August 27, 2012
The college football season kicks off this Thursday with 17 games involving FBS teams including No. 9 South Carolina at Vanderbilt followed by Washington State at BYU, both on ESPN's family of network. Other featured games throughout the Labor Day weekend include: No.24 Boise State at No.13 Michigan State (Fri.), No. 14 Clemson v Auburn (Sat.), No. 2 Alabama v. No. 8 Michigan (Sat.), and Georgia Tech at No.16 Virginia Tech (Mon.).
And so it begins for Penn State, who is now being sued by 'Victim 1' from the Jerry Sandusky trials. 'Victim 1' and his mother's complaints to authorities in 2009 are deemed as the sole reason the scandal involving the former Penn State defensive coordinator finally emerged in the public eye. The season can't begin soon enough for Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lions.
The controversial Longhorn Network is set to air Texas' first two games against Wyoming (Sept. 1) and New Mexico (Sept. 8). Lack of distribution via major cable and satellite providers continues to prevent the network from being widely available to Longhorn fans. DMN's Barry Horn reported Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds admitted he was unable to view the LHN at his residence either. Oh, the irony.
USC enters the season as the favorite to win the BCS at (3/1) odds according to Bovada Sportsbook. Alabama (5/1), LSU (6/1), Florida State (13/2), Oklahoma (10/1), and Oregon (10/1) round out the betting favorites in Vegas. Other Big 12 schools listed are as follows: Texas (25/1), West Virginia (45/1), TCU (75/1), Oklahoma State (100/1), Kansas State (150/1) and Texas Tech (500/1).
Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota was named Oregon's starting quarterback over the weekend, beating out sophomore Bryan Bennett. It's believed the emerging skill sets of Mariota and Bennett pushed the Ducks' previous starter over the past two seasons, Darron Thomas, to the NFL Draft for fear of being benched his senior season. Thomas went undrafted.
The Red Raiders begin their road to redemption this Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium against Northwestern State. The Demons finished the 2011 season with a 5-6 record, which included losses to FBS programs LSU and SMU by a combined score of 89-10. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Southwest Plus.
Former Tech quarterback Graham Harrell remains as the backup to Aaron Rodgers despite an overall poor preseason showing. Support within the Packers locker-room and GM Ted Thompson emerged last week after speculation Harrell could be on the verge of being released by Green Bay. In three preseason games, Harrell has a quarterback rating of 53.7, 50.8 percent completion rate and 1:2 TD/INT ratio.