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College Football TV Listings, Betting Lines and Predictions for Week 1

Dan VastaSenior Writer IIIAugust 21, 2012

College Football TV Listings, Betting Lines and Predictions for Week 1

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    We are officially eight days away from the 2012 college football season getting started, and the opening weekend slate of games needs to be broken down.

    Nearly every game has had its network and time slot announced, and we know those Vegas odds have been out for quite a bit. 

    Already having talked about the game-breaker for every single opening weekend game, we have not been able to dive in on all the picks yet.

    Looking at everything possible there is to ponder about the season openers, here are your TV listings, betting lines and picks for every single FBS matchup (all 78).

    Note: All lines from the FBS games are from Vegas Insider, and the FCS lines are from Beyond the Bets.

South Carolina at Vanderbilt

2 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: ESPN (HD) espn3.com 

    Line: SC by 7

    College football will be back and better than ever when these two squads from the Eastern Division of the SEC tee off on one another.

    Marcus Lattimore will attempt to go bonkers on a solid Commodores defense that should once again surprise America.

    Vanderbilt has some offensive weapons of its own with Jordan Mathews and Zac Stacy, and it should be quite the matchup with Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor harassing Jordan Rodgers at quarterback

    Danny V’s Pick: South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 20

Central Florida at Akron

3 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 6 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: UCF by 24

    The former Miami Hurricanes back is a stud and will be getting a ton of carries in this one against an Akron Zips squad that finished 108th against the run last season. This also is the debut for Tommy Bowden, who is looking to coach up the Zips toward relevancy (easier said than done).

    Look for some first downs, a ton of yards and some touchdowns by Storm Johnson, as the Knights should be sitting pretty by the end of the third quarter.

    Danny V's Pick: Central Florida 34, Akron 7

Massachusetts at Connecticut

4 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time 7:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: SNY/ERTV (cable, espn3.com) 

    Line: UC by 24.5

    There are now 124 teams in the FBS, and the Minutemen are one of the four new members being welcomed into college football's top tier.

    This Thursday night could be interesting, as Lyle McCombs is one of the more underrated backs in the country. The kid will just be a sophomore but is more than capable of taking over this game for UConn from the first offensive possession.

    Danny V’s Pick: Connecticut 42, Massachusetts 14  

Sacramento State at New Mexico State

5 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu) 

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ALT (HD) / AggieVision / espn3

    Current Line: NMST by 14.5

    New Mexico State has struggled miserably in the FBS, but the Aggies are coming off a respectable 4-9 season where most had envisioned a 2-11 season.

    Coming off a torn ACL (missed all of 2011 season), Andrew Manley should be set to start his sophomore campaign on a strong note.

    The Aggies come in as solid favorites (14.5) and they should come away winners thanks to their quarterback.

    Danny V's Pick: New Mexico State 30, Sacramento State 17

Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech (Shreveport, LA)

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    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: ESPNU (HD) 

    Current Line: Aggies by 7.5

    Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel should own the line of scrimmage for Texas A&M since they are one of the best tackle combinations in the country, and it will be up to Christine Michael to break free for a few huge runs.

    The reason being is Louisiana Tech’s offense. So expect a ton of points and a few lead changes thanks to the solid play of quarterback Colby Cameron and wide receiver Quinton Patton.

    Danny V’s Pick: A&M 35, Tech 31

UCLA at Rice

7 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7:30p.m. Eastern 

    Network: CBSSN (HD)

    Current Line: UCLA by 15.5

    The Rice Owls could be a solid story if they were to find a way to go bowling for the third time since 1961!

    Coming off a 4-8 season, some are expecting that bowl bid, but they still do not have the horses to compete with even the middle crop of the FBS.

    The Bruins will be looking for another postseason trip with Jim Mora Jr. now at the helm, but the offensive woes still seem to be lingering (72nd in YPG). 

    However, UCLA has never lacked the talent to compete, and with Brett Hundley being named their quarterback, they can pound it with Johnathan Franklin and eventually go over the top with freakishly skilled tight end Joseph Fauria.

    Danny V’s Pick: UCLA 27, Rice 13

Northern Arizona at Arizona State

8 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 9:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: Pac-12 Network, HD

    Current Line: ASU by 27.5

    Todd Graham makes his debut in Tempe against this inferior FCS opponent, but ASU will be riding Cameron Marshall as far as he can take them this season.

    The stud running back is quite the talent and the Sun Devils would love a sensational season from a player that some believed would leave a year early for the NFL draft.

    Danny V's Pick: Arizona State 42, Northern Arizona 17

Washington State at Brigham Young

9 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 10:15 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN (HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: BYU by 13.5

    Mike Leach is back and college football could not be happier for the offensive-minded coach that always loves to chuck the rock.

    The BYU Cougars would love nothing more to prove that their 10-3 season last year was all skill and had nothing to do with their competition. Cody Hoffman and Riley Nelson on offense will put up a boatload of points against a Wazzu defense that was 95th in points allowed per game last season.

    Of course, linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Brandon Ogletree better bring their A-games, as the return of Mike Leach will be interesting and tough to contain in the opener.

    Star wideout Marquess Wilson will look to showcase his star talents for Washington State in what should be one of the more entertaining games on the opening weekend. 

    Danny V’s Pick: Brigham Young 38, Washington State 31

Minnesota at UNLV

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    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 11 p.m. Eastern

    Network: CBSSN (HD)

    Current Line: Min by 8.5

    Bobby Hauck could use an opening-weekend upset over a BCS squad after being scrutinized to death the past few seasons. He went 80-17 in seven seasons with FCS juggernaut Montana, but his Rebels have gone 4-21 over the last two seasons.

    Jerry Kill and the Gophers desperately need a victory as well, especially if they are looking to improve upon their own struggles.

    Minnesota has not appeared in a bowl since 2009 (UNLV’s last was 2000), and we should all know by now that the Big Ten is going to only improve.

    An early loss for the Gophers would be tough to overcome since they are already buried deep in the basement of the BCS squads, but the pure athleticism of MarQueis Gray should help them avoid the upset to UNLV.

    Danny V’s Pick: Minnesota 31, UNLV 17 

Northern Colorado at Utah

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    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7:15 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: Pac-12 Network, HD

    Current Line: Utah by 34.5

    I have been raving about the Utes because they just might have the best defensive tackle in the country (Star Lotulelei) and one of the hardest running backs as well (John White IV).

