College Football Kicking Off

08/29/12 3:58 PM

The 2012 college football season kicks off Thursday night with a limited schedule. The best matchup of the night has number nine ranked South Carolina traveling to Vanderbilt. The nationally ranked Gamecocks are preseason favorites to win the SEC East and are considered serious contenders to beat whoever wins the SEC West in the SEC championship game. Vanderbilt had a solid year in 2011 under James Franklin and traveling to Nashville will not be a picnic for South Carolina.

Jim Mora will coach his first game for UCLA Thursday as the Bruins will play at Rice. Mora, will try to revive the once proud Bruin program. Many experts consider the UCLA program one of the sleeping giants in the nation. The Bruins finished with a 6-7 record in 2011 but had better talent than their record indicated. Mora’s no nonsense coaching style and dedication to the smallest detail will make UCLA a team to watch in the 2012 season. Rice finished 4-8 in 2011 and is expected to struggle again in 2012.

One of the more interesting coaching debuts will happen when Washington State travels to play BYU. New Cougar coach Mike Leach who left Texas Tech under controversial circumstances gets another chance in the PAC-12. Leach will make the Washington State program competitive in short order. It is the perfect location for his coaching style and personality. BYU is coming into the 2012 season with big expectations. The Cougars finished 2011 with a 10-3 record and have the core of that team coming back.  BYU has a tough enough schedule if they could finish the season undefeated or with only one loss BYU could qualify for a BCS bowl game.

Minnesota will play the Big Ten opener Thursday at UNLV. Gopher coach Jerry Kill had some serious health problems last season but, he has been cleared medically and is ready for Minnesota to improve on their 3-9 season in 2011. In Kill’s previous coaching stops his second season marked a great improvement in his team’s record. One player to watch in this game is Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray. Gray is a dangerous dual threat quarterback that can beat you with his arm and legs. UNLV finished 2011 with 2-10 record and finished in a three way tie for last in the Mountain West Conference. The Rebels are predicted to finish near the bottom of the MWC once again in 2012.

One important game was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac. Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech scheduled for Thursday night will now be played on October 13.

Posted by vegasoddson | in Football | No Comments »
Leave a Reply