Week 0 provided a perfect chance to reintroduce ourselves to the warm college football waters, but now Week 1 gives fans a chance to take a full dive into the action as the 2023 season really gets going. Beginning Thursday and continuing through Labor Day, there is a near constant flow of games to enjoy. And with the arrival of any new year, comes the promise of drama and surprises.
Outside of Saturday's wall-to-wall coverage, Thursday's slate is the most comprehensive. In all, 11 games spanning coast to coast will feature a little bit of everything. The marquee matchups, however, will be a pair of 8 p.m. kickoffs featuring power conference programs.
One is a rematch of last season's thrilling opener between Florida and Utah. After coming up just short against the Gators a year ago in The Swamp, the No. 14 Utes will be looking for revenge. The primary question mark is the availability of Utah quarterback Cameron Rising, who continues to recover from a knee injury he suffered in last January's Rose Bowl.
At the same time, the Matt Rhule era begins at Nebraska in a Big Ten opener against Minnesota. The Cornhuskers are desperate for a return to glory, and Rhule's track record as a program builder suggests a competitive game against the Golden Gophers is on deck.
Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the evening for college football coverage from the opening kickoff onward. Let's take a look at our expert picks for the best games on Thursday of Week 1.
Odds via SportsLine consensus | All times Eastern
Florida at No. 14 Utah
8 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) -- It doesn't really matter whether Rising plays for Utah because its defense will keep the Gators offense in check for a full four quarters. Yes, Florida's running back duo of Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne is great, but the Utes defense focus on them and force quarterback Graham Mertz to beat them with his arm. He isn't capable of doing that. The Utes offense will do enough to control the game from the start and pull away for a double-digit win in the fourth quarter. Prediction: Utah (-6.5) -- Barrett Sallee
Nebraska at Minnesota
8 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) -- There wasn't much relevant tape available for the defensive staffs to study ahead of this game since both schools have new coordinators and new starting quarterbacks, along with some new skill talent. Thus, the advantage of surprise lies with the offensive coordinators for a game that is expected to be played in great weather. Minnesota, in particular, should be less run-heavy this season after the departure of running back Mohamed Ibrahim. The Gophers have quietly assembled one of the Big Ten's best pass-catching units and should be willing to air it out enough to facilitate a game with some offensive action. Prediction: Over 43 -- David Cobb
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 1? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.