    The defense is there with the Trojans and Ducks, but their offense is clearly the key. Ranking No. 109 is a joke if the Utes expect to win nine or 10 games and challenge for a Pac-12 title.

    Is Jordan Wynn the real deal? He's looked great this offseason after battling critical injuries throughout his career (shoulder), but he needs to step up and receive help from his star playmakers, including DaVonte Christopher and White IV.

    Danny V's Pick: Utah 49, Northern Colorado 7

Villanova at Temple

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    Date: 8/31 (Fri)

    Time: 6 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Owls by 16.5

    Remember Montel Harris?

    Yes, the all-time leading rusher in Boston College history was set to break the ACC record for most career rushing yards this season before he was dismissed from the program.

    Now eligible to play for the Owls, look for both Matt Brown and Montel Harris to pound it out on the ground against the Wildcats.

    Danny V's Pick: Temple 31, Villanova 14

Eastern Michigan at Ball State

13 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN (HD, espn3.com)

    Way Too Early Line: Ball State by 3.5

    Pete Lembo could be the next hot commodity coach from the MAC to head off for greater pastures, but he needs to get these Cardinals into the postseason.

    Both of these teams are capable of surprising some folks by notching six or seven wins, but the growth of both of these offenses (No. 68, Ball State and Eastern was 93rd) are imperative.

    Danny V’s Pick: Ball State 24, Eastern Michigan 23

San Jose State at Stanford

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    Date: 8/31 (Fri)

    Time: 10 p.m. Eastern

    Network: Pac-12 Network (HD, Select Areas Only)

    Way Too Early Line: Stanford by 25.5

    Andrew Luck is gone, but David Shaw returns and he still has quite a bit at his disposal.

    An experienced, physical and aggressive Stanford defense will likely obliterate the Spartans in their season opener.

    Stepfan Taylor among many others will run roughshod in a game that should be decided at halftime. And if they ever need to throw the ball, they can rely on the monster tight end to come down with (Levine Toilolo stands at 6'8").

    Danny V’s Pick: Stanford 45, San Jose State 7

Notre Dame vs. Navy (Dublin, Ireland)

15 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 9 a.m. Eastern

    Network: CBS (HD), Sportsline.com

    Current Line: ND by 17

    The Irish fans will be decked out in Dublin and everybody around college football better be awake early for this one. Another season in which Brian Kelly and the Irish will be expected to fight for a BCS bid will be tough, as they have one of the toughest schedules in America.

    It helps to have a solid running game and this would be Cierre Wood’s perfect game to break through and get some attention—a tremendous back who ran for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns last season as a junior.

    Michael Floyd may be missed at wide receiver, but All-American tight end Tyler Eifert should help fill the void a bit. Navy will attempt to control the clock and own the line of scrimmage, but ND’s defense will be stifling in this contest.

    Danny V’s Pick: Notre Dame 38, Navy 14

Miami-Ohio at Ohio State

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: Noon Eastern 

    Network: BTN (HD, BTN2Go.com)

    Current Line: OSU by 23

    Urban Meyer is back in his home state and, more importantly, college football gets the two-time BCS national champ back in the mix.

    The Buckeyes will be relying on their defense to carry them as they open up with four straight home games before a tough trip to East Lansing. John Simon, Johnathan Hankins, Ryan Shazier and many talented defensive backs will headline this squad.

    The injury to Jordan Hall could be devastating if he had to sit out the entire season due to his offseason injury (foot), but Braxton Miller has the talents to break through and lead an Ohio State program that will be trying to prove all its doubters wrong this season (no bowl or Big Ten title). 

    Danny V’s Pick: Ohio State 38, Miami-Ohio 10

Northwestern at Syracuse

17 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: Noon Eastern

    Network: ESPN 2 (HD, espn3.com) 

    Current Line: NW by 1.5

    Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern would love to get back into the postseason to end that terrifying bowl victory drought going back to 1949.

    In a mild surprise, Syracuse will open up as slight underdogs at home against an improving Wildcats squad.

    This is pretty much a toss-up, but the Wildcats' spread offense led by Kain Colter should be just enough to squeak by the Orange.

    Danny V’s Pick: Northwestern 23, Syracuse 17

Ohio at Penn State

18 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: Noon Eastern 

    Network: ESPN (HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: PSU by 6

    Bill O’Brien and the Nittany Lions will be watched by all of college football in their season opener coming off their albatross of an offseason.

    The players and current coaches may have had nothing to do with anything, but the pressure and eyes that will be on them in their home opener will be like nothing we have seen before.

    The Ohio Bobcats are not the easy opponent that they can just show up and come away with a victory. The Bobcats are as good as it gets in the MAC, and their quarterback Tyler Tettleton can take over this game if he plays like the underrated star he is.

    We know PSU will bring the heat on defense, but without their starting RB or WR from last season, it will be tough for the Nittany Lions. Ohio will prove it is legit, as it is the biggest underdog pick to pull off an opening-weekend upset.

    Danny V’s Pick: Ohio 22, Penn State 21

Western Michigan at Illinois

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: Noon Eastern

    Network: ESPN U (HD) 

    Current Line: ILL by 9.5

    Not many are talking about the talent coach Tim Beckman has, but the Illini are a legit bowl contending team and they might pull off an upset down the road.

    What really helps is having two Bednarik nominees in linebacker Jonathan Brown and defensive end Michael Buchanan.

    Illinois is a talented squad despite its recent struggles muddling through as a mid-tier Big Ten squad, but the Fighting Illini should give Western Michigan gunslinger Alex Carder all he can handle in the opener.

    Danny V’s Pick: Illinois 38, Western Michigan 24

Appalachian State at East Carolina

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: Noon Eastern

    Network: FSN (HD)

    Current Line: ECU by 15

    Unless the Pirates go all Michigan on us, they should be able to sneak past the boys from Boone. 

    The Pirates will take on what most consider to be a dangerous FCS squad due to a few upsets in the past (ask Michigan).

    However, the kids from Boone aren’t quite as good as they have been in the past.

    East Carolina will chuck it around with a few solid athletes they have, but Justin Hardy is the one player (wide receiver) that should shine the brightest. ECU may not be receiving much praise, but it is a dark-horse contender in C-USA.

