Biggest Week 1 Games on 2023 College Football Schedule

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Biggest Week 1 Games on 2023 College Football Schedule
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Andrew Doughty @DoughtyBetMGM Aug 27, 2023, 3:29 PM

The 2023 college football season begins with Week 0, though none of the seven games on Saturday, Aug. 26, are blockbusters. 

That changes a week later with several big-time matchups in Week 1.

Florida State vs. LSU

Location: Orlando, Fla.
Date: Sunday, Sept. 3

This two-game neutral-site series opened with Florida State’s 14-point second-half comeback in New Orleans in Week 1 of the 2022 season. It will conclude in Orlando in Week 1 of the 2023 season.

It will be their second all-time meeting in Florida – and the first since 1990 – as the Seminoles look to extend their winning streak over LSU to six games.

The Tigers are a 2.5-point favorite.

Florida at Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Date: Thursday, Aug. 31

This will be Florida’s first regular-season game outside the Eastern and Central time zones since tying USC in Los Angeles in 1983.

One year after opening the Billy Napier era with a win over Utah, the Gators will visit the state of Utah for the first time ever. Before last year’s game in Gainesville, their only other game against a team from Utah came in 1977, when they also beat the Utes in Gainesville.

Utah is a 6.5-point favorite.

Colorado at TCU

Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2

TCU’s Cinderella season ended with a thud, and their 2023 two-deep will look a lot different. Still, they’ll be the defending national runner-up and a Big 12 title contender facing Deion Sanders and Colorado.

It’ll likely take Sanders a couple years of roster turnover before competing with a team of TCU’s caliber on the road, but this could be entertaining nonetheless.

TCU finished the 2022 regular season with nine ATS wins, tied for the second-best ATS record in college football. They’re a 21-point favorite over the Buffaloes.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2

This is about as close to a true neutral-site game as you’ll see in college football. Charlotte is almost exactly in the middle of the two campuses.

But that doesn’t make it any less idiotic to steal what could be a top-25 matchup from college towns. Despite that, ESPN picked it as a College GameDay location.

North Carolina is a 2.5-point favorite.

West Virginia at Penn State

Location: University Park, Pa.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2

West Virginia and Penn State – separated by just 180 miles – met 59 times from 1904-92. They haven’t played since.

Ten years after this two-game home-and-home series was scheduled in 2013, the Mountaineers and Nittany Lions will play in Happy Valley for the first time since a 45-point Penn State win in 1991.

Mountaineers’ head coach Neal Brown is squarely on the college football hot seat. 

Penn State is a big favorite at -20.5.

Boise State at Washington

Location: Seattle, Wash.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2

The Chris Petersen Bowl hasn’t been played in the regular season since Boise State’s three-point win over its former coach in 2015. Petersen, however, did blow out his former team four years later in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Broncos and Huskies have met in Seattle only once, a 38-6 Washington win in Week 1 of the 2013 season.

Washington is a 13.5-point favorite.

Clemson at Duke

Location: Durham, N.C.
Date: Monday, Sept. 4

Duke obliterated expectations in 2022 for first-year head coach Mike Elko, whose head-coaching debut ended with nine wins and ACC Coach of the Year honors.

Now Elko and the Blue Devils will try to beat Clemson for the first time since 2004 and just the fifth time since 1980.

Clemson is a 13-point road favorite for the final Week 1 game on the Ultimate College Football Road Trip.

Coastal Carolina at UCLA

Location: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2

This will be Coastal Carolina’s first FBS game west of the Central time zone in program history, as they play UCLA for the first time ever.

This, unfortunately, isn’t a home-and-home series; the Chanticleers will receive $1.1 million to participate in the first game of UCLA’s post-Dorian Thompson-Robinson era.

The Bruins are favored by 14.5 points.

Other notable Week 1 games: Virginia vs. Tennessee (Nashville), Oregon State at San Jose State, Fresno State at Purdue, South Alabama at Tulane, and UTSA at Houston.

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About the Author

Andrew Doughty

Read More @DoughtyBetMGM

Andrew Doughty is the Web Content Lead for BetMGM. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.

Andrew Doughty is the Web Content Lead for BetMGM. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.