- UCLA 35 @ Rice 17 – A must win for Mora for change in LA. The Jim Mora era begins in Westwood, and this early matchup should prove key in setting the tone for the 2012 season. With many options at QB the Bruins should use this game as an assessment for who to use behind center in the coming weeks.
- Boise State 23 @ Michigan State 30- A hyped Michigan State’s first true test. This is a very intriguing matchup early and the Bronco’s will have to come to play if they expect to keep up with what should be a very good Spartans squad. With only 9 starters coming back to the Bronco’s the Spartans should be able to win, however it won’t be easy. Boise State will be a solid test, but without Kellen Moore the Broncos will be in a state of transition.
- Nevada 14 @ California 28– Could Cal be decent? Should be a very evenly matched game, however expect the Bears to pull away as QB Zach Maynard and Kennan Allen should get off to a hot start in their home stadium.
- Hawaii @ USC– Trojan’s long awaited journey begins. Game should be a blowout given Hawaii is coming off a 7 loss season and needs to replace a bunch of starters. USC should come out and roll the Warriors up however Hawaii has all summer to prepare and that will definitely slow down the Trojans. If Hawaii can move the rock this game should be closer than expected.
- San Diego State 27 @ Washington 30– The debut of what should be a high powered Washington offense once again. Even though SDSU had a solid (8-5) season last year, Washington should have the edge here. SDSU will have to break in a new QB and find someone to take over for RB Ronnie Hillman who proved to be the majority of the Aztecs offense. With the return of Keith Price and San Diego’s loss of key leaders, SDSU will start the season in familiar territory (0-1).
- Michigan 20 @ Alabama 30- National Champ vs. Sugar Bowl Champ Easily the biggest and most athletic matchup of week 1 as two powerhouses meet in a game that has national implications. With the defending Sugar Bowl victors and National Champs on the field expect an entertaining game. Although, QB Denard Robinson will get his yards and break a few big plays, the Crimson defense should keep a much slower Big-10 team in check.
- Clemson 20 @ Auburn 28- SEC vs. ACC Power With the return of 18 starters Auburn will be prepared to avenge an (8-5) season last year. WR Sammy Watkins and 13 other starters from an ACC championship Clemson team should be fast, however I don’t think they will be able to handle RB Michael Dyer, faster SEC lineup and an Auburn team looking to make up for a poor 2011 showing.
- Colorado State 25 @ Colorado 32– Early Rivalry Stakes= High Should be a fairly even matchup as each team only won 6 games last season. Colorado State however has had a difficult offseason with the suspension Nordly Capi. As each program fights to reestablish themselves and get back on the map, this game should be intense and the winner should have an edge on the state of Colorado.
- Georgia Tech 17 @ Virginia Tech 35- Early ACC battle A solid ACC matchup right off the bat should have two squads that had solid 2011 seasons playing their tails off. With Logan Thomas poised to have a break out season VT must establish a rhythm early. If the VT defense can stop what should be a great rushing attack once again, GT will be in for a long day given that they are a middle of the pack team and won’t be able to stop the pass.
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