Here it is. The beginning of the 2012 college football season. Gone are the concerns about conference realignment, what Joe Paterno did or did not do, players with bright futures doing stupid things (pssst... Honey Badger, come to Ames), and everything that relates to things going on off the field. Now it's time for some good old fashioned football. And drinking, oh man, the drinking.
Drinking is a perfect segue into our first non-ISU preview of the season. Our brother's from a different mother, the Beasts of the East, the Rioters to End All Rioters... no, that's not right.... we'll settle that one in November. Anyway, our first preview involves West Virginia.
Marshall vs West Virginia - 11:00 AM CDT - FX
Rivalry game and first game of the season. Dicey even for one of the best teams in the nation that boats Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, et al. With a defense that lost multiple starters from 2011 this could be a sneaky game for West Virginia. Marshall has never beaten West Virginia in a series dating all the way back to 1914.
What's that? They've only played 10 times and 6 of those have been in the last 6 years? No matter, it's still an 0fer on Marshall's part. What about the actual Marshall team this year? Well, I can't really say much other than they had to win their final two games last year to become bowl eligible and eventually beat Florida International in the BEEF O'BRADY'S BOWL. These previews are a lot less fun in the non-conference season. West Virginia by a mile here.
West Virginia 45, Marshall 17
Tulsa vs Iowa State - 2:30 PM CDT - FSN
See yesterday's preview here.
Missouri State vs Kansas State - 6:00 PM CDT - KSHDTV
When I first saw this game was on KSHDTV I couldn't help but think that Kansas State was literally playing on a public access channel. Than I realized that they must be playing on their new HD network. I wonder if they fill time between games airing EcoKat infomercials.
But the game... can't say this one merits much of a preview either. K-State hopes to come out with Collin Klein healthy and maybe showing off that new and improved arm of his everyone has spent the offseason creaming themselves about. Also probably a good idea if their first online stream of a game turns out better than last year's Clone Zone stream of UNI... or Missouri.
Kansas State 35, Missouri State 7
Northwestern State vs Texas Tech - 6:00 PM CDT - Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Not only is this game strictly on an FSN Regional channel, but it's on the PLUS version of that channel. Remember those games back in the day that local Iowa network affiliates would air that had the ESPN+ logo on it? It's kind of like that, but on cable.
Tommy Tubberville breaks in his 3rd defensive coordinator in as many years and finally decided running a 3-4 in college football wasn't for ANYONE NOT NAMED NICK SABAN. Seth Doege again will throw for 202,593 yards against an inferior opponent and make Tech fans and David Ubben think that the Magic of the Pirate is finally recaptured.
Texas Tech 49, Northwestern State 20
Savannah State vs Oklahoma State - 6:00 PM CDT - FCS
Laughable. Our friends at Cowboys Ride For Free have essentially called Savannah State the worst opponent Oklahoma State has ever faced. I fully expect this to be the case with Wes Lunt and Joseph Randle going beast mode early and often.
Oklahoma State 66, Savannah State -2
South Dakota State vs Kansas - 6:00 PM CDT - JTV
A list of web sites that come up in Google when you search for JTV: Jewelry Television, justin.tv, Jackson Television, JTV Manufacturing.
This comes up when you search for Jayhawk Television. At first I legitimately thought it was possible that this game would be aired in Kansas, over the air, and on network affiliates. Certainly not bad, but felt a little bit behind the times. Further research showed a poor man's Clone Zone that will be streaming the Jackrabbit and Jayhawk cockfight.
SDSU isn't a bad team, but to be quite honest Kansas has some talent on their roster. They were just coached by a man deeply in over his head (and not a fan of cursing). These are the types of games that a guy like Charlie Weis was brought in to win... I think.
Kansas 31, SDSU 20
Wyoming vs Texas - 7:00 PM CDT - Longhorn Network
If no one can watch David Ash lose his starting job, does it actually happen? Not expecting much out of Wyoming here and the Texas defense is going to be deadly. Bold prediction: Texas' defense outscores the offense in this one.
Texas 28, Wyoming 3
Oklahoma vs UTEP - 9:30 PM CDT - FSN
There are still reservations about Oklahoma's ranking with the fact that Landry Jones still has no one to throw to, or really even hand the ball off to. Mike Stoops returns to coordinate the defense and will again make the Sooners dangerous on that side of the ball. Only thing keeping UTEP in this game is the possible drug cartel recruitment of Landry Jones, but only if he grows the stache back out. Oklahoma wins, but it won't be pretty.