    Danny V’s Pick: East Carolina 34, Appalachian State 17

Buffalo at Georgia

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 12:21 p.m. Eastern

    Network: SEC Network (ESPN GamePlan, espn3.com)

    Current Line: UGA by 37.5

    Georgia will be scrutinized early on since the Bulldogs did not get much respect after they were blown out by the LSU Tigers in the SEC title game. Many think UGA got to Atlanta last year thanks to an easy slate and some luck thrown its way.

    This season can go a far way for Mark Richt and his team because many are once again expecting some sort of a letdown, whether it be the defense that is overrated according to some or Richt's inability to keep players out of the doghouse, so to speak.

    The relentless defense that the Georgia Bulldogs will unleash on the poor Bulls of Buffalo will be fun for SEC squads to watch.

    Even without a few starters due to suspensions and team violations, Richt has quite the depth on his squad to put a hurting on this lower-tier MAC school.

    Aaron Murray is often talked about as a Heisman dark-horse contender, and this is one of those games where he may throw for more touchdowns than incomplete passes. 

    Danny V’s Pick: Georgia 45, Buffalo 0

Elon at North Carolina

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 12:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ACC Network (ESPN GamePlan, espn3.com)

    Current Line: UNC by 39

    If North Carolina were eligible to play in the ACC title game, I might have just picked the Tar Heels (like many others would have). Instead, they have to look towards the present as a building block. 

    Larry Fedora is ready to put the Tar Heels back on the national map, and with a fairly easy schedule, they may just have a sensational season.

    Despite being ineligible to compete for a bowl or ACC title, UNC should still be motivated in the first season in the Fedora era. Look for an improved season with a ton of talent still on the roster.  

    Danny V’s Pick: North Carolina 42, Elon 7

Richmond at Virginia

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: FSN Affiliates (HD, ESPN GamePlan, espn3.com)

    Current Line: UVA by 28.5

    Is Virginia for real?

    After knocking the Seminoles in Tallahassee, many thought the Cavaliers would give Auburn at least a challenge in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but it was anything but.

    That said, Mike London had quite the season last year finishing up at 8-5, but the Wahoos are hopeful they will only improve in the immediate future. Phillip Sims is an Alabama transfer that will draw quite the buzz heading into the season.

    A physical and aggressive defense, UVA should stifle the Spiders in its season and home opener.

    Danny V’s Pick: Virginia 41, Richmond 10

Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (Chicago, IL)

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN U (HD)

    Current Line: Iowa by 9.5

    When will Iowa return to national relevancy?

    Kirk Ferentz heads into a huge season for the Hawkeyes coming off a tough 7-6 season, and many are questioning if they are even capable of posting an eight-plus-win year.

    Losing their top tackle, running back and wide receiver will be tough to overcome, but quarterback James Vandenberg is primed to become arguably the best quarterback in the Big Ten.

    Keenan Davis and C.J. Fiedorowicz are not too shabby options, and the Hawkeyes defense will improve as well (and it better against a legit NIU program).

    Danny V’s Pick: Iowa 30, Northern Illinois 17

Miami FL at Boston College

25 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ABC (ESPN2, HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: BC by 1

    Can Al Golden right the ship and somehow put this team into the postseason assuming it receives no further sanctions or violations?

    The Hurricanes struggled to get the key stops on defense one season ago against Maryland in their season opener.

    Labor Day night’s nationally televised game last season showed us some of the flaws that this program had, and how much improvement it makes in one year will let us know how far this program still is from becoming a legit ranked squad.

    Danny V’s Pick: Miami 17, Boston College 13

Bowling Green at Florida

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN (HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: UF by 29

    The Gators defense will be fun to watch next season, and that is even if Ronald Powell cannot come back at 100 percent (at some point—most say October).

    The defensive line is one of the best in the entire country, and its athletic linebackers and defensive backs should put the offense in much better positions to score.

    The Gators were just dreadful last season, ranking 105th in total offense, averaging 329 yards per game. Improvements will likely be made, but the hope is they can get into high gear in the opener with the Aggies licking their chops for next week in what could become an ESPN College GameDay night game thriller.

    Danny V’s Pick: Florida 34, Bowling Green 7

Eastern Kentucky at Purdue

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: BTN (HD, btn2go.com)

    Current Line: PU by 27

    Danny Hope has a 2012 slate to bring back another winning season and a bowl victory, and it's all because of his returning starters (13).

    It surely helps to have one of the more dominant linemen (Kawann Short) in the country, and a solid running game on offense will give opposing Big Ten defenses some major issues.

    Gaining momentum with a lopsided victory over Eastern Kentucky could go a long way with Notre Dame coming off its trip to Ireland for the following weekend.

    Purdue hosts Michigan and Wisconsin in October, which should tell the nation how successful its season will be in 2012.

    Danny V’s Pick: Purdue 35, Eastern Kentucky 13

Northern Iowa at Wisconsin

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: BTN (HD, btn2go.com)

    Current Line: UW by 37

    Montee Ball is coming off his record-setting season in which he totaled 39 TDs, and his offensive line had its way with every opponent they competed against.

    Ball is an All-American and one of the best overall players in the country coming off his Heisman invite last year, but even without Russell Wilson around, we should expect great production once again.

    Plus, Wisconsin’s defense is much better than it showed against Oregon in last year's Rose Bowl, and this beatdown against a solid FCS program will get the Badgers rolling early on the season once again.

    Danny V’s Pick: Wisconsin 56, Northern Iowa 14

Southern Miss at Nebraska

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ABC (ESPN2, HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: NE by 19.5 

    Larry Fedora led Southern Miss to a C-USA title last year before he went off to Chapel Hill, so the Golden Eagles are a talented team even with a few of the key losses they have since suffered.

    Jamie Collins is a beast on defense, and while Southern Miss will bring the heat against Taylor Martinez, it cannot stop the multi-faceted Rex Burkhead.

    Burkhead is ready to have another monster season in the Big Ten, and with an improved set of receivers, I look at the Huskers as one of your more improved teams out there.

    The biggest and most vital reason will be the defense since it was often dreadful in the biggest of games.

    Many people point to Jared Crick being gone as a huge loss, but he did miss eight games a season ago, and the likes of Cameron Meredith and Baker Steinkuhler will ease the pressure and make life much more enjoyable for everybody.

