We made it.
The 2016 Florida football season begins tonight. You can finally watch the Gators take on the Minutemen of UMass at 7:30 p.m. on SECN. But before we get to that most important game, there are plenty of quality opening college football match-ups today that you can watch. So settle in, grab some snacks, and prepare to re-immerse yourself in the full college football experience. The season technically started last week in Australia, and began to round into shape on Thursday, but it really starts firing on all cylinders today.
Welcome back, everyone.
Here are our picks for today’s viewing windows:
The Earliest (Before 12:00 p.m., Eastern)
Georgia Tech vs. Boston College (7:30 a.m., ESPN2): You read that right – 7:30 A.M. Have some football with your breakfast. The Yellow Jackets and Eagles are in Dublin, Ireland, playing in Aviva Stadium. Both teams hope to improve on their disappointing 3-9 seasons from a year ago. Only one of the two teams - Georgia Tech - even won an ACC game last year. (I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you which ACC game Georgia Tech won, for no particular reason.)
Early (12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Eastern)
Oklahoma vs. Houston (12:00 p.m., ABC): The No. 3 Sooners, fresh off a Big 12 Championship and College Football Playoff appearance, will play the No. 15 Cougars, who are coming off an American Athletic Conference Championship and 13-1 season, at NRG Stadium in Houston (the Houston Texans’ home stadium). A top 15 match-up between two teams with high aspirations for their seasons presents a fantastic noon viewing option, which does not happen often.
Missouri at West Virginia (12:00 p.m., FS1): The Tigers are traveling to Morgantown to open their season, where West Virginia is favored. Missouri has a new coach and is coming off of a tough 5-7 season.
Hawaii at Michigan (12:00 p.m., ESPN): The No. 7 Wolverines will host the Rainbow Warriors, who already played this season and lost their opener to Cal in Sydney. It’s probably not going to be a great day for Hawaii.
Afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern)
LSU vs. Wisconsin (3:30 p.m., ABC): The No. 5 Tigers will be playing the Badgers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay (will anyone try to leap? It might be a penalty!). Already an interesting matchup being played in an interesting location, an added twist is that Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator from last season, Dave Aranda, is now on LSU’s sideline. These two teams do have familiarity, they last played in 2014, opening their seasons against one another in Houston.
UCLA at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m., CBS): The Aggies host No. 16 UCLA to start their season. It’s the first game in a home-and-home series for the two. UCLA has former five-star QB Josh Rosen while Texas A&M will start Trevor Knight, who transferred from Oklahoma after losing his job to Baker Mayfield (and after the Aggies lost most of their QB depth chart to transfers).
Georgia vs. North Carolina (5:30 p.m., ESPN): The Kirby Smart era opens for the No. 18 Bulldogs against the No. 22 Tarheels. This game is being played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. UGA will start Greyson Lambert at quarterback but star running back Nick Chubb is back and will play. I feel like it’s relevant to mention that UNC allowed Baylor to amass 645 yards rushing in the Belk Bowl, and that Baylor did so without the Bears’ first and second string quarterbacks, their star receiver, and their 1,000 yard running back.
|Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Streaming|
|Georgia Tech vs. Boston College (in Ireland)||7:30 a.m.||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|(3) Oklahoma vs. (15) Houston (at NRG Stadium)||Noon||ABC / WatchESPN|
|Bowling Green at (6) Ohio State||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Hawaii at (7) Michigan||Noon||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Boise State at UL Lafayette||Noon||ASN / ESPN3|
|EKU at Purdue||Noon||ESPNNEWS / WatchESPN|
|Fordham at Navy||Noon||CBSSN|
|Howard at Maryland||Noon||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Missouri at West Virginia||Noon||FS1 / FS Go|
|South Alabama at Mississippi State||Noon||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Western Michigan at Northwestern||Noon||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|Liberty at Virginia Tech||12:30 p.m.||ACCN / WatchESPN|
|Villanova at Pittsburgh||1:30 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Abilene Christian at Air Force||2:00 p.m.||MWN|
|Rutgers at (14) Washington||2:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|(5) LSU vs. Wisconsin (at Green Bay, WI)||3:30 p.m.||ABC / WatchESPN|
|(16) UCLA at Texas A&M||3:30 p.m.||CBS / cbssports.com|
|Miami, OH at (17) Iowa||3:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|SE Louisiana at (21) Oklahoma State||3:30 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|Kent State at Penn State||3:30 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Murray State at Illinois||3:30 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|Richmond at Virginia||3:30 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Texas State at Ohio||3:30 p.m.||CBSSN|
|Louisiana Tech at Arkansas||4:00 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|UC Davis at (24) Oregon||5:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|(18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina (at Atlanta, GA)||5:30 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Austin Peay at Troy||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Florida A&M at Miami (FL)||6:00 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Hampton at Old Dominion||6:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV|
|NC Central at Duke||6:00 p.m.||WatchESPN|
|Savannah State at Georgia Southern||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Southern Illinois at Florida Atlantic||6:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV ($)|
|Western Carolina at East Carolina||6:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|VMI at Akron||6:30 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Alabama A&M at Middle Tennessee||7:00 p.m.||CUSA.TV ($)|
|Alabama State at UTSA||7:00 p.m.||KMYS-CW 35|
|Rhode Island at Kansas||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|San Jose State at Tulsa||7:00 p.m.||CBSSN|
|SE Missouri State at Memphis||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|SMU at North Texas||7:00 p.m.||ASN|
|South Carolina State at UCF||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Southern at ULM||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Towson at USF||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3|
|UMass at (25) Florida||7:30 p.m.||SECN / WatchESPN|
|Southern Miss at Kentucky||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|(20) USC vs. (1) Alabama (at Arlington, TX)||8:00 p.m.||ABC / WatchESPN|
|South Dakota State at (13) TCU||8:00 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|EWU at Washington State||8:00 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|
|Fresno State at Nebraska||8:00 p.m.||BTN / BTN2Go|
|New Mexico State at UTEP||8:00 p.m.||beIN SPORTS|
|Northern Iowa at Iowa State||8:00 p.m.||Cyclones.tv ($)|
|Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech||8:00 p.m.||FSN / FS Go|
|New Hampshire at San Diego State||8:30 p.m.||TBA|
|(2) Clemson at Auburn||9:00 p.m.||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|Arizona vs. BYU (at Glendale, AZ)||10:30 p.m.||FS1 / FS Go|
|Northern Illinois at Wyoming||10:30 p.m.||CBSSN|
|Northern Arizona at Arizona State||10:45 p.m.||Pac-12N / Pac-12.com|