Ladies and gentlemen, buckle up because another college football season is about to begin! Dreams will come true, hearts will break, and stadiums will be filled with emotion. The chase for a National Championship begins tomorrow and throughout the weekend and there are many great clashes this weekend to start the season off right. Here are the top five games of week one.
5. Miami (FL) vs No. 18 Florida State (Mon. 8pm ESPN)
One of the greatest rivalries in college football will square off on Labor Day to start their seasons. Both schools haven't been dominant in the past few years, but they are looking to head back in that direction.
This is a must win game for the Miami Hurricanes because the next three games will be brutal. They have to face Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma. A loss to FSU will be devastating. Quarterback Jacory Harris needs to make plays and lead his team to victory.
It will be interesting to see how the Florida State Seminoles will play after the allegations of academic cheating. A win against their arch rival will be a huge confidence booster and their performance on Monday might show us if they were distracted by the off the field issues.
B-Rad's Pick: Miami
4. No. 20 BYU vs No. 3 Oklahoma (Saturday 7pm ESPN)
These two teams open their seasons on a neutral field in the new Dallas Cowboys' stadium. This is a good way for Oklahoma to start the season. BYU will put up a fight in the first quarter, but the Sooners will be too much for them. Sam Bradford has too many weapons at his disposal to let this one get away.
B-rad's Pick: Oklahoma
3. No. 16 Oregon vs No. 14 Boise State (Thurs. 10:15pm ESPN)
The Ducks will travel to the blue turf to face a possible BCS buster in Boise State. Last season the Broncos defeated the Ducks on their home field. Will Oregon return the favor?
In last year's game, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli got hurt and missed the remainder of the game. That gave the Broncos an opportunity to pull out a win. Boise State won't be so lucky this time around. It's going to be tough for Boise on defense because Masoli wants revenge for last year and knows how to work the spread option. But, the Boise offense should be able to go all out on the Oregon defense. Oregon's defense ranked last in the Pac-10 in pass defense and QB Kellen Moore should tear apart the Duck defense.
B-Rad's Pick: Boise State
2. No. 13 Georgia vs No. 9 Oklahoma State (Saturday 3:30pm ABC)
The Cowboys of Oklahoma State have one of the most explosive offenses in the country coming into 2009. The trio of quarterback Zac Robinson, running back Kendall Hunter, and wide receiver Dez Bryant will be very exciting to watch. Their opponent, Georgia, has to play without NFL first-round draft picks, Matthew Stafford and Knowshown Moreno.
OK State has huge expectations this season and must live up to the hype in this opening game. Losing this game would be a huge disappointment.
B-Rad's Pick: Oklahoma State
1. No. 5 Alabama vs No. 7 Virginia Tech (Saturday 8pm ABC)
All eyes will be on the Georgia Dome Saturday night when the Crimson Tide face off against the Hokies. Since January many Va Tech fans have been excited about the 2009 season. Some were talking about a possible BCS title berth. All of that hype could end at the hands of Alabama.
In my opinion I think the Hokies are a little overrated. Even though quarterback Tyrod Taylor shared snaps with Sean Glennon last year, he threw only two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sharing snaps or not, that's unacceptable. If Tech wants to succeed, Taylor needs to be a better passer, especially since running back Darren Evans is gone for the season.
There hasn't been a lot of talk about Alabama, but they are a sleeping giant. This team is a defensive force and could be the best in the nation. Also, wide receiver Julio Jones is back to make big plays. The Tide should go into Atlanta and defeat the Hokies and their National Championship aspirations. Alabama is good at crushing dreams of a great season (talk to Clemson and Georgia); they should do the same to Virginia Tech.
B-Rad's Pick: Alabama
Cincinnati vs. Rutgers
Missouri vs Illinois
Maryland vs No. 12 California