Two Power Five conferences will crank things up in Week 2 of the college football season as the ACC and Big 12 join the AAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt between the white lines. Defending ACC champion and top-ranked Clemson will kick things off at Wake Forest on Saturday night, while defending Big 12 champion and No. 5 Oklahoma will get things going at home against Missouri State.
There will be plenty of channel surfing throughout Saturday afternoon and evening. Here’s a viewer’s guide to get you prepared for all of the action.
All times eastern
The biggest games
No. 1 Clemson at Wake Forest — 7:30 p.m., ABC: The top-ranked team in the nation and Heisman Trophy favorite Trevor Lawrence get things kicked off in primetime in what should be a showcase for the 2020 Clemson Tigers. Lawrence has spent the most of the offseason becoming a leader throughout college football, not just within his own program. Now it’s time to remind everybody why his play on the field put enough bright lights on him in order for him to make the nationwide push for social justice. He has star running back and fellow Heisman hopeful Travis Etienne and a defense that rarely takes a day off on his side in what should be a fun matchup between the Tigers and Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson’s team.
Duke at No. 10 Notre Dame — 2:30 p.m., NBC: The Fighting Irish take their first step in the trek toward the ACC title at home against a David Cutcliffe team that is always well-coached. Irish quarterback Ian Book and one of the nation’s top offensive lines will want to make a statement in its first game as a conference member. Meanwhile, ex-Clemson quarterback Chase Brice — who saved the Tigers season two years ago — will want to show what he has as a starter.
Louisiana at No. 23 Iowa State — noon, ESPN: The Big 12 isn’t kicking off its conference season until Sept. 26, but it’s never too early for the Cyclones to make a statement. And make no mistake, beating the Ragin’ Cajuns would be a pretty solid statement. Coach Billy Napier has them playing at a consistently good level, which should put enough pressure on Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy to keep him honest into the second half. It’ll be fascinating to see what their veteran defense looks like. If they look good, watch out, Big 12.
Other big games
Missouri State at No. 5 Oklahoma — 7 p.m., PPV: No, this game won’t be competitive. But it’s going to be a lot of fun to see if first-year starter Spencer Rattler can follow in the footsteps of ex-Oklahoma quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Will coach Lincoln Riley hold some things back in order to unleash the offense during the conference slate? Sure. But he’ll make sure that his signal-caller is well-versed on more than just the basics of the playbook.
Syracuse at No. 18 North Carolina — noon, ACC Network: The Tar Heels have been the darling of the offseason thanks to sophomore quarterback Sam Howell, an experienced offense and what should be a lights-out defense. Can they live up to that billing? The Orange are coming off of a bad season, but coach Dino Babers is an offensive wizard who should have something up his sleeve.
UTEP at No. 14 Texas — 8 p.m., Longhorn Network: Is Texas “back?” We’ve been asking that question for a decade, and quarterback Sam Ehlinger along with an experienced defense is charged with finding a way to answer “yes” to that decade-old question. The Miners won’t be a challenge for the Longhorns, but it should be interesting to see if Ehlinger can find some receivers outside to balance out what coach Tom Herman hopes to be a stellar offense.