It’s Thursday, and it’s Labor Day Weekend. That only means one thing: college football season. These games start tonight, and they all count.
Once again, this blog will host some fearless football predictions. All games involving Big 12 schools will be picked, along with games of national interest and other games that are worthy of a pick.
This week will see several perceived mismatches between BCS teams and Football Championship Subdivision (1-AA) teams. Though most of these games are a waste of time and money, there is always the chance of a lightning strike and an upset of Appalachian State-Michigan proportions.
On with the picks….
Tennessee-Chattanooga at Oklahoma: The Sooners were scrambling for an opponent for a 12th game after two other schools bailed on them, and came up with the Mocs of Chattanooga. This is not Tennessee-Knoxville, so there is only one obvious pick here. Pick: Oklahoma
Colorado State vs. Colorado at Denver (Sunday): Barack Obama’s Greek temple stage will be long gone from Invesco Field, and football returns. The Rams are rebuilding under a new coach, while the Buffs are headed upward. This is a grudge match, but the Buffs should be able to handle this one. Pick: CU
South Dakota State at Iowa State (Thursday): Puhleeze. Pick: Iowa State
Florida International at Kansas: FIU was the worst team in the FBS last year. KU schedules a win here. Pick: KU
North Texas at Kansas State: Another yawner. North Texas could win a championship…in Texas Class 5A. Pick: K-State
Illinois vs. Missouri at St. Louis: One of the better games of the week. Both teams played on New Year’s Day last season. Missouri returns a lot more talent. Pick: Missouri
Western Michigan at Nebraska: The Bo Pelini era begins at Nebraska. Pick: Huskers
Wake Forest at Baylor (Thursday): Battle of the Baptists, sort of. Wake Forest used to be a Baptist school, while Baylor still is. Wake Forest has a much better football team. Pick: Demon Deacons
Oklahoma State vs. Washington State at Seattle: Cowboys go to the Great Northwest to take on Wazzu. OSU ought to be able to win, but you never know with either of these teams. Pick: OSU
Florida Atlantic at Texas: Watch out, Texas. FAU is a good team from the Sun Belt, coached by Oklahoma’s favorite, Howard Schnellenberger. Texas will win, but it will be tougher than most think. Pick: Texas
Arkansas State at Texas A&M: The Mike Sherman era begins with a win. Pick: A&M
Eastern Washington at Texas Tech: Tech will score at will in this one. Pick: Tech
Alabama vs. Clemson at Atlanta: Great matchup guaranteed to draw lots and lots of people to Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. This should be Clemson’s best team in the last 20 years. Pick: Clemson
Michigan State at California: MSU is turning the corner, while Cal should never be overlooked. This one is out West. Pick: Cal
Utah at Michigan: The Rich Rodriguez era begins at Meatchicken after an eventful off-season. Utah is not chopped liver, and is favored by some to win the Mountain West Conference. This is a tough pick, but Michigan learned something last year from the Appalachian State disaster. Pick: Michigan
USC at Virginia: East Coast, West Coast, it doesn’t matter. USC rolls on. Pick: SC
N.C. State at South Carolina (Thursday): Competing against the Obama Show on Thursday night is opening night for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks. The ‘Cocks get win #1 against the Wolfpack. Pick: USC-East
Oregon State at Stanford: Late night West Coast game is tough to pick. OSU-West has built a pretty good program. Stanford is capable of damage, as was done to USC last year. Go with the Trees at home. Pick: Stanford
Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina at Charlotte: ECU gave the Hokies all they wanted last year in Blacksburg. They might finish the job this time. I’m not going to bite on this one, though. Pick: VT
TCU at New Mexico: Frogs visit Los Lobos in Mountain West opener. New Mexico is never bad, but TCU is a little better, even in Albuquerque. Pick: TCU