Ryan's 2008 College Football Predictions: Part 2

Ryan Senior Writer IJuly 29, 2008

Week 1 of the College football is usually an exciting one as all fans across the country try to get used to all the action once again.  With that excitement, however, comes a usually lack-luster slate of games headlined by power-houses taking on I-AA teams or I-A bums.

But there are a few interesting and exciting match ups in the opening week. Those match ups?

Utah Utes @ Michigan Wolverines
BCS Buster vs rebuilding national power.  Can the Utes kick off the 2008 season by toppling the storied Wolverines?  Can Michigan, in the midst of program changes, get off to a good start under Rich Rodrgiuez?

The Utes come in featuring a stellar offense but have a few grey areas on the offensive line.  Look for Michigan's front four of Brandom Graham, Terrance Taylor, Will Johnson and Tim Jamison to be in the Utah backfield for a good portion of the day.

On the other side of things, how will the Michigan offense look? Many speculate that it'll be run-heavy to begin things.  Which would be smart considering the depth Michigan boasts at running back. But don't sleep on Steven Threet.  He's mobile, accurate and should have a solid grasp of the offense by then. It's just a matter of making the plays click for real.

Utah will come in and give the Maize and Blue faithful a scare, but Michigan will pull away late thanks to their great conditioning and kick the 2008 season off on a high note.

Michigan: 27 Utah:17

Alabama Crimson Tide @ #7 Clemson Tigers
The Tigers head into the opening week of the season looking to dispell their usual doubters.  Clemson, as of the last few years, seems to be everyone's pick to do something special in the ACC. And year in, year out, they falter.  A win against Nick Saban's Crimson Tide would no doubt help propell their confidence in the right direction.

C.J. Spiller and James Davis will be a vital part of the Tigers attack, forming one of the most dangerous one-two punches in the nation. Highly touted defensive end DaQuan Bowers should see plenty of time on the field and the staff hopes he can remind many of Gaines Adams. 

Alabama, meanwhile, will want to attack the depleted Tigers linebacking corps. Leading the way will be the group of Terry Grant, Glen Coffee and Roy Upchurch.  The Tide will also try to keep things off balance with more use of the tight ends and plenty of short passes from QB John Parker Wilson.

The Tide will show up to play but will walk out short handed.

Clemson: 28 Alabama: 23

Tennessee Volunteers vs UCLA Bruins
The Bruins aren't what they used to be but are still a good college program.  No one is really considering them in the race for the Pac-10 title and the only reason needed is that they play USC.

The Vols have loads of talent but must deal with a treacherous SEC schedule so picking up a win in Los Angeles would be the ideal confidence builder before making the pilgrimage into the bulk of the schedule.

UCLA has big question marks at quarterback, where injuries have depleted the ranks, and offensive line. But if they can get the ball to Dominique Johnson and the rest of the receiving unit, things could turn out well.  Johnson could be a star-in-the-making, it's just a matter of Ben Olson being healthy and upright long enough to get it to him.

No doubt the Vols plan of attack will be to hand the ball off to Arian Foster and let him run behind one of the nation's best offensive lines.  It's always handy to have a good running game to fall back on when breaking in a new quarterback (Jonathan Crompton).

The Vols stout defense should be the key to this one, giving Tennesse a momentum builder while deflating the home crowd.

Tennessee: 31 UCLA: 13

Here's an updated look at the rankings heading into week 2:

#1 Georgia (1-0)
#2 Oklahoma (1-0)
#3 Ohio State (1-0)
#4 Florida (1-0)
#5 USC (1-0)
#6 West Virginia (1-0)
#7 Clemson (1-0)
#8 Missouri (1-0)
#9 LSU (1-0)
#10 Texas Tech (1-0)
#11 Auburn (1-0)
#12 Texas (1-0)
#13 BYU (1-0)
#14 Arizona State (1-0)
#15 Wisconsin (1-0)

Stay tuned, part 3 will be coming at ya before you know it!


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