Games to watch — Oregon and Auburn clash in only ranked matchup of Week One

Clark Dalton

No. 11 Oregon at No. 16 Auburn

Saturday, 6:30 p.m., ABC

The action for this week peaks in a rematch of the 2010 national championship game. Oregon is guided by senior quarterback Justin Herbert, who is making his ultimate case as a top draft pick. In 2018 Herbert threw for 29 touchdowns with a passer rating of 144.7. Meanwhile, Auburn is trying to return to form after a surprising 8-5 record in 2018. The Tiger defensive line is stacked with senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown, senior defensive end Marlon Davidson and junior linebacker Nick Coe, who ravaged offensive gameplans last season with 61 combined tackles. This game serves as an opportunity for both teams to launch into the top 10.

No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville

Monday, 7:00 p.m., ESPN

After a 30-3 loss at the hands of Clemson in the College Football Playoff, the Fighting Irish are looking to avenge postseason frustration and prove doubters wrong. Senior quarterback Ian Book surpassed expectations last season, completing 68% of his passes. Notre Dame also returns multiple starters from a unit that allowed only 18 points per game last season. Louisville fell off a cliff last season after the departure of quarterback Lamar Jackson, falling to a record of 2-10. Upsetting a highly ranked Notre Dame team would drive the Cardinals in the right direction, putting them back in the ACC mix.

Houston at No. 4 Oklahoma

Sunday, 6:30 p.m., ABC

Head coach Lincoln Riley has been called the quarterback whisperer after developing quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray into college football superstars. This year, Riley will try to work his magic on Alabama graduate transfer Jalen Hurts. The Sooner’s first test will be against an old Big 12 rival in Dana Holgorsen, who left West Virginia for Houston this offseason in an intriguing move that may help the Cougars go from good to great. Last season, quarterback D’Eriq King scored 50 total touchdowns, and with a veteran coach like Holgorsen this number could skyrocket. Get your popcorn ready for this game, because two dynamic offenses are ready to unleash their full arsenal.

Florida Atlantic at No. 5 Ohio State

Saturday, 11:00 a.m., FOX

Usually, a Week One Ohio State game against a mid-major team flies under the radar. However, that is definitely not the case this year. The Buckeyes are without former head coach Urban Meyer and are now led by Ryan Day, who has huge shoes to fill following Meyer. Sophomore transfer quarterback Justin Fields was brought in to pick up where Dwayne Haskins left off before leaving for the NFL, and adds an additional element to the offense thanks to his speed. Florida Atlantic is looking to bounce back after a 5-7 season. The Owls have one of the best tight ends in college football in senior Harrison Bryant, who put up 662 total yards last season and could show up big on a national stage. Overall, this game comes down to a team who is trying to maintain a winning philosophy while the other is trying to carve it.

Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford

Saturday, 3:00 p.m., FOX

This matchup pits rising powers in the Pac-12 and Big Ten against each other. Northwestern snuck into the Big Ten championship game last year, and return to the field with senior defensive lineman Joe Gaziano, who earned All-Big Ten honors last season. Stanford’s senior quarterback K.J. Costello is returning after a 2018 passer rating of 155. This battle will gauge each team’s standing, and it will decide which team is going to take the next step this season.