Play Ball! College Football Season Begins

Play Ball! College Football Season Begins


Five consecutive days of football on tap this weekend.

A dark cloud hangs over the start of college football this season and it isn’t the remnants of Hurricane Irene. The University of Miami’s football program is casting a pall over the sport which continues to work through scandals, large and small.

Labor Day Weekend

Nevertheless, this weekend marks the official start of the 2011 college football season, with the first games on tap Thursday night. Those first 15 games will be followed by games the next four days or nights, with Saturday’s action offering the bulk of the contests.

Although there will be a number of match up between upper and lower tier Division 1 teams, there will also be some several early season clashes between ranked teams. The Oregon Ducks, #3 in the nation, will take on the #4 LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This stadium seats 80,000 fans, but has room for thousands more who can stand. Expect this game to be one of the most watched contests of the Labor Day weekend. What is unfortunate is that Oregon-LSU is scheduled at the same time on Saturday evening (8 p.m.) when #5 Boise State visits #19 Georgia Tech. ESPN and ABC are joined at the hip, but both stations will be competing with each other to air these contests. Go figure.

Weekend Starters

Much of the action over the first weekend will include tune up games and a handful of regional rivalries. Among the tune up games are North Carolina Central at Rutgers; Murray State at Louisville; Montana State at Utah; UC Davis at Arizona; Kent State at Alabama; Appalachian State at Virginia; Western Michigan at Michigan; Liberty at North Carolina State; Buffalo at Pittsburgh; Montana at Tennessee; Austin Peay at Cincinnati; Northern Arizona at Arizona; and Texas State at Texas Tech.

Regional rivalries include Villanova at Temple; Delaware at Navy; William & Mary at Virginia; Fresno State at California; Tulsa at Oklahoma; La. Tech at Southern Miss.; and Marshall at West Virginia.

ESPN Controversy

Controversy is the sport of college football and fan pages have been stirring following the story by Brad Edwards of ESPN Insider who claims that the Mountain West Conference is stronger than the Big East Conference and thus could supplant the Big East for automatic bowl qualifying. You can’t read the article unless you’re an “insider” subscriber, but the gist of the article is that even without Utah and BYU, the MWC is stronger top to bottom than the BE. Although the BE is not in danger of losing its automatic qualifying status for the bowl championship series, a strong showing this year in advance of TCU joining next year can do much to shut critics up.

Please stay with us throughout this college football season as we bring our special perspective on gridiron activity. Enjoy the games!


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