The start of the college football season is still over three months away, but it is never too early to make some predictions when it comes to the first week of the season.
Opening weekend as far as college football is concerned will take place beginning Thursday August 30, and with the NFL not starting until one week later, there will be games on five straight days, culminating with a Monday night game.
Among the 78 games on opening weekend are some real cupcakes, as a lot of teams will be taking on cupcakes. There are also some marquee matchups with two big-name teams that college football fans have been waiting for all offseason.
Here is a prediction of every college football game for opening weekend.
Massachusetts is one of the five new members of FBS, and it is joining the MAC in 2012. Needless to say, it is going to take a while for it to catch up to some of the teams at this level.
Connecticut had a bit of a down year in 2011 under a new head coach. It finished 5-7, but had a lot of young talent emerge, including freshman running back Lyle McCombs. Last season, he rushed for 1,152 yards and seven touchdowns.
He will be a load to handle for UMass and the Huskies, who may be a team that will finish near the bottom of the Big East. They will have too much for the Minutemen.
Connecticut 31, Massachusetts 10
Both of these teams are entering their first season at the FBS level, and that should make for a competitive game.
These two teams met once last season in a game that was won by South Alabama, 30-27 in double overtime. This year, expect much of the same, as these two teams appear relatively evenly matched.
UTSA will be joining the WAC, and are coached by Larry Coker, a name that is likely very familiar to a lot of college football fans from his days in Miami.
South Alabama is a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
This should be close throughout, with the slight edge going to South Alabama at home.
South Alabama 24, UTSA 17
This is one of the better matchups of opening weekend of the college football season and is perhaps the most highly anticipated on opening night.
Vanderbilt made some strides last year and will get running back Zac Stacy back in 2012. He rushed for 1,193 yards and 14 touchdowns in helping to lead Vanderbilt to the Liberty Bowl.
South Carolina, on the other hand, is one of the best teams in the SEC and has an outside shot to contend for a conference crown.
Vanderbilt will be able to hang in for a while at home, but the Gamecocks will have too much in the end.
South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 17
The struggles of the UCLA football program have been detailed over the past few years, and now, with new head coach Jim Mora, Jr., it will look to take a step in the right direction.
Rice is a mid-level Conference USA team, and it does get the opportunity to play a home game against the Bruins, which will certainly help.
This is one of the more interesting games of the opening weekend because the progress of UCLA will be on full display.
Expect this one to be a little closer than most would anticipate.
UCLA 30, Rice 24
Texas A&M did not live up to expectations last season, and things are certainly not going to get any easier in the SEC.
With new head coach Kevin Sumlin now in the mix, it will certainly get more out of its talent this year than in years past.
Louisiana-Tech is not a bad team and will not be completely blown out.
Running back Christine Michael is one of the best in the SEC and will have most of the carries to himself after rushing for 899 yards and eight touchdowns on only 149 carries last season.
Texas A&M 31, Louisiana-Tech 21
Utah did not have a bad season last year after joining the Pac-12, especially considering the season-ending injury to quarterback Jordan Wynn.
It went 8-5 overall, and with Wynn back in 2012, it should be even better. With a solid defense and talented running back John White IV, things are looking up for the Utes.
Northern Colorado went 0-11 last season at the FCS level, and it does not look like it is going to be able to put up much of a fight in this one.
It could get very ugly rather quickly.
Utah 42, Northern Colorado 10
The Akron Zips have been one of the worst teams in college football over the past few years and have hired Terry Bowden as head coach.
He should help bring some notoriety to the program, but it will definitely happen immediately.
Central Florida also struggled last season, finishing 5-7. It will be a little better this season, and if it plans on qualifying for a bowl game, this is one it can not lose.
Odds are, it won't.
Central Florida 34, Akron 13
This early season MAC battle will feature two teams from the conference who are likely to finish near the middle of the pack.
They both finished 6-6 last season, and whoever wins this game could be on their way to a bowl game.
Of all the matchups on opening weekend, this has all of makings of being as close as any of them. Ball State at home will get the slight edge.
Ball State 24, Eastern Michigan 23
With the exception of Akron, Central Michigan may be the worst team in the MAC.
