College football 2012: welcome, and enjoy

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It’s here, you guys.

Okay, almost here. You’re going to have to wait a tad longer until South Carolina and Vanderbilt kickoff at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. But congratulations on being patient. It’s been a long eight months and I don’t know how many days since Alabama hoisted the Coaches’ Trophy in New Orleans, signifying not only the Crimson Tide’s second BCS championship in three years, but the end of the 2011-12 college football season.

What’s happened between then and now hasn’t been easy for anybody.

Oh, who are we kidding? It’s sucked.

It used to be that summer was meant for player arrests (which it still is), and more recently, conference realignment rumors (which there still are). Instead, the Jerry Sandusky trial, Freeh report and subsequent NCAA action against Penn State dominated sports talk.

We know many of you didn’t look forward to hearing about the Penn State mess on a daily basis, but it was without a doubt the biggest sports-related story of the year. One without winners, without a good ending.

The arrival of Hurricane Isaac is also rude evidence that there are things in this world bigger than football. As we all enjoy an exciting college football weekend, maybe take a moment or two to keep those in the Gulf States in your thoughts. They’re dealing with far greater problems than a fan whose team is trailing in the fourth quarter.

Sandusky, Isaac… in their own ways, they serve as reminders that football is just a game.

But it is a game we love, and today is a day for celebrating. It’s a time for sitting in your favorite chair (or your favorite bar) with a cold one and enjoying what we hope brings you to this site often.

For one night — one of many to come — we can just watch football.

Or, perhaps you’re not interested in any games tonight because you’re waiting for your favorite team to play this weekend. That’s groovy too. Wherever you watch, whenever you watch, however you watch, why you watch – we don’t care. We’re just glad you chose to spend time with us.

Enjoy the games, everyone.  We’ll talk with you soon.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.