The third season of the College Football "Playoff" era begins this weekend. Last season the Alabama Crimson Tide won the national championship by defeating the Clemson Tigers 45-40 in a thrilling finale. The 2016-17 season will start as it ended with Alabama and Clemson ranked numbers 1 & 2 in the AP poll. This weekend both Alabama and Clemson open against strong opponents. This will be a great year for college football.
The Oregon Ducks ended last season ranked #19 after falling to the TCU Horned Frogs in the Alamo Bowl. The Ducks lost 41-47 in triple-over-time. The game was a tale of two halves. At half-time Oregon led 31-0. YES! 31-0!! Unfortunately, late in the first half the Ducks’ starting QB Vernon Adams suffered a concussion and was unable to return to play. Then early in the second half, the Ducks lost their starting Center Matt Hegarty. From that point forward Oregon’s offensive timing was disrupted by low and mishandled snaps. TCU came back. A field goal with 23 seconds remaining tied the game. Then in triple-over-time, TCU prevailed. The 31 point comeback is the biggest in college football bowl history. Here is a highlight video of the game.

This season the Oregon Ducks begin ranked #24, the lowest start since 2007. Due to the Alamo Bowl collapse there have been a lot of changes since last season on both sides of the ball. Generally the offense is in good shape. However, like last season, the Ducks have a new starting quarterback. Just like last season, the Ducks have brought in an FCS graduate transfer student to fill the position. Dakota Prukop (6’2” 195 lbs) is a duel-threat quarterback who had an excellent career at Montana State. The rest of the offense is ready to roll. RB “Rolls” Royce Freeman is on the Heisman Trophy watch list, and the receiver corps, which includes Olympian Devon Allen, is one of the fastest in college football.
Last year the Oregon defense was the worst in the Pac-12. So during the off-season coach Mark Helfrich demoted Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum and replaced him with Brady Hoke, a former Michigan Head Coach. Since Hoke’s arrival much has changed, primarily the Ducks will be using a base 4-3 defense rather than a 3-4 defense. Throughout Hoke’s career his defenses have been known for their blitzing and aggressiveness.
Oregon’s season begins this Saturday against UC Davis. This is a true warm-up game for the Ducks. UC Davis is a FCS school and should preset no challenge for the Ducks. Because of all the changes the Ducks have gone through during the off-season, this game will be perfect for them to prepare for challenging games to come. 
Before I go I’d like to leave you all with an excellent Oregon motivational video.
“2016-17 Pump Up”

Mike Resch reporting from Eugene Oregon where it never rains, it only pours touchdowns.

Here’s a list of the best college games of the weekend. All times are Central Europe Time.
September 3
18:00 #3 Oklahoma (Big-12) vs. #13 Houston (AAC)
21:30 #24 UCLA (Pac-12) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)
21:30 #6 LSU (SEC) vs. Wisconsin (Big-10)
September 4
02:00 #17 USC (Pac-12) vs. #1 Alabama (SEC)
03:00 #2 Clemson (ACC) vs. Auburn (SEC)
September 5
01:30 #9 Notre Dame (Independent) vs. Texas (Big-12)
September 6
02:00 #12 Ole Miss (SEC) vs. #4 Florida State (ACC)

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