All this chirping about based ball’s Opening “Day” just makes us pine for five months from now, when college football will accomplish in five days what baseball crams into nine or so. Is it too early to start making out our Week 1 mayhem wish list? Probably!
Thursday, August 30
• South Carolina @ Vanderbilt. James Franklin taunts Jadeveon Clowney after the Commodores pull off a late go-ahead touchdown, and the ensuing fracas manages to convince SEC officials to suspend the South Carolina stalwart. Seeking revenge, Steve Spurrier departs Nashville with five or six of Franklin’s scholarship quarterbacks, to feather his depth-chart-fiddlin’ nest back in Columbia. No one is truly satisfied, but no lessons are learned.
• Minnesota @ UNLV. TCF Bank revokes Golden Gophers’ stadium sponsorship after team refuses to pay $5,000 in ATM fees following return from Vegas.
• UCF @ Akron. Zips win, and Terry Bowden gets free jousting privileges at all Medieval Times locations for life.
• UMass @ UConn. In their FBS debut, the Minutemen rout the Huskies, relegating Connecticut to the MAC by a previously unnoticed realignment provision. All involved parties agree this is probably in everyone’s best interest.
Friday, August 31
• Boise State @ Michigan State. Between leaving his house in Boise on Wednesday and arriving back home on Sunday, Chris Petersen is begged to co-pilot the team’s charter jet, accept the position of chairman of the team’s hotel chain in East Lansing, and run for governor of Michigan. He happily declines all three.
• NC State vs. Tennessee. Between Mike Glennon, Tyler Bray and the state of the Pack’s and Vols’ ground attacks, the opening game of the 2012 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic lasts a good nine hours.
Saturday, September 1
• Clemson vs. Auburn. Still in Atlanta, a pregame brawl over whether Clemson is “Auburn with a lake” or Auburn is “Clemson without potable water” creates a metro Atlanta-wide run on replacement Lilly Pulitzer outfits.
• Liberty @ Wake Forest. Operating on September autopilot, Bob Davie misses his first New Mexico game as head coach of the Lobos after he ends up in the booth in Winston-Salem and doesn’t realize his mistake until halftime.
• Nevada @ California. Cal’s stadium still isn’t ready and the game is held in a Costco with all the shelves cleared to one side. Ratings are above average.
• North Texas @ LSU. The Mean Green actually hang within a field goal of the Bayou Bengals for three full quarters before the entire North Texas team and staff are inexplicably stricken with Dutch Elm disease.
• Arkansas State @ Oregon. Confounding all onlookers, the Ducks and Red Wolves complete a regulation game in 59 real-time minutes. The feat is never repeated or explained.
• Navy vs. Notre Dame. Mysteriously, following a close Fighting Irish loss, the word “tradition” spontaneously disappears from every written text in the world the next day. Notre Dame still has not named a starting quarterback.
• Kentucky @ Louisville. Teddy Bridgewater throws for 350 yards, three touchdowns and urinates on a nearby UK Basketball Championship banner. No one in the state of Kentucky notices.
• Marshall @ West Virginia. Game gets out of hand so early that Dana Holgorsen sends his second-string offense down to ATL to score 17 more points on Clemson, for funsies.
• Youngstown State @ Pittsburgh. Panthers fans get in some early-season booing practice upon discovering flyers for “PENGUINS @ HEINZ FIELD” did not mean what they thought it meant.
• Northern Arizona @ Arizona State. Upsetting prop bettors coast to coast, Todd Graham is still the coach of the Sun Devils in Week 1.
• UCLA @ Rice. The booster club saves a bundle on travel after mistakenly interpreting the university’s Pro Day rules to mean no parents can accompany players anywhere there might be pro scouts in attendance.
• Alabama vs. Michigan. Brady Hoke resigns pre-game to take the by then-vacant Dallas Cowboys job, leading to the first and last time Nick Saban sheds human tears.
• Rutgers @ Tulane. The game sets a collegiate Superdome attendance record after efforts to remove a horde of invading seagulls from the roof beams prove unsuccessful.
• SMU @ Baylor. The Mustangs’ alternate uniforms brand them as “THE BRONY EXPRESS,” complete with manes on the helmets. Not to be outdone, the Bears emerge at halftime wearing disco balls on their heads. They still refuse to dance.