September 2, 2011

College Football Picks: Week 1

College Football Picks: Week 1 / Week 2
(September 2, 2011)

#11 Wisconsin Badgers vs. UNLV Rebels

Thursday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Wisconsin

Analysis: In prime time, the Badgers kick off the season against a UNLV team coming off of a 2-11 season. NC State transfer Russell Wilson should start the season off right with a win, and he has a great supporting cast with senior Nick Toon at receiver and Monte Ball and James White in the backfield.

Memphis Tigers vs. #20 Mississippi State Bulldogs

Thursday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Mississippi State

Analysis: This should be a competitive game, but the physicality of Mississippi State should give them the edge over Memphis.

Baylor Bears vs. #14 TCU Horned Frogs

Friday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Baylor

Analysis: First upset of the week. TCU doesn't get enough credit, but Baylor is probably the last team the Horned Frogs need to face opening week. The Bears are out to prove that they are a legit Bowl contender, and dual threat quarterback Robert Griffin III is the main reason why Baylor can pull it off.

#17 Michigan State Spartans vs. Youngstown State Penguins

Friday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Michigan State

Analysis: Kirk Cousins returns for his senior year, and he is ready to lead the Spartans to a Big Ten title. Many players on both sides of the ball return, and they should have no problem getting past Youngstown State.

#19 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Akron Zips

Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

Prediction: Ohio State

Analysis: This game will be a little closer than it should be, but Ohio State has enough talent to maintain a lead and never lose it.

#23 Auburn Tigers vs. Utah State Aggies

Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

Prediction: Auburn

Analysis: We know what the storyline for the season will be for the Tigers, but they are still an 8 win team at worst, and should get the W against a competitive Utah State team.

#21 Missouri Tigers vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks

Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

Prediction: Missouri

Analysis: James Franklin replaces Blaine Gabbert at quaretrback, and he has pretty much the same weapons that Gabbert had. This will be a great opportunity for Franklin to show off his skill set.

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Kent State Golden Flashes

Saturday, 12:20 PM ET

Prediction: Alabama

Analysis: I believe A.J. McCarron will be the starter. We know what Alabama's defense is capable of, but I am interested in seeing if the offense will go through Trent Richardson early, and often.

#13 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers

Saturday, 12:30 PM ET

Prediction: Virginia Tech

Analysis: Back in 2007, Appalachian State pulled off an upset over heavily favored Michigan on opening day. Last season, the Hokies lost their first two games of the season--one of those loses coming at the hands of James Madison. Tech has a fairly easy 2011 schedule, and they should get an opening day win against the Mountaineers.

#6 Florida State Seminoles vs. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: Florida State

Analysis: The favorites to win the ACC, E.J. Manuel gets his first opening day start, and he will have help not only on offense, but on defense and special teams.

#10 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Chattanooga Mocs

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: Nebraska

Analysis: First game for Nebraska as a member of the new Big Ten. There would be no better way to open up than by making a big statement against Chattanooga.

#16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. South Florida Bulls

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: Notre Dame

Analysis: Some experts are picking South Florida in an upset. However, I think Dane Crist--with the help of play makers on offense such as Michael Floyd and Tyler Eifert, and a stellar defense led by linebacker Manti Te'o--will lead the Fighting Irish to a victory.

#25 USC Trojans vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: USC

Analysis: Matt Barkely and the Trojans won't be able to play in a Bowl game, and it is unlikely that Barkley can be a serious Heisman Trophy contender because of this, but they will be motivated to start the season off on the right foot.

#7 Stanford Cardinal vs. San Jose State Spartans

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: Stanford

Analysis: Don't expect too many upset during opening week. However, you can expect Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to light up San Jose state in a win.

#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. LA-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: Oklahoma State

Analysis: One of the most explosive offenses in the country, this is just the game OK State needs to re-kindle their chemistry so to speak.

#12 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. East Carolina Pirates

Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

Prediction: South Carolina

Analysis: This will be a very competitive game, but the victor will ultimately be the Gamecocks, despite uncertainty at the quarterback position--specifically with Stephen Garcia.

#15 Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Missouri State Bears

Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

Prediction: Arkansas

Analysis: Another quarterback replacing an elite quarterback, Tyler Wilson will start his first career game against Missouri State. We'll also see how the running game fairs with Knile Davis out for the season.

#22 Florida Gators vs. Florida Atlantic Owls

Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

Prediction: Florida

Analysis: Winner: Florida. Will Muschamp was a great choice to replace Urban Meyer as the Gators' Head Coach. Florida may not contend for the SEC Championship, but they will compete.

#1 Oklahoma Sooners vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

Prediction: Oklahoma

Analysis: Tulsa is capable of putting up some points, but there is no way they upset the number one team in the country. Should be a great all around performance by the Sooners.

#3 Oregon Ducks vs. #4 LSU Tigers

Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Oregon

Analysis: Game of the night. Distractions for LSU won't be the reason why they fall to Oregon in Cowboys Stadium. It will be their poor excuse for an offense, and their defense getting gashed at times and suffering from fatigue. If you didn't catch that, simply put, Oregon's offense will carry them to a win.

#5 Boise State vs. #19 Georgia Bulldogs

Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Boise State

Analysis: This is the game I'm most looking forward to. The ultimate BCS bracket buster, Boise State will look to avoid an "upset" at the hands of Georgia. Two great quarterbacks in Kellen Moore and Aaron Murray will duel it out, but I believe the Broncos will prove that they can hang with--and beat the best.

#24 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Marshall Thundering Herd

Sunday, 3:30 PM ET

Prediction: West Virginia

Analysis: Last year, Marshall pushed the Mountaineers to the limit, before falling in overtime. This time around, it won't be that close, and I believe quarterback Geno Smith will be the reason why.

#8 Texas A&M Aggies vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs

Sunday, 7:30 PM ET

Prediction: Texas A&M

Analysis: It's hard not to root for SMU, but Ryan Tannehill and the Aggies appear to have too much fire power to lose.

Maryland Terrapins vs. Miami Hurricanes

Sunday, 8:00 PM ET

Prediction: Maryland

Analysis: Miami is talented, but until they prove they can win big games on a consistent basis, they won't be taken as seriously as they should. Maryland could strike with an upset.