We are less than two weeks away from the college football season. And by far the biggest game of Week 1 is when the Michigan Wolverines and Alabama Crimson Tide travel to Arlington, Texas, to battle in a matchup between Top-10 teams.
Michigan will be out to prove that its 10-win season last year was no fluke, while Alabama will seek to defend its second national championship in three years with a nice, season-opening victory.
This game is sure to draw a lot of eyeballs, and you can bet there will be a lot of money thrown on this contest as well.
Here is everything you need to know about the biggest game of Week 1.
Game Time: September 1, 8 p.m.
Line: Alabama, -12.5
About the Michigan Wolverines
Michigan returns six starters on offense, including quarterback Denard Robinson and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. (The status of Toussaint is still up in the air, but we expect him to play). The Wolverines also have eight starters back on defense, a unit that was ranked 17th in the country in yards allowed.
Head coach Brady Hoke is entering his second season and became the first Wolverines coach since Fielding Yost to win 10 games his first year in Ann Arbor.
About the Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide are the defending national champions and return many key players from last year. They did lose six starters on defense. But this is Alabama, so that unit should be fine with Nick Saban running the show.
The offense has seven starters returning, including an emerging star in quarterback A.J. McCarron, a terrific offensive line and a talented backfield.
While many may shy away from Alabama because of its defensive question marks, this is a team that is talented enough to repeat as national champion in 2012.
Let's just be honest, Alabama is a 12.5-point favorite for a reason. The Crimson Tide are by far the more physical team, are better on both the defensive and offensive lines and should win this game straight up when we are looking at the overall talent of both rosters.
But we are talking about giving a talented team nearly a two-touchdown cushion in a game that can make the Wolverines season. Michigan was 7-4-1 against the spread last season, including pulling off a straight-up victory against Notre Dame when they were a three-point underdog.
I like the Crimson Tide to win this game straight up, but as the points continue to climb, it is hard not to pick the Wolverines in this situation, as they are capable of winning this game outright.
Michigan is 9-2-1 against the spread in its last 12 non-conference games and is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games in September.
Giving Michigan more than 12 points seems to be a bit too much for my taste.
Pick: Michigan +12.5