College football season kicks off tonight with several games. The Bowl Championship Series has forced teams to schedule light before league play begins. However, there are a few games worth watching in Week 1. Here's a quick rundown. All games below are on Saturday...
Appalachian State plays at LSU, 5 p.m., ESPN -- The BCS national champion takes on the Division I-AA champion. Normally, this would mean a smackdown. But Appalachian State is more than a Division I-AA power. The Mountaineers proved last season they could play with the big boys when they went to the Big House and beat Michigan last season. QB Armanti Edwards and Co. attempt to shock the world again.
Utah at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. -- From Mountaineer Field to the Big House. The first game for Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, which has a patent on Big Ten, three yards and a cloud of dust football. Rodriguez brings his highly successful spread offense to Ann Arbor. Transitions take time and this one will be interesting to watch all season.
USC at Virginia, 3:30 p.m. -- Kudos to Pete Carroll. When everyone else in Division I-A schedules cupcakes during the non-league schedule, Carroll seeks out tests for his Trojans. This is the first of three games against BCS conference foes. On Sept. 13, Ohio State goes to USC and in late November, the Trojans play host to Notre Dame.
Alabama vs. Clemson, 8:00 p.m. -- Tommy Bowden has the best team in the ACC this season. The Tigers are talented and they'll get to see how they stack up right away because Alabama is getting better under Nick Saban. No home field advantage in this game. It's being played in Atlanta.
Illinois at Missouri, 8:30 p.m., ESPN -- The best game of Week 1. Missouri QB Chase Daniel is a Heisman Trophy candidate and he has plenty of weapons around him to shine. Juice Williams can drive defenses batty with his ability to run and throw. Illini coach Ron Zook might need a few tricks up his sleeve to pull this one out. Surprise onsides, anyone?