Alabama and Clemson may very well be looking at another playoff meeting, but they'll have some company nipping at their heels.
What do the local kids at Wisconsin and Georgia have in mind for an encore? How nervous will the Oakland A's be every time Kyler Murray gets smacked and please don't talk trash to the Louisville kids. They have enough going on.
Here are 50 things to know about the college football season, which kicks into high gear this weekend.
1. Boston College running back A.J. Dillon, who ran for 1,589 yards last year as a freshman, was named the ACC preseason player of the year. The only Eagles player to be the league's postseason player of the year was quarterback Matt Ryan in 2007.
2. B.C., which has gone 7-6 in four of Steve Addazio's first five seasons as coach, has a killer stretch starting Oct. 13, when it plays Louisville, Miami, at Virginia Tech, Clemson, and at Florida State.
3. The only freshman with more rushing yards than Dillon was Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 1,977 last season. Taylor, who went to Salem High., was the Inquirer's South Jersey boys athlete of the year for 2016-17.
4. The Badgers have no marquee nonconference games and do not play Ohio State in the regular season. They cannot afford more than one loss.
5. Michigan State, picked 11th in the AP preseason poll, returns 19 of 22 starters. One of the key players, junior nose tackle Raequan Williams, has had a brother and a close cousin killed in Chicago by gun violence while he has been at Michigan State. Williams told the Detroit News that he is passionate about changing things in his hometown.
6. "I would enjoy having a say in fixing up Chicago," said Williams, an NFL prospect. "… If I can save one life going back there, talking to [at-risk kids] just joking around with them, take them to get food, show them what hard work is, if I could just save one life, that is an improvement to me."
7. In Week 2, Sparty will visit Arizona State, which was picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South but which also has an intriguing new head coach. Herm Edwards hasn't worked in college since he was a defensive assistant at San Jose State in 1989. Nov. 19 is the 40th anniversary of Edwards' Miracle at the Meadowlands touchdown for the Eagles. 40 years. Good Lord.
8. If Clemson, the preseason favorite, wins the ACC championship, it would become the first ever with four consecutive outright crowns. Florida State won nine in a row from 1992 to 2000 but had to share the title in two of those years (1995, 1998).
9. The Orange and Cotton bowls will serve as the CFP semifinal games and take place on Dec. 29. The championship game will be Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.
10. Houston junior nose tackle Ed Oliver already has announced he's leaving for the NFL after this season. The Cougars have played in two secondary bowls in his first two seasons, and that's not good enough for Oliver, who should be a top draft pick. "We got to get it this year," he said. "That's what I need. I need the conference championship. I need a New Year's Six [bowl game]. I need both of them before I get up on out of here."
11. Since the American Athletic Conference was formed in 2013, the only player drafted in the top five was Central Florida's Blake Bortles, who was picked third overall by Jacksonville in 2014.
12. Temple will play at Houston on Nov. 10. The Owls are 0-6 all-time against the Cougars.
13. Central Florida is expected to again rule the AAC. It went 13-0 last year but lost head coach Scott Frost to Nebraska. He was replaced by Josh Heupel, who was the quarterback when Oklahoma won the national title in 2000.
14. A big reason star quarterback McKenzie Milton went to Central Florida was because Frost had coached Marcus Mariota at Oregon. Milton, like Mariota, is from Hawaii.
15. UCF, which will host Temple on Nov. 1, will play ACC teams North Carolina (Sept. 15) and Pittsburgh (Sept. 29). The Knights beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl to cap their undefeated season.
16. Frost was the quarterback at Nebraska when it went undefeated and split the national title with Michigan in 1997. Frost is the only person ever to go 13-0 as a quarterback and head coach. "I want to show him that I could have played with him," said Cornhuskers star receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. "I could have been your receiver." He probably could have been. Frost threw only five TD passes that year.
17. Morgan, no relation to the former New England Patriot great, broke Johnny Rodgers' Nebraska school record with 986 receiving yards last year. That's right. No Cornhusker has ever had 1,000 reception yards in a season.
18. The investigation into the June death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair is expected to conclude around Sept. 15, which is the date Temple will play at the Terrapins.
