Well college football is finally upon us and it is time to unleash the sure fire, biased, and usually poorly researched, predictions of this little forum. At the end of the year the "won/loss" prediction record will be near as good as most of those professional analysts. Maybe even better than a few.
The first week can tend to be pretty easy. A lot of the big time schools start off with opponents that should be beatable. Not always though. There may be a few surprises. Check it out.
1. Utah State vs Auburn: This is a no brainer. Auburn will not be near as good as last year and Utah State may be marginally better than most give them credit for but it won't matter. Auburn wins here hands down.
2. UCLA vs Houston: This will be an interesting match up. If Keenum can stay healthy and if the Coogs find a defense they may make a serious run this season. UCLA is UCLA. Middle of the pack school in the PAC12 (or whatever it is called). I will go with Houston here. May be close.
3. Colorado State vs New Mexico: A "who cares?" MWC conference opener. One of them have to win and it will probably be the school from Colorado. Go with the Rams.
4. McNeese State vs Kansas: Conventional wisdom says that KU will win here but I would not be surprised if the IAA Cowboys keep it pretty close. Go with the Jayhawks.
5. Fresno State vs California: Both teams well coached. Pat Hill will play anyone. He just ain't skeered. I will go with the Golden Bears to pull this one out of a hat though.
6. Texas State vs Texas Tech: The Bobcats are working on a move into D1 with Franchione (of all people) at the helm. Texas Tech needs to find a new HC. That being said, go with the Red Raiders to win this one hands down.
7. Idaho State vs Washington State: Both these teams are horrible. WSU is in D1 and Idaho State in IAA so I will go with WSU to win here. Someone has to.
8. TCU vs Baylor: Dalton is gone and TCU will take a step back this year. They will still be a very good team though. A top 25 squad at the very least. Baylor may surprise this year and make it into the top 25. We will see. I will go with the Frogs to win this in a pretty close contest. Go with TCU.
9. Troy vs Clemson: Those Clemson Tigers better watch out for this crew. They are dangerous to just about anyone outside the top 10. I will go for Troy to give the Sun Belt an immediate boost here and upset Clemson. Go with the Trojans.
10. Montana St vs Utah: The Utes will see how far they can go in a "BCS" conference. I would say they will be no lower than third. Montana State has improved a good bit in the recent past but is just not near ready for this level of competition. Go with the Utes on this one.
11. Orgeon vs LSU: Interesting match up. It would almost be a no brainer to predict had there not been some recent trouble in Tigerland. I think that Miles will be able to pull this one out of the hat. It might not be easy though.
12. Miami Fl vs Maryland: How much will the distraction of the Hurricanes' troubles play a part this season. Quite a bit I would imagine. We will see shortly. The Terps have a good, albeit controversial, HC and he may be able to take the "Canes down. It may be close and I will go out on a limb and pick Maryland to win here. Al Golden will wish he had stayed at Temple when the NCAA is finished with the Hurricane program. He should probably start looking for a new job right away.
13. Louisiana Tech vs Southern Miss: This may be a very good game. The Bulldogs are supposed to be improved and a dark hose to win the WAC and USM is always in contention over in CUSA. It could be close and I will have to go with USM.
14. Montana vs Tennessee: The Vols may need a scrimmage before moving forward. Only problem is that Montana is not who I would schedule for a "sure win." They are a very good IAA program and may give the Vols a bit of a surprise. I will go with Tennessee to win but it may not be as easy as some think.
15. South Florida vs Notre Dame: May be a good game. The Irish will likely win out in the end. Go with Notre Dame.
16. Tulsa vs Oklahoma: Tulsa is a pretty good ballclub and may be in contention over in CUSA but will have problems with the big boys from Norman. Go with the Sooners.
17. Mississippi State vs Memphis: The Bulldogs are reportedly going to be good. Some think Memphis will not win a game one this season. We will see. I am not convinced the Bulldogs will amount to much and I think that Memphis will surprise a few folk in CUSA play. However, Mississippi State does not play in CUSA and will win this one. Go with the team from Mississippi.
18. Middle Tennessee State vs Purdue: The Blue Raiders were a bit of a disappointment last season. Their highly touted QB did not amount to much. Purdue is Purdue. It may be an interesting game but the Boilermakers will probably slide by.
19. James Madison vs North Carolina: Tar Heel beware. These guys will play down to the wire. I look for NC to pull it out of the hat but not by much.
20. Texas Agricultural and Mechanical vs SMU: It will be interesting to see how the Aggies perform after making collective asses of themselves recently. Wonder if it will be a distraction? They return a lot of starters and are projected to be a pretty good team but they are still Aggies. SMU is well coached and may make a run at the CUSA Championship this year. Do the Mustangs have what it takes to "upset" the Aggies? Probably not yet. I will go with the boys from College Station here.
Well that's it for week one. We will see how things play out.