    Danny V’s Pick: Nebraska 37, Southern Miss 14

Tulsa at Iowa State

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: Noon Eastern 

    Network: ABC (ESPN2, HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: Tulsa by 1

    Paul Rhoads is proud and then some of the effort he received from his Cyclones in the last three seasons (two bowl bids), but he still wants a bit more from this program (just 18-20 overall in his tenure).

    Tulsa is a dangerous opponent in the opener for Iowa State because of former Nebraska backup quarterback Cody Green.

    Green can scramble with the best of them, and despite the Cyclones possessing two of the elite linebackers in the Big 12 (Jake Knott, A.J. Klein), Tulsa has too many weapons at the moment.

    Bank on a great game and an upset with the Golden Hurricane prevailing in the closing moments.

    Danny V’s Pick: Tulsa 28, Iowa State 26

Missouri State at Kansas State

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    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: K-State TV

    Current Line: Kansas State by 35

    Everybody knows all about Collin Klein at quarterback after he ran in 27 TDs a season ago, but running back John Hubert will get a ton of opportunities after running for nearly 1,000 yards last season.

    He only had three touchdowns, and those numbers should at least double, which means we would see a few to start off the season against an inferior FCS opponent.

    Danny V's Pick: Kansas State 42, Missouri State 10

Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver)

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 4 p.m. Eastern

    Network: FX (HD)

    Current Line: CU by 5.5

    The Colorado Buffaloes are looked at as one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 because of the injuries, depth and experience factors that have plagued them for the past few seasons.

    However, Jon Embree has an excellent chance to change all of that, thanks to perhaps a miracle return of wide receiver Paul Richardson.

    Whether or not Richardson becomes a serious threat like he has been in the past, Colorado has a much easier schedule than last season, and its defense up front looks to be much more physical and athletic than it was one season ago.  

    Danny V’s Pick: Colorado 28, Colorado State 20

Florida International at Duke

33 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Duke by 4

    Conner Vernon became the first ACC player to haul in 70 receptions in multiple seasons, and this Dukie is far from done.

    Sean Renfree is returning at quarterback, and the Blue Devils' passing game should be good again, so look for Vernon to be the main target for a third consecutive season in Durham.

    However, as good as the Dukies offense may be in this one, they will be going up against a Mario Cristobal defense that has a ton of playmakers.

    Winston Fraser, Jose Cheeseborough, Jonathan Cyprien and Tourek Williams give the Panthers one of the best defenses outside the BCS, and they should capture the Sun Belt because of it.

    Danny V's Pick: Duke 21, Florida International 20

Murray State at Florida State

34 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 6 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: FSU by 49

    The Seminoles open up with two FCS opponents after West Virginia backed out due to its tough Big 12 schedule, but these games should allow FSU to develop an identity and allow youngsters to really develop before October rolls along.

    The FSU defense will be among the tops in the country, and it is because of the athletes and experience it finally possesses.

    Plus, the Seminoles have a secondary and special teams unit that are among the best in the country.

    Developing a running game with all of the young linemen and backs they have will be critical, and this opening quiz against Murray State should be just what the doctor ordered.

    Danny V’s Pick: Florida State 52, Murray State 0

Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri

35 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN GamePlan (espn3.com, PPV MO)

    Current Line: Mizzou by 42.5

    The Missouri Tigers better be fully healthy heading into the 2012 season since they have entered the gauntlet known as the SEC.

    Quarterback James Franklin is quite the talent, but he needs to remain healthy with the likely possibility of star running back Henry Josey being unable to suit up in 2012.

    Dorial Green-Beckham brings the talent and hype to the Tigers that many feel will give them an opportunity to compete with any SEC squad for years to come.

    The depth on both lines of scrimmage will be interesting for the Tigers, who possess the talent, but they will be battling every week like never before. Their opener will be enjoyable, but they will have a bloodbath in the near future (with their brutal slate in 2012).  

    Danny V’s Pick: Missouri 48, Southeast Louisiana 10

North Texas at LSU

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    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN U (HD)

    Current Line: LSU by 43

    Les Miles and his Bayou Bengals will be ready to start this season coming off their disastrous performance against the Alabama Crimson Tide in last year's BCS championship game.

    Luckily, all should be right in Baton Rouge thanks to having arguably the best defense in the country, and their offense should be improved with quarterback Zach Mettenberger (UGA transfer).

    The athleticism up front on defense really stands out, as it can harass any team in the country, and poor North Texas will be taking a beatdown in this season opener.

    Watch Les run the rock 40 times for over 300 yards in this game; the team may not even have to throw the ball more than a dozen times with the starters.

    Danny V’s Pick: LSU 45, North Texas 3

Jacksonville State at Arkansas

37 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN GamePlan (espn3.com, PPV AR)

    Current Line: AR by 36

    Tyler Wilson enters the 2012 season as an All-American quarterback, and the return of his running back Knile Davis should give Arkansas one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

    Throw in Cobi Hamilton and Chris Gragg, and the Razorbacks are a complete squad offensively speaking, but their defense needs to perform at its best when they compete against LSU and Alabama.

    The SEC West is arguably tougher in itself than any conference, and the Razorbacks will have their hands full despite the talent they possess on paper. Starting off the season by hanging half a hundred is not too shabby though.

    Danny V’s Pick: Arkansas 50, Jacksonville State 14

Jackson State at Mississippi State

38 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: Fox Sports South (espn3.com, ESPN Game Plan)

    Current Line: MSU by 38.5

    Dan Mullen has done a solid job since taking over as the head coach, but it will be interesting to see how much the Bulldogs can improve with Chris Relf gone as their quarterback. He was consistent two seasons ago, but he was anything but in 2011.

    Tyler Russell takes over, and he just needs to take care of the ball with a bevy of playmakers stretching the field. Let us not forget they have a respectable defense as well.

    Mullen is capable of putting together a seven- or eight-win season, though it may be tough to achieve anything more.

    Danny V’s Pick: Mississippi State 48, Jackson State 10

Central Arkansas at Ole Miss

39 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN GamePlan (espn3.com, PPV, MS)

    Current Line: Ole Miss by 21

    The Rebels will be intriguing to watch since they have some solid talent for one of your basement teams in the SEC.

