Dancing down the runway Week 1

Originally Published: September 5, 2012
By Conor Nevins | ESPN.com

WEEK: Preseason | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | BYE | 11 | 12 | 13

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin'
Singin' in the rain

-- "Singin' in the Rain," Gene Kelly

The Bottom 10 was ready to fall in love again and that moment finally arrived. It was hard to resist the temptation to break out in song and dance after the anticipation and excitement finally gave way to the 2012 season's opening ceremonies.

There was plenty of pomp and pompoms, but less in the way of circumstance and substance during Week 1. We were treated to the usual fare of cartoonishly lopsided scorelines, directional school doormats and declarations of SEC superiority (both self-proclaimed and self-evident).

Another trend caught the Bottom 10's attention, one that would seem an anathema to ordained college football tradition, but is nonetheless alive and well in 2012.

New York City Fashion Week begins today, but college football pre-empted the party with its own unveiling of the latest fall trends. Who needs the runways of New York, Paris and Milan when you've got the hashmarks of Eugene, Ore., to make bold style choices?

Traditional and buttoned-up Alabama even got in on the action … well, AJ McCarron did, at least. The Crimson Tide QB sported a pregame purple bow tie ahead of the Tide's dismantling of Michigan, presumably from the 2012 collection of Things Nick Saban Would Never Wear.

Georgia Tech drew inspiration from honeycombs for the geometric patterns adorning its jerseys. Yellow Jackets AD Dan Radakovich explained the style choice thusly: "Uniform design is a very hot topic among student-athletes. College football players today want to feel they have the most modern, cutting-edge designs in which to perform."

Who knew? At least the Bottom 10 learned something in Week 1.

Bottom 10 favorite Gene Kelly is no stranger to style (and grace), but the same can't be said of his alma mater, Pittsburgh, after Week 1. The Panthers have changed coaches like Oregon changes wardrobes in recent years, and the latest outfit, led by Paul Chryst, didn't debut very well.

Stormy weather delayed the start of Pitt's home opener against Youngstown State, and Panthers fans probably wish the rain washed away the game -- and their sorrows -- after seeing the Penguins pick up their first win over a BCS school with a 31-17 victory over the Panthers.

Youngstown State is no slouch and counts college football fashion icon Jim "The Vest" Tressel among its former coaches, but a loss to an FCS foe in a home opener earns the Panthers the coveted No. 5 spot this week.

This week's Pillowfight of the Week pits Middle Tennessee, which fell to FCS program McNeese State, against Florida Atlantic, which needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to beat Wagner 7-3.

With apologies to Steve Harvey and Gene Kelly, here is this week's Bottom 10.

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
  RANK TEAM 2012 RECORD COMMENT

1. UMass 0-1 It was a vintage Yankee Conference clash, minus the competition. After its first week in FBS, UMass holds the dubious distinction of being the only FBS member that didn't put any points on the board. The Minutemen racked up 59 yards of offense in a 37-0 loss to UConn.
2. Idaho 0-1 After a first-quarter field goal, the Vandals were held scoreless the remaining 49:03 in a 20-3 loss against former Big Sky and FCS mate Eastern Washington.
3. Houston 0-1 Is it too late to get Case Keenum a seventh year of eligibility? No, seriously, is it? The Cougars' 30-13 loss to Texas State was so bad, offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt resigned following the game.
4. Middle Tennessee 0-1 After losing five straight season openers, three against BCS teams, why not ease into the season with an FCS foe? Oops. The Blue Raiders made it six in a row after falling 27-21 to McNeese State.
5. Pittsburgh 0-1 The Panthers turned a shade of pink from their embarrassment Saturday, and plenty of jokes were made at their expense following their loss to the Penguins. Neither the Big East nor the ACC was clamoring to claim ownership of Pitt after Week 1.
6. Memphis 0-1 The Big East poked fun at Pitt but might have been experiencing some buyer's remorse after seeing Memphis fall to an FCS opponent, Tennessee-Martin. The Tigers fumbled a punt return in the closing seconds to set up the Skyhawks' game-winning field goal.
7. Akron 0-1 The Zips might have made the scoreline in Terry Bowden's debut more respectable had it not been for four turnovers. Then again, considering UCF scored touchdowns on five of its seven first-half possessions, a 56-14 loss seems about right.
8. South Alabama 0-1 South Alabama was seconds away from a win in its first game as an FBS member, but a 51-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining gave UTSA a 33-31 win over the Jaguars in what was an early contender for Pillowfight of the Year.
9. UAB 0-1 It started with a failed two-point conversion that would have tied the game and got worse from there in the fourth quarter. UAB turned it over on its next two possessions in a 39-29 loss to Troy in its home opener. The Blazers will rue their missed opportunity, especially with upcoming trips to South Carolina and Ohio State.
10. Colorado 0-1 For a team trying to gain a little bit of good will and build some momentum back home after a two-win inaugural Pac-12 season, losing to Colorado State, which has won just three games in each of the past three seasons, just isn't a good start.

Waiting list: "buy games"; Kent State's sense of direction; Grand reopenings at Cal; Conference USA West; Oklahoma special-teams protection; Marshall pass defense; Maryland home-field advantage.

Conor Nevins is a college football editor for ESPN.com.