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Opening Night Live Blog + Open Thread

Join me tonight in celebrating the kickoff to the 2007 college football season.

I'm headed out for dinner and will be back around these parts in time for the games.

6:00 PM Buffalo at #21 Rutgers (ESPN+)
6:30 PM Murray State at #10 Louisville (ESPNU)
7:00 PM #2 LSU at Mississippi State (ESPN)

*Rankings from BlogPoll

LiveBlog

6:03 Tuisa kicks off the season at Louisiana-Monroe and we're officially into football season. Damn this feels good.

6:09 Well that didn't take long. 6 plays, 73 yards, and Paul Smith takes his no huddle, spread offense right down the field for six. Tulsa's got an early 7-0 lead and we're officially on the board in the 07 season.

6:20 Ray Rice puts one in the end zone from 34 yards out as Rutgers picks up where they left off last season. 7-0 Scarlet Knights.

6:32 Ray Rice scores again to make it 14-0. What's the consensus on Rutgers out there? I get the feeling people believe their season was flukey last year. Anyone bullish on the Scarlet Knights for '07? And what about the Big East in general?

6:57 ESPN takes us live to Starkville where we get our first look at the new Thursday night crew - Chris Fowler, Doug Flutie, and Craig James. I'll be interested to see how these guys work together.

7:07 One of the biggest questions of this 2007 season is the performance of Matt Flynn at quarterback. It's not often that you lose a #1 NFL draft pick at QB and have your fanbase feeling great about the position the following season. As I'm typing this, Flynn faces a third and 8 and fires a bullet for 17 yards to pick up a the first down.

7:38 Mississippi State actually had some momentum on offense after moving about 40 yards. But the Bulldogs, after moving consistently with power running, inexplicably pass incomplete on first down, pick up 8 on a power run on second down, try a direct snap to the running back on third down, and then fumble the snap on 4th and 2. Silly.

7:40 My early take on the Thursday night announcing crew is positive. Doug Flutie is not the typical former-player color guy. He's talking about which plays are being run, why they're running them, and which situations are optimal for different formations and schemes. Nothing to complain about at all here.

7:50 As Matt predicted, Mississippi State is keeping this game competitive early on. A big part of it is solid play from the Bulldogs on defense, but there's also the rather plodding, unimaginative nature of Les Miles' offense. I'm not exactly a "scheme" zealot, and I think it's fine to wear down opponents with a grinding gameplan. Still, when I noted my skepticism about LSU at #2, it was precisely for this reason. The Tigers are gonna beat almost every team they play just by having such strong talent. But we've all watched enough college football to know that to be a national title contender, you've got to have something extra. Something special. LSU had some clunkers with superfreak Jamarcus Russell quarterbacking the team. What's gonna happen this year with Matt Flynn?

8:45 LSU tacks on a late touchdown before halftime to move ahead 17-0 and the outcome of this one is pretty much decided. Four interceptions from the Bulldogs = Big Problem. I'm retiring from the LiveBlog to focus on BON writing, but I'll pop on now and again to see how things are going. Carry on in the open thread.