An early look at college football's opening night

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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