College football starts tonight, when Vanderbilt hosts South Carolina in the first game of the season. With the national spotlight on Nashville, I’ve decided I’m allowed to make this preview collection extremely Commodore-heavy.
There are a number of reasons this game is a great season opener. First, it pits two division rivals against each other. In an era in which teams don’t play non-cupcakes until October to boost their BCS rankings, the value of an in-conference, in-division game to lead off opening day cannot be overstated. Second, that conference just happens to be the Southeastern Conference, the top one in the country. Third, these teams actually are somewhat competitive with each other, at least recently. While the overall series isn’t pretty for the black & gold, the Gamecocks are just 3-2 over the last five meetings, and one of those losses came in Columbia. Fourth, SC coach Steve Spurrier has a history of Vanderbilt hatred, which is showing no signs of cooling off. Fifth, the game should be an excellent showcase for the run game, with the visitors’ Heisman candidate competing against the home team’s RB corps, which is top in the conference. Sixth, SC is ranked #9 in the preseason rankings, which is a high ranking.
I’m on record predicting a Vandy win, but did you really expect anything else? Other games of note this weekend include Boise State at Michigan State on Friday and Alabama and Michigan playing in Dallas on Saturday.
The rest of this 2012 college football preview goes like this:
- College Football Preview Blowout Spectacular podcast – ALDLAND
- Vanderbilt position-by-position season preview – Open ‘Dores
- Vanderbilt position-by-position season preview – Vanderbilt Sports Line
- Predictions: South Carolina at Vanderbilt – Anchor of Gold
- South Carolina @ Vanderbilt Analysis – Open ‘Dores
- Previewing Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina – Vanderbilt Sports Line
- South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt: Playing a Game Against History – Team Speed Kills
- The Unsung Hero of College Football – Grantland
- Breaking Down the 2012 Vanderbilt Schedule – Vanderbilt Sports Line
- Predicting the Michigan State Football Season – Detroit Free Press
- Anchor Down: One Vanderbilt Fan’s Journey from Tienanmen Square to Dudley Field – Outkick the Coverage
- How excited are we, Americans, for football season? – ALDLAND
- The 2012 Hater’s Lover’s Guide To The Top 25– Deadspin
- 10.15.94 – Every Day Should Be Saturday
I realize this is likely the least useful preview aggregation I’ve put forth to date, but our sponsorship agreement with Gongshow Hockey hasn’t come through yet, and the site just doesn’t pay like it used to. Also and far more importantly, this week’s podcast took a very thorough look at the national college football scene, so listen to that on your way home from work, and if you’ve got other links that belong in the collection above, let me know, and I’d be happy to add them.
Enjoy the games!