Well, folks I'm finally back from my nine month hiatus. It's that time again. The grass is green the paint is drying and the fans are getting pumped up. Last season I finished a little above .500 against the spread and well over .500 straight up. Now let's get down to the picks.
South Carolina at N.C. State (-4)
Last season the Gamecocks shutout the Wolfpack to open up the college football season. Last season Russell Wilson finished up strong for the 'Pack and they have him back at QB.
Stephen Garcia is taking over the reigns of Steve Spurrier's offense and hopes to improve on a less than stellar redshirt freshman campaign. The Gamecocks will be without three defensive lineman in this game due to suspensions and injuries.
Therefore, I think the N.C. State running game and QB Russell Wilson will be able to score some points on South Carolina and pull out a win to avenge last season's loss.
Winner: (Spread) N.C. State; (Straight Up) N.C. State
Oregon at Boise State (-4.5)
This game is sure to have a lot of fireworks and high-powered offense. I really like Oregon this season, but it is very tough to go win on the Smurf-Turf.
Winner: (Spread) Oregon; (Straight Up) Boise State
Georgia at Oklahoma State (-6)
The Bulldogs lost a lot from their offense from a year ago in first-round draft choices QB Matt Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno. The Dawgs are still very experienced on defense and return big time WR A.J. Green.
However, Georgia has an unproven QB Joe Cox and an inexperience stable of RB's including Caleb King. The Cowboys are darkhorse National Championship contenders and return several big time players on offense in QB Zac Robinson, RB Kendall Hunter, and WR Dez Bryant. Oklahoma State just has too much firepower for Georgia.
Winner: (Spread) Oklahoma State; (Straight Up) Oklahoma State
Missouri vs. Illinois (-7) (St. Louis)
The Illini return Juice Williams and Daniel Dufrene on offense. The Wildcats lost several offensive stars from last year in QB Chase Daniel, WR Jeremy Maclin, and TE Chase Coffman. Illinois will run all over Missouri and get there season started off the right way.
Winner: (Spread) Illinois; (Straight Up) Illinois
Baylor at Wake Forest (-1.5)
The Deacs are a little down this season, and the Bears have a guy that I really like in QB Robert Griffin. This kid is a star in the making. I highly recommend that you check him out sometime this season.
Winner: (Spread) Baylor; (Straight Up) Baylor
Maryland at California (-21.5)
I know that the Terps have to travel across the country for this game, but they still have RB Da'Rel Scott and a good enough defense to allow them to cover the spread.
Winner: (Spread) Maryland; (Straight Up) California
Lousiana Tech at Auburn (-12)
The Tigers have too many athletes for the Bulldogs. Look for Auburn QB Kodi Burns to have a breakout season.
Winner: (Spread) Auburn; (Straight Up) Auburn
Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (-6.5) (Georgia Dome)
This is probably the best game of the week. I really like the Hokies QB Tyrod Taylor and I know that the Crimson Tide has a new QB starting in Greg Mcelroy. Both Defenses are stout, but I think Alabama has a little better running game.
Winner: (Spread) Virginia Tech; (Straight Up) Alabama
Middle Tennessee State at Clemson (-19.5)
The Tigers come into the season with a new head coach in Dabo Swinney and a new QB in Kyle Parker. The Blue Raiders have a tricky offense that could give the Tigers problems for a few series, but Heisman candidate C.J. Spiller will lead Clemson to a season opening victory and help them cover the spread.
Winner: (Spread) Clemson; (Straight Up) Clemson
Miami at Florida State (-5.5)
This could be the season where both the Hurricanes and the Seminoles return to national prominence. Both of these teams have loads of athletes.
However, Florida State has QB Christian Ponder returning while Miami is still trying to break in part time starting QB from last season in Jacory Harris. I give the Seminoles the edge in this game because they are playing it in Doak Campbell Stadium.
Winner: (Spread) Florida State; (Straight Up) Florida State