Week one predictions

In less than 3 weeks college football kicks off and the season finally arrives. All the hype, prognostication and preseason smack will either be proven correct, or completely faulty. And this is why Labor Day Weekend is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated events in all of sports. So what better way to commemorate the countdown to college football than by predicting the outcome of every single game? It should be a task and most likely will prove once and for all that my prediction skills rival that of a public access meteorologist. But it's not like I'm the only one. I will also preview the biggest games of the week, instead of just offering a quick pick. A word of warning however, in no way should these picks promote your gambling habbits. If they do, you will lose a lot of money and I don't want that on my conscience!

With that little warning out of place, here are the picks...

Week one predictions

Week one kicks off on Thursday, August 31st with 12 games on the slate. The most impressive game on Thursday is an SEC spat between Mississippi State and South Carolina. The Northwestern, Miami Ohio game is big for sentimental reasons. This will not only be the first game for Northwestern without recently deceased head coach Randy Walker, they will be playing the team Walker led for 9 seasons. Walker, prior to his stint at Northwestern, was the head coach of the RedHawks, leading them out of the abyss of college football and into one of the nation's most consistent teams. Walker ended his 9 years with Miami as the winningest coach in school history.  

Thursday game predictions

Boston College: 45
Central Michigan: 10

Middle Tennessee: 32
Florida International: 28

Northwestern: 38
Miami OH: 28

An emotionally close game with Northwestern opening the game up late in the fourth quarter. Miami Ohio is no slouch and are very capable of beating Northwestern, especially a Wildcats team that's undergone great change since spring.

South Carolina: 42
Mississippi State: 17

Mississippi State is coming off another lackluster campaign and the Ol' Ball Coach is now in year two as USC's head coach. While a road game for the Gamecocks, Mississippi State has only won 8 SEC games since 2001. Not a good stat, especially when you're playing a Steve Spurrier coached team. Fun fact, Spurrier has improved in his 2nd year at both Duke and Florida. In his second season with Duke, he led them to a 7-3-1 record after a debut of going 5-6. And at Florida he led the Gators to a 10-2 season, after going 9-2 in his first year.

UTEP: 35
San Diego State: 28

This should be a really good game against a solid non-BCS program (UTEP) and a possible rising non-BCS program (San Diego State). San Diego State has been marred in mediocrity and new head coach Chuck Long will look to get them out of their rut. It won't be easy out of the gates, as Mike Price has gone 8-4 in both his seasons with the Miners...a team that hadn't put back-to-back winning seasons together since 1987, '88.

Connecticut: 52
Rhode Island: 10

Minnesota: 42
Kent State: 7

Iowa State: 32
Toledo: 28

Tulsa: 52
Stephen F. Austin: 3

Arizona State: 66
Northern Arizona: 13

Boise State: 70
Sacramento State: 10

New Mexico State: 17
SE Louisiana: 7

Friday game predictions

Fresno State: 42
Nevada: 21

Nevada was a surprise team last year, clawing their way to a share of the WAC Championship. While they did defeat the Bulldogs last season, they won't be nearly as lucky this year. The Bulldogs have been traditionally strong in openers, especially at home, and this year shouldn't be any different. Look for Nevada to have a drop off from last year.

Saturday game predictions

Michigan: 28
Vanderbilt: 10

Texas: 63
North Texas: 13

Michigan State: 56
Idaho: 17

Iowa: 59
Montana: 21

North Carolina: 28
Rutgers: 21

Ohio State: 42
Northern Illinois: 20

Oregon: 35
Stanford: 21

Penn State: 45
Akron: 10

Nebraska: 27
Louisiana Tech: 17

Clemson: 38
Florida Atlantic: 7

Wyoming: 28
Utah State: 14

Colorado State: 49
Weber State: 10

Tennessee: 35
Cal: 28

Tennessee is back and proves it with a near razor thin win over Cal. Cal should be in for a great season, however going to Knoxville and playing a hungry Tennessee looking to quickly erase last year's terrible mark is a disaster waiting to happen. The game will be close, but the Vols will pull it out in the final minutes.

