College football kicked off Wednesday night with UAB's 31-0 thumping of Jacksonville State, but Alabama and Auburn get started Saturday.
Auburn hosts Akron in a gimme game that's probably best for new coach Bryan Harsin. Alabama will play Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in a neutral-site kickoff game.
No. 1 Alabama (0-0) vs. Miami (0-0): These two teams haven't played since Alabama beat Miami in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1993, which clinched a national championship for the Crimson Tide. Considering the circumstances and where the Alabama and Miami programs were at the time, it should rank as one of the top five wins in Crimson Tide history.
The loss kind of broke Miami. Except for a sterling run in 2000-02, the Hurricanes haven't been a national power since.
The 2021 Miami team is a rising commodity, especially with former Houston quarterback D'Eriq King in charge of the offense, but under Nick Saban, the Tide is 10-0 in these season-opening kickoff games. About to be 11-0. … Alabama 35, Miami 10.
Akron (0-0) at Auburn (0-0): With a new coach, Auburn is better off playing the Zips rather than another Power-Five team in one of those kickoff games. Akron is terrible, having lost 22 of its last 23 games.
This won't be the week to do it, but it'll be worth watching the development of Auburn quarterback Bo Nix this year. Milo's Tea's star endorser is in his third year as a starter. He's a gutty competitor, and nobody fights harder than he does. But, at some point, he needs to put up the numbers Auburn has hoped it would get from the former five-star prospect. ... Auburn 45, Akron 7.
No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson (0-0): The Tigers have a new starting quarterback in D.J. Uiagalelei, a sophomore who did start twice last year when Trevor Lawrence was unavailable. He led Clemson in a win over Boston College and a loss to Notre Dame, with the Tigers scoring 74 points total. Georgia's J.T. Daniels started the final four games of last season and led the Bulldogs to four wins, including a comeback against Cincinnati in a surprisingly good Peach Bowl game. ... Clemson 30, Georgia 27.
Tulane (0-0) at No. 2 Oklahoma (0-0): Tulane was set to host this one, but Hurricane Ida forced a change. They'll play in Norman, Okla., instead. Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler is back after finishing 11th in the country last year in passing efficiency. He was second among freshmen, trailing only Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall. ... Oklahoma 48, Tulane 14.
No. 16 LSU (0-0) at UCLA (0-0): This is LSU's first trip to play in Rose Bowl Stadium. While the Tigers' home state has suffered greatly in the aftermath of Ida, the team relocated to Houston before traveling to Los Angeles. The Tigers should be ready to play. ... LSU 28, UCLA 24.
No. 9 Notre Dame (0-0) at Florida State (0-0): The Seminoles host Notre Dame a week before Jacksonville State visits. When JSU coach John Grass said UAB is probably better than FSU, he was right. ... Notre Dame 28, Florida State 21.
No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette (0-0) at No. 21 Texas (0-0): Will the Longhorns proclaim that they're back if they win this battle between ranked teams? ... Texas 30, UL-Lafayette 19.
No. 17 Indiana (0-0) at No. 18 Iowa (0-0): The last time they met when both were ranked was 1991 when No. 10 Iowa beat No. 25 Indiana 38-21. … Iowa 24, Indiana 20.
Louisiana-Monroe (0-0) at Kentucky (0-0): Penn State transfer Will Levis will start at quarterback for Kentucky. The Wildcats' defense has 10 seniors listed as starters. Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden is ULM's head coach. ... Kentucky 41, ULM 10.
Louisville (0-0) at Ole Miss (0-0): If Ole Miss can stop anybody, the Rebels could be an awfully good team. They ranked 117th last year out of 127 FBS teams in scoring defense, allowing 38 points a game. ... Ole Miss 40, Louisville 30.