When does the 2022 college football season start?

When does the college football season start? From 10 games in Week 0 until the final game of Week 1, we've got the key dates for you!

If you’re anything like us, there’s only been one question occupying your every waking thought since early January: When does the 2022 college football season start? Not only do we have the answer to that very question, but we’ve also got some of the top games on the schedule to look out for over the first two weeks of what promises to be an exciting season.

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When does the 2022 college football season start?

It feels like a lifetime ago since the Georgia Bulldogs hoisted the national championship trophy in Lucas Oil Stadium. Since early January, Saturdays have felt empty, devoid of the color, pageantry, excitement, and eye-popping plays that only the nation’s greatest spectacle can provide. The days have been long, the MACtion-less midweek evenings have been even longer, but there is reprieve on the horizon.

Contrary to what national media would have you believe, the college football season doesn’t begin with Week 1. For those of us who love nothing more than watching Austin Peay travel to Western Kentucky, the season begins with Week 0. Usually reserved for a couple of taster games, this season, the 2022 college football season starts with 10, yes 10, matchups on Saturday, Aug. 27.

The first game of the 2022 college football season is the aforementioned Austin Peay at Western Kentucky bout with a 12 p.m. ET kickoff. The pageantry of college football also heads overseas on Aug. 27. Nebraska and Northwestern take an all-Big Ten clash to the Emerald Isle, with a 12:30 p.m. ET kickoff in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

The Big Ten might also play host to the first Power Five defeat at the hands of the Group of Five, with Wyoming traveling to Illinois. A rebuilding North Carolina squad plays host to HBCU standout Florida A&M, another game with upset potential. Week 0 of the 2022 college football season closes out with a huge helping of Hawaiian excitement as the Rainbow Warriors’ first game under Timmy Chang sees them entertain Vanderbilt at 10:30 p.m. ET.

When does college football Week 1 begin?

Don’t believe in Week 0? Well, it’s your loss. You’ll have already missed 10 opportunities to watch college football in 2022. Week 1 kicks off at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 1, with St. Francis (PA) traveling to an Akron team looking to get off to a hot start under new head coach Joe Moorhead.

If that doesn’t stir your college football juices, there are several intriguing matchups on that opening day of Week 1 of the 2022 college football season. West Virginia makes the trek to Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. ET in the Backyard Brawl. Meanwhile, Penn State and Purdue face off in an all-Big Ten conference clash at 8 p.m. ET.

There are another eight clashes to tickle your college football tastebuds on Friday, Sept. 2. All-Michigan mayhem comes to town as Michigan State opens what has the potential to be a promising season by “welcoming” Western Michigan to East Lansing. Meanwhile, the Spartans’ Big Ten rivals Illinois and Indiana bring another all-conference brawl to Week 1 of the 2022 college football season. That game commences at 8 p.m. ET.

The first full Saturday of the 2022 college football season is scheduled for Sept. 3. College GameDay lands in Columbus for the 7:30 p.m. ET duel between Notre Dame and Ohio State. Meanwhile, reigning national champions Georgia begin the defense of their title at 3:30 p.m. ET against Oregon. The game pits new Ducks head coach Dan Lanning against the team whose dominating defense he engineered last fall.

Finally, Week 1 of the 2022 college football season blesses us with Sunday and Monday night football. The Caesars Superdome in New Orleans hosts a tasty matchup between LSU and FSU on Sunday, Sept. 4. Meanwhile, Clemson faces their most uncertain season opener in recent history as they take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 5.

It may only be June, but the 2022 college football season is coming. And, it’s going to be a good one.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.

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