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The Picks

Last week was a pretty solid start (if I can say so). I managed to call the ECU upset pick but Clemson and Tennessee dropped the ball and prevented a perfect start for me. I don’t feel too bad about those picks. On paper, both the Tigers and the Vols win those games. I guess that’s why they play them.

FBS Picks

Georgia Tech @ Boston College – This is the first conference game for each of these teams. GT looked solid against Jacksonville State as they showcased Paul Johnson’s new offense for the Ramblin’ Wreck. BC looked unimpressive against MAC foe Kent State. Georgia Tech 23, Boston College 17.

Oregon State @ No. 19 Penn State – The Beavers surprisingly lost to Stanford on the opening week of the season, despite outgaining The Cardinal by nearly 200 yards. Turnovers were costly as Oregon State fell 36-28. Penn State smashed Coastal Carolina in its season opener, 66-10. This one will be closer than people think, but Paterno adds one more win to the total. Penn State 31, Oregon State 21.

No. 8 West Virginia @ East Carolina – Fresh off their thrilling upset win over Virginia Tech, the Pirates would love to claim an even bigger scalp at home with a win over the Mountaineers. Too bad it’s not going to happen. West Virginia 35, East Carolina 20.

Ole Miss @ No. 20 Wake Forest – Both teams had solid debuts as Ole Miss pounded on Memphis and the Demon Deacons rolled on Baylor. Ole Miss will be better this year under Houston Nutt, but Wake Forest will be better on Saturday. Wake Forest 24, Ole Miss 14.

Miami (FL) @ No. 5 Florida – This is kind of a gimme pick as the Hurricanes are 21-point underdogs to the Gators. The U is looking to get to back to its winning ways but they’ll have to start after Saturday. Florida 42, Miami 14.

FCS Picks

No. 14 Youngstown State @ No. 21 South Dakota St – Both teams are coming off big losses to BCS opponents – Youngstown St losing to Ohio State 43-0 and S.D. State dropping a 44-17 game to Iowa State. I’m giving the edge to the Penguins. Youngstown State 28, S.D. State 17.

No. 5 Montana @ No. 11 Cal Poly – Cal Poly was the only team from the FCS ranks to score an “upset” over an FBS opponent on the opening weekend of the season, knocking off San Diego State 29-27 on a last-second field goal. Montana, a perennial national championship contender, plays their first game of the season after ending last season on a losing note. The Grizzlies were upset by Wofford at home in the first round of the FCS playoffs. Cal Poly 24, Montana 21.

Season Record

Overall: 5-2

FBS: 3-2

FCS: 2-0

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The Picks

Finally, it’s here! College football is back! I originally intended this post to be about just FBS, but I had a several requests to include some FCS picks as well. As is usually the case, the first week of games doesn’t offer many appetizing choices. I didn’t want to just throw up a bunch of FBS vs. FCS picks – that’s too easy. The pickings at the FCS level are very slim this week, so there’s not very many this week. As the season progresses, it’ll obviously get much more difficult. Let’s hope my powers of prognostication hold up.

FBS Picks

N.C. State @ South Carolina – The OBC is hoping to turn the Gamecocks into winners and opens up the season on ESPN on Thursday night. The SC defense is expected to be the strong point of the team. The Wolfpack are hoping for a better second year under head coach Tom O’Brien, but they are still at least a year away. South Carolina 24, N.C. State 10.

No. 17 Virginia Tech @ East Carolina (Charlotte) – This one is being played at Bank of America Stadium, so there won’t really be any home-field advantage for either team. The Pirates played the Hokies close last season in Blacksburg. VT has some questions to answer this season and I think ECU might have what it takes for the upset. East Carolina 17, Virginia Tech 13.

No. 24 Alabama @ No. 9 Clemson (Atlanta) – Nick Saban brings an improved Alabama team into the Georgia Dome to face the highly rated Clemson Tigers. Clemson is expected to win the ACC this season with a roster loaded with talent. While I still think Clemson will be an underachiever this year, they’ll still beat the Crimson Tide easily. Clemson 31, Alabama 13.

No. 20 Illinois @ No. 6 Missouri – Other than the blowout loss in the Rose Bowl, Illinois had a magical season with their impressive turnaround from years of losing. The Illini return QB Juice Williams and WR Arrelious Benn. Mizzou narrowly missed out on a BCS bowl last year and will be looking to reach the BCS title game this year under QB Chase Daniel. I think the Tigers will be too much for Ron Zook and his team. Missouri 35, Illinois 14.

No. 18 Tennessee @ UCLA – The Vols take a trip into Pac-10 country to face Rick Neuheisel’s Bruins. I don’t think Tennessee will have the type of year they had last season but I think they’ve got the edge in this one. Tennessee 27, UCLA 17.

FCS Picks

No. 15 Elon vs. No. 4 Richmond – This is the marquee match-up of the first week of games. Elon finished at 7-4 last year in the SoCon with true freshman QB Scott Riddle passing for 3,817 yards and 31 TDs. Richmond welcomes first-year head coach and alum Mike London back home after former head coach Dave Clawson left for the offensive coordinator job at Tennessee. The Spiders return 16 starters, 14 of which were freshmen and sophomores last season. Richmond won 11 games last year before losing to Armanti Edwards, I mean Appalachian State, in the NCAA Semifinals. I expect the scoreboard operator to be busy in this one. Richmond 42, Elon 28.

No. 6 James Madison @ Duke – This isn’t your typical FBS vs. FCS game. The Blue Devils are famous for their perpetual struggles in football, while the Dukes are a solid football team. As many of you probably remember, they were seconds away from ruining a 3Peat. It’ll be close, but I think David Cutcliffe will have Duke prepared enough to eke out a win. Duke 20, James Madison 17.

Season Record

Overall: 0-0

FBS: 0-0

FCS: 0-0

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