Ahh...week one. The best week of the year. The grills are fired up. There's hope for all 120 teams. The leaves are beginning to change, and there's the feel of fall in the air.
Oh, and what about the upsets? There are plenty of scores that make your jaw drop. This year will be no different.
How will the top 25 teams in college football fare?
San Jose State at No. 1 Alabama
Alabama has a big game to open its season—in the Georgia Dome against Vir...oh, right, this is 2010. On a serious note, expect Bama to run wild in this one that's over by halftime.
No. 1 Alabama 45, San Jose State 10
Marshall at No. 2 Ohio State
Marshall won't be nearly as big of a threat as Navy was in 2009. This one might be close into the second, but in the end Ohio State wins pretty easily.
No. 2 Ohio State 38, Marshall 14
No. 3 Boise State vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech (Landover, Maryland)
Is there any doubt this is the game of the week? There are so many story lines. Above all, this is simply a BCS elimination. The winner is in position for Glendale, especially if Boise wins, and the loser will have to buy tickets to get in.
For these bigger games, I'll give precise predictions. VT strikes quickly, jumping out to a 14-0 lead, getting the ball back, and gaining another 30 yards all before the first quarter is over. Obviously, old school fans begin to laugh at Boise State's destruction.
Then, Boise comes back with 10 points to make it 14-10 Hokies near halftime. Then, as VT is trying to chew the clock out and go into halftime, Ryan Williams finds a hole and takes it all the way to make it 21-10 at halftime.
Boise scores 10 in the third to make it 21-20. A VT touchdown makes it 28-20. Kellen Moore responds with a 60-yard TD to Titus Young, but the two-point conversion fails. But an interception sets up Boise State, and they take advantage, booting a FG with four minutes left to give them a 29-28 lead.
Another interception at the 40-yard line leads to a clock-chewing drive that results in a Boise State touchdown. Trailing by eight, VT drives inside the Boise State 20-yard line, but Boise forces a turnover on downs.
No. 3 Boise State 36, No. 10 Virginia Tech 28
Miami (OH) at No. 4 Florida
No corny jokes here about how this isn't Miami (FL). The point is, this is not Miami (FL); this is Miami (OH). In the Swamp as well...I can't see a Miami win in this one.
No. 4 Florida 63, Miami (OH) 7
No. 5 Texas vs. Rice (Houston, Texas)
Wow...oh wow...this one won't be on the same planet as close. Why play on a neutral field? The crowd will still be 80 percent Longhorns, at worst.
No. 5 Texas 59, Rice 0
No. 6 TCU vs. No. 24 Oregon State (Arlington, Texas)
This is the most underrated game of the day. Live from Jerryworld, you have a dangerous Pac-10 dark horse and a team that was potentially a second away from the National Championship Game last season. I believe this will be a defensive game.
After the Horned Frogs lead 7-0 after halftime, the Rodgers brothers come alive in the second half, and the Beavers begin to move the ball. But in three great scoring drives, they find the end zone just once.
Trailing 13-7 in the fourth, Andy Dalton takes control and leads the Frogs down the field into the end zone. The PAT gives them a 14-13 lead with eight minutes left. OSU has several more opportunities, but they can't move the ball. The Cowboy Classic ends in the exact same score as last year, when BYU shocked Oklahoma.
No. 6 TCU 14, No. 24 Oregon State 13
Utah State at No. 7 Oklahoma
Yeah, yeah, yeah...I heard Florida State comes to town next weekend.
No. 7 Oklahoma 64, Utah State 17
Western Kentucky at No. 8 Nebraska
Yet another mismatch. WKU lost 12 games last season, and the trend will continue into early 2010. The Huskers lost Ndamukong Suh, but their defense is still dominant. Remember, Suh had just three tackles and no sacks in the 33-0 win over Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. The rest of the defense was a big part of holding them to just 106 yards and zilch points.
No. 8 Nebraska 31, Western Kentucky 3
Eastern Illinois at No. 9 Iowa
Watch out—Iowa was lucky to beat Northern Iowa last year...who am I kidding? The Hawkeyes are a great football team. Iowa manhandles Eastern Illinois from the first whistle.
