College football can be weird, and on August 26th, we will see three games take place, the most notable being Notre Dame vs Navy in Dublin, Ireland. But rather than say these games are being played in week 1 of the college football season, they will be deemed a week 0 game.
How exactly did we reach the point where week 1 is actually week 0? Let’s take a quick look.
In the beginning, there was week 0
While a Week 0 game was played in 1983 between Nebraska and Penn State and an entire slate of games played in 2002 that included Florida State playing Iowa State, the concept didn’t really pick up in steam until 2017.
The original intent of the rule was to grant teams that play in Hawaii an extra home game to help offset teams cover costs they incurred by traveling to Hawaii.
But since 2017, there have been more and more of these games as TV networks have figured out that placing a nationally televised game on a weekend when nothing else is going on is rating gold.
Between 2004 to 2015, there were no games prior to Labor Day. The NCAA brought back these games in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2019, when the Florida Gators took on the Miami Hurricanes, that networks gave fans a Power Five matchup to kick off the season.
2020 didn’t have any opening games, because reasons, but the last two seasons have featured Nebraska being Nebraska and losing to both Illinois and Northwestern to open the season.
Last season featured 11 games that were played during this opening weekend.
The season kickoff in Dublin feels like it will be a mainstay of college football, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see other international cities try and hop on the bandwagon for upcoming seasons and host games to kick off the college football season.
Even if week 1 is called week 0.