The 2012 college football season kicks off Thursday August 30th.
As with each new year, the associated press has determined that these are the top 25 teams in college football for 2012:
Kentucky @ (25) Louisville – Sunday Sept. 2, 2012:
It’s always hard to pick these games. A rivalry game always has potential for upset and in this case, Kentucky seems to be fully capable of blindsiding #25 on the road if they play a clean game. Because of the home crowd, I give the slight edge to Louisville.
Louisville wins 24-23
Bowling Green @ (23) Florida – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Classic SEC warm-up game for the Gators. Some analysts have Florida as a SEC dark horse this year.
Florida wins 45-13
Missouri State @ (22) Kansas State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Kansas State looks to continue moving forward after a breakout 10-3 season in 2011. Missouri State will need a miracle.
Kansas State wins 35-14
San Jose State @ (21) Stanford – Friday Aug. 31, 2012:
Stanford faces no small task in replacing Andrew Luck which cannot be anything but a step backwards. Coach Shaw won’t have too much to be concerned about week one however.
Stanford wins 31-17
Savannah State @ (19) Oklahoma State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
OK State’s offense took two huge hits in losing both Veteran QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon to the NFL. The defense may need to step up to buffer the blow as they gave up 26 points per game in 2011. Savannah State will not likely put more than 20 on the board, though.
Oklahoma State wins 28-10
Miami (OH) @ (18) Ohio State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Welcome back Urban Meyer! Look for this Ohio State team to be markedly better than the Buckeyes from 2011. Meyer has a knack for making instant improvement everywhere he goes.
Ohio State wins 38-20
Southern Miss. @ (17) Nebraska – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Nebraska looks to be fast and ready to run in 2012. Southern Miss. is about a 20 point underdog in this game but I see it being a little closer.
Nebraska wins 31-21
Georgia Tech. @ (16) Virginia Tech. – Monday Sept. 3, 2012:
Why they have to play Monday is unknown to me but what I do know, is that VT has a tendency to start slow and GT is no slouch. Look for the Yellow Jackets’ triple option offense to confuse an untested 2012 defense.
Georgia Tech wins 28-24
Wyoming @ (15) Texas – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
After a disappointing 2011 season for the Longhorns, they look to turn things around and again, win the Big 12. To do that, they must start by crushing the outmatched ‘Pokes of Wyoming.
Texas wins 40-7
(14) Clemson @ Auburn – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Expectations are high for Clemson this year. Doesn’t that sound familiar? We’ll see how the past few stellar recruiting years will pan out for Clemson. Auburn struggled to beat Utah State at home in last year’s opener.
Clemson wins 21-17
(24) Boise State @ (13) Michigan State – Friday Aug. 31, 2012:
Ah, the annual event of Boise State facing a BCS team in a battle of the ranked in week one. Although Boise has a great track record in the past, they lost a lot on their defense and will struggle to keep Spartan points off the board.
Michigan State wins 31-21
Northern Iowa @ (12) Wisconsin – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Wisconsin has high hopes for another 10+ win season. All signs point to Michigan and Wisconsin facing each other in the B1G Championship. First things first, tune up game against NIU.
Wisconsin wins 49-10
Marshall @ (11) West Virginia – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
West Virginia makes the move from the Big East to the Big XII this season. Some analysts expect the Mountaineers to challenge Oklahoma for the conference title.
West Virginia wins 34-17
Jacksonville State @ (10) Arkansas – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
The Arkansas Razorbacks were supposed to be flying high this season until Head Coach Bobby Petrino was caught in a scandal and fired in the off-season. The talent level alone keeps Arkansas afloat at #10 but will have a tough road ahead. After the first week at least.
Arkansas wins 56-14
(9) South Carolina @ Vanderbilt – Thursday Aug. 30, 2012:
It’s a rare occurrence to have a week one conference game. Especially dangerous when a top ten team goes on the road to face a conference foe. Vanderbilt isn’t the most threatening team in the SEC by any means, but they should not be overlooked.
South Carolina wins 31-24
Murray State @ (7) Florida State – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Murray State was a huge story in the college basketball world in 2011-’12. Too bad that won’t help them from getting destroyed by the Seminoles on their way to trying to win the ACC.
Florida State wins 45-10
Buffalo @ (6) Georgia – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
The Georgia Bulldogs crack the preseason top 10 for the first time since starting at #1 in 2008. It’s been a while since Georgia made big waves in the SEC. Buffalo should provide good practice.
Georgia wins 31-7
Arkansas State @ (5) Oregon – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
Oregon looks to get off to a fast start to the 2012 season with a warm-up game against Arkansas State. The Ducks will be flying in this game with new QB Marcus Mariota and potential Heisman candidate RB DeAnthony Thomas putting up points.
Oregon wins 49-13
(4) Oklahoma @ UTEP – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
The Sooners have national championship aspirations this season and with good reason. NFL prospect Landry Jones returns for his Senior season and will get UTEP to cut up before the tough games begin.
Oklahoma wins 45-9
North Texas @ (3) LSU – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
LSU is on the BCS National Championship rebound after losing 21-0 to Alabama last season. With Tyrann Mathieu unavailable this season, LSU really has to worry about North Texas upsetting…I’m kidding. N. Texas is toast.
LSU wins 48-3
(8) Michigan @ (2) Alabama – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
This is the marquee game of the week without question. Michigan is the top ranked B1G team and Alabama is the top SEC team. Regardless of the outcome, whichever team loses will have work to do to get back into the BCS conversation. Michigan is returning Denard Robinson with a steadily improving defense under Brady Hoke.
Alabama wins 28-21
Hawaii @ (1) USC – Saturday Sept. 1, 2012:
With all the talent USC has returning in 2012, the #1 spot is deserved. With a tough schedule this season, it’s hard to think USC will make it through unscathed. Hawaii will not be the team to taste victory against the Trojans this year.
USC wins 42-7
Southern Utah @ Utah State – Thursday Aug. 20, 2012:
After a 6-6 season in 2011, the USU Aggies are hungry for a new season and hopefully even more improvement. There’s no reason to think that they can’t add to last year’s success and they will start that road by hosting in-state D-2 Southern Utah.
Utah State wins 35-14
Washington State @ BYU – Thursday Aug. 30, 2012:
New Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach begins his tenure with the Cougars by heading down to Provo and taking on his alma mater BYU. BYU is expected to be good on defense while Leach is an offensive mastermind with tools at his disposal.
Washington State wins 27-24
Northern Colorado @ Utah
Utah heads into its second year in the Pac 12 with high expectations and improvements all around the offensive side of the ball. Northern Colorado will be a great opportunity to solidify some positions for the Utes and prepare for tougher competition later on.
Utah wins 42-3