Now that the 2012 season has come to a close, it's time to get excited for the opening week of 2013
Alabama may be reveling in its second consecutive national championship, but college football fans everywhere else are turning their attention to recruiting and spring practice.
Those are just appetizers to the date everyone is really anticipating: The countdown for the 2013 season has begun. This is what you have to look forward to when the season reboots at the end of August.
All games on Saturday, Aug. 31 unless noted. Not all 2013 schedules are complete, so the following list is of games scheduled as of Jan. 7.
Two mid-major programs whose success this year cost each of them their head coaches will meet up in the second-to-last bowl game of the season. The matchup between Kent State from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Arkansas State from the Sun Belt Conference also represents the first game between the two schools, although it’s the Red Wolves’ second straight appearance in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
EJ Manuel looks to lead Florida State to a win over Northern Illinois.
In terms of intrigue, the Florida State-Northern Illinois matchup in the Orange Bowl has to be one of the must-see games of the postseason. After cracking the top 16 of the BCS standings, the Huskies became a polarizing case study and a lightning rod for criticism. Northern Illinois has plenty of doubters and there’s no shortage of bulletin board material for this team to rally around.
Defensive players should get more attention in the Heisman race for 2013.
The end of every year is always a good time for reflection and examining what improvements could be made for the following 12 months. And that’s the case with college football, especially as the sport gets ready to close the books on a crazy 2012 season and move on to 2013 with another interesting race for the national title ready to unfold. There are still plenty of big events coming to college football in the next few days, including the anticipated Notre Dame-Alabama BCS championship game on Jan. 7.
Bret Bielema made a surprising jump from Wisconsin to Arkansas.
No college football head coaching search ever goes according to plan. However, anytime a job opens during or after the season, there’s a good idea of which candidates will be interested or the most likely targets. Despite having a general feel of where a particular program might go with its hire, there are times where a school makes a decision that blindsides or surprises everyone.
Ohio's Tyler Tettleton is one of the nation's top non-BCS quarterbacks.
Two of the nation’s most talented and exciting dual-threat quarterbacks will share the spotlight when Ohio and Louisiana-Monroe face each other for the first time. The Bobcats, led by junior signal caller Tyler Tettleton are playing in their fourth straight bowl after winning eight or more games for the fourth straight season.
Central Michigan returns to the bowl season after a two-year absence.
Only a few years ago, Western Kentucky was a highly successful Division I-AA program under Jack Harbaugh, father to NFL coaches Jim and John. Now, one of Jack Harbaugh’s top former players has taken the Hilltoppers to new heights.
Can Bowling Green's defense slow down San Jose State's offense?
Two teams that posted impressive turnarounds in the win column this season meet for the first time ever as either San Jose State or Bowling Green will get to unwrap one late Christmas gift – a season-ending victory. The Spartans will be looking to cap their best season since 1987, but will have to do so without Mike MacIntyre, who left on Dec. 10 to become the head coach at Colorado.
Athlon previews the Friday night matchup between UCF and Ball State.
The coaching carousel hasn’t come to a complete stop, but it appears Ball State will hold on to Pete Lembo for at least one more season. Lembo built a winner at Lehigh and Elon before jumping to the FBS ranks, where he has compiled a 15–9 record in two seasons at Ball State. This season, he has guided the Cardinals to a 9–3 mark that includes wins over two AQ conference schools, Indiana (for the second straight season) and South Florida.