College Football is one of those sports that if you are going to pick or prognosticate, it absolutely has to be done with a point spread.
One of the many areas where College Football differs from the NFL is that in the NFL, a double-digit point spread is a rarity. In College Football, we'll see 20-30 point spreads (and even higher) on a weekly basis.
Anyone can pick a 20+ point favorite to outright win a game, there is no skill or insight involved. I don't read articles or picks that don't involve point spreads if they are about picking the winner of the game; it just isn't worth the time.
The one exception is I play Baby's Losers here at Bleacher, where I am known for making some pretty off the wall underdog picks.
Over at The Sports Chat Place, I pick hundreds of games against the spread over the course of the season and for the past 11 years, since I started with just an email newsletter, I've managed to have a winning record for the season when all was said and done.
I'll be writing up each of these games the week and that's when I'll be making my picks and giving them my confidence ratings. That will also be the first week of my sites free picking contest with weekly cash prizes that I'll be spreading the word about shortly.
I don't just look at a game and a line and make my pick, I do all of the homework, as hundreds of thousands of people read them to at least get my take.
So without making a pick but just looking at the opening line and maybe some angles, here are the lines for the games on opening weekend, though, we know they will certainly change some before then.
NC State -3.5 Vs. South Carolina - A rematch of last year's opening night 34-0 blowout win by South Carolina
Bowling Green +6 Vs. Troy - Last year, the Falcons beat Pittsburgh in week one, can they make it two bowl teams in a row?
Ball State -17 1/2 Vs. North Texas State - Ball State loses a ton, including their Head Coach and their QB. North Texas loses a lot, a lot of games that is.
Utah -21 Vs. Utah State - While these teams usually head opposite directions in the standings, we'll have to see if this just too many points for an opening night rivalry game.
Boise State -5 1/2 Vs. Oregon - The Ducks looks to get revenge from last year's loss, as both teams look to open the season making a statement.
Tulsa -13 1/2 Vs. Tulane - Tulane was horrible last season, and Tulsa scored early and often just about all season long.
Syracuse +6 1/2 Vs. Minnesota - For some reason, this one looks really interesting.
Miami (OH) +14 Vs. Kentucky - I thought Kentucky always opened with Louisville?
Ohio State -22 1/2 Vs. Navy - Navy is overmatched, but Ohio State was a horrible cover team last season.
Penn State -27 1/2 Vs. Akron - I'm getting kind of sick of Penn State's soft OOC scheduling.
Purdue -12 1/2 Vs. Toledo - Two first-year head coaches collide.
Tennessee -30 Vs. Western Kentucky - Western Kentucky has only beaten in 1-A team in their entire history. No pressure, Lane.
USC -35 Vs. San Jose State - San Jose State started well last season. My guess is this season's start won't be as strong.
Michigan -11 1/2 Vs. Western Michigan - This line is already dropping like a stone as WMU tries to knock off another Big Ten foe.
Wake Forest -1 Vs. Baylor - Two returning QB's should make for a quality game.
Oklahoma State - 5 1/2 Vs. Georgia - This one should answer a lot of questions about both teams.
Notre Dame -14 Vs. Nevada - Another line dropping fast, as this one opened at 16.
Illinois -7 Vs. Missouri - This one is always a war between these old rivals.
UAB - 4 1/2 Vs. Rice - I can tell I haven't done my homework, as this line doesn't make sense to me.
Clemson -19 1/2 Vs. Middle Tennessee State - Clemson hoping to start stronger than the beatdown they took against Bama last year.
Auburn - 13 1/2 Vs. Louisiana Tech - I don't think Auburn scored 13 1/2 points all of last season.
Nebraska -20 1/2 Vs. Florida Atlantic - Another line dropping quickly as two bowl teams square off.
Ohio +4 Vs. Connecticut - Thankfully there are a lot of games on in this time slot so we don't have to watch all of this one.
Oklahoma -21 1/2 Vs. Brigham Young - The Sooners look to get back to the title game and get it started with a ranked OOC opponent in a night game in Dallas at the new Cowboys Stadium.
Texas A&M -13 1/2 Vs. New Mexico - This has Baby's Losers written all over it.
Texas -40 Vs. Louisiana Monroe - We'll actually see articles where someone will stick their neck out and say simply Texas will win. Can't wait for that one.
Wisconsin -16 1/2 Vs. Northern Illinois - The Badgers look to rebound against a team who knew how to cover a spread last season.
Eastern Michigan -5 Vs. Army - Without even looking into it, I think Army may have a shot at the win.
UCLA -17 1/2 Vs. San Diego State - The Aztecs have a new coach in Brady Hoke and both of these teams are desperate to get things started with a win.
Washington State +16 1/2 Vs. Stanford - This may be one I just stay away from.
New Mexico State - 3 1/2 Vs. Idaho - When we see this one on TV, remember how we've felt all of these months without football.
Alabama -5 1/2 Vs. Virginia Tech - The injury to Tech has had very little impact on the line in this one. It hasn't really moved.
Arizona -12 Vs. Central Michigan - The Wildcats lose their QB and the Chippewas return one of the best QB's in the country.
UTEP -6 1/2 Vs. Buffalo - I like both sides. I'm a huge Turner Gill fan and a huge Trevor Vittatoe fan.
Cal -21 Vs. Maryland - This game produced my favorite YouTube College Football video last season.
Washington +16 1/2 Vs. LSU - This line opened at 14 but oddly reminds me of LSU's Mississippi State opener two years ago.
Memphis +16 1/2 Vs. Mississippi - Is Ole Miss all they are supposed to be? We'll find out soon enough.
Colorado -11 Vs. Colorado State - The Buffs covered pretty easily last year.
Rutgers - 5 1/2 Vs. Cincinnati - Not sure what we'll see from either of these this season as both lost plenty and both have top notch Head Coaches.
Florida State -5 Vs. Miami - ACC Title Game preview?
I'll be picking most of these games and talking about all of the games all season long here at Bleacher report and at The Sports Chat Place. We'll be talking about them in further in our forum and in our live all day game day chats. I Look forward to it as always.