Southeast Missouri State, on the other hand, is an FCS team who only won three games last season.
Do not expect it to take out any FBS team, no matter what conference it is from. This one will be perhaps the only easy victory all season for the Chippewas.
Central Michigan 30, Southeast Missouri State 10
Kent State only won five games last season and did not have a real good season. Towson, on the other hand, won the Colonial Athletic Association, going 9-3 overall.
The only problem is, Towson is another FCS school that will be completely overmatched against Kent State.
Against a team like Akron, Towson may be able to hang in there for a while, but the Golden Flashes will be too much for it to handle.
Kent State 27, Towson 14
The Minnesota Golden Gophers were real bad last season. Perhaps one of the worst from a BCS Conference.
They finished 3-9, but might be a little better in 2012 with do it all quarterback Marqueis Gray coming back. He led the team in both passing and rushing last season.
UNLV however, is much worse and suffered through a 2-10 season while giving up over 40 points a game.
Minnesota will just have too much in the end.
Minnesota 37, UNLV 24
This is certainly not one of the more marquee matchups of the first day of football, but these two teams will be two of the first to take the field.
Middle Tennessee only won two games last season and was one of the worst teams in the country.
Their opponent, McNeese State, went 6-5 last season against FCS opponents. This may be close for a while, but Middle Tennessee State just has a little too much talent for a middle-of-the-pack FCS school.
Middle Tennessee State 24, McNeese State 10
This is another of the games many people want nothing to do with, and yet another that features an FCS school.
New Mexico state went 4-9 last season and is a team that is likely to improve once again this season.
Sacramento State is an FCS school that only won four games last season. With both teams having won four games a year ago, odds are, the FBS school will come out on top in this one.
New Mexico State 28, Sacramento State 13
Utah State had a decent year in 2011, and freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton showed signs of becoming a big-time performer for years to come.
Next season, the Aggies will be even better, and a victory against Southern Utah, an FCS school, should be no problem.
Last year, the Thunderbirds did go 6-5, but a road game starting off the season against Utah State is a tall task. Don't expect too much from Southern Utah.
Utah State 37, Southern Utah 14
Like many of the other schools, Idaho was one of the worst teams in the country last season. It was only able to win two games, and it can not do much worse this season than it did last year.
The season opener against Eastern Washington, an FCS school, should be a victory to start off the year on the right foot.
Eastern Washington was 6-5 last season in the Big Sky Conference. A better FCS team could hang with Idaho, but it is unlikely to happen for the the Eagles
Idaho 27, Eastern Washington 10
This Friday night matchup is one of the more intriguing on opening weekend.
North Carolina surprised a lot of teams last season en route to an 8-5 campaign. Quarterback Mike Glennon showed vast improvements throughout the season.
Tennessee, on the other hand, battled through a lot of injuries on their way to a 5-7 year. If it can stay healthy, it should be better in 2012. This has a chance to be a close game, but Tennessee may have too much for North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Tennessee 24, North Carolina State 20
These two basketball schools have come a long way in football, as Temple is entering the Big East.
While it went 9-4 in the MAC last season, it will have to replace running back Bernard Pierce. Villanova, on the other hand, seems ready for a move to FBS, if it can get its facilities in order.
Last season was a down year, going only 2-9. It will be better in 2011, but don't expect it to be able to hang with Temple for too long.
Temple 34, Villanova 10
Florida Atlantic may have been the worst FBS team last season, going 1-11. This year, it can't possibly be any worse, but the schedule does not offer a lot of wins.
The most winnable game of the season is the opener against Wagner. Wagner only won four games last season in the NEC and may just have enough to hang around with FAU for a little while.
The Owls will be able to pull away in the second half and equal their win total from last season after one game.
Florida Atlantic 31, Wagner 20
With the exception of the Alabama-Michigan game, this is the biggest game of the first weekend of the college football season.
Boise State lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, as evidenced by the draft it had. It is not likely to be nearly as good as it has been in years past.
Michigan State, on the other hand, will be just as good or better as it was a year ago, and it is at home, so it seems like a win is on the horizon for the Spartans.