Oklahoma 24, UTEP 13
SMU vs Baylor - 5:30 PM CDT - FSN - Sunday, September 2nd
I'm still confounded by how a football game gets moved to Sunday in the Bible Belt. Baylor had great attendance last year with RGIII at the helm and will no doubt see a spike in attendance again this year, but this one might take a church service at halftime to pack the stands.
Garrett Gilbert assumes the helm as QB at SMU and is fortunately supported by C-USA's version of Jeff Woody in one Zach Line. This game has a chance for fireworks as neither head coach preaches "defense" and both teams will have explosive options all over the field. But as much as Nick Florence isn't RGIII he sure as hell is better than Garrett Gilbert. Baylor late in this one.
Baylor 38, SMU 35
EA Sports NCAA Football 13 Predictions
No, we're not being put up by our overlords here at SBNation to do something like this but had so much fun seeing the cocaine fueled sim habits of EA Sports we thought we'd take the same look throughout the season. So let's see how week 1 plays out.
West Virginia vs Marshall: Marshall leads at halftime 16-3 but a huge 3rd quarter by West Virginia puts them up 24-13 heading into the 4th. Both teams trade touchdowns but West Virginia comes out ahead 38-28. Geno Smith throws for 300+ and two touchdowns while Dustin Garrison adds 111 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Tavon Austin continues his tear with 115 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Tulsa vs Iowa State: Another sim and another loss for the Cyclones. This one by the score of 41-19. It's a 28-9 halftime score and that includes a missed extra point on Iowa State's only touchdown. Stop me if this feels all too real at any point. Both teams put up yards but Tulsa's conversion of 12 third downs on 18 chances ends up being the difference after Iowa State goes 0-8 in the same stat.
Missouri State vs Kansas State: This one is never in doubt as Kansas State runs out to a 35-0 lead on their way to a 45-17 victory. The Wildcats are out rushed in this one (252 yards vs 238) but Collin Klein throws for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
Northwestern State vs Texas Tech: Tech literally runs out to a big lead as they score four times on the ground en route to a 55-0 victory. The defense steps up huge allowing only 154 yards and the offense piles up 633 total yards including 285 on the ground. Seth Doege looks like a quarterback of Tech's past with a 261 yard and two touchdown performance while Kenny Williams and Eric Stephens combine for 253 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Savannah State vs Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State fails to match Tech's performance and allows six points to Savannah State but scores 56 themselves on the way to a rout in Stillwater. Wes Lunt is serviceable in his first start by going 14-20 for 253 yards and three touchdowns. The real story here is the 194 yards and four touchdowns put on the board by Jeremy Smith.
South Dakota State vs Kansas: Charlie Weis gets the offensive train rolling early and leads 38-7 at halftime on the way to a 45-13 win in his coaching debut for the Jayhawks. Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist goes only 8 for 12 for 156 yards and two touchdowns as they lean on the legs of James Sims who runs for 123 yards and two scores.
Wyoming vs Texas: Texas struggles mightily in this one and is down 14-3 with 11:03 left in the 4th quarter. Two late touchdown scores by Joe Bergeron and Mike Davis put the Longhorns up for good 15-14. David Ash goes 8-20 for only 106 yards but the story here is the vaunted rushing attack is held to 185 yards on 42 carries while putting the ball on the ground twice. Yikes.
Oklahoma vs UTEP: This was not the squeaker that Texas had but it was a somewhat unimpressive win for the Sooners as they come away with a 24-9 victory. Oklahoma again struggles on the ground after rushing for only 82 yards on 31 carries but Landry Jones carries the load with 266 passing yards and two touchdowns.
SMU vs Baylor: In an upset that overshadows Iowa State's loss to Tulsa, SMU scores a late touchdown and two point conversion by Garrett Gilbert to beat Baylor 22-16. Both teams have success on the ground by rushing for well over 100 yards each but the real story here is Nick Florence's 6-21 for 141 yards performance. RGIII he ain't.
That does it for week 1. Enjoy the weather, the beer, and the copious amounts of football.