Week One Preview
And Bam!!! Just like that, it’s College Football Season. Here is the Week One action to keep an eye on, brought to you by College Football Guru CloneRoach (and his sidekick Ralphnuts):
Top 8 games to watch this weekend
1) Thursday Night—South Carolina at Vanderbilt—Marcus Lattimore is back and the Gamecocks look to challenge Florida and Georgia for the SEC East title. South Carolina was a quiet 11-2 last year and now return arguably the best RB in the country. Only the other side this is a monumental game for the Vanderbilt program as James Franklin (great young coach) tries to build the Commodores into a perennial bowl team. Vanderbilt finished 6-7 last year but was 7-0 at home against the spread.
2) Friday Night—Boise State at Michigan State—The nation will know on Saturday morning whether Chris Peterson has built the Broncos into the type of powerhouse that just reloads every year. Boise State returns only 7 total starters from last year’s 12-1 squad and lost their top passer, rusher and receiver to graduation. The defensive is breaking in 9 new starters. That being said Boise State is 8-1 versus BCS schools since 2006. The Spartans return 13 starters with most (8) coming on defense. Michigan State will be strong against the run. Points should be tough to come by for both teams.
3) Saturday—Notre Dame vs. Navy in Dublin, Ireland—I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of playing college football games overseas. Navy’s triple-option will likely give the Fighting Irish fits. However, the Fighting Irish should have far too much firepower on offense to put up less than 35 points. A must win for the future of Brian Kelly.
4) Saturday—Ohio at Penn State—The entire nation’s eyes will be on Beaver Stadium this weekend. I would expect an extremely emotional environment. However, I’m not sure that favors the Nittany Lions. Just not a lot of talent on the Penn State squad and that was before the departure of Silas Reed and Justin Brown. I will be in the minority here but I think Ohio University under Frank Solich has a better than 50% chance of pulling the upset here.
5) Saturday—Clemson vs. Auburn (Atlanta)—The second portion of the ACC-SEC challenge. This is an absolute must win for the ACC as a conference. Clemson and Florida State are carrying the ACC flag at this point and with ACC essentially being left out of the Big 4 (Pac-12, Big 12, Big 10 and SEC) a victory here is needed. Clemson and the ACC cannot afford to have a middle-tier (at best) SEC program come in and dominant this game. Look for a Clemson W even without the services of Sammy Watkins.
6) Saturday—Michigan vs. Alabama (Dallas)—This will likely be the game of the weekend as far as build up is concerned. I’m not a believer in Michigan and “The Shoe”. It is my opinion that at some point you have to be competent in throwing the ball and Robinson just is not. In case no one noticed, one dimensional offenses don’t work real well against Alabama and Nick Saban. This is a name your score type of game. Bama 34 Michigan 10
7) Sunday—SMU at Baylor—Life after RG III and Kendall Wright is going to be difficult. However, Art Briles is a damn good coach and SMU has five new offensive lineman. Baylor rolls.
8 – Monday—Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech—A big conference game to start the season for both of these squads. Virginia Tech returns Logan Thomas at QB but not much else and will break in four new starters on the offensive line. Georgia Tech returns their top three rushers and four offensive line starters from a squad that averaged 316 rushing yards last year. Chance for Yellow Jacket upset in this one.