Congratulations everyone! You made it to the start of the college football season! Today begins the best time of the year. Let’s not wait one more second!
Back to Glory? 24USC goes to Hawaii today in their first game of the 2013 season. If you have been watching SportsCenter and College Football live as religiously as I have, you know a couple things. I will address the biggest one a little later. But relating to this game, USC coach Lane Kiffin has chosen to not name a starting QB. Both Max Wittek and Cody Kessler will be playing against Hawaii. We got to see Wittek start in last year’s Notre Dame game when Barkley was hurt. The Trojans do have one of the most explosive players in college football in Marquise Lee. He might be the most valuable player on this team. It will be interesting to see how this USC team responds to the disappointment of last year. USC is ranked in the top 25 to start the season, and they should be able to stay there this week. Hawaii was unable to stop USC last year. The Warriors lost 10-49. But with USC having to travel to Hawaii, the score might be closer. I am picking USC to win by at least 2TDs.
Not One, Not Two, But Three? The top ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama have a chance to do something incredible, win 3 National Championships in a row and 4 in 5 years. Another fun fact, if they do indeed win, the state of Alabama will have won the last 5 in a row. If you saw my predictions, you know that I believe they will take home that trophy on January 6, 2014. But, this is about week one. Alabama takes on Virginia Tech in Atlanta on Saturday. AJ McCarron is back for his senior season and we will get our first look at the 2-time defending champs. This won’t be an easy game for ‘Bama, they might make it look that way though. VT did not have a great season last year going 7-6. QB Logan Thomas is pretty good and the team should be better than last year. I don’t think they have much of a chance against the champs though. I am picking Alabama to beat Virginia Tech by at least 2TDs.
Top 10 Matchup in Week 1? Yes. Not just top 10 but top 8. 5th ranked Georgia goes to 8th ranked Clemson saturday night. College Gameday will be there for this game. This might not be a make or break game for either team because it is so early in the season, but it is important. I can’t wait to see the battle between these two proven QBs: Aaron Murray for Georgia and Tajh Boyd for Clemson. I think this game will be an offensive battle more than a defensive one. Both defenses lost some talent and it will be interesting to see who steps up. It will be interesting to see how having home field advantage will impact Clemson. Even though the game is in Death Valley, I am picking Georgia to win by about a TD.
If I Have to Hear JM’s Name One More Time… I think we are all sick of the stories about you-know-who. He has made some bad decisions in this offseason. An NCAA investigation into whether or not he signed autographs for money has led to him being suspended for a whole half a game! So who will play the first half of the 7th ranked Aggies first game against Rice on Saturday? I have no idea and Texas A&M has basically cut itself off from the media until after the game. These two teams haven’t met since they were Southwest Conference foes in 1995. Even with he-who-shall-not-be-named sitting the first half, I don’t think Rice will be too much of a challenge for A&M. I am picking Texas A&M to beat Rice by at least 2TDs.
Top 20 Matchup in Texas 12LSU and 20TCU face off in the House that Jerry Built on Saturday. This is first meeting of these teams since 1968. This year, LSU has a consistent QB in Zach Mettenberger. The Tigers also have a couple good RBs with Jeremy Hill and Kenny Hilliard. Maybe the best thing for this LSU team is that they return their 4 top receivers. The defense will be the question for LSU. On the other side, TCU has Casey Pachall returning after some problems. It will be interesting to see how TCU stacks up to this SEC power. I am picking LSU by a TD.
Overrated or Just Light Years Ahead of Everyone in Their Conference? The 9th ranked Louisville Cardinals ended last year with an amazing upset over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Some might say that they only won because Florida didn’t show up, but you have to give some credit to the Cardinals. QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of the best in the country. He is also one of the toughest and could be a Heisman frontrunner. All of that said, Louisville plays no teams that are currently ranked in the top 25. This will make it hard for them to keep their ranking. Their first challenge comes against the Ohio Bobcats. This should be a winnable game, but Ohio is not a team to laugh at. They have been getting better in recent years and have some really good players. On Sunday we will get to see if Louisville is the real deal. I am picking Louisville to win by 2TDs.
New Era in Fayetteville? As you may or may not know, I am currently a freshman at the University of Arkansas. I have been a Razorback fan my entire life. Each week I will preview and recap the Arkansas game. I will not do a prediction, just a preview. Now that that is taken care of, ULL comes to Fayetteville on Saturday to play a completely different Hog team. Arkansas has a new coach, Bret Bielema, from Wisconsin, along with a new coaching staff and a new QB. In the last two years, Tyler Wilson had command of the offense. In 2011 they went 11-2 and beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl. And last year wasn’t so good… This year the QB is Brandon Allen. He is a sophomore with little experience, but could be much like Tyler and get better in the next three years. Arkansas lost some great receivers from last year’s team, but returns two very talented ones in Javontee Herndon and Julian Horton. I don’t think this opener will be easy. This Louisiana team comes from the underrated Sun Belt Conference. This is a great test for both teams. All eyes will be on Arkansas to see if they can begin to regain strength and be competitive in the SEC once again.
Top 25 Games
North Carolina at 6South Carolina
1Alabama vs Virginia Tech(Atlanta)
Buffalo at 2Ohio State
Nicholls State at 3Oregon
Toledo at 10Florida
Mississippi State vs 13Oklahoma State(Houston)
Temple at 14Notre Dame
New Mexico at 15Texas
ULM at 16Oklahoma
Central Michigan at 17Michigan
Wyoming at 18Nebraska
19Boise State at Washington
Nevada at 21UCLA
22Northwestern at Cal
UMass at 23Wisconsin
Eastern Washington at 25Oregon State
11Florida State at Pitt
UNLV at Minnesota
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt
Kentucky at Western Kentucky