Michigan State 24, Boise State 14
Notre Dame and Navy will be playing on Saturday morning in Dublin, Ireland in what is one of the most unique college football games of the season.
The Fighting Irish have been getting better under the leadership of Kelly and appear to be just a few years away from a BCS Bowl game.
Navy was only 5-7 last season, while the Fighting Irish went 8-5. It is hard to imagine Notre Dame losing this game, particularly playing in Ireland.
That just can't happen, right?
Notre Dame 31, Navy 17
UAB is one of the bottom feeders of Conference USA and only went 3-9 last season. Troy had the same record in a season that was surprisingly bad for a team that usually puts up winning seasons on a yearly basis.
This game will likely be close throughout with UAB having a little too much at home.
Both of these teams should be improved next season, and whoever wins this game will have a jump start on a promising 2012.
UAB 34, Troy 31
This game has blowout written all over it, as Arkansas is one of the premier teams in the country. It has the talent to be a top-10 team, and Jacksonville State is an FCS school that will not pose a threat.
Jacksonville State won seven games last season and the OVC title, but simply put, it does not stand a chance against Arkansas.
Arkansas is at home, and this will be ugly early and often.
Arkansas 51, Jacksonville State 10
Arizona State is welcoming new head coach Todd Graham to town, and it will be looking to improve on a 6-7 season.
Starting the season against Northern Arizona is a great way to do that. The Lumberjacks only went 4-7 last season in the Big Sky Conference.
Arizona State will have an easy time getting off to a good start against this FCS school.
Arizona State 38, Northern Arizona 14
Arizona only won four games last season and will be tested early on in a game against Toledo. The Wildcats will have a lot to replace, including starting quarterback Nick Foles
Toledo had a great deal of success last season, going 9-4 and 7-1 in the MAC. It has some talent coming back and loves to put points on the board.
Arizona has trouble stopping people, and the Rockets should be no different. Look for a close game, with Toledo pulling out the win over Rich Rodriguez in his Arizona debut.
Toledo 31, Arizona 28
Not many teams could put the points on the board like Stanford did last season, to the tune of over 43 a game.
With Andrew Luck gone, things will be a little different, but running back Stepfan Taylor rushed for 1,330 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
The San Jose State Spartans were 5-7 last year, while playing in the WAC. Stanford will clearly not be as good as it was a season ago, but San Jose State will be no match for the Cardinal.
Stanford 40, San Jose State 17
California was 7-6 last season, and head coach Jeff Tedford may be on the hot seat. The Golden Bears need to have a good year, and they will have an interesting game against Nevada to start off the season.
Nevada was also 7-6 out of the WAC. It will be led next season by talented quarterback Cody Fajardo. He saw some playing time last year as a freshman and will be even better in 2012.
This one will be very close throughout, but with California playing at home, they hold the slight edge over the Wolf Pack.
California 27, Nevada 24
USC was one of the top five teams in the country by the end of last season, and entering 2012, it is as good as it gets in college football.
Hawaii loves to throw the ball around as always and may be able to put a few scores on the board against the Trojans, but USC has arguably the best offense in the country and will be able to score at will against Hawaii.
This one could be a big time blowout for the Trojans and a big day for quarterback Matt Barkley.
USC 56, Hawaii 16
Could this finally be the year that the Florida State Seminoles break through and win the ACC? The season opener against Murray State will not be a game to really gauge where it is.
But, it will be an easy victory for the Seminoles. Quarterback E.J. Manuel is a playmaker and will be back healthy next season. The defense is as good as nearly anybody in the country and will have no trouble slowing down Murray State.
The FCS Racers were 7-4 last year, but against the competition of Florida State, they have no chance.
Florida State 42, Murray State 9
In a battle of Urban Meyer's old schools, the Florida Gators will take on the Bowling Green Falcons.
The Gators had a solid defense last season and won seven games. They will have to find a quarterback, but have plenty of talent to easily handle Bowling Green.
The Falcons only won five games last season, and starting on the road in Gainesville is no easy task.
Florida 34, Bowling Green 14
South Florida stumbled once again down the stretch last season, finishing 5-7. Quarterback B.J. Daniels will be coming back for his fifth and final season in Tampa.
