Most “experts” have all but handed Alabama another national title even before college football kicks off on Aug. 26. They have also granted too much respect to the Pac 12 feasts upon itself and smaller programs. The Associated Press has the Crimson Tide second to Clemson, ESPN gives the nod to Ohio State and CBS says Florida State is No. 1.

The Pac 12 has as many teams in several of the top 25 polls as the 14-member Big 10. The difference, at least this year, is that the Big 10 teams have much more difficult out of conference schedules.

Bleacherreport has No. 10 Wisconsin and unranked Indiana has Big 10 football teams expected to exceed expectations in 2017.

Nine Big 10 teams received votes from ESPN pollsters, but only Ohio State (2), Penn State (6), Michigan (9) and Wisconsin (10) are in the top 25. The USA Today coaches poll looks the same.

AP separates itself from most other NCAA football polls, at least before the first kick-off. The longest poll of those that award national titles has the Buckeyes falling to No. 6 with the Nittany Lions following. The Badgers are ranked No. 9, with the Wolverines at No. 10. Nebraska and Minnesota each received a few of votes.

Must-see games

Sporting News likes USC at No. 2 and Washington 8th in the nation. Southern California will be featured in one of the best season openers. The Trojans host No. 15 Western Michigan at 12:15 pm on Sept. 2. It is scheduled be aired on the Pac 12 network. Two weeks later USC hosts Texas.

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That is the heart of the Trojans' schedule. Washington opens against Big 10 powerhouse Rutgers on Sept. 1 at 5 pm on FS1. The Scarlet Knights have won five games in the past two seasons, beating only Howard and New Mexico in 2016. All games are EST.

A couple of other marque match-ups are scheduled to take place on Sept. 2. Alabama challenges No. 11 Florida State in Atlanta, scheduled for 7 pm on ABC. Michigan and 17th ranked Florida are set to square off in Arlington, Texas, at 3:30 pm (also on ABC).

Play somebody

The rest of the top 10 should see walk-overs in their openers. The Tigers practice against Kent State on Sept. 2 at noon on ESPN. The Buckeyes open with visiting conference foe Indiana on ESPN at 8:30 pm on Aug. 31. Akron visits Penn State for a national TV appearance (ABC) on Sept. 2 at noon. Oklahoma faces UTEP on national television on Sept. 1 with a scrimmage in Norman at 9 pm on Fox.

Finally, No. 10 Colorado, another Pac 12 team, opens the season against Colorado State on Sept. 1 at 8 pm. The game will be on the Pac 12 network. The Buffalos then face Texas State and Northern Colorado in consecutive weeks. Colorado will receive three quick wins and plenty of huge statistics, but does playing that competition deserve a top 10 or even a top 25 ranking? Alabama has one of the toughest schedules in the country again, as well.