Wednesday, August 31, 2011

College Football 2011, Preweek 1

College football season is upon us. Murray State and Louisville start it all off at 6 PM EDT Thursday and, while neither is likely to finish the season in the Top 25 ranks, they do have the distinction of kicking off the 2011 collegiate season. Games will continue over the weekend including both Sunday and Monday since the NFL doesn’t officially start its season until Thursday, September 8th.

As usual, most of the games during the first week are, shall we say, mismatches. The better team is looking for a patsy relatively easy tune up game and the poorer teams are looking to score some cash—and maybe some lightening in a bottle. (Remember Appalachian State taking down Michigan a few years ago? AS plays at Virginia Tech Saturday.) Most of these games pitting uneven teams are predictable, there’s always one or two that throw a scare into a team aspiring to a high ranking and/or a conference championship.

The bulk of the Top 25 teams should have no problem this weekend. Some will be trying to figure out who will be their starters. Some are trying to figure out who will be allowed to play whether due toNCAA or criminal investigations (Miami of Florida, LSU). Miami (Fla) plays Monday night at Maryland. #4 LSU hosts #3 Oregon Saturday night in what looks to be THE match of the week.

The only other game featuring two teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 sees #5 Boise State playing at #19 Georgia on Saturday night.

Below are the Top 25 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls along with each team 2010 final ranking in the BCS and their 2010 record. An NR means the team is not ranked in the Top 25 in that particular poll.[UPDATE: was late to the party. They finally updated their rankings of all 120 college teams on Wednesday morning. I've added their rankings to the list below. The three rankings are now, in order, the AP/Coaches'/CBSSports.]

1/1/1 Oklahoma (#7, 12-2) The Sooners host Tulsa's Golden Hurricane Saturday night.

2/2/2 Alabama (#16, 10-3) The Crimson Tide gets its season rolling Saturday afternoon at home against the Golden Flashes of Kent State.

3/3/4 Oregon (#2, 12-1) The Ducks open their season on the road against #4 LSU Saturday night.

4/4/3 LSU (#11, 11-2) The Tigers host the #3 Oregon Ducks Saturday night.

5/7/7 Boise State (#10, 12-1) The Broncos start their season on the road against the #19 Georgia Bulldogs Saturday night.

6/5/6 Florida State (#23, 10-4) The Seminoles host the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks Saturday afternoon.

7/6/9 Stanford (#4, 12-1) The Cardinal host San Jose State Saturday afternoon.

8/9/10 Texas A&M (#17, 9-4) The Aggies host the SMU Mustangs on Sunday night.

9/8/12 Oklahoma State (#14, 11-2) The Cowboys host the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday night.

10/11/11 Nebraska (#18, 10-4) The Cornhuskers host the Chattanooga Mocs on Saturday afternoon.

11/10/5 Wisconsin (#5, 11-2) The Badgers host the UNLV Rebels in a Thursday night game, September 1st.

12/12/16 South Carolina (#20, 9-5) The Gamecocks will play on the road Saturday night against the East Carolina Pirates.

13/13/8 Virginia Tech (#13, 10-3) The Hokies host Appalachian State Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon.

14/15/13 TCU (#3, 13-0) The Horned Frogs will be on the road to face the Baylor Bears on Friday night.

15/14/17 Arkansas (#8, 10-3) The Razorbacks host Missouri State Bears Saturday evening.

16/18/21 Notre Dame (8-5) The Fighting Irish will host South Florida Bulls Saturday afternoon.

17/17/15 Michigan State (#9, 11-2) The Spartans host The Youngstown State Penguins (Penguins? Really?) Friday night.

18/16/14 Ohio State (#6, 12-1) The Buckeyes host the Akron Zips Saturday afternoon.

19/22/20 Georgia (6-7) The Bulldogs play host to #5 Boise State Broncos Saturday night.

20/20/22 Mississippi State (#21, 9-4) The Bulldogs will play at Memphis Tigers Thursday night.

21/21/24 Missouri (#12, 10-3) The Tigers host the Miami of Ohio RedHawks Saturday afternoon.

22/23/25 Florida (8-5) The Gators host the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday evening.

23/19/19 Auburn (#1, 14-0) The Tigers will host Utah State Aggies Saturday afternoon.

24/NR/18 West Virginia (#22, 9-4) The Mountaineers will host the Thundering Herd of Marshall on Sunday afternoon in a backyard brawl.

25/NR/NR Southern California (8-5) The Trojans will tee it up at home against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota Saturday afternoon.

NR/24/NR Texas (5-7) The Longhorns host the Rice Owls on Saturday night.

NR/25/23 Penn State (7-6) The Nittany Lions will host the Indiana State Sycamores Saturday afternoon.

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