College Football: Top 25 preview
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2011
Some say No. 4 LSUís home game against No. 3 Oregon tonight is a BCS elimination game, which might be a bit harsh because a narrow loss likely would keep either national championship contender high in the polls.
LSU seeks to extend its national-best streak of 33 straight regular-season victories over non-conference foes. Oregon is looking to bounce back from losing the BCS title game to Auburn, another SEC team.
This is the first time since No. 4 Miami beat No. 1 Auburn in 1984 that two top-five teams have opened the season against each other on a neutral field. LSU coach Les Miles is 23-0 in non-conference, regular-season games. He’s also 6-0 in season openers. … Oregon is 3-0 in regular-season games against Top 10 teams under coach Chip Kelly, but 0-2 against them in BCS games.
No. 1 Oklahoma vs. Tulsa
Oklahoma has the nationís longest home winning streak at 36 games and is 72-2 on Owen Field under coach Bob Stoops.
No. 2 Alabama vs. Kent St.
Alabama would like for AJ McCarron or Phillip Sims to emerge as a clear No. 1 quarterback before a visit to Penn State. Both will play. Kent State is hoping for a strong debut under coach Darrell Hazell, formerly an Ohio State assistant.
Alabama has won 10 straight nonconference games and hasnít lost a regular season game outside the SEC since 2007
No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia
Boise State has moved from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West, but the Broncos still must win this game to have any chance of cracking the BCS.
No. 6 Florida St vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Florida State is chasing its 35th consecutive winning season. The Seminoles last losing campaign came in 1976 when Bobby Bowden was in his first year at the school.
No. 7 Stanford vs. San Jose State
Heisman Trophy favorite Andrew Luck returns after turning down a chance to be the NFL draftís No. 1 pick. He leads the seventh-ranked Cardinal into a season with high hopes of a Pac-12 title and even a national championship.
No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
The Cowboys have matched their highest preseason ranking in the programís history and are looking for more after sharing the Big 12 South title for the first time last season.
No. 10 Nebraska vs. Chattanooga
Big Ten newcomer Nebraska needs a clean and crisp performance against an overmatched opponent after losing three of its last four. Nebraska has won 25 straight openers since losing to Florida State in 1985.
No. 15 Arkansas vs. Missouri State
Arkansas reached its first BCS bowl game last season, losing to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The core of that team returns this season, including sophomore defensive lineman Chris Smith of West Rowan. QB Tyler WEilsonb makes his first start.
No. 16 Notre Dame vs. South Florida
Notre Dame sets course for a season the Irish hope will end with a BCS bowl berth. Second-year coach Brian Kelly has reinstated star receiver Michael Floyd after his arrest in March for drunken driving, giving the offense its biggest weapon.
No. 18 Ohio State vs. Akron
Akron is appearing for the payday, an $850,000 appearance fee. Ohio State is looking forward to focusing on football instead of the ugly NCAA investigation that forced out former head coach Jim Tressel.
No. 21 Missouri vs. Miami of Ohio
James Franklin debuts as Missouri QB after backing up Blaine Gabbert last year.
No. 22 Florida vs. Florida Atlantic, 7 p.m
Florida hopes to get the Will Muschamp era off to a strong start.