College football begins with low-key opening game

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 27, 2014
ATLANTA (AP) Welcome back, college football! The major-college season begins Wednesday night with a game that won't have any impact on the national championship race: Georgia State, starting its first year as a full-fledged FBS member, takes on Division I newcomer Abilene Christian at the Georgia Dome. It will be the first of three games in four days at the stadium in downtown Atlanta, the others having a bit more curb appeal. No. 18 Mississippi faces Boise State on Thursday night, then No. 2 Alabama meets West Virginia on Saturday. Georgia State was forced to move its opener to the middle of the week to accommodate the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games, but at least that gives the school a little something to brag about after going 0-12 a year ago. The Panthers were one of only two top-level teams that failed to win a game, joining Miami of Ohio. Now, they're hosting the very first FBS game of the season. ''It's a huge opportunity for us,'' said Nick Arbuckle, Georgia State's new starting quarterback. ''It brings a spotlight to us, and hopefully we can take advantage of that.'' The Panthers, who launched their football program in 2010, have lost 16 straight games and 22 of 23 over the last two seasons. While they are now eligible for the Sun Belt Conference championship and bowl invitations, those goals seem far down the road. Arbuckle hopes to get the process started after transferring from a junior college in California. ''There were a lot of people wondering why I picked here,'' he said. ''I like the idea of being able to go somewhere and start something new, start a new tradition, take a team that really hasn't won very many games and bring them into an era of actually winning and maybe competing for the conference championship and winning some bowl games.'' Coach Trent Miles knows the most immediate priority is simply winning a game. ''Our kids are just excited to play, to go out and chase the victory and put the demons away,'' he said. ''It wouldn't matter whether it's the first college game or the third or the 10th.'' Abilene Christian moved up from Division II to the Football Championship Subdivision after the 2012 season. The Wildcats, a member of the Southland Conference, have posted eight straight winning seasons, including a 6-5 mark last year as they made the transition to the higher level. They had no trouble scoring against tougher competition, averaging 45.5 points and 487 yards per game. After the low-key opener, there are plenty of big games spread over the rest of the holiday weekend, many of which could have an impact down the road on the new four-team playoff. No. 9 South Carolina hosts No. 21 Texas A&M in a Southeastern Conference clash on Thursday. Two days later, No. 12 Georgia entertains 16th-ranked Clemson in nearby Athens; No. 13 LSU takes on 14th-ranked Wisconsin in Houston; and top-ranked Florida State, the defending national champion, travels to Texas to take on Oklahoma State at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium in Arlington. --- Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Report: Eric Berry to sign next week, be ready to play in Week 1

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Cowboys News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker