It's here! It's here! The season is finally here!
Actually, the games began a couple nights ago with some prelims, but the long off season is over and the main event has finally arrived. The first Saturday of College Football is today and we have a huge slate of games to follow throughout the day before our Bruins kick off 2013 tonight in one of the final games on the schedule.
This will be our open thread to talk all things college football and "watch" games together until our game thread goes up this evening.
Before we look at some of today's games, here are a couple last minute football items from the UCLA-iverse.
Rios Returning - Don't close that depth chart just yet. Joe Davidson at the Sacramento Bee writes that sophomore cornerback Marcus Rios plans on competing for a starting spot - this season. Rios, who has battled a life threatening fungal infection for nearly a year, had his PICC line removed recently after several months of IV antibiotics and will be cleared to put on pads next week and resume workouts with the team. Bruin fans everywhere will be celebrating his health, and Rios is hoping to give Bruin fans something more to celebrate in the coming weeks.
Foster Sees Signs - Our friend Chris Foster at the LAT talks billboards and expectations, noting that both the signs and expectations for the Bruins are literally higher than ever. As always, Coach Mora and his team share and embrace those lofty expectations, saying their goal is to go to the Rose Bowl and win a National Title. Contrast that with our unathletic director who is preemptively embracing mediocrity. One thing Foster got wrong - he wrote that BruinsNation.com loathed the hire and complained to the Chancellor. Actually, we loathed the person doing the hiring and his clueless process, and now both the hiree and his Chancellor need to go.
High School Reunion - This is the first ever meeting between U.C.L.A. and Nevada, but Jack Wang at InsideUCLA points out that Bruin LB Jordan Zumwalt and Wolfpack QB Cody Fajardo have a history. They played twice as seniors in high school, with Zumwalt's Edison HIgh winning in the regular season meeting, and Fajardo's Servite team getting revenge in the CIF SS Pac-5 Title Game. The two stars were named defensive and offensive players of the year respectively by the OC Register, and were photgraphed together following the season. That was 4 years ago. Here's hoping Zumwalt reintroduces himself to Fajardo early and often tonight.
Recruiting at the Rose Bowl - Maybe Steve Alford finally found something to attract basketball recruits: UCLA Football. Two elite national recruits, 4* wing Trevon Bluiett and 4* PG Quentin Snider, will both be visiting UCLA and the Rose Bowl this weekend on an official recruiting trip. Give them some love if you see them, Bruins. Alford and our basketball recruiting struggles need the help.
Look for all our Nevada week posts at our hub here to see previews of the Wolfpack, Q&As with one of their writers, all the Spaulding Roundups for the week, and other news and notes.
Now, let's look at a few of the games on tap today. Check your local listings for availability. All times PDT
Rice at #7 Texas A&M, 10am ESPN - Can the Aggies possibly overcome the laughable 2 quarter suspension of their Heisman winning QB Johnny -ball? Never fear, he'll be back before next week's big game against Alabama. Count your days, NCAA
#3 Oregon vs Nicholls State, 1pm FoxSports 1- The Ducks welcome new coach Mark Helfrich as Oregon looks to compare itself to the SEC powers by emulating their scheduling tactics. Nicholls St travelled to Oregon last year, and lost 77-3, to Oregon State. Take the points.
E Wash at #25 Ore St, 3pm Pac-12 Net - Like the Bruins, the Beavers will try to prove that last year's 9 win season was no fluke. Trivia time: True of false - A beaver's tail is actually called a fluke.
Wash St at Auburn, 4pm ESPNU - Mike Leach sets sail on his second year at the helm of the Cougars and looks to smuggle a win out of Alabama back to Corvallis.
#8 Clemson vs #5 Georgia, 5pm ABC - The biggest matchup of the day has Georgia traveling to Clemson in a first week matchup by teams with title aspirations. Unfortunately, a first week loss by either of these teams will be easily forgiven and forgotten come November, so this game actually means very little.
#12 LSU at #20 TCU 6pm ESPN - The other matchup between preseason top-25 teams. Remember how bitter the TCU fans were when we beat them at the CWS 3 seasons ago? That was awesome.
#19 Boise State at Washington, 7pm FoxSports1 - The Broncos will help reopen the newly renovated Husky Stadium, where, get this, the rowdy UW student section was relocated from the north sideline to an end zone in order to help finance the project. That is f***ed up. Believe me, we know.
#22 Northwestern at Cal, 7:30pm ESPN2 - Bears' coach Sonny Dykes debuts against a NW team that is coming off its first bowl winning season in 64 years. Their previous bowl win was a 20-14 victory in the 1949 Rose Bowl over, of course, Cal.
There are just a few of the almost 50 games scheduled today, so let us know what you are watching. Here is your first Saturday College Football Open Thread. Let's get warmed up for tonight! GO BRUINS!!