The 2012 college football season is here so let's take a brief look at the games for week one heading into Labor Day.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at the UNLV Rebels
Both of these teams are rebuilding and look to improve on 2011 seasons that brought both schools a combined total of only five wins. These two squads have never played each before but the Big Ten's Gophers are a slight favorite as the contest should be close. The game will be played Thursday night (August 30) and is available on CBS Sports.
The Spartans of the Big Ten are one of their leagues favorites to win the conference title. The Broncos are typically the underdog who almost always beats the betting choice but this year looks uncertain for Boise State - Michigan State should prevail in a close contest. The game will be played Friday night and is available on ESPN.
Idaho State Bengals at the Air Force Academy Falcons
Playing an FCS team that wasn't very good in the Big Sky Conference should be an easy tuneup for the Air Force before they head the following week to Ann Arbor to play Michigan. The Falcons should blowout the Bengals in the second half. The game will be played Saturday afternoon.
Nevada Wolf Pack at the California Golden Bears
Cal's Memorial Stadium is reopening after over a year of being completely renovated. The Wolf Pack has a good club but the Bears are more talented and should prevail in a contest that appears to be a relatively close matchup. The game will be played Saturday afternoon and is available on the Pac-12 Network (not accessible in every area).
This rivalry is played at a neutral site in Denver. Both of these teams are coming off poor years while only winning three games each. The Pac-12's Buffaloes should be a slight favorite since the Rams are just starting their rebuilding effort, so this contest should go to Colorado. The game will be played Saturday afternoon and is available on FX.
Southern Jaguars at the New Mexico Lobos
The Jaguars always offer a decent FCS battle so a bad FBS club like the Lobos should present an interesting matchup, especially considering New Mexico head coach Bob Davies is rebuilding the Lobos. But New Mexico had better take advantage of games like this because it only gets tougher from here on out - Texas is next. Lobos will struggle but likely win. The game will be played Saturday afternoon.
Hawaii Warriors at the USC Trojans
This is a tough way for new head coach Norm Chow to start his career with the Warriors. He and his Hawaii team will be visiting one of his former coaching grounds against the #1 Trojans of the Pac-12. USC has been waiting to get off probation and they may take it out on the Warriors. This has Trojan blowout written all over it. The game will be played late Saturday afternoon and is available on FOX.
A decent FCS school against a rebuilding FBS team with a new head coach looks intriguing on paper. But in actuality, the Bulldogs will have a solid club and this contest looks like nothing more than a tuneup for Fresno State as they get ready to play the Pac-12's Oregon Ducks the following week in Eugene. The Bulldogs will win by at least three or four touchdowns. The game will be played Saturday evening.
This is a harsh way to start the season for the Cowboys. They can only hope to hang on and make the game close … but that's not likely against the Longhorns of the Big-12. The contest appears to be a Texas blowout. The game will be played Saturday evening and is available on the Longhorn Network (not accessible in every area).
San Diego State Aztecs at the Washington Huskies
Both of these clubs had pretty good years last season and look to move on from there - but the Huskies of the Pac-12 should be a solid favorite. The game is being played at the Seattle Seahawks stadium while Husky Stadium is completely renovated for next year. Washington should pull away in the second half for a firm victory. The game will be played Saturday evening and is available on the Pac-12 Network (not accessible in every area).
Sources - Mountain West Conference, ESPN
Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of college football as well as Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!