahoma and Georgia seem to be the most dangerous teams out of the big three, other universities will surely come and play the spoilsport.
From Thursday, with the official start of the season, Week 1 has some tempting posters in store for us, which could already have repercussions on the playoffs.
Top 25 – The pre-season standings
No surprise in this first ranking, with the presence of Alabama in 1time square. Defending champions, Nick Saban’s Tides open the new season as favorites to retain the title.
Behind, there are two other teams that made the playoffs last year (Clemson, Ohio State) and two armed teams to go far (Oklahoma, Georgia). The Sooners have good odds this year, which will be Quarterback Spencer Rattler’s second. Seen as a favorite for the Heisman Trophy, he clearly started to blossom at the end of last season. Likewise, the Bulldogs are eagerly awaited, due to a solid squad and the presence of QB JT Daniels.
Present in the playoffs last year, the Fighting Irish are a little further, in 9th position. The Notre Dame squad lost a lot of quality players during the offseason, creating concerns about their potential in 2021.
Apart from the top 5, the biggest outsider seems to be Texas A&M, which remains on a very good 2020 season. Ranked, but far enough, universities like Wisconsin, Miami, LSU, Penn State or Texas, aim much higher.
Note the beautiful 8th place of Cincinnati, attractive team in 2020 and which is armed to remain the best university of the Group of Five. It’s hard to project them into the playoffs, even with a perfect year, but the Bearcats can make things interesting.
The matches to follow during the 1time daytime
3 | Clemson vs 5 | Georgia
- Sunday September 5, at 1:30 a.m.
- Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
This match is the most anticipated of this opening week, between two very serious candidates for the playoffs and for the national title. A meeting which will obviously have repercussions on the rest of the season. Every defeat counts in university football, and the loser will no longer have the right to make mistakes afterwards. If the Tigers can imagine winning every other game this season, including dominating the ACC conference, the Bulldogs will still have to face several programs from the dreaded SEC. Many pundits see 2021 as the year for Georgia, which indeed has a quality workforce, now is the time to show it.
This meeting will also be interesting to follow the performances of the Quarterbacks. At Clemson, DJ Uiagalelei has the difficult task of taking over from Trevor Lawrence, even though he has already shown his qualities in a few games in 2020. And for Georgia, we expect a lot from JT Daniels, who has had a full offseason. to soak up the pattern of play. Both players are among the candidates for the Heisman Trophy.
1 | Alabama vs 14 | Miami
- Saturday September 4, at 9:30 p.m.
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Big entry for the defending champion Alabama, who plays the Hurricanes on neutral ground. The two famous universities have not clashed since 1993, and they should offer us an interesting spectacle. The Crimson Tides have lost a lot of players who left for the NFL, but Nick Saban is a master of recruiting and his squad will still be monstrous.
This first game will be an opportunity to see how dominant Alabama’s defense will be, and how new QB Bryce Young behaves. For the U, 2020 has been a much more positive year than the previous one (record of 8-3) and the objective is to continue this momentum. The main question will be QB D’Eriq King, who can cause problems for Alabama if he is fully recovered from his big knee injury suffered at the end of last season.
12 | Wisconsin vs 19 | Penn State
- Saturday September 4, at 6 p.m.
- Camp Randall Stadium, Madison
Clash between two ranked teams and between two universities in the Big-Ten conference, a rare occurrence so early in the season. Both programs disappointed last season and are candidates for a rebound in 2021. This Week 1 will set the tone and can put either team on the right track. The performances of the Quarterbacks, Sean Clifford for the Nittany Lions and Graham Mertz for the Badgers, could decide the outcome of this already key meeting in the Big Ten.
18 | Iowa vs 17 | Indiana
- Saturday September 4, at 9:30 p.m.
- Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City
Indiana is a team that works well and keeps improving. Efforts paid off as the university is ranked in the top 25 preseason for the first since 1969. But the Hoosiers are going to have a big entrance test this year, with a trip to Iowa. Very solid, the Hawkeyes promise a physical welcome. This will notably allow us to see if the duo Michael Penix (QB) and Ty Frygogle (WR) can carry Indiana high.
21 | Texas vs 23 | Louisiana
- Saturday September 4, at 10:30 p.m.
- DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin
Steve Sarkisian is not necessarily spoiled for his first game at the head of the Longhorns. The coach will have to quickly set up his game to avoid the trap of the Ragin ‘Cajuns, who are difficult to play, especially so early in the season. The three-time defending Sun Belt West champions indeed surprised Iowa State at the same time last year.
Minnesota vs 4 | Ohio State
- Friday September 3, at 2 a.m.
- TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Interesting game for the Buckeyes, who travel to Minnesota on day one. The two Big Ten teams don’t face each other every year, and despite the Buckeyes’ clear advantage in head-to-head matches, the Golden Gophers can bug them. A good offensive battle can take place between these two teams, which have various arguments. At Ohio State, we will see the first steps of Quarterback CJ Stroud, who will be able to count on one of the best receiving corps in the country. In Minnesota, coach PJ Fleck can count on the returns of QB Tanner Morgan and RB Mohamed Ibrahim.
Florida State vs 9 | Our Lady
- Monday, September 6, at 1:30 a.m.
- Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee
Accustomed to the playoffs, the Fighting Irish open the season in the top 10. Logical, even if this team will have to face a significant loss of talent. QB Ian Book has gone to the NFL, as has much of the offensive line. Opposite, Florida State is aiming for a return to center stage after years of hardship. The main attraction will be the debut of QB McKenzie Milton, former UCF and recruited by Mike Norvell during the offseason. This opening match should thus give us good indications on the two universities.
Virginia Tech vs 10 | North Carolina
- Saturday September 4, at midnight
- Lane Stadium, Blacksburg
This game could already be of crucial importance in the Coastal division of the ACC conference. North Carolina is obviously the favorite to stay on top, and the Tar Heels are led by one of the Heisman Trophy favorites: QB Sam Howell. But UNC will also have to show that it can do without its star RB duo (Javonte Williams, Michael Carter), gone to the NFL. On the Hokies’ side, the goal is to bounce back this year, and a success in this first game would start things off.
UCLA vs 16 | LSU
- Sunday September 5, at 2:30 a.m.
- Rose Bowl, Pasadena
For UCLA and LSU, this first game of the season should give an idea of what to expect from both teams. In California, this is believed to be the season when the Chip Kelly Bruins will take a big step forward. In Louisiana, we are counting on a rebound for Ed Orgeron’s team after a complicated 2020 season. While UCLA is counting on seasoned players to make it through, LSU has changed a lot during the offseason to get off to a good start.
UCF vs Boise State
- Friday September 3, at 1 a.m.
- Bounce House, Orlando
This match certainly opposes unclassified universities, but it is a poster of choice between two of the best teams of the Group of Five. Often solid, especially offensively, the Broncos can count on many returns within their workforce. On the Knights side, QB Dillon Gabriel is the major asset. This game can smell of fireworks and be a superb appetizer on the night of Thursday through Friday.
How to watch College Football in France?
Unfortunately it’s a bit complicated to see college football in France, at least for free. RMC Sports had broadcast a few matches in previous years, but the channel stopped. We won’t be talking about streaming here, and the easiest way to follow the games is to take ESPN Player. This paid service allows you to watch many college championship games live, and for NCAA fans, it offers a lot of other content, including the famous March Madness. The monthly pass costs € 11.99 and the annual subscription costs € 79.99. In either case, you can test the service for 7 days.
Also find our guide to the 2021 university football season