The 2017 college football season ended with Alabama winning its fifth national championship in the last 10 years as the Crimson Tide needed overtime to defeat SEC foe Georgia, 26-23. With spring games and National Signing Day behind us, all eyes are on the upcoming 2018 football season.

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The first games of the season will kick off on Saturday, August 25 with more games on Thursday, August 30, and continuing through Labor Day weekend. College football fans should be excited for five consecutive days of games, which feature both conference matchups and major neutral-site clashes. 

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Alabama will start its national title defense with a game against Louisville in Orlando that will serve as the nightcap for a loaded college football schedule on the first day of September.

Here are some high-profile matchups that will take place during the first week of the season.

Thursday, August 30

  • Purdue vs. Northwestern (Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana), 8 p.m. ET
  • Texas A&M vs. Northwestern State (Kyle Field, College Station, Texas), 8:30 p.m. ET
  • UConn vs. UCF (Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Connecticut), 7 p.m. ET

 

Friday, August 31

  • Duke vs. Army (Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, North Carolina), 7 p.m. ET
  • Stanford vs. San Diego State (Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California), 9 p.m. ET

 

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Saturday, September 1

  • Alabama vs. Louisville (Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida), 8 p.m. ET
  • Auburn vs. Washington (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia), 3:30 p.m. ET
  • California vs. North Carolina (California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California), 4 p.m. ET
  • Maryland vs. Texas (FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland), 12 p.m. ET
  • Notre Dame vs. Michigan (Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana), 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Ohio State vs. Oregon State (Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio), 12 p.m. ET
  • Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas), 12 p.m. ET
  • Tennessee vs. West Virginia (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina), 3:30 p.m. ET
  • UCLA vs. Cincinnati (Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California), 7 p.m. ET

 

Sunday, September 2

  • LSU vs. Miami (FL) (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)

 

Monday, September 3

  • Florida State vs. Virginia Tech (Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida), 8 p.m. ET

 

We'll be waiting for you, college football season.

Andy Wittry has written for SI.com, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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