2012 College Football Week 1 Picks: Alabama Beats Michigan

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2012 College Football Week 1 Picks: Alabama Beats Michigan
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Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2012 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Upsets of the Week available on Wednesdays.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Michigan vs. Alabama

{In my best radio disc jockey voice}

And we're back!

After eight months in hibernation, the WhatIfSports.com college football simulation prediction engine is back to work. We now look to build upon our 579-198 prediction record (74.5 percent accurate SU) from a season ago.

What better way to kick of the 2012 college football simulation season than with two storied programs. Michigan versus Alabama at Dallas Cowboys Stadium is our Week 1 Game of the Week!

The Wolverines', 11-2 in 2011, last win came over Virginia Tech in a Sugar Bowl thriller last January. Senior quarterback Denard Robinson was just named captain of the 2012 squad and will be the catalyst for this offense once again. His sights may be set on a National Championship, but a Heisman Trophy isn't out of the question either. He threw for 2,173 yards and 20 touchdowns and added 1,176 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns in 2011.

The Wolverines return 13 starters on offense, but may be without one of their running backs. Fitz Toussaint is due in court tomorrow and may be suspended for the season opener. We'll re-simulate the game if he's out.

You may also remember the drastic improvement in Michigan's defense a season ago. Former Ravens d-coordinator Greg Mattison came in and made the black sheep top-dogs in the Big Ten. The Wolverines allowed 17.2 points per game in 2011, eighth-best in the country among BCS schools.

Unfortunately for the Maize and Blue, their Week 1 opponent was/is pretty good on the defensive side of the ball, too.

Nick Saban's Crimson Tide avenged a regular season loss to LSU by absolutely dominating them in the 2011 BCS National Championship game.

Their 21-0 victory awarded them their 14th (depending what number you believe) national title in school history.

Every preseason preview you read about 'Bama stressing the team's strength is the offensive line. When their four returning starters average 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, who am I to question that analysis? Junior quarterback A.J. McCarron, 2,634 passing yards with 16 touchdowns, returns behind those big bodies, but will need to break in a fresh receiving corps in 2012.

Only four starters return on defense, but it's not like Nick Saban didn't stockpile talent on his bench and in the recruiting game. The secondary could be a weakness as three starters are gone.

Using our college football simulation engine, we "played" the Crimson Tide and Wolverines 101 times and it's Alabama beating Michigan on the neutral field 70.3 percent of the time by an average score of 28-21.

