College Football Predictions Week 1: Heavy Favorites That Won't Cover in Opener
The first weekend of college football isn't generally a wealth of great matchups. Therefore, many are forced to resort to finding the heavily favored teams that can't cover the spread to provide some form of entertainment.
Don't worry. We've got you covered.
For the purposes of this article, any team that is favored by double digits is considered to be a heavy favorite.
All point spreads via www.vegas.com.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -16.5 vs. Navy Midshipmen
This annual clash is being held in Dublin, Ireland, which is of consequence. If normal travel can affect the precision of a team, then flying across the Atlantic has to be a factor.
The Irish run a more difficult system that actually relies on the quarterback to be sharp. Combine the travel aspect with Everett Golson making his first career start, and offensive issues are sure to arise.
These aren't the only factors that trend toward Navy. The Midshipmen are all about ball control (fourth nationally in rushing and 119th in passing in 2011) and limiting mistakes. Thus, the travel won't have the same type of effect on their offense since they aren't risking as many turnovers.
Florida Gators -29 vs. Bowling Green State Falcons
Florida is not equipped to blow anybody out right now. The team has yet to name a starting quarterback and will continue the tryout between Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett against BGSU.
That's not a good thing. Basically, it means that neither has played well enough to distinguish his play from the other.
To make matters worse, the Gators have to replace Chris Rainey, who led the team in rushing yards and receptions.
According to every football book ever written, passing, rushing and receiving are key components to scoring points.
Bowling Green is not going to win the game outright, but quarterback Matt Schilz tossed 28 touchdowns against 13 interceptions last year. Nobody on Florida can say that.
Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5 vs. Michigan Wolverines
The headlining game of opening weekend is predictably tilted toward the team from the SEC. That suits Brady Hoke and his Wolverines just fine.
Michigan returns a talented offensive line to protect the ever-dangerous Denard Robinson. Everyone knows that if he can find the slightest sliver of daylight, he can explode quicker than anyone in the nation. Plus, he's had another year to work with the coaching staff and refine his technique in the pro-style offense.
Alabama is still Alabama, so they have plenty of talent to make up for losing seven starters on defense. Still, the Crimson Tide struggled to replace nine starting defenders after winning the 2009 national championship. There is the possibility that the greener guys will need time to develop.
Alabama's offensive line will be solid against their mostly new Wolverine counterparts, but they do have to find the next great 'Bama running back.
Between the attrition on defense and the lack of a proven tailback, this game provides just enough question marks to justify taking the points.
So there you have it. Games that the professional prognosticators see as blowouts can still have an appeal when you know where to look.
Luckily, now you do.
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