|#16 Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan|
The 2012 College Football season is finally here, and I am just as excited as many of you are. Week 1 usually doesn't offer a ton of big games, but there are several interesting match ups that I will be watching for this week.
#9 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
Analysis: Two SEC opponents kick of what should be a very exciting 2012 College Football Season. I love the direction the Vanderbilt football program is going in, but I'm not quite convinced they can beat South Carolina.
This should not be a blow out by any means, and with Vandy being at home, I can see them pulling off the upset. However, South Carolina has one of the top defenses in the country, and I believe they have enough offensive talent to find some success in this game.
Prediction: South Carolina (21-13)
Washington State Cougars vs. Brigham Young Cougars
Analysis: In another big Thursday night game, the Cougars take on the Cougars. Mike Leach hasn't officially named his starting quarterback for this game, but there is enough talent on this team to get past BYU.
Prediction: Washington State (27-21)
Tennessee Volunteers vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack
Analysis: This will be a good matchup. I am very excited to see NC State corner David Amerson vs. UT receiver Justin Hunter. Unfortunately, Da'Rick Rodgers is no longer with the team, but the Vols led by QB Tyler Bray should get a satisfying road win.
Prediction: Tennessee (33-20)
#24 Boise State Broncos vs. #13 Michigan State Spartans
Analysis: This is one of the best games of the weekend. There is no doubt that the Broncos will be in the game from start to finish. However, the Spartans have the edge in this game due to the fact that they have a little more talent on both sides of the ball.
With both teams starting new quarterbacks this season, it is very important that both limit their turnovers in order for their team to win.
Prediction: Michigan State (23-20)
Marshall Thundering Herd vs. #11 West Virginia Mountaineers
Analysis: These two rivals always play close games deep into the fourth quarter. However, this time around led by Geno Smith at quarterback, there is just too much fire power on offense for Marshall to defend.
Prediction: West Virginia (41-16)
Nevada Wolf Pack vs. California Golden Bears
Analysis: This should be a pretty competitive game. Both Nevada and Cal are coming off of 7-6 seasons, and both have a lot to prove. I'm giving Cal the slight edge in this game, but they have to limit the mistakes.
Prediction: California (24-17)
Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs. #17 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Analysis: Southern Miss surprised a lot of people last season, and what better way to start of the 2012 season than with an upset over #17 Nebraska. They have to place Austin Davis at quarterback and some starters on defense, but I'll go with the upset here.
Prediction: Southern Miss (23-21)
Miami Hurricanes vs. Boston College Eagles
Analysis: A very pleasing ACC contest is a good Saturday afternoon appetizer. Yes, Miami does still have more talent, but they can never seem to live up to expectations. I like the well coached BC Eagles in this game.
Prediction: Boston College (25-17)
#14 Clemson Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers
Analysis: Always a must watch game, Auburn has a great chance to win this game. With a slightly more experienced roster, I expect Auburn to have a pretty good season, especially if Kiehl Frazier can take that next step.
Even with Sammy Watkins suspended for this game, Clemson just have too much talent to account for.
Prediction: Clemson (30-21)
Hawaii Warriors vs. #1 Southern California Trojans
Analysis: The Trojans are the number one team in the country for several reasons. They have the top quarterback in the country, one of the best offensive lines in the country, two future first round receivers, and a very talented defense. Should be a big win for USC to start the season.
Prediction: Southern California (50-13)
#8 Michigan Wolverines vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Analysis: The biggest game of the weekend will take place in Cowboys Stadium on Saturday. The defending Champions Alabama, will have to replace a lot of talent on defense, while Michigan will have to do the same.
The only way Michigan wins this game is if Denard Robinson can light it up while minimizing key mistakes. Conventional wisdom says not to pick against Alabama, but I'm going with the upset in Michigan.
Prediction: Michigan (20-17)
San Diego State Aztecs vs. Washington Huskies
Analysis: Washington could be a surprise team in the Pac-12. Led by quarterback Keith Price, the Huskies should start off the season on a winning note against San Diego State.
Prediction: Washington (37-16)
Southern Methodist Mustangs vs. Baylor Bears
Analysis: Even with out Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III, Nick Florence convinced me that he can led the Bears to another successful season.
I went back and forth with this pick, but SMU looks like a good choice coming off of an 8-5 season, not to mention they return a lot of key starters.
Prediction: Southern Methodist (29-28)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Analysis: Week 1 of the College football season will conclude with two ACC opponents facing off. I like Virginia Tech in this game, with quarterback Logan Thomas being the difference maker.
Prediction: Virginia Tech (31-19)