Week 0 of college football includes games from Hawaii to Dublin


After another offseason of national talk about mergers, acquisitions, TV network deals and potential TV network mergers, acquisitions and deals, they will begin playing college football again this weekend, on real fields from Honolulu to the Dublin. original. It’s a wonder they didn’t forget, given a sport that lately seems more like a business section than a sports section.

Eleven games involving teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) are scheduled for Saturday, none from Southern California or UCLA, which rocked the summer by announcing its eventual moves to the Big Ten in a reshaping, or disfigurement, of the sport. America’s most eccentric.

None of the 11 games involve ranked teams, though it’s always good to see excellence at Utah State, coming off an 11-3 run to the Mountain West title and a win no one can take away, Oregon’s 24-13 win. . State at the inaugural Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.

If anyone would try to take that away, other than the state of Oregon, that would be up for discussion.

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The state of Utah will welcome U-Conn., whose new coach has a long-familiar name, Jim L. Mora, who managed the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons (2004-06), the Seattle Seahawks for one (2009) and UCLA for six. (2012-17) when UCLA was a West Coast school. Mora recently told reporters in Connecticut to listen to U-Conn. the band had reminded him that, “I missed it. I’ve realized every day that I missed it.”

It’s a reminder that even in the dull haze of mergers and acquisitions and TV deals, bands are still important.

Saturday will see the shows that won the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl (Utah State) and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Wyoming), as well as the shows that finished runner-up in the Boca Raton Bowl (Western Kentucky), Duke’s Mayo Bowl (North Carolina), the Frisco Football Classic (North Texas), the New Mexico Bowl (Texas-El Paso), and the Quick Lane Bowl (Nevada), as well as a first-round playoff runner-up in the FCS, o Championship Football Branch (Florida A&M). For an era marker, there is even a team (Hawaii) whose bowl (Hawaii Bowl) was canceled due to covid.

Hawaii begins with new coach Timmy Chang, who led him to an NCAA-record 17,072 passing yards as his quarterback from 2000 to 2004, and Hawaii welcomes back Vanderbilt, who begins a second year with his former fullback Clark Lea, with a mark of 2-10 in the first.

As the games try to attract the attention of mergers, acquisitions and television deals, five months of football kick off in the thin air of Bowling Green, Ky., where Austin Peay visits and an Eastern noon game kicks off the nation in its annual sedentary lifestyle combined with inadvisable food. -and- beverage products.

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Half an hour after that, but at 5:30 pm in the Dublin for which all lesser Dublins are named, there is the game that commands attention. As America takes its oddities overseas again, and as non-Americans complain about what’s going on with so much time off between plays, Nebraska will play Northwestern in an early Big Ten that will determine which of the two could feel even more miserable. .

Both went 3-9 last year, even as they demonstrated how 3-9 can hold wildly divergent meanings. Northwestern’s 3-9 looked like a setback after Big Ten West titles in 2018 and 2020, while Nebraska’s 3-9 looked like even more concentric circles of Red Hades. Northwestern has a fan base that knows a 3-9 shows up from time to time, even as standout coach Pat Fitzgerald is 109-90 in 16 seasons, while Nebraska has a fan base that once witnessed three total losses in five seasons (1993-97), even as the memory banks needed to remember that continue to age.

Of course, the last seven seasons have brought 48 losses, unlike the previous seven seasons, when the team lost four times each year and people considered that insufficient. It kind of parallels the downward curve at Florida State, which will start trying to avoid a fifth straight losing season when hosting Duquesne from FCS while remembering that last year, Jacksonville State came from FCS to Tallahassee and walked away with a win. , albeit in one of the crazy plays that give college football much of its lore. That was Damond Philyaw-Johnson’s 59-yard touchdown reception from Zerrick Cooper on the final play, in which Philyaw-Johnson caught the ball 20 yards from the goal line and found his way through two Florida defenders. State.

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Former Nebraska quarterback and current coach Scott Frost, a savior in the summer of 2018, finished last season 15-29 and 0-0 in bowl games over four years, saying, “I feel like a bit like a broken record with them”. him while he tested his psychology with a team that lost its last six games of 2021 32-29, 30-23, 28-23, 26-17, 35-28 and 28-21. He knew precisely how to almost win.

Now it starts over with quarterback Casey Thompson, who fulfilled another trend of the era by transferring. His last four seasons have been in Texas, which has been enriched by exciting new quarterbacks. His 10 starts last season included an incredible 55-48 loss in Dallas against Oklahoma in which Thompson threw for 388 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has great charisma at 23 years old and told Nebraska reporters last Sunday that Frost’s decision to start him was due to his “decision-making in practice, my poise in the pocket and being able to take care of the ball.” .

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He noted just four or five interceptions in 18 practices with hundreds of attempts. He said he felt perfectly relaxed even in a bustle like Texas-Oklahoma last season, and that “you basically go into a meditative state.”

So many others. Just this Week 0, as it’s called, starts with Wyoming having a quarterback that transferred from the state of Utah, and Utah with a quarterback that transferred from Wyoming right after winning the famous Potato Bowl from Idaho, a sequence that has rarely happened through time.

Utah State-to-Wyoming quarterback Andrew Peasley may or may not start at Illinois in perhaps the most intriguing game of Week 0. Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, the consummate guy who helped send Josh Allen to the NFL, listed his starter as “TBA,” as long as TBA doesn’t transfer before Saturday.

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