College Football Opening Week: Multiple Yawners & Few Stunners

College Football Opening Week: Multiple Yawners & Few Stunners

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5 consecutive days of games to open the 2012 season.

The 2012 college football season got off to a start last Thursday and concluded on Monday evening with a tough match up between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. If you are an avid college football fan, then you were not disappointed by the television coverage as a seemingly endless stream of games were served up, including the usual yawners and stunners. If you didn’t catch a game live, stations were repeating a number of key contests throughout the weekend.

The yawners were predictable including Oklahoma State’s 84-0 dismantling of Savannah State, a game that netted the toothless Tigers $385,000 for a ceremonial beat down. It may be hard to believe, but the win represented the Cowboys’ first shut out in 11 years. As for the Tigers, well….

Roll, Tide, Roll

Pitt wasn’t as fortunate with its home opener against an FBS team, losing by two touchdowns to Youngstown State. The visiting Penguins came in at #13 in the FCS, while the losing Panthers showed everyone that its final year in the Big East Conference may be a long one. Pitt, along with Syracuse — a last minute loser to Northwestern, are headed to the ACC in 2013.

If you are Crimson Tide fan, Saturday’s contest against Michigan was no stunner, although how quickly the Wolverines were subdued may have taken some people by surprise. The defending national champions took a 31-0 lead before Michigan got on the board just before the half. Alabama has reloaded and certainly looks like a team that could deliver yet another championship to the SEC. Michigan returns home to play Air Force on Saturday; the Tide will host Western Kentucky.

Too Close for Comfort

Opening week also featured contests where heavy favorites had to shake off the cobwebs to win games that should never had been close in the first place. On Thursday, South Carolina put together a rally early in the fourth quarter to move past Vanderbilt, winning 17-13. The Gamecocks started the season ranked No. 9 and are expected to challenge for the SEC East title, coming off of an 11-2 record last year. The Commodores proved that they aren’t about to roll over for anyone this year and may very well pull a few surprises this season.

Stanford also needed a fourth-quarter score to win, with the difference maker a 20-yard field goal from Jordan Willamson. The Cardinal beat San Jose State 20-17, for the first game in the post-Andrew Luck era.

Other games that were either much too close for comfort or demonstrated opening week lethargy included Oklahama over UTEP by 24-7; Georgia beating Buffalo by 45-23; Wisconsin holding off Northern Iowa 26-21; and Florida beating Bowling Green 27-14.

Iowa and Northern Illinois met on Saturday afternoon at Chicago’s Soldier Field, with the Hawkeyes seeking to get back to a major bowl again after a 2009 Orange Bowl appearance. The Huskies played Iowa tough falling late 18-17. NIU is the defending MAC champion and effectively demonstrated its ability to hang with its Big Ten opponent.

Hurricane Isaac’s Impact

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac had an effect on the opening week schedule, although Rutgers and Tulane were able to meet at the Superdome in New Orleans as scheduled Saturday evening. The Scarlet Knights prevailed 24-12 and both teams fielded new coaches. The postponements included Nicholls State at Oregon State and Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech. No make up date has been set up for the first two teams; A&M and Tech have rescheduled for Oct. 13.

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