The Bulls are looking to get back to a bowl game and certainly have the talent to do so.
Chattanooga went 5-6 last year in the Southern Conference of the FCS. A trip to South Florida will be a tall task for the Mocs. Look for South Florida to be in control of this one from start to finish.
South Florida 30, Chattanooga 10
Georgia is arguably one of the top five teams in the country heading into 2012. It has talent all over the field, including junior quarterback Aaron Murray.
The season opener against Buffalo should be easy pickings for the Bulldogs. Georgia went 10-4 last season, but came on strong after losing their first two games of the season.
Buffalo, on the other hand, improved, but still struggled to a three-win season. Don't look for this to be close at all.
Georgia 41, Buffalo 7
Tulsa was one of the better teams in Conference USA last season, finishing the year with an 8-5 record. In 2012, it begins the season against Iowa State in what should be an interesting matchup.
Iowa State finished 6-7 last season and has shown signs of improvement. It has a lot of talent at the linebacker position and appears to be headed in the right direction.It does play a challenging schedule, however, and this is a difficult way to start the season.
Tulsa can put some points on the board, so expect it to be rather high scoring, but a victory for the Cyclones.
Iowa State 34, Tulsa 31
Indiana was as bad as a Big Ten team gets in 2011, going 1-11. It would be unheard of for it to have a repeat season in 2012.
One positive for the Hoosiers is, they start off with Indiana State. The Sycamores have been better over the past few seasons and last year, finished 6-5 overall and middle of the pack in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Indiana is at home and should be able to cruise to an easy victory over its in-state rival.
Indiana 31, Indiana State 17
Western Kentucky had a very successful season in 2011, finishing the year 7-5 and runner up in the Sun Belt Conference.
It opens the season against Austin Peay out of the Ohio Valley Conference. Austin Peay only won three games last season, and Western Kentucky will be looking to start off with a win after struggling out of conference last season.
Replacing Bobby Rainey will be very difficult for the Hilltoppers, but they should have too much for the Governors to handle.
Western Kentucky 30, Austin Peay 10
LSU is one of the best teams in the country, and North Texas is a middle-of-the-pack Sun Belt team.
The LSU defense will make it very difficult for North Texas to put much together on the offensive side of the ball.
No chance that this game is anything but a blowout for the Tigers, and North Texas could be one of the few teams held in single digits on the opening week of the season.
LSU 45, North Texas 6
The ACC likes to start off the opening week of the season with a few conference games, and 2012 is no different.
This year, one of those matchups is Miami and Boston College. The Eagles struggled mightily last season and only won four games.
Miami has some talent coming back, but there is a lot going on with the program, and they did only win six games last year.
This one could go either way, but if Miami shows up to play, there is no reason they will not go on the road and defeat Boston College, particularly with Montel Harris having been kicked off the team in recent weeks.
Miami 27, Boston College 20
Missouri is very talented and will need all of that talent in the ultra-competitive SEC. It will not need much, however, in the opening week of the season against Southeastern Louisiana.
The Tigers were 8-5 last season and finished fifth in the Big 12. Talented quarterback James Franklin will be back for his junior season, and the Southeastern Louisiana Lions will definitely be no match.
The Lions went 3-8 last season in the FCS Southland Conference and do not have anywhere close to enough talent to hang with Missouri.
Missouri 45, Southeastern Louisiana 10
Mississippi struggled in both phases of the game last season, going 2-10 overall and 0-8 in the SEC. It had trouble beating anybody, but Central Arkansas is an FCS school that won nine games last season.
They finished second in the Southland Conference and have the talent to compete with Ole Miss and possibly hang in there for a while.
Mississippi is at home, and while it may have their issues in the SEC, it is not likely it will struggle for too long against Central Arkansas before pulling away.
Mississippi 34, Central Arkansas 14
Duke does not win many games, but this is one it has a chance to get and start off the season on the right foot.
The Blue Devils have quarterback Sean Renfree back for his senior season, and they are coming off a 3-9 campaign.
Florida International went 8-5 last year and 5-3 in the Sun Belt Conference. It is no pushover and defeated Louisville last season.