19. "I feel like he left a great message to us without ever saying it," fellow lineman Derwin Gray said. "Hang around your teammates. Smile. Enjoy what you do together … And most important, just tell each other 'I love you.' Because you never know with this game we're playing. Anything can happen. So that's what I take from the situation."
>> READ MORE: Chasing wins, Maryland football loses its way | Bob Ford
20. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada, one of the coaches present during the workout when McNair collapsed, is coaching the Terps while head coach D.J. Durkin is on indefinite administrative leave. Canada is in his first season at Maryland after spending last season at LSU. In 2016, he was the offensive coordinator at Pitt when the Panthers hung a damaging loss on Penn State.
21. Tip of the helmet to reader Adam Dvorin, who points out that Ryan Day — an assistant for Temple in 2010 and 2012 and under Chip Kelly with the Eagles in 2015 — gets to stand in for suspended head coach Urban Meyer for Ohio State's first three games. Ryan's three games are against Oregon State and Rutgers at home and against TCU in Arlington, Texas.
>> READ MORE: Urban Meyer wins, Ohio State loses | Bob Ford
22. The Buckeyes have won 18 consecutive openers and have beaten the team up North six times in a row, and 13 of the last 14. But the conversation in Columbus continues to concern what Meyer knew about fired assistant coach Zach Smith's alleged domestic abuse and when did he know it.
23. This is Frank Solich's 14th season at Ohio, which was picked to win the league by the Mid-American Conference coaches. If it happens, it would be the school's first MAC title since 1968. Junior quarterback Nathan Rourke set a school record with 21 rushing touchdowns last season.
24. You think the Schuylkill Expressway is a grind? ESPN analyst Jim Mora, who had been UCLA's coach and has kids going to school in Southern California, will commute to the network's campus in Bristol, Conn. "Fortunately, there's a couple of great nonstop flights from L.A. to Hartford," said Mora, who quite possibly became the first person ever to utter that sentence.
25. Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson will try to give Michigan some stability at quarterback as the offense tries to catch up to the other side of the ball. "We want to be the No. 1 defense in the nation," said lineman Rashan Gary, who had 5.5 sacks last season. The Wolverines were third in yards allowed last year, 14th in points.
26. Notre Dame, which will host Michigan on at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC10), returns 10 starters on its own defense. The over-under for ND-Michigan is about 47, which feels a little high.
27. All four defensive linemen on the ACC's all-conference preseason team are Clemson players. Defense tackle Christian Wilkins and defensive end Clelin Ferrell were preseason first-team all-Americans, as well. Joined by Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant, they are dubbed the "Power Rangers" after their 2016 Halloween costumes.
28. Clemson's No. 2 preseason ranking is tied for the highest in program history. The Tigers also were No. 2 in 2016, when they won the national title.
29. The NCAA has changed the redshirt rule to allow players to play in four games before they can be redshirted. It had been one snap in one game (with room for hardship appeal). The new rule will give coaches more roster flexibility, especially late in the season.
30. Kyler Murray is replacing Baker Mayfield as Oklahoma's quarterback, but only for this season. Murray was drafted by the A's with the ninth overall pick in June and received a $4.6 million signing bonus. Oakland is allowing him to play football for Oklahoma before he starts his professional baseball career, which is odd considering the money.
31. Murray, a 5-11, 195-pound centerfielder, hit .296 in 51 games with 10 homers and 47 RBI. MLB.com said he might have been the best athlete in the draft.
32. The Sooners are ranked fifth in the AP preseason poll. They will have an interesting game in Week 2, when unranked UCLA visits in what will be Chip Kelly's second game as Bruins coach. UCLA will host Cincinnati on Saturday.
33. Kelly, who got a five-year, $23.3 million deal from the Bruins, was 46-7 as a college coach at Oregon and 28-35 in the NFL.
34. Vince Young's TD run to clinch that epic Texas win over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl was the last time a Big 12 team won the national title. The subsequent 12 titles have been won by the SEC (9), ACC (2), and Big Ten (1).
35. Kyle Boyd has gone from Marine to walk-on special-teamer to starting fullback on scholarship at Baylor. Boyd, who served in the Marines from 2011 to 2016, has been the flag-bearer prior to games for the Bears since arriving in 2016.
