Now this is the way to start the college football season.The usual steady stream of games from Thursday through Monday night this year includes four matchups of ranked teams and six more ranked teams facing Power Five opposition, four of those away from home.In some cases, regardless of the quality of the competition, the names alone scream big-time college football game. Alabama vs. USC. Texas vs. Notre Dame.Since the NFL moved the start of its season to the week following Labor Day in 2001, college football has turned summers last hurrah weekend into a delightful opening act. But it tended to be quantity -- lots of games on TV spread out over five games -- over high quality. Most top teams were playing cupcakes.The College Football Playoff has encouraged teams to play step-up nonconference scheduling since one loss early wont kill a teams national championship hopes. The demands of television networks and fans -- who are paying the bills in college football -- also pushed schools to accept more challenging games.This opening weekend is not quite the greatest in college football history. In 1998, eight games matched Top 25 teams. But it is better than most.The last time four games paired ranked teams in the first week of the season was 2009. The opening slate that year included a top-10 matchup in Atlanta between No. 5 Alabama and No. 7 Virginia Tech, won by the Crimson Tide, and No. 20 BYU upsetting No. 3 Oklahoma at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas.A third-ranked Sooners team losing in an NFL stadium to a school from outside the power conferences? Houston fans would like to see a repeat of that Saturday.The picks:THURSDAY KICKOFFAppalachian State (plus 20) at No. 9 TennesseeVols offensive coordinator Mike DeBord was Michigans OC when it lost to App State in 2007. Bad omen? ... TENNESSEE 38-14.Charlotte (plus 40) at No. 19 LouisvilleA fun full season of Lamar Jackson at quarterback for the Cardinals should start with one big half and then some work for the backup ... LOUISVILLE 58-14.FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE FARMKansas State (plus 15 1/2) at No. 8 StanfordWildcats coach Bill Snyder begins season with 193 victories. Getting to 200 might be a nice way for the 76-year-old Hall of Famer to head into retirement ... STANFORD 38-20.SATURDAY MAIN EVENTSNo. 1 Alabama (minus 11 1/2) vs. No. 20 Southern California at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TexasThe thought of losing to the defending national champions might not be so bad for USC fans. The thought of losing to former Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, now the Tides offensive coordinator, probably wont be as easy to take ... ALABAMA 27-14.No. 3 Oklahoma (minus 11) vs. No. 15 Houston at NRG Stadium in HoustonThe last time the Cougars went into a huge early season game this highly ranked was 1991 against Miami, and it did not turn out well for Houston. Can another much-hyped bunch of Coogs be heading for a similar fate? ... OKLAHOMA 38-24.No. 18 Georgia (minus 2 1/2) vs. No. 22 North Carolina at the Georgia Dome in AtlantaThe Kirby Smart era begins for the Bulldogs. More importantly, the Nick Chubb era continues after last years knee injury put it on hold ... GEORGIA 28-23.UNDERCARDNo. 2 Clemson (minus 7 1/2) at AuburnQB DeShaun Watson was last seen putting up 478 total yards against Alabamas defense. Auburn does not have Alabamas defense. ... CLEMSON 35-21, BEST BET.No. 5 LSU (minus 10) vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WisconsinBadgers best bet to stop RB Leonard Fournette was defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, but he is with the Tigers now ... LSU 28-10.No. 16 UCLA (plus 3) at Texas A&MPac-12-SEC matchup could feature the No. 1 pick in this years NFL draft, Aggies DE Myles Garrett, and next years, Bruins QB Josh Rosen ... UCLA 27-24, UPSET SPECIALEASY OPENERSBowling Green (plus 28) at No. 6 Ohio StateUrban Meyer gets to ease in a bunch of new Buckeyes ... OHIO STATE 45-14.Hawaii (plus 40) at No. 7 MichiganBack-to-back road trips to Australia and Ann Arbor. The Rainbow Warriors might need a new travel agent ... MICHIGAN 48-7.Rutgers (plus 26 1/2) at No. 14 WashingtonThe Huskies hype machine is not likely to be interrupted by a visit from the rebuilding Scarlet Knights ... WASHINGTON 31-7.Miami of Ohio (plus 27) at No. 17 IowaKirk Ferentz begins his 18th season at Iowa, tied with Bob Stoops of Oklahoma as the longest tenured coach in major college football ... IOWA 45-10.UMass (plus 35) at No. 25 FloridaThe first of three SEC opponents for the Minutemen. Only SEC teams play more ... FLORIDA 56-13.SUNDAY SHOWDOWNNo. 