Look for this to be closer than many people may anticipate, with Florida International pulling off an upset.
Florida International 23, Duke 20
Everybody knows about how talented Appalachian State is, and they are in talks about joining Conference USA in a few years.
Next season, it begins against a future league opponent in East Carolina.
East Carolina was 5-7 last year and 4-4 in league play, while Appalachian State had another successful 8-4 season with six league wins in the Southern Conference.
This one should be relatively close throughout, but East Carolina will have too much in the end for the FCS school.
East Carolina 27, Appalachian State 16
North Carolina was average last season, finishing in the middle of the pack on both sides of the ball and ending the year 7-6.
Running back Giovani Bernard is one of the best offensive players in the ACC, and after rushing for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, he will be back for his sophomore campaign.
The season opener against Elon will prove not to be a threat, as it only finished last season 5-6 in the Southern Conference of the FCS.
This one has blowout written all over it from start to finish.
North Carolina 38, Elon 10
Wake Forest had a solid year in 2011, and even though it only finished the season 6-7, they did qualify for a bowl game and finished second in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.
The season opener against Liberty will not be a threat. Even though the Flames went 7-4 last year and finished second in the Big South, they will be overmatched against the Demon Deacons.
Tanner Price is back at quarterback, and Wake Forest should be just as good or better next season. This will be an easy victory to start off the season.
Wake Forest 40, Liberty 9
New Mexico has had some awful teams over the years, and 2011 was no different, as the Lobos finished the year 1-11 and 1-6 in the Mountain West Conference.
They can't possibly be any worse next season, and a season opener against Southern of the FCS should allow them to equal their win total from a year ago.
Southern went 4-7 in the SWAC, and even though it is not very good, it has the talent to hang with the Lobos.
New Mexico was last in the country in offense and second last in defense, so it will likely be a struggle, but the slight edge at home goes to the Lobos.
New Mexico 21, Southern 16
Northwestern is certainly headed in the right direction, and last season, it went 6-7, but did qualify for a bowl game.
Expect it to be equally as good in 2012, and quarterback Kain Colter will continue to emerge as an up-and-coming star in the Big Ten.
Syracuse is coming off a bit of a down year, finishing last in the Big East at 5-7 overall and 1-6 in the conference.
This should be one of the more interesting games during opening weekend and is one of the few that pits two teams from BCS schools. Expect it to be close, particularly with Syracuse playing at home.
Northwestern 21, Syracuse 17
This is a much anticipated game for the Buckeyes, as Urban Meyer will be making his debut at Ohio State.
Ohio State is coming off a 6-7 year, but do not expect many of those with Meyer now running the show.
Miami (OH) has one of the most talented quarterbacks in the MAC in Zac Dysert. The senior has passed for over 8,500 yards and 48 touchdowns over his first three seasons.
This one will be a little uglier than games against MAC schools were when Jim Tressel was running the program.
Ohio State 38, Miami 10
Oklahoma State lost a lot of talent, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, but does have running back Joseph Randle coming back. He rushed for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns a year ago.
Savannah State went 1-11 last season and 1-7 in the MEAC. It is one of the worst FCS schools, and this game could be one of the biggest blowouts of Week 1.
Even though Oklahoma State lost a lot, it will not have trouble putting points all over Savannah State on opening weekend.
Oklahoma State 58, Savannah State 10
Oregon State hit rock bottom last season and finished the year 3-9 overall. It did have some young talent, including freshman quarterback Sean Mannion. He passed for 3,328 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year.
The season opener against Nicolls State is the most winnable game on their schedule, as the Colonels only managed to win one game last year and went 0-7 in the Southland Conference.
Even though the Beavers are one of the worst teams in the Pac-12, they will roll over Nicholls State.
Oregon State 38, Nicholls State 13
With all that has happened at Penn State in the past few months, they will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in 2012.
It does have enough talent coming back to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten and qualify for a bowl game. Among that talent is running back Silas Redd. He rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Ohio is one of the most talented teams in the MAC and went 10-4 last year led by quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who passed for 3,306 yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore.
This one could be close for a while, but the Nittany Lions defense, which was top five last year, will be a little too much for the Bobcats to handle.