36. Baylor is 2-17 in its last 19 games and is again expected to finish toward the bottom of the Big 12. The Bears, however, should be better than the 1-11 mark they posted last season in Matt Rhule's first year.
37. Iowa has had two head coaches in 40 years. And Kirk Ferentz will pass Hayden Fry as the winningest coach in school history with a victory on Saturday against Northern Illinois. Ferentz is 143-97 through 19 seasons, Fry was 143-89-6 in the 20 years before (1979-98). Ferentz's first win at Iowa, in 1999, was against UNI.
38. Apparently, it's not easy being a football player at Louisville these days. "When you're in Louisville athletics, period, [trolls are] going to say something about basketball," junior linebacker Jon Greenard said. "When you go anywhere else, you have to know where you're at, know your limits about getting into certain little stuff like that; to not draw a spark about U of L athletics because we're already in so much turmoil as it is."
39. The Cardinals also had to rename their stadium after the Papa John Schnatter racial slur scandal and replace Heisman-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, and on Saturday they will open the season against Alabama in Orlando. Louisville is more than a three-touchdown underdog.
40. Alabama, the preseason No. 1 for the third year in a row, has won 73 consecutive games against unranked opponents. The last loss was to Auburn in the 2007 Iron Bowl, which was Nick Saban's first year in Tuscaloosa. 'Bama went 7-6 that year. Hard to imagine the Tide losing six games in a season.
41. As of Friday morning, Saban hadn't announced who his starting quarterback was going to be against Louisville. Tua Tagovailoa, the hero of last year's national championship game, and veteran Jalen Hurts were listed as co-starters. Must be like choosing between a Ferrari and a Maserati.
42. About 100 miles to the southeast of the rolling Tide, Alabama State head coach Donald Hill-Eley is finishing up his doctorate in higher education and administration. "Now, it's just finding the time to finish the dissertation," he told the Associated Press. The Hornets will play at Auburn on Sept. 8.
43. Best game of the first full week is ninrh-ranked Auburn against sixth-ranked Washington in Atlanta at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (6ABC). William Hill-US, which operates the sportsbook at Ocean Resort in Atlantic City, earlier this week had Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham at 28-1 to win the Heisman. Washington's Jake Browning was 20-1.
44. The five Heisman favorites via WHUS: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa (9-2), Stanford RB Bryce Love (5-1), Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor (8-1), Arizona QB Khalil Tate (10-1), and Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins (12-1). Penn State QB Trace McSorley (18-1) and Georgia RB D'Andre Swift (30-1) also were on the board.
45. Love, a senior, had an FBS record 13 runs last season of 50 yards or more. The 2,118 yards rushing he posted last season are the most ever for a returning player.
46. Love was inspired by former Cardinal teammate Christian McCaffrey, who returned to Stanford after finishing second in the Heisman in 2015. "I just remember how he handled everything that was thrown at him and how he was able to bounce back from that and to do things for us as a team," Love said.
47. Some watering hole trivia: Washington running back Myles Gaskin is trying to become the 10th player in FBS history to run for at least 1,000 yards in all four of his seasons. Napoleon Kaufman (1992-94) and former Eagle Chris Polk (2009-11) are the only Huskies to do it three times.
48. Kyle Shurmur (La Salle High) needs 2,963 yards to break Jay Cutler's career passing record at Vanderbilt. Shurmur, who had 2,823 last season, is still looking for that signature win. He'll get at least two cracks as a senior, and neither will be easy: Sept. 15 at Notre Dame, Oct. 6 at Georgia.
49. Georgia will lean on sophomore running back D'Andre Swift (St. Joseph's Prep) even more now that Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are in the NFL and incoming hot recruit Zamir White injured his knee. "Georgia is known as RB U., so our coaches will figure it out," said Elijah Holyfield, (Evander's son), who also is in the mix for carries. Georgia, ranked third, does not play Alabama in the regular season. It will visit Auburn on Nov. 10.
50. Many of the Iowa State players went to nearby Marshalltown after it was flattened by a devastating tornado in July, and they moved more than tree branches and debris. They moved many townspeople to tears. "They spread hope and enthusiasm that we can deal with this as best we can," elementary school principal Mick Jurgensen told the Des Moines Register. "They brought a shot in the arm to people that really needed it."