Expectations are soaring at Florida State, which opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Saturday against Wake Forest. Then comes the Sept. 22 showdown against Clemson. The first road game is Sept. 29 at South Florida.
Yes, West Virginia seems like an odd fit for the Big 12. Its nearest league rival is Iowa State, and Ames is an 870-mile drive. The trek to Lubbock is 1,470 miles. Certainly not fan-friendly, but it's part of the new reality of college sports. The Mountaineers open Big 12 play Sept. 29 by playing host to Baylor. The first league trip is Oct. 6 to Austin to play Texas, followed the next week with the journey to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.
Oregon has firmly established itself among the elite teams and should have smooth sailing into its Nov. 3 game at USC, a team that beat the Ducks last season in Eugene. Regardless of the outcome, most scenarios have the teams playing a second game on Nov. 30 in the Pacific 12 championship game.
New coach Tim Beckman, who is front and center in Illinois' poster schedule, stepped into a good situation. The Fighting Illini, who are 1-1 after a road loss at Arizona State, have a one in four chance of playing in the Big Ten title game. As a member of the Leaders Division, only four teams — Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin and Illinois — are eligible for postseason competition in 2012. The other members — Ohio State and Penn State — are ineligible.
Utah State is thinking big after its 2-0 start, which included last Friday's overtime victory against Utah. Up next is a trip to Wisconsin. A win in Madison would certainly catch the attention of the college football world.
Utah suffered a stinging 27-20 overtime loss to Utah State last Friday and the news got worse on Monday when it was announced that quarterback Jordan Wynn would end his playing career. Wynn suffered an injury to his left shoulder in the loss. He already has had two surgeries on his left shoulder and one on his right. The timing couldn't be worse. Up next for the Utes is Brigham Young.