It's been a long offseason in college football, but never boring with a wave of transfer portal movement, NIL news, and another phase of realignment and expansion.
That's all well and good, but the point of football is football.
And now as the month of August begins, we're rounding third on summer and getting closer to actually seeing teams on the gridiron.
Most teams will kick off the traditional Week 1 slate on Sept. 1-3, but that's after we get a sneak preview for the annual Week 0 action across the country.
College football schedule kickoff 2022 kickoff
All games on Sat., Aug. 27
Vanderbilt at Hawaii. The basement dweller of the SEC heads way out west to get a first look at the Rainbow Warriors, under new management with Tommy Chang at the helm after Todd Graham left the program amid mistreatment allegations that got the state senate involved. Vandy needs all the wins it can get — it hasn't won an SEC game since 2019 and went 2-10 a year ago.
UConn at Utah State. Jim Mora signed on with the Huskies to revive a moribund program that won a single game last fall, but doesn't draw a friendly matchup in the opener, against an Aggies team that thrived in Blake Andersen's first season, winning 11 games, beating Oregon State in a bowl, and finishing in the AP Top 25 rankings.
Northwestern vs. Nebraska. Two B1G clubs head to Ireland to kick things off, both coming off three-win seasons, but one of these teams actually has a shot at something worthwhile. That's Nebraska, which lost all nine games by single digits last year and this offseason got aggressive, signing former Pitt play-caller Mark Whipple, and in the transfer portal to help give this offense some speed.
Duquesne at Florida State. Mike Norvell has won just eight games for the Seminoles, who are still trying to get back on the rails since Jimbo Fisher's departure. He'll have what should be an easy W against a Dukes team that has been a .500 or better club most of the last decade going into Florida State's major test against LSU.
Florida A&M at North Carolina. Mack Brown returns a six-win Tar Heels team that really underwhelmed in 2021 and now is without four O-line starters and quarterback Sam Howell. But there's a strong receiver group and very promising defensive pieces being coached once again by Gene Chizik. The Rattlers won 9 games a year ago in the FCS, including eight straight.
Wyoming at Illinois. Bret Bielema returns a defense that finished an average unit against Big Ten teams, brings back to solid rushers, and signed big-arm quarterback Tommy DeVito in the transfer portal.
North Texas at UTEP. This North Texas team was the one that ended UTSA's 11-game win streak last season with a dominant 22-point victory. That helped propel Mean Green to the No. 3 spot in the C-USA West, just ahead of UTEP.
Nevada at New Mexico State. A pair of first-year head coaches meet up early: Jay Norvell is out at Nevada after losing three of his last four games a year ago, and NM State bounced Doug Martin following a 2-10 outing last season that included an ugly loss to the Wolf Pack.
Austin Peay at Western Kentucky. The Governors begin life in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a date against the runner-up in the C-USA a year ago behind that record-breaking offense that will look to start over after losing quarterback Bailey Zappe.
Idaho State at UNLV. The Rebels have won just two games the last two seasons and are one of the least successful programs going in college football right now. Charlie Ragle gets a shot to rescue Idaho State after it fired coach Rob Phenicie after five years and a 16-35 mark.
Charlotte at Florida Atlantic. Willie Taggart got five wins out of this FAU squad, including a 38-9 win over Charlotte, which lost five of its last six in 2021.