Penn State 21, Ohio 13
This game is usually one of the bigger games to start off the season, and this year, it should be as competitive as ever.
Clemson has a lot of talent, particularly on offense. These two rivals are relatively equally matched this season, and while it may be close, Clemson has the slight edge.
Auburn will have star receiver Emory Blake back and healthy this season, so the offense will be improved This one will be close throughout with Clemson coming out on top at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Clemson 28, Auburn 24
Memphis was as bad it got last season when it came to FBS schools. It finished the season 2-10 overall and 1-7 in Conference USA.
The offense and defense were both near the bottom of the country. Getting a victory to start the season is a must if it plans on winning more than two games in 2012.
Its most winnable game is the season opener against Tennessee-Martin. The Skyhawks went 5-6 last season in the Ohio Valley Conference.
They may have enough talent to hang with Memphis for a while, but the Tigers will have too much in the end.
Memphis 30, Tennessee-Martin 17
Texas State is one of the new FBS schools, and it travels to Houston for its first game as an FBS school.
Houston is coming off another excellent season and will have to replace quarterback Case Keenum. The Cougars went 13-1 a year ago and defeated Penn State in a bowl game.
Texas State was 6-6 last year and will likely not win more than a few games next season.
Houston always puts points on the board, and the season opener will be no different.
Houston 42, Texas State 13
Texas has recruited as much young talent over the past few years as almost anybody in the country, and it should all begin to come together in 2012.
Last year, the Longhorns only won eight games, which isn't bad, but for them, more wins are expected.
Wyoming did not have a bad season by its standards, as it qualified for a bowl game on its way to an eight-win season out of the Mountain West Conference.
Texas just has too much for the Cowboys in this one.
Texas 30, Wyoming 13
Washington State struggled to a 4-8 season in 2011 and had trouble, particularly on defense.
New head coach Mike Leach will certainly bring some energy to the program and attempt to lead it to more than the four wins it had last season.
Problem is, it will start the season on the road against BYU. The Cougars were 10-3 a year ago, and at home, will be too much for Washington State to hang with.
There will be some points scored here, but BYU will come out on top in this one.
BYU 31, Washington State 21
Virginia may have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the ACC last season. It went 8-5 and should be just as good or better in 2012.
Running back Perry Jones will be back for his senior season after rushing for 915 yards a year ago.
Richmond is usually not a bad team, and it has the talent to hang with a lot of FBS teams, Virginia is just not one of them. The Spiders were down last year, however, only winning three games in the Colonial Athletic Association.
This one may be a blowout from start to finish.
Virginia 42, Richmond 12
This is a game that could go either way, as San Diego State and Washington both had good seasons a year ago and have some talent coming back.
Washington was 7-6 and will have quarterback Keith Price coming back in 2012. San Diego State won eight games last year and will have some talent to replace, including running back Ronnie Hillman and quarterback Ryan Lindley.
Expect a close, hard-fought battle with Washington holding the slight edge at home.
Washington 24, San Diego State 20
Wisconsin loves to run the football, and Northern Iowa will get a steady dose of that in the season opener.
Stopping Monte Ball and James White will be hard for anybody, much less Northern Iowa. Even though the Badgers will not be as good as they were a season ago, Northern Iowa is no match.
It did go 10-3 last year out of the Missouri Valley Conference in the FCS and could give a few teams a run for their money, just not Wisconsin.
Expect the Badgers to run all over them in this one.
Wisconsin 41, Northern Iowa 13
This in-state rivalry has had some decent games over the years, but don't expect it to be close this season in Morgantown.
West Virginia may have the best skill position players in the country, with the exception of USC, and has a chance to be a surprise national championship contender, catapulting off a huge Orange Bowl win in January.
Marshall was 7-6 last season and did not have a bad year. A trip to Morgantown will be too much for them to handle.
West Virginia 48, Marshall 17
Fresno State struggled to a 4-9 campaign last year and will be a lot better in 2012 as it looks right now.
Quarterback Derek Carr is beginning to come into his own, and the Bulldogs should be able to return to the bowl status they once grew accustomed to.
