ESPN RISE Football Preview

It's been a long time coming, but football season is finally here -- and we're here to get you started.

Unlike the NFL, high school football has no made-for-TV celebration marking the official start of the season. Some states get rolling in early August while others don't kick the season off until September.

For us, football season doesn't REALLY get going until Texas says so. There's a reason "Friday Night Lights" is based in the Lone Star State, after all.

With Texas' regular season starting with Zero Week this weekend, we're counting down to kickoff by dissecting the world of high school football for each state (not to mention Washington, D.C.).

Each day leading up to the first Friday night of lights, we'll unveil a state-by-state breakdown of the vitals you need to know this season. We'll start today with the top program from each state and culminate with a blowout on Friday where we give you the preseason No. 1 team from each state, the top players from each state and the best rivalries.

After our primer, you can consider yourself ready for some football.

Monday, Aug. 24 -- Best programs
Tuesday, Aug. 25 -- Best nicknames
Wednesday, Aug. 26 -- Top coaches
Thursday, Aug. 27 -- All-time players
Friday, Aug. 28 -- Best rivalries, top players & preseason No. 1