College football schedule, games 2021: What to watch in Week 1, TV channels, Saturday kickoff times

Written by on September 4, 2021

It’s not too late and you’ve got time if you hurry to head to your local store, purchase a couple of extra TVs, hang them on the wall and get set for an epic Saturday of college football action. Week 1 is the first full weekend of the 2021 season and it is absolutely stocked with games that should be huge not only in the race for the College Football Playoff, but for conference races around the country. 

No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia will square off in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the biggest game of the season, No. 1 Alabama and No. 14 Miami will tee it up in Atlanta and the Big Ten boasts multiple important conference matchups right out of the gate. 

Get that remote ready … it’s going to be a wild afternoon and night. Here’s a handy viewer’s guide to help you navigate through the action. 

All times eastern

The big games

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia (in Charlotte) — 7:30 p.m. on ABC, fuboTV (Try for free): The Tigers are breaking in a new-look offense with sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei at the helm. He looked phenomenal in the limited time that we saw him last year, and will have the daunting task of solving the riddle that is the Georgia defense on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Bulldogs quarterback JT Daniels and second-year offense coordinator Todd Monken will have to square off against a Tigers defense that is loaded — especially up front.

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami (in Atlanta) — 3:30 p.m. on ABC, fuboTV (Try for free): The Crimson Tide title defense starts in a familiar place in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which launched Nick Saban’s crew into the national spotlight early in Saban’s tenure with the Tide. The most interesting aspect of this matchup is the battle between the stout Hurricanes defense that returns nine starters squaring off with the new-look Crimson Tide offense led by sophomore quarterback Bryce Young. Buckle up! 

No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin — noon on Fox, fuboTV (Try for free): Kudos to the Big Ten for scheduling multiple conference matchups in Week 0 and Week 1, and the battle between the Nittany Lions and Badgers takes top billing on Saturday. Nittany Lions’ quarterback Sean Clifford will lead a loaded offense up against a Badgers defense that is known for getting down and dirty in the trenches. Both of these teams had their fair share of problems a year ago, and getting a big conference win will work wonders toward their respective division title hopes.

Other big games

No. 17 Indiana at No. 18 Iowa — 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network, fuboTV (Try for free): The Hoosiers will hope to build upon its dream season from a year ago under veteran quarterback Michael Penix Jr. He’ll have a tall order in front of him considering Iowa’s defense is geared up and well-coached. Don’t be surprised if this game has a major impact in both Big Ten division title races. 

No. 23 Louisiana at No. 21 Texas — 4:30 p.m. on Fox, fuboTV (Try for free): The Steve Sarkisian era will get started at home against a Ragin’ Cajuns squad that lost just one game last year and upset a Big 12 team (Iowa State) in last year’s opener. The back end of the Longhorns defense was atrocious last year, and Bill Napier’s squad returns more than 90% of its offensive production from a year ago. This one should be one of the games of the day. 

No. 16 LSU at UCLA — 8:30 p.m. on Fox, fuboTV (Try for free): The Bruins throttled Hawaii in Week 0 and will look to stay hot against a Tigers’ team that has to rebound from a miserable 2020 season in order to keep coach Ed Orgeron off the hot seat. The big matchup here is when LSU has the ball. Max Johnson has taken over the quarterback spot on a full time basis and Orgeron says that his team will run five-man protection almost exclusively — as was the case in 2019. This one should indicate which team is a contender, and which one is a pretender. 

Best of the rest

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