College Football Week 1
Matchup Win% Avg Score  
Elon Phoenix 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ North Carolina Tar Heels 95.0 50  
William & Mary Tribe 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Maryland Terrapins 95.0 44  
Richmond Spiders 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Virginia Cavaliers 95.0 49  
Murray State Racers 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles 95.0 53  
Liberty Flames 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons 95.0 47  
Auburn Tigers 36.6 24 Boxscore
vs. Clemson Tigers 63.4 28  
FIU Golden Panthers 43.6 26 Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils 56.4 28  
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 43.6 22 Boxscore
@ Virginia Tech Hokies 56.4 25  
Miami (FL) Hurricanes 61.4 26 Boxscore
@ Boston College Eagles 38.6 21  
Youngstown State Penguins 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers 95.0 46  
Chattanooga Mocs 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ South Florida Bulls 95.0 47  
Villanova Wildcats 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Temple Owls 95.0 44  
Massachusetts Minutemen 5.9 10 Boxscore
@ Connecticut Huskies 94.1 30  
Kentucky Wildcats 38.1 18 Boxscore
@ Louisville Cardinals 61.9 23  
Northwestern Wildcats 58.4 27 Boxscore
@ Syracuse Orange 41.6 25  
Indiana State Sycamores 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Indiana Hoosiers 95.0 43  
Eastern Kentucky Colonels 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers 95.0 49  
Northern Iowa Panthers 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Wisconsin Badgers 95.0 56  
Miami (OH) RedHawks 19.8 18 Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes 80.2 29  
Southern Miss Golden Eagles 27.7 20 Boxscore
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers 72.3 28  
Western Michigan Broncos 37.6 23 Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini 62.4 27  
Boise State Broncos 43.6 24 Boxscore
@ Michigan State Spartans 56.4 25  
Ohio Bobcats 56.4 23 Boxscore
@ Penn State Nittany Lions 43.6 21  
Alabama Crimson Tide 70.3 28 Boxscore
vs. Michigan Wolverines 29.7 21  
Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Central Michigan Chippewas 95.0 40  
Towson Tigers 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Kent State Golden Flashes 95.0 34  
Iowa Hawkeyes 68.3 27 Boxscore
vs. Northern Illinois Huskies 31.7 19  
Eastern Michigan Eagles 73.3 28 Boxscore
@ Ball State Cardinals 26.7 22  
UCF Knights 95.0 32 Boxscore
@ Akron Zips 5.0 14  
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Arizona State Sun Devils 95.0 50  
Northern Colorado Bears 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Utah Utes 95.0 45  
Nicholls Colonels 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Oregon State Beavers 95.0 49  
Hawaii Warriors 5.0 16 Boxscore
@ USC Trojans 95.0 37  
San Jose State Spartans 6.9 14 Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal 93.1 35  
San Diego State Aztecs 12.9 18 Boxscore
@ Washington Huskies 87.1 32  
Arkansas State Red Wolves 14.9 20 Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks 85.1 35  
Nevada Wolf Pack 38.6 21 Boxscore
@ California Golden Bears 61.4 26  
Toledo Rockets 39.1 26 Boxscore
@ Arizona Wildcats 60.9 30  
Buffalo Bulls 5.0 11 Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs 95.0 35  
Central Arkansas Bears 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels 95.0 42  
Jackson State Tigers 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Mississippi State Bulldogs 95.0 45  
Southeastern Louisiana Lions 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Missouri Tigers 95.0 48  
Jacksonville State Gamecocks 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks 95.0 58  
North Texas Mean Green 5.9 12 Boxscore
@ LSU Tigers 94.1 36  
Bowling Green Falcons 15.8 14 Boxscore
@ Florida Gators 84.2 25  
North Carolina State Wolfpack 46.5 21 Boxscore
vs. Tennessee Volunteers 53.5 22  
South Carolina Gamecocks 66.3 24 Boxscore
@ Vanderbilt Commodores 33.7 17  
Sacramento State Hornets 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ New Mexico State Aggies 95.0 39  
Southern Utah Thunderbirds 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Utah State Aggies 95.0 41  
Eastern Washington Eagles 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Idaho Vandals 95.0 34  
Texas A&M Aggies 77.7 30 Boxscore
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 22.3 19  
Navy Midshipmen 37.6 23 Boxscore
vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 62.4 27  
Washington State Cougars 49.5 24 Boxscore
@ Brigham Young Cougars 50.5 26  
Northwestern State Demons 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders 95.0 50  
South Dakota State Jackrabbits 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Kansas Jayhawks 95.0 46  
Missouri State Bears 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Kansas State Wildcats 95.0 48  
Savannah State Tigers 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys 95.0 55  
Marshall Thundering Herd 17.8 22 Boxscore
@ West Virginia Mountaineers 82.2 35  
Wyoming Cowboys 19.8 17 Boxscore
@ Texas Longhorns 80.2 29  
Southern Methodist Mustangs 27.7 22 Boxscore
@ Baylor Bears 72.3 29  
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 40.1 24 Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones 59.9 28  
Appalachian State Mountaineers 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates 95.0 41  
Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers 95.0 32  
Texas State Bobcats 5.9 16 Boxscore
@ Houston Cougars 94.1 39  
Troy Trojans 50.5 29 Boxscore
@ UAB Blazers 49.5 28  
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 71.3 26 Boxscore
@ Tulane Green Wave 28.7 15  
UCLA Bruins 86.1 31 Boxscore
@ Rice Owls 13.9 18  
Oklahoma Sooners 88.1 33 Boxscore
@ UTEP Miners 11.9 18  
Idaho State Bengals 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Air Force Falcons 95.0 47  
Weber State Wildcats 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs 95.0 43  
Southern University Jaguars 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ New Mexico Lobos 95.0 34  
Colorado Buffaloes 71.3 25 Boxscore
vs. Colorado State Rams 28.7 18  
Minnesota Golden Gophers 81.2 28 Boxscore
@ UNLV Rebels 18.8 15  
Wagner Seahawks 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Florida Atlantic Owls 95.0 33  
McNeese State Cowboys 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 95.0 40  
Lamar Cardinals 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 95.0 43  
Austin Peay Governors 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 95.0 37  
Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 46.5 23 Boxscore
@ South Alabama Jaguars 53.5 24  
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