10 Notre Dame (minus 3) at TexasThe first of many referendum games for Longhorns coach Charlie Strong ... NOTRE DAME 24-20.MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALLNo. 4 Florida State (minus 4) vs. No. 11 Mississippi at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FloridaAmong running backs with at least 100 carries, the Seminoles Dalvin Cook had the highest average per carry against Power Five opponents at 7.69 ... FLORIDA STATE 27-17.TWITTER REQUESTSBYU (plus 1) vs. Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona -- (at)RustyHinkQB Taysom Hill, who was in the same recruiting class as former USC quarterback Matt Barkley, is starting again for the Cougars after two seasons lost to injuries ... ARIZONA 28-24.Missouri (plus 10) at West Virginia -- (at)watt11Its been a few years since realignment, but this still qualifies as an odd SEC-Big 12 matchup ... WEST VIRGINIA 23-17.Colorado (minus 7 1/2) vs. Colorado State at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado -- (at)MackinnonisGodAn often entertaining rivalry game ... COLORADO 30-24.South Carolina (plus 4 1/2) at Vanderbilt -- (at)BCrawford247Will Muschamps first season as Gamecocks coach is going to be a long one if it starts with a loss to Vandy ... SOUTH CAROLINA 15-12.Western Michigan (plus 5) at Northwestern -- (at)MatthewHLeachBroncos were second in the nation in time of possession per game last season at 34:33 ... NORTHWESTERN 24-21.Georgia Tech (minus 3) vs. Boston College at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland -- (at)RustyHinkTwo teams coming off awful seasons, open in Ireland hoping to change their (wait for it) luck ... GEORGIA TECH 24-17.---Last years record: 227-88 straight; 149-152-5 vs. spread.---Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP Nike Zoom Cheap . Ronaldo produced a spectacular individual performance on Tuesday, scoring all three goals and guiding Portugal into the next years World Cup in Brazil with a 3-2 victory in Sweden. The Real Madrid forward has scored 66 goals in 2013, but the last three may be the boost he needs to upstage Messi after FIFA unexpectedly extended the voting period for the Ballon dOr to Nov. Nike Zoom For Sale . Schenn scored the game-winning goal and added two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday. http://www.wholesalenikezoom.com/ . Listen to the game live on TSN Radio 1050 at 7pm et. The Raptors traded Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to the Sacramento Kings on Monday, in exchange for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes. Nike Zoom Online Shop ., for the next three years with the signings on Monday of Daryl Townsend and Michael Carter. Nike Zoom Buy Online . The 15th-ranked Canadian men lost the opening two games of their European tour: 19-15 to No. 17 Georgia and 21-20 to No. MIAMI -- Fernando Rodney is a free agent after the Miami Marlins declined his $2 million option, choosing instead to pay a $400,000 buyout.The 39-year-old reliever had a 5.89 ERA and eight saves in 39 games after being acquired by the Marlins in a June trade with San Diego for minor league right-hander Chris Paddack..ddddddddddddodney made his third All-Star team this season and finished 2-4 with a 3.44 ERA and 25 saves. The right-hander has 261 career saves and a 3.69 ERA in 14 major league seasons. Wholesale Hoodies NFL Shirts Outlet Jerseys NFL Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '