College Football kicks off tonight


The college football season kicks off Thursday night with four games from the top 25, including the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes opening at home against Marshall. Ohio State is 9-0 in season openers under Jim Tressel and have won 54 consecutive regular-season non- conference home games against unranked teams. The 13th-ranked Hurricanes of Miami-Florida appear to be one of the best teams in the ACC heading into the 2010 season, and they will have a chance to show off their skill in Thursday's opener against the Florida A&M Rattlers. The elite matchup during the first night of the 2010 college football season has the Utah Utes entertaining the 15th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers in a non-conference showdown at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The final top-25 game of the night will signal a new era in USC football as new head coach Lane Kiffin leads his 14th-ranked Trojans into Honolulu to face the Hawaii Warriors. The Trojans currently own a streak of 16 straight non-conference wins, yet no matter the score of this game or the rest of the outings on the schedule in 2010, there's no reward for success because the team has been banned from postseason play due to NCAA violations.

The Big Ten unveiled its plan for divisional realignment Wednesday and the controversial split of longtime rivals Michigan and Ohio State is in place. There will be two divisions of six teams each starting with the 2011 season, with the winners meeting in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, scheduled for December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. As in the past, the Big Ten champion will either participate in the Rose Bowl or BCS National Championship Game should that be the case. The divisional splits for football is as follows: Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern and Minnesota will make up one division while the other will house Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.

Brigham Young University has announced an eight- year agreement with ESPN for the network to televise the school's football games starting next fall. BYU officially announced its decision to leave the Mountain West Conference after the upcoming season and play football as an independent. Any of the games that ESPN does not televise on its family of networks -- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ABC, will be broadcast on BYU's own television network, BYUtv. Each year, a minimum of three games will be carried on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC. Additional games will be on ESPNU. At least one game each season will be carried live on BYUtv.