College Football Scores 2012: Biggest Surprises from First Week of Games

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 01: Penn State Nittany Lions react after losing to the Ohio Bobcats at Beaver Stadium on September 1, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Bobcats won 24-14. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The first week of games in college football is normally rather uneventful, as some of the bigger schools in the country take on unlucky smaller schools in what amounts to an almost definite rout.

But in 2012, the first week of the season has given fans a few surprises along the way, turning the predictable scores of big school versus small school to scores that are somewhat unpredictable.

Here are the biggest surprises from this week's games thus far.

Wisconsin 26, Northern Iowa 21

With a 13-0 lead heading into the third quarter, it looked as though Wisconsin was going to dominate Northern Iowa as was expected; but apparently the Panthers didn't get the memo.

Northern Iowa would go on to score three touchdowns in the second half, making this game a little too close for comfort for the Badgers. With the score 26-21, Northern Iowa had one last chance to take the lead but failed to score on their final drive of the game.

This would have easily been one of the biggest upsets of the entire season, but Wisconsin narrowly avoided such a distinction. In the end, there's nothing negative about this result for the Panthers. The team couldn't have played any better than it did in this one.

If the Badgers want to make some noise this season, clearly they must step their game up after nearly losing to an inferior opponent.

Florida 27, Bowling Green 14

The final score of this game is a bit misleading, but the result is a positive for Bowling Green.

Going into the fourth quarter, Florida led Bowling Green by just a field goal, 17-14. It wasn't until early in the fourth when the Gators began to pull away from the Falcons.

Only a minute into the final quarter, the Gators tacked on another touchdown to increase their lead to 10. After that, Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis booted an incredible 52-yard field goal to put the Gators up by 13.

Bowling Green was unable to answer Florida's fourth-quarter scoring, but they certainly made the first three quarters very interesting.

South Carolina 17, Vanderbilt 13

With a 13-10 deficit going into the fourth quarter, South Carolina was staring straight down the barrel of an upset at the hands of Vanderbilt.

After adding a field goal in the third quarter, Vandy grabbed their first lead of the game over South Carolina but were unable to sustain their momentum after that.

The Gamecocks would go on to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter to lead 17-13. The Commodores would fail to respond with a score of their own, and Vandy fell just short of a huge upset.

South Carolina can be happy with the win, but they can't be happy with the fact that Vanderbilt made them look like a second-rate football program thanks to a close call on the first game of the season.

Stanford 20, San Jose State 17

In their first game without Andrew Luck, Stanford was hoping to come out strong and erase the fact that they lost an all-time great college quarterback.

But that didn't happen. Instead, San Jose State gave Stanford a run for its money.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Spartans were locked in a 17-17 tie with the Cardinal and were poised to upset a top-ranked team. But in the end, it wasn't meant to be.

Stanford would go on to add three points to their total with a field goal early in the fourth, but were unable to do anything else to pad their lead. The Spartans would get numerous chances to at least tie the score, but were unsuccessful.

This was about as bad of a start for the Cardinal in the post-Luck era as they could get. On the flip side, San Jose State should be darn proud with the fight they put up against one of the better teams in the nation.

Ohio 24, Penn State 14

As if things couldn't get any worse for Penn State, they just did.

In what amounted to one of the biggest shockers of the entire opening week of college football, Penn State dropped their season opener to Ohio.

The Bobcats were down 14-3 after the first half, and it appeared the Nittany Lions would cruise to victory. But somebody forgot to tell Penn State that there was a second half to play.

Ohio would go on to score 21 unanswered points through the final two quarters, topping Penn St. and shocking the world in the process.

There's no doubt about it: It's going to be a long season for the Nittany Lions.