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September 3, 8:00 pm EDT (Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX)
Favorite: Oregon -2.5
Our second game of the Week 1 “Big Two” is probably the marquee matchup that the entire nation will be watching.
It really doesn't get much better than this. Two teams sure to be ranked in the preseason top five meeting up in Week 1 on a truly neutral field.
Whoever came up with this game should get a Nobel Prize for magical college football scheduling. LSU and Oregon deserve a great deal of credit for agreeing to this game. Just imagine if everyone had the courage that LSU and Oregon had. How much fun would it be to see LSU and Oregon, Alabama and Ohio State, Florida State and Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, Michigan State and USC all play games against each other on neutral fields early in the season?
Take any of the top three or four teams from all of the BCS conferences, jumble them up and each year schedule four or five games like this—all of the sudden you have yourself one heckuva college football season.
There's probably a better chance of Arnold Schwarzenegger being elected UN Secretary General.
This game will undoubtedly go a long way to shaping the polls in the first half of the season. Both teams are absolutely loaded with talent, and both teams are squarely in the hunt for a BCS championship game berth this season. For every prediction that Oregon will win, there will be one that LSU wins.
The biggest issue in this game will probably be how well Oregon recovers from a heart-breaking BCS championship game loss versus how well LSU has prepared in the offseason to make a triumphant return to the BCS in their own right.
It's so close to call that we've put the early line at just two-and-a-half points favoring Oregon.
But that could change at any moment, and perhaps several times before we get to September 3.