The Intriguing 10 (INT10) - Week 1

Sep. 3, 2012

Every week, I will pick 10 college football games which will feature at least one FBS program. These games won’t feature powerhouse programs and the stakes will be different from games between two powerhouse programs.

I will give my opinion on every game with an ironic side. These comments will be about the game itself and/or the teams, according to the stakes of the game.

For every team, I will give the conference they are member of.

The first team is the home team

Idaho (FBS WAC) 3 - 20 Eastern Washington University (FCS Big Sky)

Idaho officials don’t know if they have to keep the football program in the FBS ? Maybe the players gave their advice during this game. What’s next for Idaho ? FBS Independant ? FCS Big Sky ? If Idaho doesn’t wake up quickly, the WAC will loose another member in 2013-2014.

UNLV (FBS MWC) 27 - 30 Minnesota (FBS Big Ten)

A least Minnesota won’t be winless this season. And UNLV begins the season the same way the previous one finished. Next week UNLV received Northern Arizona (FCS Big Sky) which might be a well sized opponent. For Minnesota, they receive New Hampshire (FCS CAA) and Western Michigan (FBS MAC), they can hope of 2 consecutive wins (for the first time for since 2010), and even of 3 consecutive wins (for the first time since 2008)

Middle Tennessee State University (FBS Sun Belt) 21 - 27 McNeese State (FCS Southland)

Yeah !!!! An upset (according to ESPN). A normal victory for me. MTSU football program is falling since their bowl victory in 2009 (2-10 last year, 6-7 in 2010, 10-2 and a bowl game victory in 2009). McNeese State is not a FCS powerhouse, but they are quite constant over the last 5 years, their last losing season was in 2004 and they went to the FCS playoffs few times since 2004. McNeese State really deserves this victory for their regularity over the years.

Florida Atlantic University (FBS Sun Belt) 7 - 3 Wagner University (FCS NEC)

FAU won’t be winless this season, but that’s all. They won’t play another FCS opponent this season, and I actually see MTSU beating them next week.

Akron (FBS MAC) 14 - 56 UCF (FBS C-USA)

For Akron, every year is the same. Last opening game victory ; 2007 vs Army. Their only win last year was versus Virginia Military Institute (FCS Big South). This year, Morgan State (FCS MEAC) will try to beat Akron. We will see whether Akron’s season will be as bad as their last season on September 15th. I don’t FIU getting beaten by Akron next week. On november 10th, Akron will travel to Massachusetts to play UMass. No doubt this game will be in the INT10 this week.

Connecticut (FBS Big East) 37 - 0 UMass (FBS MAC)

You need to start someday, but I don’t think UMass players thought it would be this difficult. Next week, they welcome Indiana (Big 10) at the Gillette Stadium, and 2 weeks from now, they will travel to Ann Arbor, to play against Michigan. Be brave kids, the MAC conference games are coming. For Connecticut, it’s quite difficult to evaluate them after this game, the next 2 games (vs NC State and at Maryland) will give us more information about this team future.

UNC (FBS ACC) 62 - 0 Elon (FCS Southern)

A complete beat-down. Conceeding 62 points is not easy to endure… mainly because UNC stopped playing during the fourth quarter. What to expect for Elon ? Rebirth like their mascot, the Phoenix. UNC is their only FBS opponent this season, the next games will be close from their playing level. For UNC, let’s see the next games (at Wake Forest and at Louisville) to see what they are capable of. On September 29th, they welcome Idaho, another beat-down in perspective…

South Alabama (FBS Sun Belt) 31 - 33 University of Texas at San Antonio (FBS WAC)

Both programs are playing their first game in FBS. And it’s A GAME to see. Quite balanced game, with an astonishing performance by UTSA kicker Sean Ianno (4/4 FGs from 21, 32, 47 and 51 yards). Ianno is only a sophomore, if he continues to play like that, we might see him playing on Sundays 3 years from now. Next week, South Alabama welcomes Nicholls State (FCS Southland) and UTSA welcomes Texas A&M Commerce (DII Lone Star Conference), I’m pretty sure both team will win their next game. But I will continue to follow Ianno which surprised me with his regularity on the kick.

Maryland (FBS ACC) 7 - 6 Will & Mary (FCS CAA)

Thankfully Maryland woke up during the fourth quarter with a touchdown with 10 minutes remaining in the game, otherwise plays would have a bad time with their coach. Frankly, a 1 point win against a FCS team, for a team like Maryland which has ACC title expectations, it feels bad. I’m clearly disappointed by their lack of performance. Next week, Maryland comes to Philly to take on Temple, let’s see how it will finish. But if Maryland plays this bad, Temple will enjoy this game.

Oklahoma State (FBS Big12) 84 - 0 Savannah State (FCS MEAC)

I’m hesitating between disappointment and prostration. I’m disappointed by Oklahoma State’s attitude, which only pumped up their point average. At least, UNC stopped playing in the fourst quarter, but Oklahoma State continued his destruction work by scoring 2 TD in the last quarter. I know every year, the first week gives us uneven games and large scores. But here, it’s the worst I’ve seen recently. Thankfully FBS team are not allowed (with exceptions) to play against Division 2 and 3 programs. Let’s see September 29th game against Texas (Big12), as we will be able to see them against a real opposition.

See you next week !!