School has been back in session for a couple of weeks now and several high school football games have been played throughout the Valley and other areas across the country.

I love high school football and enjoy going out to the field each Friday night to watch the action unfold. But, with that being said, nothing compares to the passion I have for college football.

There’s nothing like a college football Saturday and the pageantry, passion and emotion it evokes from its fans each weekend. Every single week matters and can make or break a team’s season and championship hopes, which is part of what makes the sport so appealing.

A string of early season losses can easily derail a team’s season, unlike in the NFL, which I still thoroughly enjoy, where teams can sustain a miserable stretch and still make the playoffs as the Carolina Panthers did last season.

In addition to the on-field action, the off-the-field aspect of college football is another thing that makes the sport special. Entire towns and communities rally and come together once a week and get behind their local universities. The festivities that come with college football are unparalleled in any other sport, and to this day some of my favorite memories are from making trips to Clemson, S.C., to watch my beloved Clemson Tigers and take in everything that embodies a fall Saturday in Clemson.

And in two short days, all of this will be back when North Carolina and South Carolina kick off the FBS season Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. In addition to this solid matchup, there are several other intriguing games. TCU against Minnesota and Michigan against Utah stand out from a national perspective while another local school, Duke, also opens its season with a matchup with Tulane.

Thursday is just a precursor for the weekend when everything really gets going on Saturday with several big matchups — Alabama vs. Wisconsin, Louisville vs. Auburn and Arizona State vs. Texas A&M are a few that stand out — and ends Monday with a rematch from one of 2014’s best games when Ohio State travels to Virginia Tech.

Opening week is here, the dog days of summer are finally coming to a close and football is officially back. It’s about time to spot the ball.