2011 College Football Picks: 5 Major Upsets Bound to Happen in Week 1

Matt DalbyCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2011

2011 College Football Picks: 5 Major Upsets Bound to Happen in Week 1

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    The first week of college football is finally upon us, and with each new season brings new hope to every program around the country.

    Whether it be a national championship, conference championship or just a winning record, fans everywhere have expectations for their teams prior to the start of the season.

    Here are five teams with high expectations that will be derailed in Week 1.

South Florida over No. 16 Notre Dame

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    Brian Kelly has restored some luster to the great Notre Dame program and even has some Irish fans dreaming of the BCS this year.

    Unfortunately, the USF Bulls have some big plans of their own and will head to South Bend, Ind. on Saturday with a chip on their shoulder. Or should I say a "Skip"?

    Skip Holtz, son of former Irish head coach Lou Holtz, will look to shock the world with a victory in his dad's old house.

    USF quarterback B.J. Daniels is a stellar talent that could give the Bulls just enough to rally past the Fighting Irish and leave Notre Dame Stadium in a murmur.

Minnesota over No. 25 USC

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    After falling to the Trojans 32-21 last year, Minnesota heads to the Coliseum looking for revenge.

    USC remains on probation and is banned from postseason play, while the Gophers are optimistic heading into the Jerry Kill era.

    Kill is an underrated coach who brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and will be looking for a signature win to begin his campaign.

    The Trojans run defense was abysmal last season and I expect Minnesota to exploit that in this year's opener.

    Look for the Gophers to hang around just long enough to steal one on the road.

Troy over Clemson

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    The Dabo Swinney era hasn't gone as planned in Clemson with the Tigers coming off a disappointing 6-7 season in 2010.

    Unfortunately for him, the 2011 season won't begin the way he wants either.

    A typically stingy Troy Trojans team will come to Death Valley looking for a top-notch victory to hang their hats on.

    Clemson is a team typically caught sleepwalking through tune-up games like this one, which will line them up to get beat.

    Starting quarterback Kyle Parker is gone, leaving the Tigers offense in awful shape as they search for answers before a rough patch of ACC games.

    They won't remain unscathed and neither will Swinney as his exit will be imminent following a loss to the Trojans.

SMU over No. 8 Texas A&M

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    Be wary. SMU is not a program to take lightly in 2011.

    Fresh off their first bowl appearance in nearly three decades, the June Jones-led Mustangs are focused and ready to make some noise. What better way than to knock off a top 10 team in their home state to start the year?

    The Aggies a dark horse selection to win the Big 12 and even the national title this season, but a setback here could derail those hopes in a hurry.

    Eighteen starters return for the Mustangs as well as the Aggies, but SMU will show up ready to play while Texas A&M will wish it were still in the locker room.

Fresno State over Cal

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    Pat Hill and the Fresno State Bulldogs are no stranger to playing big programs on the road. 

    Cal comes into the season opener probably looking ahead to its new Pac-12 cohort Colorado in Week 2, which will prove costly.

    The Bulldogs don't really have that problem as they travel to No. 10 Nebraska the following week, making this game much more important for their bowl hopes.

    Junior running back Robbie Rouse is as diminutive as they come, but equally explosive. Look for him to have a breakout game and send the Golden Bears home crying.