No. 9 Iowa 35, Eastern Illinois 0
New Mexico at No. 11 Oregon
UPSET ALERT: UNM went 1-11 last season, but they can't be worse in 2010 than in 2009. Also, they didn't do too shabbily on the recruiting trail. Still, the Ducks win...but closer than anticipated.
No. 11 Oregon 34, New Mexico 27
No. 12 Wisconsin at UNLV
UW might feel the effects of travel in the first half, as they lead just 17-7 at the half, but they come alive in the second half. John Clay runs for over 200 yards.
No. 12 Wisconsin 52, UNLV 10
Florida A&M at No. 13 Miami (FL)
You may think I'm crazy, but watch out for this one. FA&M is a great football team, one of the best in their league. They even had College GameDay on their campus recently. But Miami is too quick. I may have said watch out, but that's early. After FA&M jumps out to a shocking 10-0 lead on the Canes, Miami wakes up, and it's over by halftime.
No. 13 Miami (FL) 51, Florida A&M 27
No. 14 USC at Hawaii
UPSET ALERT: Lane Kiffin takes over at USC, and they are still feeling the pains of NCAA sanctions. They open on a Thursday night at Hawaii, who will probably sell out huge Aloha Stadium. If USC isn't careful, they could fall right into a huge trap. Hawaii has an explosive offense and an improving defense, and USC's depth could be an issue, as they have just 70 scholarship players.
A wild night in Hawaii has a shocking result...one resembling what I said in the opening statement. It's played on the field, not on paper or in the trophy case or record books. An absolute stunner happens in Alohaland...
Hawaii 38, No. 14 USC 31
No. 15 Pitt at Utah
A big contest for both teams. Pitt is the Big East favorite, and Utah is on the move to the Pac-10 soon. Utah has a Win-Wynn situation at QB. But Pitt has a Heisman contender at RB in Dion Lewis. Who wins in Salt Lake City?
No. 15 Pitt 41, Utah 30
South Carolina State at No. 16 Georgia Tech
GT is 17-3 in its last 20 home openers. They play South Carolina State. You can now say GT is 18-3 in its last 21 home openers.
No. 16 Georgia Tech 37, South Carolina State 13
Tennessee Tech at No. 17 Arkansas
If you were to base your Heisman Vote on which QB played best in week one, Ryan Mallett would be a run-away winner...except for the fact he'll only play one half.
No. 17 Arkansas 69, Tennessee Tech 20
No. 18 North Carolina vs. No. 21 LSU (Atlanta, Georgia)
One of the biggest games of week one is in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff classic. It'll be a defensive struggle.
Going into the fourth quarter, LSU will lead 13-3, leaving UNC fans questioning if their offense will be any good at all for the season. But then T.J. Yates leads the team back to tie it at 13 with 10 minutes left.
But Jordan Jefferson responds, leading a 13-play, 72 yard drive to give LSU a 20-13 lead. Patrick Peterson returns a Yates pass to the house, putting it away for the Bayou Bengals.
No. 21 LSU 27, No. 18 North Carolina 13
Youngstown State at No. 19 Penn State
JoePa himself could play QB for Penn State and still with all the talent beat YSU silly.
No. 19 Penn State 55, Youngstown State 6
Samford at No. 20 Florida State
Former Heisman winner Pat Sullivan is the head man of the Bulldogs. Does it matter? Nope.
No. 20 Florida State 44, Samford 2
Arkansas State at No. 22 Auburn
Arkansas State believes they can win. They will learn differently after a few minutes. Cam Newton has a huge night for the Tigers, throwing for over 250 yards and three TDs.
No. 22 Auburn 48, Arkansas State 14
Louisiana at No. 23 Georgia
Someone who didn't know much about college football would say, "Oh, cool, Louisiana and Georgia! Tigers and Dawgs!" Too bad this is the Ragin' Cajuns of ULL.
No. 23 Georgia 38, Louisiana 3
Coastal Carolina at No. 25 West Virginia
Somebody get a janitor; there's going to be some major clean-up duty in this game...
No. 25 West Virginia 66, Coastal Carolina 13
These are my unbiased picks for week one of college football. What do you agree with and disagree with? One thing we agree on...that we're out-of-our-seat excited college football is BACK.
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