    Houston Nutt is long gone, and Hugh Freeze now looks to cement a winning atmosphere in Oxford.

    A cupcake opener against Central Arkansas is not a bad start since the Rebels actually have a brutal schedule even in the non-conference (Texas).

    Danny V’s Pick: Ole Miss 27, Central Arkansas 13

Hawai'i at Southern California

40 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: FOX (HD)

    Current Line: USC by 39.5

    Likely the top-ranked squad in the preseason, USC will have the offense to make nearly any defense look bad. Matt Barkley, Marqise Lee, Robert Woods and Curtis McNeal are a deadly list of weapons that will make their mark in the 2012 season.

    The Warriors do not have the defense to even limit the damage, and we could see Barkley have several virtuoso performances this season.

    Lee and Woods are two of the best in the country at their position, so look for USC to focus on some of its running game with several youngsters vying for playing time before conference play begins.

    Also, the USC defense has a point to prove this season since all the hype is focused on its offense, but make no mistake that its back seven is as athletic and talented as any group in the country.

    There will be a boatload of blowouts this season put on by the Trojans, and it all begins with Hawai’i. 

    Danny V’s Pick: USC 52, Hawai'i 7

Indiana State at Indiana

41 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: BTN (HD, btn2go.com)

    Current Line: IU by 23.5

    The Hoosiers are looking to have a bounce-back season and then some with Kevin Wilson at the helm.

    Coming off a tough 1-11 season is never fun for the faithful around the program, and the Hoosiers are not catching many breaks with their conference slate.

    Playing Ohio State and Wisconsin is a must (Leaders), but in the Legends division, they have to go up against a much-improved Iowa squad and Michigan State.

    Any way you look at it, though, improvements should be made thanks to a favorable non-conference slate (looking at four wins, perhaps all OOC).

    Danny V’s Pick: Indiana 27, Indiana State 10

Rutgers at Tulane

42 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern

    Network: CBSSN (HD)

    Current Line: RU by 19.5

    Rutgers is looking forward to another successful season as Kyle Flood takes over for Greg Schiano. The Big East is obviously completely changing with Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, Central Florida and Houston all joining in 2013.

    The conference will be losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, but the Scarlet Knights are likely to reap the benefits in the immediate future.

    It starts with a lopsided victory over Tulane. and most should expect Rutgers to post another eight- or nine-win season in 2012 despite the conference being up for grabs (USF, ‘Ville, Cincy, Pitt).

    Note: Certainly with the Trent Mackey situation up in the air, this game and line may completely change.

    Danny V’s Pick: Rutgers 38, Tulane 10

Oklahoma at UTEP

43 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 10:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: FSN (HD)

    Current Line: OU by 30.5

    Landry Jones will come into the season as one of the Heisman front-runners, and this is the perfect game for his numbers to go bonkers.

    He may only play three quarters, but he may still throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns to the bevy of receivers he has stretching the field for him. OU is not afraid to start off with a bang in the non-conference, and Bob Stoops will allow a ton of players to get their feet wet early in the season.

    Drew Allen and Blake Bell will see significant action, and they will look to establish a more physical running game to set a tone before they begin Big 12 play.

    Also, let us not forget about their talented secondary (top 10) and athletic front seven that will be led by the linebackers.

    Danny V’s Pick: Oklahoma 48, UTEP 14

Arkansas State at Oregon

44 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 10:30 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: ESPN (HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: Oregon by 35.5

    I hope you enjoy a ton of points because these two teams should go for well over 50 points in this game. The Ducks themselves may hang a 50-burger with all of their speed on the field.

    Most notably would be De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner (their RB battle will be interesting) as they both can light up the scoreboard and stat sheets with the electricity they bring to the gridiron.

    Chip Kelly against Gus Malzahn will be quite the treat on a Saturday night (try past one in the morning Eastern) because their up-tempo offenses are always tough to defend.

    The difference between last season’s Ducks and this year’s should be their improved defensive players.

    Kiko Alonso, Michael Clay, John Boyett and Dion Jordan are just a few of the players that will be harassing Arkansas State’s Ryan Aplin, who is one of the best players in America you may have not heard of.

    Danny V’s Pick: Oregon 52, Arkansas State 17

Toledo at Arizona

45 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 10:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN U (HD)

    Current Line: AZ by 11

    Rich Rodriguez makes his debut with the Wildcats in lovely Tucson, but the youngest coach in the FBS (Toledo's Matt Campbell, 32) will sure give Arizona all it can handle.

    The Rockets possess some solid firepower, and this should be one of your higher-scoring games; it involves two teams that will spread you to death, and they have been known to allow a few yards every once in a blue moon.

    It is late at night, so just pray it comes down to the wire, as overtime could even be a strong possibility.

    Danny V’s Pick: Arizona 38, Toledo 35

San Diego State at Washington

46 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 10:30 pm. Eastern

    Network: Pac-12 Network (HD, Restricted Areas)

    Current Line: UW by 14

    Former Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz will be starting for the Aztecs, but Washington has a decent signal-caller of its own.

    Keith Price can thread it and then some with his talented weapons, so expect the Huskies to absolutely torch San Diego State when the dust clears from this mismatch.

    Danny V’s Pick: Washington 38, San Diego State 14

Kentucky at Louisville

47 of 79

    Date: 9/2 (Sun)

    Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN (HD, espn3.com)

    Current Line: Louisville by 14

    Charlie Strong will be digging the development of Teddy Bridgewater because he looks to be on the verge of becoming the top performer in the Big East, and the improving Cardinals defense makes Louisville the front-runner to reach the BCS.

    South Florida, Cincinnati and Rutgers will be tough challengers, but this squad is experienced and talented enough to take care of its tough and rugged rivals from the SEC.  

    Danny V’s Pick: Louisville 30, Kentucky 17

SMU at Baylor

48 of 79

    Date: 9/2 (Sun)

    Time: 6:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: FSN (HD)

    Current Line: Baylor by 11

    The loss and departure of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III will be impossible to overcome in terms of matching their offensive production, but the Bears' wide receivers still rank among the more talented corps in the country.

    Terrance Williams, Lanear Sampson and Tevin Reese are quite the trio of stars spread out wide for new starting quarterback Nick Florence, but that does not help out the defense. The Bears were gashed all season long, allowing 37 PPG (113th) and 489 yards per game (116th).

