Primetime Sunday matchups add intrigue to college football's 2017 opening weekend

Virginia Tech and West Virginia haven’t played since Oct. 1, 2005. Virginia Tech won 34-17. (Getty)
Virginia Tech and West Virginia haven’t played since Oct. 1, 2005. Virginia Tech won 34-17. (Getty)

The opening weekend of the 2017 college football season just got even more intriguing.

Though there are a handful of games on Saturday, Aug. 26, the season really gets going the following Saturday with games like Alabama vs. Florida State (in Atlanta), Michigan vs. Florida (in Arlington, Texas), LSU vs. BYU (in Houston) and more on Sept. 2. Now, before the 2017 NFL season kicks off the following week, college football will showcase two fun games on the night of Sunday, Sept. 3.

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We already knew about one. Earlier this week, it was announced that the Texas A&M vs. UCLA matchup would be moved to Sunday at either 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. ET. The two teams opened the 2016 season as well. It was a thriller, with the Aggies securing a 31-24 overtime win. Now, the revival of a Big East rivalry — Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia — will also kick off that Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET from FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, the home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The game will be televised on ABC.

“Thousands of our alums call Northern Virginia and the Capitol Region their home, so the chance to play in an NFL stadium in front of so many Hokies should be a great experience for our players and our fans,” Tech head coach Justin Fuente said. “We’re also excited to showcase our program on national TV for a primetime audience, as we renew our rivalry with a talented and well-coached West Virginia team.”

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The Hokies and Mountaineers, both coming off 10-win seasons in 2016, haven’t played since 2005, the year after Tech left the Big East for the ACC. The teams have played 51 times, dating back to 1912. WVU holds the series edge, 28-22-1.

Opening weekend doesn’t end Sunday. Another game — Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee — will be played on Monday night as the second part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff (following Alabama-FSU) at the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Other fun games that weekend include (played Saturday unless otherwise noted): Ohio State at Indiana (Thursday), Colorado State vs. Colorado (in Denver), Wyoming at Iowa, Louisville vs. Purdue (in Indianapolis), Western Michigan at USC, California at North Carolina, Maryland at Texas, South Carolina vs. NC State (in Charlotte), Temple at Notre Dame and Tulsa at Oklahoma State.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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