Weber State is another FCS school. It only went 5-6 a year ago, and playing against Fresno State on the road will be a tall order.
The Bulldogs will get off to a good start to 2012 in this one.
Fresno State 34, Weber State 14
Louisiana-Lafayette may not be a well-known team, but it had an excellent 2011 season, going 9-4 overall and playing in the New Orleans Bowl.
Lamar is an FCS school who only won four games a year ago in the Southland Conference. It does not have the talent to play with a team like Louisiana-Lafayette.
This will be a great way to get the season started for the Ragin' Cajuns at home.
Louisiana-Lafayette 34, Lamar 13
This game will take place in Dallas and is the most anticipated game of the opening weekend of college football.
There are few games on the entire schedule that are bigger than this as two of the nation's best collide.
Alabama is the defending national champion, and Michigan is looking to return to another BCS Bowl game again in 2012.
The Crimson Tide possess one of the most imposing defenses in the country, and Denard Robinson will have his hands full. It should be fun to watch, but the Alabama defense will make it hard for Michigan to hang in for four quarters.
Alabama 27, Michigan 17
Mississippi State is another of the major college programs who is playing an in-state FCS school who appears slightly overmatched.
The Bulldogs went 7-6 a year ago despite only winning two games in the SEC. They open the season against Jackson State.
Jackson State was 9-2 last year in the SWAC and 7-2 in conference play. It is one of the best teams in the conference, but will not be able to hang around long with Mississippi State on the road.
Mississippi State 38, Jackson State 14
Not many teams can go through a six-game losing streak and still win a bowl game, but that is what Illinois did last season.
The Fighting Illini should have a solid defense once again and will be taking on a Western Michigan offense that was one of the best in the country a year ago, and it will be interesting to see how the Fighting Illini do under new head coach Tim Beckman.
Illinois is at home, and Beckman will be much better than Ron Zook was.
Expect some points, but an Illinois victory in the end.
Illinois 33, Western Michigan 27
Air Force is one of the best teams in the country when it comes to running the football, and it went 7-6 last season, finishing in the middle of the pack in the Mountain West Conference.
Idaho State is another FCS school who only won two games last year out of the Big Sky Conference.
Look for Air Force to give Idaho State a steady dose of its rushing attack and put a lot of points up on the Bengals.
Air Force 30, Idaho State 10
Kansas will be able to equal half of its win total from a season ago in the season opener against South Dakota State.
The Jayhawks went 2-10 last season and open up against the FCS Jackrabbits, who only won five games last season.
Charlie Weis and Dayne Crist will probably look pretty good in this one, but don't judge too soon, as the schedule will get a little tougher as the season progresses.
Kansas 44, South Dakota State 17
Kansas State had an excellent season in 2011 and earned a berth in the Cotton Bowl. This season, it should be just as good with Collin Klein coming back.
Missouri State is yet another FCS school who only won two games last season, and don't except it to be able to slow down Klein or the offensive attack of the Wildcats.
This one will be another blowout featuring an overmatched FCS school and a big-time BCS program.
Kansas State 49, Missouri State 13
The Iowa Hawkeyes were winners of seven games last season and are losing a lot on the offensive side of the ball.
A season-opening game against Northern Illinois on a neutral site may make for an interesting matchup. Northern Illinois won 11 games last season and is always one of the best teams in the MAC.
This could be one of the most interesting matchups of opening weekend, and the Hawkeyes could be in for an upset.
Northern Illinois 27, Iowa 24
Oregon is as good as it gets on the offensive side of the ball, and even though it lost a few playmakers, there are plenty who are ready to step right in.
Among those are Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas. This combination gives Oregon one of the best backfields in the country heading into 2012.
The season opener against Arkansas State is one of the most interesting of Week 1. Arkansas State was 10-3 last season and will be no pushover for Oregon.
With that being said, don't look for them to able to slow down the Ducks too much.
Oregon 48, Arkansas State 21
Purdue won seven games last season and is very talented on the defensive side of the ball, particularly up front along the line.
Eastern Kentucky is an FCS school out of the Ohio Valley Conference. It won seven games last season and went 6-2 in conference.