    SMU is a major dark-horse contender out of C-USA because it has a few stud defenders (Margus Hunt, Taylor Reed, Ja’Gared Davis).

    Plus, the Mustangs have quite a pass-catch combo with former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert and Darius Johnson, and let us not forget they have a bruiser in the backfield as well (Zach Line). Look for an entertaining Sunday evening matchup that will likely come down to the wire.

    Danny V’s Pick: SMU 31, Baylor 30

Austin Peay at Western Kentucky

49 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: None

    Current Line: WK by 21.5

    Western Kentucky has a second-team All-Sun Belt tight end (Jack Doyle) that did not reach pay dirt a whole lot last season with running back Bobby Rainey getting most of the looks, but the solid pass-catching tight end should have a solid 2012 season.

    Going up against Austin Peay should not be too much of a challenge, so look for the Hilltoppers and Doyle to get off to a good start here.

    Danny's Pick: Western Kentucky 24, Austin Peay 6

Idaho State at Air Force

50 of 79

    Date: 9/1 

    Time: 2 p.m. Eastern

    Network: Game Central

    Current Line: AF by 31.5

    Fullback Mike DeWitt is the guy to look out for in this contest. After missing the entire 2010 season with a knee injury, he played the entire 2011 season without losing one yard all season on any carries.

    He ran in for 12 TDs last season, and there is an excellent chance one of the better fullbacks outside the BCS gets in the end zone more than once in this one.

    Danny V's Pick: Air Force 38, Idaho State 7

Towson at Kent State

51 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: CSMA (cable), espn3.com

    Current Line: Kent State by 14.5

    The Golden Flashes have a few solid defensive studs in Roosevelt Nix, C.J. Malauulu and Luke Batton, but this article is intended for offensive audiences only (sounds funny).

    Running back Trayion Durham is the key producer to break out against FCS opponent Towson, especially since Kent State hardly breaks out on offense to begin with (scored 28 or more just three times last year).

    Danny V's Pick: Kent State 28, Towson 13

Lamar at Louisiana Lafayette

52 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Lafayette by 25.5

    I wish I could choose both players in this deadly duo of wide receiver Javone Lawson and quarterback Blaine Gautier, but let us go with just one.

    Lawson is the pick riding a ton of momentum after he hauled in nine catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns in their amazing New Orleans Bowl victory. Poor FCS opponent Lamar won't know what hit it in this matchup.

    Danny V's Pick: Louisiana Lafayette 42, Lamar 7 

Liberty at Wake Forest

53 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 6:30 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: WF by 27.5

    Liberty sure will have a tough time blocking Nikita Whitlock because the beast gave opposing ACC signal-callers all they could handle last season, and this FCS opponent favors the FBS once again.

    The fighting Jim Grobes have been a joy to follow despite the lack of talent they have possessed against the upper-echelon talent in the ACC.

    Wake has continued to appear in a bowl every season or two, but that is because of an underrated defense and smart play (productive too) from its quarterbacks.

    Tanner Price has a little bit of Riley Skinner (last QB to lead Wake Forest to BCS, ’06) in him despite being a lefty. Price can move well around the pocket, escaping pressure and throwing on the run with ease to a few of his underrated targets (Terence Davis, Michael Campanaro).

    Danny V's Pick: Wake Forest 38, Liberty 10

Nicholls State at Oregon State

54 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 3 p.m. Eastern

    Network: Pac-12 Network, HD

    Current Line: Oregon State by 28.5

    Markus Wheaton is the stud receiver for the Beavers and should not have any issues drawing separation against the secondary of Nicholls State. If this offense struggles again (73rd total O), Mike Riley's seat will only get hotter.

    Lastly,, Oregon State should have redemption on its mind after getting stunned at home in overtime by Sacramento State last season (29-28).

    Danny V's Pick: Oregon State 31, Nicholls State 7

Northwestern State at Texas Tech

55 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: Tech All Access

    Current Line: Tech by 35.5

    Seth Doege flashed brilliance last season against the top-ranked Sooners in Norman, but he was far too inconsistent against even the mid-tier competition.

    Doege has a ton of weapons at his disposal, albeit no All-Americans (or even All-Big 12 performers, arguably), but the system still allows him to put up respectable numbers. Look for a great start in this matchup between the FBS and FCS.

    Danny V's Pick: Texas Tech 42, Northwestern State 10

Savannah State at Oklahoma State

56 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: OK State All-Access 

    Current Line: Oklahoma State by 52

    The Pokes offense under Todd Monken and Mike Gundy has been spectacular with its ability to steadily increase its offensive production.

    Oklahoma State has simply been remarkable to witness, but its defense has quietly been better as well, giving the offense solid field position and plenty of opportunities. Look for QB Wes Lunt to fit right in as a true freshman.

    Certainly it doesn't hurt to have Joseph Randle pick up right where he left off last season (1,400-plus total yards, 26 TD), and he will do just that.

    Danny V's Pick: Oklahoma State 59, Savannah State 13

South Dakota State at Kansas

57 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    NetworkJayhawk Television Network

    Current Line: KU by 15.5

    Former Golden Domer Mike Ragone played under Charlie Weis as one of their tight ends, but he may lead the Jayhawks in receptions and touchdowns this season.

    James Sims is their most talented player, but he has been suspended for the first three games. Kansas will still be running the ball quite a bit, albeit Ragone is the true threat once the team get towards the red zone.

    Danny V's Pick: Kansas 27, South Dakota State 17

Southern at New Mexico

58 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 5 p.m. Eastern

    Network: New Mexico All-Access

    Current Line: NM by 10

    The Lobos will attempt to end their brutal streak of going 1-11 (last three seasons) with Bob Davie in charge. The receivers are not the most talented players in the country, but they are solid players that can beat you deep.

    Lamaar Thomas can put on the afterburners, as can Ty Kirk, and these two players will be the ones that everybody heavily relies on this season for the Lobos.

    Danny V's Pick: New Mexico 21, Southern 13

Texas State at Houston

59 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern

    Network: CSNC / CSS (cable)

    Current Line: UH by 36.5

    Charles Sims is a stud back that had nine touchdowns last season, and though it was with Kevin Sumlin, Case Keenum, Patrick Edwards, Tyron Carrier and Justin Johnson, Sims will still be respectable in 2012.

