College football returned in a big way in the SEC, with seven of the conference’s 14 teams playing their first games before crowds of at least 75,000 excitable fans and two – Tennessee and Texas A&M – featuring more than 100,000 in attendance.

The Aggies drew top billing at Kyle Field by packing in an official crowd of 100,443 to watch them edge visiting UCLA in overtime, 31-24. There were also more than a few anxious moments on Thursday night for the 100,074 gathered at Neyland Stadium as the Vols needed overtime to escape 20-13 Appalachian State, 20-13.

A record crowd of 75,405 made their way to the Georgia Dome for Saturday’s Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game between North Carolina and Georgia, and they were rewarded with a gem of a contest that saw Bulldogs tailback Nick Chubb stamp his return from last year’s gruesome knee injury with a 222-yard, two-touchdown effort to lead the Dawgs to a 33-24 decision over the Tar Heels.

Conversely, however, there was a decided lack of excitement in Nashville on Thursday evening, as just 30,304 bothered to attend the South Carolina/Vanderbilt tilt at Vanderbilt Stadium. The Gamecocks won that game 13-10.

You can expect another big fan gathering in Orlando tonight, as No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 4 Florida State meet at the Citrus Bowl to close a memorable college football weekend.

100,443UCLA at Texas A&MSept. 3Kyle Field
100,074Appalachian State at TennesseeSept. 1Neyland Stadium
88,121UMass at FloridaSept. 3Ben Hill Griffin Stadium/Steve Spurrier Field
87,451Clemson at AuburnSept. 3Jordan-Hare Stadium
81,359Southern California vs. AlabamaSept. 3AT&T Stadium
77,823LSU vs. WisconsinSept. 3Lambeau Field
75,405North Carolina vs. GeorgiaSept. 3The Georgia Dome
69,132Louisiana Tech at ArkansasSept. 3Razorback Stadium
60,125Missouri at West VirginiaSept. 3Milan Puskar Stadium
57,230Southern Miss at KentuckySept. 3Commonwealth Stadium
57,075South Alabama at Mississippi StateSept. 3Davis Wade Stadium
30,304South Carolina at VanderbiltSept. 1Vanderbilt Stadium