The Boilermakers are too talented on defense to let Eastern Kentucky hang around for too long.
Purdue 37, Eastern Kentucky 14
Unlike many other top programs, Oklahoma is at least starting off the season against an FBS school.
If they can come back healthy, the Sooners are national championship contenders, and it all begins against the UTEP Miners.
Oklahoma made it through an injury-riddled 2011 by winning 10 games. UTEP, on the other hand, went 5-7 last year out of Conference USA and will prove to be no match for the Sooners in this one.
Oklahoma 48, UTEP 14
Texas Tech struggled last season after running back Eric Stephens went down with a season-ending injury.
If he can come back healthy, the Red Raiders could be a middle-of-the-line Big 12 team with the talent of quarterback Seth Doege .
Northwestern State was 5-6 last year in the Southland Conference and will have trouble slowing down the offensive attack of the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech 49, Northwestern State 13
Rutgers had a surprisingly talented recruiting class despite the departure of head coach Greg Schiano.
In 2012, it may be one of the early favorites to win the Big East, and a season opener against Tulane is a game that will not likely give it much trouble.
The Scarlet Knights went 9-4 a year ago and should be even better in 2012. Tulane, on the other hand, struggled to a two-win season, and even though it is at home, Rutgers will have no problem handling them.
Rutgers 34, Tulane 20
Quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Rex Burkhead are back to lead a Nebraska offensive attack that should be one of the best in the Big Ten.
It opens the season against a talented Southern Miss team that will be no pushover. The Golden Eagles won Conference USA last season and finished 12-2 overall.
This is an intriguing matchup, and Nebraska better not sleep on Southern Miss. Odds are, it won't and will be too much at home.
Nebraska 31, Southern Mississippi 21
Maryland only won two games last season, and it will be much better in 2012. Head coach Randy Edsall is a winner, and it won't be long before the Terrapins are near the top of the ACC.
They open the season against William & Mary, an FCS school that won five games a year ago in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Maryland should have no problem starting off the season on the right foot and looking to improve in 2012.
Maryland 44, William and Mary 10
Pittsburgh is starting off this season with yet another head coach and, hopefully, a healthy Ray Graham.
The star running back went down in the middle of last season with a knee injury, and if he can come back healthy, Pittsburgh will be able to contend in the Big East.
The opener against Youngstown State will prove not to be much of a threat, as the Penguins went 6-5 a year ago. It looks like it will be Panthers big in this one.
Pittsburgh 30, Youngstown State 12
Colorado got a huge wake-up call last year when it joined the Pac-12. They finished the year 3-10 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
The Buffaloes will be better this season, and they open against the Colorado State Rams at a neutral location.
The Rams went 3-9 a year ago in the Mountain West Conference. While Colorado struggled for most of last season, it appears to have plenty of talent left over to beat its in-state rival in this one.
Colorado 24, Colorado State 17
The days of Kentucky being better than Louisville may be over for some time now, as Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong seems to have things under control.
There are few programs that are on the rise like Louisville, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is the man who could lead them to the top of the Big East.
Last season, the Cardinals finished in a three-way tie for the Big East title and 7-6 overall. Kentucky, on the other hand, only won five games and continues to struggle in the SEC.
Look for Louisville to control this one at home from start to finish, with its talented defense wreaking havoc in the Wildcats backfield all day.
Louisvile 27, Kentucky 13
Baylor begins life without Robert Griffin III, and it will not be easy, as it takes on a talented Southern Methodist team.
Baylor won 10 games last year and will certainly not be able to duplicate that in 2012.
Southern Methodist won eight games last season, including a bowl game victory over Pittsburgh. June Jones will have his team ready to play, and this one will be close until the end, with Baylor pulling away late at home.
Baylor 33, Southern Methodist 27
The official end to the first weekend of college football will take place with a Monday night ACC battle between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Virginia Tech is the more talented of the two, won 11 games last season and qualified for a BCS bowl game. Georgia Tech also had a solid season with eight wins.
The Hokies will have to replace running back David Wilson, and the development of quarterback Logan Thomas will be crucial. This one will be close, but Virginia Tech just has a little too much.
Virginia Tech 23, Georgia Tech 16