BuyBYUNorthern Iowa will have its hands full with Cougars
BuyUtahThe Utes have a real shot at beating a BCS team
HoldUtah StateWe'll find out a lot about the Aggies on Saturday
BuyWeber StateWildcats start optimistic season with cupcake
SellSouthern UtahAir Force is the first stop of a tough SUU schedule
Utah's skill players
Utah offensive players Brian Johnson, left, Matt Asiata, Brent Casteel and Darrell Mack could give the Utes a very potent offense. Only Mack was healthy for the entire 2007 season. Together, they could give Utah a much-needed lift over the still organizing Michigan defense.
Game of the week
Utah State at UNLV
These two coaches, Brent Guy and Mike Sanford have a lot in common: Both are in their fourth year. Both have yet to produce and both know winnable games are not easily mined from their 2008 schedule.
Team on the rise
Coach Mac is in his fourth year too and expectations are on the rise. The Wildcats have all the tools on offense and defense to make a run at the Big Sky title and a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision tournament.
Talk of the subdivision
Two Pac-10 teams are assured of having one conference loss before the calendar even reaches September.
The opening weekend of play in the Pac-10 is highlighted by two conference tilts, with Stanford hosting Oregon State on Thursday night and Washington visiting Oregon on Saturday.
"They always bring up Michigan. It kind of gets annoying. We didn't win a ring off of Michigan. After that we went through a whole season. Luckily, we had our heads on straight." Armanti Edwards, QB for Appalachian State, which stunned Michigan in first week of the 2007 season. This year App. State takes on LSU.
State of the state
Opponent: Northern Iowa
Time: 4 p.m.
TV: The mtn.
Radio: 1160AM, 102.7FM
About the Panthers: The Panthers were 12-1 last season and 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Their only loss was to Delaware, which lost in the FCS (Div. I-AA) championship game to Appalachian State.
Location: Ann Arbor. Mich.
Time: 1:30 p.m.
About the Wolverines: Rich Rodriguez, former West Virginia head coach, will make his debut as Michigan coach. He held a 60-26 record as Mountaineers coach.
Utah State (0-0)
Location: Las Vegas
Time: 8 p.m.
About the Rebels: UNLV returns 10 starters from a team that beat the Aggies 23-16 in Romney Stadium last season. Both teams finished 2-10 in 2007 both Rebel wins came off Utah teams; both USU wins came on the road.
Weber State (0-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
About the Bulldogs: The Dillion, Mont., school returns senior running back Derrick Pluff, who led the team in rushing and was an all-Frontier Conference player. Head coach Rich Ferris makes his debut.
Southern Utah (0-0)
Opponent: Air Force
Location: Air Force Academy, Colo.
About the Falcons: Air Force was a surprising 9-4 last year, losing 42-36 to Cal in the Fort Worth Bowl. Meanwhile, the T-birds try to get their first victory since Sept. 23, 2006 (30-21 victory vs. Texas State).
Dixie State (0-0)
Opponent: Central Washington
Location: St. George
Time: 7 p.m.
Snow College (0-0)
Opponent: Air Force Prep
Location: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Time: 2 p.m.