An early look at college football’s opening night

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Ten days.

That's what separates us from now and the start of the 2011 college football season on Thursday, Sept. 1.

With that in mind, let's take a quick glance at the opening contests before the slate really kicks into high gear on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Thursday, Sept. 1

Murray State at Louisville: Will we see the debut of Louisville freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the team’s prized recruit from this past February?

Villanova at Temple: The Owls play their first game in the post-Al Golden era. Meanwhile, can the Wildcats show that they are Big East-worthy with a victory?

South Carolina State at Central Michigan: Can quarterback Ryan Radcliff lead the Chippewas to a MAC West title this season?

North Texas at Florida International: Is Mario Cristobal beginning his final season at FIU? He will be on the short list of many AD’s looking for new head coaches next offseason.

New Hampshire at Toledo: The Rockets have one of the more underappreciated receivers in the country in Eric Page. He's fun to watch.

Fordham at Connecticut: Paul Pasqualoni makes his return to the college sidelines in UConn’s season opener.

Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson hopes his Yellow Jackets are able to bounce back from a tough 2010 season.

Western Carolina at Georgia Tech: Can Paul Johnson’s squad bounce back from a tough 2010 campaign?

North Carolina Central at Rutgers: Greg Schiano begins another season at Rutgers as the longest-tenured Big East head coach.

UNLV at Wisconsin: The Russell Wilson era begins in Madison. Can the Badgers live up to the high expectations nationally?

Mississippi State at Memphis: Chris Relf and the Bulldogs will be a tough “out” every Saturday for SEC opponents. Meanwhile, the Tigers notched just one win in 2010.

Wake Forest at Syracuse: Jim Grobe hopes his Demon Deacons have a bounceback season while Doug Marrone hopes to build a consistent winner at the ‘Cuse.

Montana State at Utah: The Utes begin their debut season in the Pac-12. Can Kyle Whittingham deliver a Pac-12 South title in Year One?

Bowling Green at Idaho: The Falcons lost a school-record 10 games in 2010.

Kentucky at Western Kentucky: Joker Phillips begins his second season in Lexington. But do the Wildcats have enough offensive playmakers?

UC Davis at Arizona State: The Sun Devils are the popular pick to win the Pac-12 South in a make-or-break season for head coach Dennis Erickson.

There are also two games the next evening.

Friday, Sept. 2

Youngstown State at Michigan State: The Spartans have the talent to earn the Big Ten’s automatic BCS bid. But do they have the toughness?

TCU at Baylor: The Bears seek revenge for last year’s terrible loss to the Horned Frogs.

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