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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | August 18, 2021

When does the 2021 college football season start?

Preseason AP football poll: Breaking down the first 2021 rankings

The 2021 college football season starts this month. The season comes after a busy 2020 season that saw game postponements and cancelations due to COVID-19. Alabama will go into the season as the defending national champion, as the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State in the College Football Playoff title game. Alabama will again be a CFP favorite.

You can find information on when the 2021 college football season starts here. This story will be updated if games and times are changed.

When does the 2021 college football season start?

The 2021 season is set to begin on Saturday, Aug. 28, in this year's "Week Zero." Most of the nation in the FBS will start their seasons the following week.

Here are all the games currently scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28 in Week Zero:

  • Nebraska at Illinois | 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • UConn at Fresno State | 2 p.m. | CBSSN
  • Hawai'i at UCLA | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
  • UTEP at New Mexico State | 9:30 p.m. | FloFootball
  • Southern Utah at San Jose State | 10 p.m. | CBSSN

Games then pick up again starting with UAB vs. Jacksonville State on Wednesday, Sept. 1, Ohio State at Minnesota on Thursday, Sept. 2 and North Carolina visiting Virginia Tech on Friday, Sept. 3 before a busy slate of games on Saturday, Sept. 4. Clemson and Georgia are set to play in Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4 on ABC.

FOOTBALL HISTORY: Notable firsts and milestones

College Football Playoff and New Year's Six bowl games schedule

The 2021 season is the eighth edition of the College Football Playoff.

Here are the College Football Playoff dates and schedule for next season. All New Year's Six games are also included:

  • Peach Bowl: 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 30
  • Cotton Bowl (CFP semifinals): 3:30 or 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31
  • Orange Bowl (CFP semifinals): 3:30 or 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31
  • Fiesta Bowl: 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1
  • Rose Bowl: 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1
  • Sugar Bowl: 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1
  • CFP National Championship Game: Monday, Jan. 10 (at Indianapolis, Indiana)

The title game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This will mark the first time Indianapolis will serve as host of the CFP National Championship Game.

Alabama (2015, 2017, 2020) and Clemson (2016, 2018) have combined for five of the seven CFP national championships. Ohio State (2014) and LSU (2019) are the other CFP-winning programs.

RANKINGS: Final CFP poll | Top 25 AP Poll | Coaches Poll

Future CFP national championship locations and dates

2022: Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana) — Jan. 10
2023: Los Angeles (Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, California) — Jan. 9
2024: Houston (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas) — Jan. 8
2025: Jan. 6
2026: Jan. 5

TITLES: FBS national championship history

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