    Plus, going against one of the four new FBS squads will make life easier since the Bobcats are still easing into life as the new kids on the block.

    Danny V's Pick: Houston 49, Texas State 17

Troy at UAB

60 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: Noon Eastern

    Network: FCSP (cable)

    Current Line: Troy by 5.5

    The Trojans come into this game as slight favorites over the Blazers, and Eric Thomas might just be the difference-maker in this battle between the Sun Belt and C-USA.

    Thomas hauled in nine touchdowns a season ago and was actually named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team as just a sophomore.

    Danny V's Pick: Troy 24, UAB 20

UT Chattanooga at South Florida

61 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: USF by 30

    One of the Big East favorites would love to start off the season with a blowout victory, and let us not forget they have Nevada, Miami FL and Florida State all on the non-conference slate.

    B.J. Daniels has a ton of talent that he has not quite been able to live up to, but his senior season looks to be a strong one, as he should finally take that next step.

    Danny V's Pick: South Florida 38, UT Chattanooga 12

UT Martin at Memphis

62 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Memphis by 10.5

    The Tigers may be considered one of your worst programs in the FBS over the last two seasons (3-21), but things have to turn around eventually, right?

    Only 14 starters overall return, but the talented Marcus Rucker should be one of the few Tigers to thrive this season on offense (116th in total offense, 115th in scoring), and it all starts in this season opener.

    Danny V's Pick: Memphis 23, UT Martin 10

Weber State at Fresno State

63 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 10 p.m. Eastern

    Network: TBA

    Current Line: Fresno by 28

    Robbie Rouse is one fine back to look forward to with his ability to dash past opposing defensive backs once again, but Derek Carr is the igniter of this offense.

    Carr combined for 29 TDs last season with nine interceptions, and the brother of David (former Fresno star, first pick in draft, '02) sure has the looks of becoming an NFL signal-caller in the future (he's just a junior).

    Danny V's Pick: Fresno State 38, Weber State 9

William & Mary at Maryland

64 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 3 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Off Line

    How many games will the Terps win after losing their starting quarterback C.J. Brown for the entire season with a torn ACL?

    After those first three games, it might be tough to witness many victories this season, if any, for Randy Edsall. Surely he will draw the hot seat if they fail to pick up any ACC victories, but at least they can rely on Matt Furstenburg to carry them early on in the season.

    A solid ACC tight end, we should anticipate a half dozen TDs despite the fact that he has lost his starting quarterback.

    Danny V's Pick: Maryland 33, William & Mary 14

Wyoming at Texas

65 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: TBA

    Network: Longhorn Network

    Current Line: TX by 29

    Johnathan Gray, the top freshman running back in the country heading into the season, will have a bevy of opportunities to come through for the Longhorns faithful.

    Bank on Texas running up some massacres early on in the season with a legit offensive line and a boatload of stars that will go bonkers in the non-conference.

    Joe Bergeron will help give Malcolm Brown some rest as well, but Gray is going to be spectacular this season spelling the two backs ahead of him.

    The backfield is loaded, and the defensive front is absurd, yet people still do not think Texas is capable of a whole lot with its limitations at quarterback.

    Danny V's Pick: Texas 42, Wyoming 6

Youngstown State at Pittsburgh

66 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 6 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Pitt by 28

    Coming off a torn ACL is always difficult, but the Panthers will expect Ray Graham to ease back into star mode.

    Should he play, he may not get a ton of carries in this contest, but he should be productive nonetheless against an inferior FCS squad.

    Danny V's Pick: Pittsburgh 34, Youngstown State 7

Marshall at West Virginia

67 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: Noon Eastern

    Network: FX, HD

    Current Line: WV by 24

    Stedman Bailey might just become an All-American this season with the number of passes that Geno Smith will throw towards his direction.

    Still, Tavon Austin is an all-purpose freak that can break down a defense with the best of them.

    These two teams do not exactly love each other, so look for a ton of trash-talking and some big plays by several Mountaineers, including Austin.

    Danny V's Pick: West Virginia 45, Marshall 21

Southern Utah at Utah State

68 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: KMYU (cable)

    Current Line: Utah State by 16.5

    The Aggies are losing a ton of playmakers on both sides of the ball, but thank goodness they have an FCS opponent in the opener.

    Running back Kerwynn Williams was one of their studs from a season ago (542 yards, three TDs), and we can pretty much bank on him showing up in the opener.

    Danny V's Pick: Utah State 34, Southern Utah 14

Nevada at California

69 of 79

    Date: 9/1

    Time: 3 p.m. Eastern

    Network: Pac-12 Network, HD

    Current Line: Cal by 11

    One of the elite wide receivers in college football will be tough to tackle, let alone cover, in the open field. Once he gets downfield, his speed does the rest, as Keenan Allen has the capability of taking any reception to the house.

    Nevada has been respectable on defense through the years, but it has rarely had to worry about a talent such as Allen of the Bears.

    Danny V's Pick: California 28, Nevada 17

Southeast Missouri State at Central Michigan

70 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern 

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Chips by 18.5

    A stud back in his high school days, Titus Davis sure has lived up to the expectations and then some for Dan Enos (Davis hauled in 40 catches for 751 yards and eight touchdowns as a true frosh).

    The Chips are clearly a dark horse with Western Michigan, Toledo and defending champion Northern Illinois all in the West Division.

    However, the pass-catch combo of Ryan Radcliff and Davis should be one of the more complete ones among the non-AQs in 2012.

    Danny V's Pick: Central Michigan 37, Southeast Missouri State 17

Wagner at Florida Atlantic

71 of 79

    Date: 8/31 (Fri)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: FAU by 9.5

    The Owls' Marcus Cunningham is a solid receiver who averaged 14.3 YPC during his freshman season.

    With Carl Pelini now in charge, most anticipate them to run it a whole lot, but they just lost their star running back to the Washington Redskins (Alfred Morris). Still, they have some fairly talented guys on the outside for a squad that went just 1-11 last season.

    Danny V's Pick: Florida International 23, Wagner 14

McNeese State at Middle Tennessee

72 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Middle Tennessee by 20

    Logan Kilgore may only be the quarterback of the team, but he is arguably its most important player since the Blue Raiders have been struggling to find any consistent offense recently.

