College football is back in our lives, thanks to it being Week 0 across this most majestic sport.

With it being Week 0 in college football, let’s figure out precisely what it is and why we have it.

Traditionally, the college season commenced on the Saturday coinciding with Labor Day Weekend. It has been blown out in a big way with major non-conference games, often played in the stale environments of corporate neutral-site affairs. Although the NCAA has failed to capitalize on the fact the NFL does not play games that count on Labor Day Weekend, they have devised Week 0.

When it comes to the official start of the college season here is what you need to know about it.

What is Week 0 in college football?

The idea behind the soft open of the college season with Week 0 stems from these two things: Guaranteeing smaller programs an opportunity to be featured on a national television audience and something known as “The Hawaii Rule.” National TV audiences aren’t as important as they used to be in college in the era of streaming with the sport having multiple broadcast partners.

Then again, Week 0 rarely features ranked teams, which most college football fans, casual and passionate, will naturally gravitate towards when their favorite team is not playing. As far as “The Hawaii Rule” is concerned, this allows programs like the Rainbow Warriors to have an extra game’s worth of revenue to offset the arduous travel costs the program regularly has to take on.

As expected, Hawaii is playing in the Week 0 nightcap when the Rainbow Warriors host Vanderbilt.

When did Week 0 in college football start?

The first Week 0 game took place way back in 1983 between two ranked teams in a pretty cool neutral-site affair. No. 1 Nebraska blew out No. 4 Penn State 44-6 in the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the Kickoff Classic. Although Week 0 has come and gone in terms of popularity, it has been an ever-present part of our lives for going on five or so seasons now.

While no Week 0 games were played during the 2020 COVID season, five were played in 2021, including a thriller between Nebraska and Illinois in Champaign. Since we are all about creating new traditions on the fly, it would be nothing short of fantastic for Nebraska to be the blue-blood program that plays annually each Week 0, as well as Hawaii sending us into early Sunday morning.

With 11 games on the schedule for the 2022 college season, you have got some games to watch.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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