College football season is finally here

Published 12:33 am Sunday, September 6, 2009

The season is finally here.

It’s been a long time since Jan. 7, when Florida defeated Oklahoma 24-14 to win last season’s BCS national championship, but the long wait finally ended Thursday night with a smattering of college football games, and then came to a halt en masse with Saturday’s slate.

And it’s still not over. Since the NFL doesn’t start for another week and the Labor Day holiday is Monday, there are more college football games today and Monday, including Ole Miss traveling up the road to take on the Memphis Tigers.

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The opening weekend of the college football season has had a little bit of everything.

It started on Thursday night, when South Carolina won a defensive struggle over North Carolina State by a 7-3 score.

The nightcap was Boise State’s bruising 19-8 win over Pac 10 pretender Oregon, but the real fireworks came after the game when Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount, a former East Mississippi Community College player, sucker punched a Boise State player who taunted him after the game.

Blount then tried to fight the entire Boise State student section before being dragged away by Oregon players, coaches and security personnel.

Not surprisingly, Blount was suspended for the remainder of the season.

If you are a Mississippi State, LSU, Southern Miss or Alcorn State fan, Saturday was the day you were looking forward to.

Lots of questions would be answered with the playing of those team’s first games.

Mississippi State was playing its first game with new head coach Dan Mullen at the helm.

Although the Bulldogs looked shaky at times, they did pull away in the second half to post a 45-7 win over Jackson State.

Quarterback Chris Relf played well and might just have won himself the starting quarterback’s job with three touchdown passes and a touchdown run for the Bulldogs.

Southern Miss did exactly what they were supposed to do against an inferior Alcorn State team, as they jumped out to a big lead and then cruised to victory in the second half.

Southern Miss took a 35-0 lead into halftime and was able to rest a majority of its starters in the second half as the Eagles took an easy 52-0 win.

LSU took a long road trip to open its season, as they traveled to the great Northwest to play the Washington Huskies.

It was expected to be an easy game, as Washington went 0-12 last season, but the Huskies have a new coach and a renewed enthusiasm.

What many thought would be a cakewalk for LSU turned into a dogfight, as the Tigers led just 17-13 at halftime.

While MSU, LSU and USM fans got to see their teams in action on Saturday, Ole Miss fans had to wait an extra day for the Rebels to open their season.

Ole Miss enters the 2009 season with a No. 8 ranking in the Associated Press poll and is one of the trendy picks to crash the BCS party.

They get their first chance to prove the critics right as they take on Memphis.

So thank goodness the long wait is over. Now the next few months will seem to fly by as the college football season picks up steam week by week.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at