    Ranking 95th in scoring from a season ago is never any fun, and the hope is Kilgore can help save the job of Rick Stockstill, who is entering his seventh season in Murfreesboro with a record of 35-40.

    Danny V's Pick: Middle Tennessee 30, McNeese State 14

Eastern Washington at Idaho

73 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 9 p.m. Eastern

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: Vandals by 7

    Former Husky and Monarch Dominique Blackman is quite the beast (6’5”, 274 pounds), and the Vandals have not had too many superstars on the scales very often.

    Blackman was just named the starting quarterback on Monday, and this kid should surprise a few in Idaho's opener against one of the elite programs in the FCS.

    Danny V's Pick: Idaho 24, Eastern Washington 21

UTSA at South Alabama

74 of 79

    Date: 8/30 (Thu)

    Time: 7:30 p.m.

    Network: espn3.com

    Current Line: South Alabama by 6.5

    Yes, Demetre Baker is the former Bulldogs running back who was dismissed after seeing the field a decent amount (491 yards).

    Baker offers the perfect start to the FBS season for South Alabama's Joey Jones since both the Jaguars and Larry Coker's Roadrunners will take the stage for college football on opening night (Aug. 30).

    Danny V's Pick: South Alabama 17, UTSA 14

North Carolina State vs. Tennessee (Atlanta)

75 of 79

    Date: 8/31 (Fri)

    Time: 7:30 pm. Eastern

    Network: ESPNU (HD) 

    Current Line: UT by 4 

    Tyler Bray and Mike Glennon will be slinging it all over Atlanta's Georgia Dome in what could be a fairly high-scoring affair between two BCS dark horses.

    North Carolina State is coming off a solid campaign in which it went 8-5, but Tennessee ended up going 5-7 to miss the postseason for just the second time since 1989!

    Derek Dooley could really use a victory in the season opener, or else he may be feeling too much pressure before the SEC season even gets under way.

    Luckily, Bray has a pair of receivers (Da’Rick Rogers, Justin Hunter) that are arguably the best in the SEC and beyond.

    One of those star receivers will be matched up on every play with All-American defensive back David Amerson, but the ‘Pack defense better completely bottle up the running game, or else this one will go to the SEC.

    Danny V’s Pick: Tennessee 31, North Carolina State 20

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech

76 of 79

    Date: 9/3 (Mon)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN (HD, ESPN3.COM)

    Current Line: VT by 7.5

    The Frank Beamer-led Hokies have been the most consistent program in the country for the last decade in terms of wins. They have currently posted eight consecutive seasons of 10 or more victories.

    Beamer was a cornerback way back (don't worry, Frank, you are still the man) in the day for the Hokies (1966-1969), and some believe that is one of the main reasons as to how he transformed so many high school defensive backs into All-Americans.

    A college coach is only as successful as the coaches he brings in, and defensive guru Bud Foster is entering his 18th season in Blacksburg as the defensive coordinator.

    Virginia Tech has eight starters returning on the defensive side of the ball, and it has a star at each level.

    Whether we are talking about James Gayle, Bruce Taylor or Kyle Fuller, the Hokies are gifted on defense, which allows quarterback Logan Thomas and company some room for error on offense.

    The Yellow Jackets obviously are led by quarterback Tevin Washington (25 total TDs), but their defense better play lights out.

    If not, then we cannot expect them to upset the Hokies, let alone win the division with this potential season-opening upset at Lane Stadium.

    Danny V’s Pick: Virginia Tech 28, Georgia Tech 17

Clemson vs. Auburn (Atlanta)

77 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 7 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ESPN HD (espn3.com) 

    Current Line: CU by 3

    Sammy Watkins was simply electric and is still arguably the most explosive player in the country thanks to his size, strength, speed and pure athleticism. Even his crisp route running and football awareness are sensational. He will be missed in this one.

    Tajh Boyd should not struggle too much with running back Andre Ellington back healthy and a slew of other playmakers around him. However, Auburn’s defensive line is as deep and talented as any in the country.

    They took a beating last season, as that same defense allowed 624 yards as Boyd torched AU’s secondary for 386 yards and four touchdowns!

    Redemption, among many other things, will be on the minds of Gene Chizik’s Tigers, and if they take care of the ball, they should be able to land a few haymakers early and often.

    Expect the Clemson offensive line to get pushed around just enough in the fourth quarter to allow Auburn's defense to come away with a key turnover thanks to new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder likely throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Boyd.

    Danny V’s Pick: Auburn 24, Clemson 20

Boise State at Michigan State

78 of 79

    Date: 8/31 (Fri)

    Time: 8 pm. Eastern

    Network: ESPN (HD) 

    Current Line: MSU by 7 

    Mark Dantonio and his Spartans will be licking their chops when Chris Petersen’s Broncos arrive in East Lansing for a nationally televised heavyweight battle between two ranked squads.

    Both defenses should be stellar, and we know the Spartans will be packing the punch with four of their Bednarik candidates (Denicos Allen, Max Bullough, William Gholston, Johnny Adams).

    Still, Petersen has gone 9-1 against the BCS in his career, and his staggering 73-6 record through six seasons cannot be matched by anyone. Heading into the postseason or season openers, Petersen is unbeatable.

    However, this MSU squad will be arguably the most talented and athletic team Boise will have ever seen (Pete era), so bank on a defensive slugfest that goes down to the wire.

    Danny V’s Pick: Michigan State 24, Boise State 21

Michigan vs. Alabama (Arlington)

79 of 79

    Date: 9/1 (Sat)

    Time: 8 p.m. Eastern

    Network: ABC (HD)

    Current Line: Bama by 12.5

    The biggest game of the first weekend of the 2012 college football season will be between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan Wolverines

    Putting prestige to the side between these two storied programs, these Top 10 teams will bring their lunch-pail attitudes to Jerry’s World.

    Michigan loses quite a bit on both lines of scrimmage, which could prove to be the difference. Alabama’s defense is loaded with stars that have waited in the wings for years.

    Plus, the developing growth of quarterback A.J. McCarron will really become a factor since the Tide have the playmakers to beat you deep now as well.

    Throw in the fact that they possess the best offensive line in the country, and it will be tough for Michigan to come away victorious on a neutral field against arguably the best team in the country.

    Danny V’s Pick: Alabama 33, Michigan 17

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