The Clemson Tigers beat the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 in the 2017 College Football National Championship game. You probably already knew that, or you wouldn’t be here. When the final whistle blew at 12:28 a.m. January 10, the countdown to college football 2017-18 began.
When does college football start? Saturday, August 26, 2017.
How long until college football? This long:
Kickoff times have not been announced yet, but here’s the college football schedule for opening day (August 26, 2017):
|San Jose State||USF|
There are a few interesting storylines for each of these opening-day games.
Hawai’i at UMass
The Rainbow Warriors kicked off the 2016-17 season with a “home game” against Cal in Sydney, Australia. Long trips are nothing new for Hawai’i football. When you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that’s kind of how it goes. So that’s not the interesting thing.
The interesting thing about this game is that the Rainbow Warriors’ first game of the season is almost exactly the same distance from home as their first game last season — in the opposite direction. As the crow flies, Aloha Stadium is 5,085 miles from AZN Stadium in Sydney and 5,014 miles from McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Massachusetts.
(Sorry for making it all about travel, Hawai’i.)[divider]
Portland State at BYU
This Portland State team will be almost exactly two years removed from the biggest win in team history. They upset Washington State 24-17 on the road opening weekend of the 2015-16 season. BYU is 97-51-6 all-time against non-FBS competition. None of that is relevant to the 2017-18 season opener, but it is interesting. [divider]
USF at San Jose State
USF football is coming off an 11-2 finish which included a 46-39 win over South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl. The Bulls’ best season since joining the FBS in 2000 resulted in the loss of fourth-year head coach Willie Taggart, who was poached by Oregon before the bowl game.
The Bulls will hope they don’t follow in the footsteps of the team on the other sideline in this one. Not long ago, San Jose State had an up-and-coming head coach of their own who led the program to an 11-2 record and a bowl win before getting poached by a Pac-12 program. Mike MacIntyre led the Spartans for three years before Colorado hired him away just before the 2012 Military Bowl. San Jose State hasn’t finished better than .500 since.
A cautionary tale perhaps, and one of the most interesting storylines of the 2017-18 college football kickoff weekend. It can’t come soon enough.