Week 1 of the college football season is exciting. We get our first crack at revamped rosters, most of which have been working tirelessly to prepare for the grind of the upcoming season. The intrigue is there, simply because we haven't had a taste of collegiate football since last January.
The AP Top 25 is an interesting barometer, especially at the beginning of the season, for the nation's elite. We know whom these top teams added and whom they're bringing back, and we can begin to predict what they will do to begin the season.
While not every ranked team will skate through the opening weekend unscathed, these Top 25 teams will mostly roll through their opponents to kick off the 2012 season.
No. 13 Michigan State (vs. No. 24 Boise State)
Both teams will be looking to start life without their star quarterbacks from a year ago. Kirk Cousins (Michigan St.) and Kellen Moore (Boise St.) have moved on, leaving their schools with a few questions under center.
Cousins threw for 45 TD his last two seasons while compiling an impressive 146.1 rating during his career. Moore had his own unique skill set in the pocket, going 50-3 during his tenure for Boise.
While the Spartans have lost their top three receivers from a year ago, they will be returning stud running back Le'Veon Bell, who ran for 987 yards and 13 scores last year in the team's run to an Outback Bowl victory. Ultimately, Boise State's defense is in a transition period and will be no match for the ground attack of Bell, with the Spartans cruising to a two-touchdown victory.
No. 16 Virginia Tech (vs. Georgia Tech)
Quarterback Logan Thomas became a well-known commodity last year as a sophomore, collecting a school-record 3,482 yards on offense. The mobile 6'7" signal-caller also rushed for 469 yards and 11 scores. While Hokie detractors will point to the fact that the team is only retaining two other starters from the offensive side of the ball, the defense is bringing back nine starters.
The Yellow Jackets finished second last year in the nation in rushing yards, putting together 316.5 yards per game. This has been head coach Paul Johnson's blueprint as a coach, so he will certainly try to ram the ball down Tech's throat.
Unfortunately, the Hokies are returning too many playmakers on that side of the ball and will contain any rushing threat the Jackets throw at them, winning by an easy two-score margin.
No. 18 Ohio State (vs. Miami, OH)
Urban Meyer has brought a renewed look to an Ohio State team mired in controversy. Last year they ended the season 6-7, losing their last four contests. While they can't play in a bowl game, Meyer is, according to CBS Sports, preparing his team to compete their hardest each week.
It seems as if the team will attempt to air it out frequently, so at the very least they should be interesting to watch. First-year players abound on the offensive line, but skill players like receivers Evan Spencer and Verlon Reed should play well in Week 1. The defensive line is dotted with impressive guys as well, and will contain a very overwhelmed Miami (OH) team to the tune of a three-score victory.
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