The 2012 NCAA Football season is officially underway after 16 games were played on Thursday night. From a closer than expected SEC matchup which saw the No. 9 team in the nation, South Carolina Gamecocks barely hold on to a 17-13 victory in Nashville against the Vanderbilt Commodores, to the Utah Utes 41-0 shutout of the Northern Colorado Bears to the much anticipated return of Mike Leach to coaching as his Washington State Cougars were defeated by the BYU Cougars 6-30 in Provo.
Friday opening weekend continues with the first of two Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classics, a matchup of two top-25 ranked teams, and a team attempting to move forward after losing one of the best quarterbacks in college football the last two seasons. Here is a look at three matchups worth watching Friday night.
This year the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff classic returns to the unofficial SEC vs ACC format the game began with in 2008 and carried until last season when the Boise State Broncos, representing the MWC, defeated the Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference 35-21. Tennessee Volunteers head coach Derek Dooley is on the hot seat after the Vols have underperformed expectations since his arrival in Knoxville in 2010. The Volunteers will face off against an NC State Wolfpack squad with a lot of promise and expectations of their own for 2012.
No. 24 Boise State Broncos at No. 13 Michigan State Spartans-
The Broncos lost the winningest quarterback in college football history, Kellen Moore, who took Boise State to a 50-3 record over the last four seasons as the starting signal caller. The Michigan State Spartans will also be trying to replace a successful QB of their own, Kirk Cousins, who started for three years in East Lansing and brought the Spartans a Big Ten Championship in 2010.
San Jose State at No. 21 Stanford –
The San Jose State Spartans and Stanford Cardinal are essentially neighbors, separated by slightly over 20 miles, but come Friday night, the two will meet as enemies at Stanford Stadium. Both squads are starting freshmen quarterbacks, but Stanford’s will have huge shoes to fill with the departure of Andrew Luck.
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