The 2012 college football season begins on Thursday, August 30, and there is an entire weekend chock full of excellent matchups.
In order to get this campaign started on the right foot and build excitement for the rest of the year, you’ll want to tune in to at least one marquee matchup from Thursday until Monday.
Here’s a look at the best game on each day during Week 1.
Thursday, Aug. 30 – 7 p.m. ET – No. 9 South Carolina at Vanderbilt
The Gamecocks are hoping to get an early SEC victory by taking out the Commodores in the first big game of the season.
All eyes will be on coach Steve Spurrier’s tough defense, a healthy Marcus Lattimore’s rushing ability and Connor Shaw’s quarterbacking skills for South Carolina, while the focus for Vanderbilt should be figuring out a way to put up points against a preseason Top-10 squad.
Expect this to be an extremely close and hard-fought game.
Friday, Aug. 31 – 8 p.m. ET – No. 24 Boise State at No. 13 Michigan State
The Broncos are never afraid to open the season against a tough opponent, and 2012 will be no different.
A win against the Spartans would instantly give them credibility going into the post-Kellen Moore era.
Michigan State is hoping to get a quick victory against a Top-25 team and start an ascent to through the polls that will hopefully end in a BCS bowl appearance.
Saturday, Sept. 1 – 8 p.m. ET –No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Alabama
This is the biggest game of Week 1, and every single person who is remotely interested in college football should be circling this on his or her calendar.
The Wolverines are a two-touchdown underdog against the Crimson Tide on a neutral field, but that won’t stop them from trying their hardest to contain the defending national champs.
Will Bama coach Nick Saban’s vaunted defense be too much for Wolverines QB Denard Robinson and the rest of the offense to handle? Tune in to find out.
Sunday, Sept. 2 – 6:30 p.m. ET – Southern Methodist at Baylor
Baylor will be coping with the loss of Heisman-winning QB Robert Griffin III to the NFL in this opening game against the Mustangs.
If the Bears want to help ease the pain of RG3’s departure, a big victory over a tough team like SMU would be the way to do it.
Monday, Sept. 3 – 8 p.m. ET- Georgia Tech at No. 16 Virginia Tech
The Yellow Jackets were a surprise team in 2011 and are hoping they can rekindle that magic on Monday night against a highly dangerous Hokies squad.
This ACC matchup could have implications that last for the entire season, so expect a bloodbath.