Navy: 27
ECU: 24

Utah: 34
UCLA: 21

UCLA's offense struggles as they try to adjust to Ben Olson under center. The Utes offense on the other hand clicks and they open the game up in the mid-3rd quarter. Part homer pick, part gut instinct, but I'm starting to feel that Utah walks out of Pasadena with a W.

Oklahoma: 28
UAB: 14

Closer than expected, as the Sooners have been thrown into near bedlam after replacing star quarterback Rhett Bomar only weeks before the season begins. 2006 very well could end up like 2005, a lot of growing pains.

Wisconsin: 38
Bowling Green: 28

Pittsburgh: 31
Virginia: 17

Pittsburgh kicks off year two of the Dave Wannstedt era with an impressive win over mediocre Virginia. Unlike last year, the Panthers should get it done and win some games.

Auburn: 37
Washington State: 31

Poor Bill Doba. Since going 10-3 in his first season with the Cougars, Wazzu has had two consecutive losing seasons. While Washington State should be improved this season, opening up against Auburn is never easy...especially when it's on the road. The game will be close, but Auburn will ultimately win.

Georgia Tech: 28
Notre Dame: 24

Georgia Tech adds Notre Dame to its list of upsets, as the Yellowjackets will stun Notre Dame on opening weekend. Notre Dame's chances of winning the national championship are quickly dashed, while Georgia Tech once again finds itself ending the year with a 7-5 record. Though since it's now a 12 game season, Georgia Tech might actually get that 8 wins.

New Mexico: 42
Portland State: 10

USC: 49
Arkansas: 35

Ah, the game that many believe will show Houston Nutt has his Razorbacks...back. But unfortunately for the Razorback Nation, USC will dispatch of them with relative ease. The game may be close in the first half, but the Trojans will blow it open and trounce their way to victory.  

Houston: 42
Rice: 21

UNLV: 21
Idaho State: 14

Arizona: 34
BYU: 28

Arizona's defense shuts down John Beck and the Cougar's offense just enough to win. BYU's defense however makes Arizona's offense look nearly flawless. A close game throughout, Arizona kicks off 2006 with a much needed win.

Maryland: 55
William & Mary: 10

North Carolina State: 58
Appalachian State: 7

Wake Forest: 28
Syracuse: 24

Duke: 35
Richmond: 14

Virginia Tech: 52
Northeastern: 7

Cincinnati: 38
Eastern Kentucky: 10

South Florida: 45
McNeese State: 3

West Virginia: 42
Marshall: 21

The instate rivalry is back, but Marhsall and West Virginia seem to be going in opposite directions. Last year Marshall had one of its worst seasons in recent history, while West Virginia had one of its best. Since the retirement of Bob Pruett, the Thundering Herd have struggled. West Virginia is said to be a championship contender, and they'll look it -- even against an instate rival.

Illinois: 40
Eastern Illinois: 17

Indiana: 28
Western Michigan: 17

Purdue: 42
Indiana State: 0

Colorado: 55
Montana State: 10

Kansas: 31
Northwestern State: 7

Kansas State: 42
Illinois State: 3

Missouri: 49
Murray State: 10

Oklahoma State: 28
Missouri State: 10

Texas A&M: 56
The Citadel: 6

Texas Tech: 70
SMU: 17

Florida: 28
Southern Miss: 10

UCF: 35
Villanova: 3

Oregon State: 35
Eastern Washington: 7

Washington: 42
San Jose State: 10

Georgia: 56
Western Kentucky: 14

Alabama: 42
Hawaii: 28

LSU: 49
Louisiana-Lafayette: 7

Army: 21
Arkansas State: 7

Sunday game predictions

Ole' Miss: 30
Memphis: 14

TCU: 42
Baylor: 17

Louisville: 45
Kentucky: 10

Monday game predictions

Miami: 21
Florida State: 14

Another battle between the two conference rivals. Miami narrowly lost last year and this game will most likely be just as close. However the edge goes to Miami since it's being played in Coral Gables as opposed to Tallahassee.

And that will wrap up week one in the college football world. In less than two weeks we'll see how close I come to the final resuts.

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