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The college football season is still a couple of months away, but today TV networks started releasing times for early season games, including the Duke’s Mayo Classic, which features the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the South Carolina Gamecocks. This battle between teams that will likely be ranked inside the top 25 in the preseason polls, is set for a 7:30 PM kick on ABC, making the Queen City the focus of the college football world, for the second time in three years. Two years ago, Clemson and Georgia battled at Bank of America Stadium, as two, top 5 teams, as Georgia prevailed 10-3, on their way to a national championship season.

It’s unknown as of today if ESPN’s College GameDay will be back in Charlotte for the opening weekend, but with LSU-Florida State slated for Sunday night, and Clemson-Duke, to be played on Monday, there’s a good chance the popular pregame show will be back in Charlotte to help hype the start of the 2023 college football season.

The Tar Heels are coming off a 9-5 season, where they started 9-1, and QB Drake Maye was entering the Heisman Trophy conversation. Maye returns to Chapel Hill, for what is likely his last season, as he’s believed to be the second-best QB in the country behind USC’s Caleb Williams, who won the Heisman a year ago and led the Trojans to the Cotton Bowl.

As for South Carolina, they will look to build off their end to the season last year, as they knocked off, back-to-back top 10 opponents in Tennessee, and rival Clemson. Shane Beamer has exceeded expectations in his first two seasons in Columbia, and with the return of Spencer Rattler, the Gamecocks are primed to be nationally relevant for the first since the 2010s, when they won 11 games, in three straight seasons.

In the last half-decade or so, the city of Charlotte has gotten aggressive in hosting big neutral site games, and now for the second time, they’ve been rewarded with a primetime kick, this time between two teams, with NFL-caliber QBs, and programs out to prove something.