Of the 31 games involving at least one P5 conference team in week 1 (Hawaii games get counted twice here), only 7 feature matchups between teams with a history of at least 5 games between them, excluding two conference games in the ACC and the SEC.
So before we begin with the list, we mention Georgia Tech and Boston College, facing each other for the 9th time. We also send a hello to South Carolina and Vanderbilt, playing an SEC game in week 1, which will also be their 26th meeting.
And for those asking why Hawaii counts as two? They’re playing in Australia against California in the pre-Week 1 opening game, and then face Michigan as part of the official week 1 schedule.
Missouri vs West Virginia: 5th time
The last time the Mountaineers and the Tigers played each other was in the 1998 Insight Bowl, as the Larry Smith coached Tigers won 34-31, their first bowl game victory since 1981. Overall Missouri lead the series 3-2, with both of the WVU wins coming in the 1920’s.
#20 USC vs #1 Alabama: 8th time
Two of the biggest programs in college football history, and it’s just the 8th time they’re going to play each other. In fact, the Trojans and the Crimson Tide haven’t played since the 1985 Aloha Bowl, which ended in a 24-3 win for the #15 ranked Alabama. Alabama lead the all-time series 5-2, including a 34-14 win in the 1946 Rose Bowl, as they outgained USC 351 to 41. Despite finishing 9-0 that season, it’s not one of their claimed national titles, and Army are recognized as the champions for the 1945 season.
#10 Notre Dame vs Texas: 12th time
Notre Dame destroyed Texas 38-3 in South Bend last season, as the Irish offense outgained Texas 527 to 163 and had 30 first downs compared to the Longhorns who had 8. Overall, Notre Dame are 9-2 against Texas. The two sides met three times in the Cotton Bowl during the 1970s, with the Longhorns ranked #1 on all three occasions. In 1970 Texas won 21-17 to claim a national title, and despite Notre Dame winning the 1971 meeting, Texas still got the championship nod from the coaches poll. In 1978, Notre Dame beat an undefeated Texas 38-10 to claim the national title.
Arizona vs BYU: 23rd time
From 1962 through 1977, the Wildcats and Cougars clashed on an annual basis. Overall, Arizona lead the series with 12 wins to 9 losses and one tie. Their last meeting was in the 2008, as Arizona beat BYU 31-21 in the coldest Las Vegas Bowl in history, which was also the last time Mike Stoops led a team to a Bowl game win.
#18 Georgia vs #22 North Carolina: 24th time
The record between the Bulldogs and the Tar Heels is 15-6-2 in Georgia’s favor, with the last meeting between the two teams in 1971. The Dooley brothers were the head coaches of both teams at the time. Georgia won that game 7-3, finishing the season 11-1 and ranked #7 on the AP Poll. In 1947 they met in the Sugar Bowl, won by Georgia, finishing the 1946 season undefeated, although they ended it ranked #3 on the AP Poll.
#2 Clemson vs Auburn: 50th time
While Auburn lead the series 34-13-2, Clemson have won the last two games, including 26-19 in 2012 as the two teams met for the Chick-Fil-A season opener in Atlanta. The 2016 game will be held in Auburn, where Clemson haven’t won since 1950, losing their last 7 visits, including a close on in 2010, when Auburn won their last national title. Their last bowl game meeting was the 2007 Chick-Fil-A Bowl, in the battle of the Tommy’s, with Auburn winning 23-20.
Colorado State vs Colorado (Rocky Mountain Showdown): 88th time
A rivalry that always seems to be on the verge of being discontinued at some point, the state rivals began playing each other in 1893, and haven’t missed a game since 1995, with most games being played in Denver (neutral), although there’s been talk of bringing it back to campus sites. The game hasn’t been playing in Fort Collins since 1996, and not in Boulder since 2009. The Buffaloes won the last meeting 27-24 in overtime, and lead the series 63-22-2.
Four games will be the first meet ever between the two sides for matchups involving at least one P5 team: Kansas State vs Stanford, Rutgers vs Washington, Appalachian State vs Tennessee and UMass vs Florida.