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2009 College Football Preview: Week 1 Must See Games Part 1

Rick GillispieCorrespondent IIJuly 19, 2009

DENVER - AUGUST 31:  Josh Smith #1 of the University of Colorado Buffaloes celebrates 93 yard kick off return for a touchdown with Cody Hawkins #7 against the Colorado State University Rams at Invesco Field at Mile High on August 31, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.John Nosure #7 of Colorado State returned the ensuing kick off for a touchdown against Colorado. Colorado defeated Colorado State 38-17 to win the Centennial Cup.   (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I recently read an article dealing with the top 50 games to watch for in 2009. I really liked the article a lot and thought I can do something like this dealing with each week.

The link for the article which gave me the idea is http://bleacherreport.com/articles/220155-ready-for-some-football-the-50-biggest-games-in-09.  Sean Megan, the author, did a very good job.

So here are my top 20 picks for the first week of the College Football season.

Okay I lied I found 23 games I thought needed mention in this article. This is part 1 of the Games to watch. Numbers 23-14 are in part 1 numbers 13-1 will be part 2.

#23  Sep 5 Richmond  @ Duke :  I know Duke and Richmond but this is an opportunity to see the defending FCS champs vs a Duke team that is trying to reverse its fortune in David Cutcliffe second season. QB Thaddeus Lewis returns for his senior year at Duke and will be a key to the Blue Devils success. Richmond returns most of last year’s team but with key coach’s moved on it could be hard to repeat.  Look for Duke to get it done in a hard fought battle.

Duke 17 Richmond 13

#22 Sep 5 Appalachian St @ East Carolina: This is another matchup of a Top FCS team looking for the upset of a FBS school. Defending Conf USA champ East Carolina returns 16 starters in hope of repeating last year’s success. East Carolina could be looking ahead to next week’s game against West Virginia. Appalachian State has the best player in FCS in Armanti Edwards. Look for Appalachian State to play hard but no Michigan upset here.

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East Carolina 24 Appalachian State 17

#21 Sep 5 Idaho @ New Mexico State: I know who cares about this game. This will be a tough battle between the two worst teams in the WAC. Both teams will struggle for the year but this game will get one of to the right start. Look for Idaho’s experience prevail in this close game.

Idaho 23 New Mexico State 21

#20 Sep 7 Rutgers vs Cincinnati: This Big East showdown will start the season out right for one of these teams. Rutgers has 14 returning starters for the Scarlet Knights who started out slow last year but ended in a fury winning the Papajohns.com Bowl. Cincinnati won the Big East Championship last year but lost to Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Only Eight starters return for the Bearcats with only one of them on defense.  Kelly will have the Bearcats ready but the Scarlet Knights pull it out.

Rutgers 31 Cincinnati 20

#19 Sep 5 Stanford @ Washington State: A Pac 10 matchup for the first week of the season is exactly what the college football fan should want. Stanford is looking to go bowling this year and can’t let any of these games slip by. Washington State was terrible last year and this year is not going to be any better. Jim Harbaugh has done a great job at Stanford so far but anything less than a bowl game will be a disappointment. Stanford cruises in this one.

Stanford 41 Washington State 13

#18 Sep 5 Northern Illinois @ Wisconsin: This is one of those classic Mac Vs Big 10 games to start the year. Northern Illinois will look like a different team with the loss of 19 seniors from last year’s team. Wisconsin lost their fair share of players too. Look for Coach Bielema to come out strong and prove the first two years he coached in Madison wasn’t a fluke. Wisconsin will try a make a point.

Wisconsin 28 Northern Illinois 13

# 17 Sep 5 Central Michigan @ Arizona: Another Mac team with a tough first game. Central Michigan returns most of the defense. The offense will be lacking a few things but with senior QB Dan LeFevour returning the will be fine. Arizona has 14 starters returning from last year’s bowl team. Arizona will have a new QB this year even though they have talent at running back look for a long season for the Wildcats. The MAC pulls this one out.

Central Michigan 31 Arizona 27

#16 Sep 5 Western Michigan @ Michigan: Another Mac vs Big 10 Game to start the year. Michigan was nothing but bad last year in Rich Rodriguez' first year. A new QB and only 10 starters returning look for another long year for Michigan. Western Michigan has one of the best QB’s in the MAC in Tom Hiller. The Broncos will have a brand new secondary this year which could hamper their MAC title hopes. Michigan will not look good but will get the job done.

Michigan 24 Western Michigan 17

#15 Sep 3 Troy @ Bowling Green: The top team in the Sun Belt Vs A top team from the MAC. Troy is without a question the best team in the Sun Belt and will be led by Levi Brown at the QB position. Bowling Green returns 12 starters from last year’s team. Tyler Sheehan needs to start out strong if the Falcons are going to contend for the title. Bowling Green will get this done as both teams need this game to start out the non-conference schedule on the right foot.

Bowling Green 24 Troy 19

#14 Sep 5 Colorado State @ Colorado: This rivalry game is always one of the best in the country. They’re a lot of questions for the Buffaloes this year like who will be the QB Cody Hawkins or Tyler Hansen. You will probably see both of them in the game. The Rams have just as many questions this year as the Buffaloes do. The Rams will definitely take a step back this year. Buffaloes get it done.

Colorado 26 Colorado State 10

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