College Football

Week One College Football Picks


About time, eh? Each week I’ll pick the week’s biggest games. Head to head I’m pretty good. (76 percent last year!) Against the spread, not so much. (*mumbles* percent last year!) Please do not use these picks to gamble unless you really hate having money.

The offseason’s been long enough, so I’ll shut up now. Lines from

#3 Oklahoma (-11.5) vs. #15 Houston (Houston, TX) – Narrative Factory, Part One

All eyes are on this one waiting for the Sooners to screw up (“Bob Stoops can’t handle expectations!”) or for the Cougars to show they belong (“Go ahead and pencil Tom Herman in for the [school] job right now, folks”). The Baker Mayfield Heisman train gains steam as the Sooners rack up a ton of yards but Houston makes the crimson and cream sweat. Oklahoma 48, Houston 38

#16 UCLA at Texas A&M (-3) – Coach Versus His Former Team, Part One

Golden Boy Josh Rosen doesn’t think Kyle Field is going to be loud. He may be in for a surprise. He also hasn’t faced a pass rush quite as savage as A&M’s figures to be. For the Aggies Trevor Knight is surrounded by lots of talent and former UCLA coordinator Noel Mazzone makes it work . . . this week. Texas A&M 27, UCLA 24

#5 LSU (-10) vs. Wisconsin (Green Bay, WI) – Coach Versus His Former Team, Part Two

LSU probably would have been favored in this game anyway even if it hadn’t swiped Dave Aranda away from the Badgers in the offseason. Wisconsin needs Corey Clement to get working in a hurry if its offense wants to keep pace with Leonard Fournette and LSU’s ridiculous wealth of talent. Vive le fromage! LSU 28, Wisconsin 14

#18 Georgia (-2.5) vs. #22 North Carolina (Atlanta, GA) – Off With a Thud

New Georgia coach Kirby Smart has every expectation on him and a bulldozing running back in Nick Chubb. He’s also got a true freshman quarterback who will probably do all sorts of Freshman Things for a little while. The Tar Heels deal Smart some early misery. North Carolina 27, Georgia 19

#20 USC vs. #1 Alabama (-11.5) (Arlington, TX) – Coach Versus His Former Team, Part Three

Never before has a matchup of two teams which recruit so well appeared so one-sided. The Tide may be rolling out a brand new backfield, but its offensive and defensive lines are still the gold standard in college football. If the Trojans can run for more than three yards per tote chalk it up as a moral victory. The Trojans will need Swiss army knife Adoree Jackson to pull some special teams magic and its strong offensive line to keep Max Browne on his feet. Alabama 33, USC 18

#10 Notre Dame (-3.5) at Texas – Narrative Factory, Part Two

The debut of Texas’ new veer-and-shoot ran by Freshman Doing Freshman Things gets to tune up against a stellar secondary, but two hulks at running back could soften things up for the Longhorns. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is going to play two quarterbacks! What could go wrong? Probably a lot, but not enough to doom the Irish tonight. Notre Dame 27, Texas 17

#11 Ole Miss vs. #4 Florida State (-4.5) (Orlando, FL) – Birth of a Heisman Contender

Yet another episode of Freshman Things but this time he’s aided by an elite defense and gets to hand off to Dalvin Cook, possibly the best player in college football. Chad Kelly is going to be loads of fun this year but his support pieces don’t gel quite yet. The ‘Noles have a big night and Cook’s Heisman candidacy begins. Florida State 34, Ole Miss 17

And don’t sleep on this one: Appalachian State at #9 Tennessee (-20.5)

It would be the most Tennessee thing ever to drop a week one matchup with every Big Ten fan’s favorite upset specialists. The Mountaineers will field a dangerous backfield that can move the sticks. Appalachian State briefly makes the Vols nervous before the talent disparity kicks in in the second half, but cover the spread. Tennessee 41, Appalachian State 24

Last week, straight up: 0-0 (Season: 0-0)
Last week, ATS: 0-0 (Season, 0-0)

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