The Sideline Report: College Football Weekly; September 5

Joel Barker@joelabarkerSenior Writer ISeptember 1, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 06:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide waits for his team to take the field before playing the Florida Gators for the SEC Championship on December 6, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Finally...it's here! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us! It's Football Time in America!

I love the NFL and MLB, but there is just nothing like college football!

This offseason has been the longest that I can remember. Maybe it's because my team changed regimes for the first time since I was 11 years old. Maybe it's because I am ready to forget a terrible 5-7 campaign from '08. Maybe it's just because I love this game so much!

I live in the South. Enough said. The region where I live is a three state area; Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the south, and Alabama to the west. So naturally I am surrounded by diehard fans of three of the most historically successful programs in the history of college football and the SEC. We start thinking about the next college football season in late January after the last bowl game is played.

The best thing about living in this area is the fact that every fanbase thinks their team is the greatest. And they talk about it, cheer about it, and even fight about nearly year-round.

Now, it's time to get it on. Time for everyone to show what they have (or don't have). It's time for the talk to hit fever pitch and the teams to hit the gridiron.

With that said, I will be publishing my Sideline Report Weekly for the duration of the season. I have added a weekly picks section as the main feature of the weekly edition. In this section I will do a mini-preview of the weeks 10 biggest games and offer my predictions on each.

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Week One Picks

*Oregon at Boise State: The Broncos went to Eugene last year and won. Both teams are better this season, but it's hard for a visiting team to win on the blue turf. Boise State wins 34-30

Georgia at Oklahoma State: I expect Georgia to be better than most think this season, but to expect the Dawgs to go into Stillwater and beat this team in week one is completely unrealistic. Cowboys 41-24

Illinois vs. Missouri: Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn make this a rather formidable offense. If that defense isn't back to where it should be, this will be Ron Zook's last year. Their lack of defense probably will not matter in this one. Illinois 41-28

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech: I had this one firmly in Tech territory until recently. With Evans going down coupled with QB Tyrod Taylor's lack of throwing ability combined with Bama's ferocious defense, this one might get ugly. Bama 30-13

LSU at Washington: Next year, LSU might be in trouble in this one. Jake Locker is a great QB, but the Huskies did not win a game last year. This year they'll have to wait another week before getting their first. LSU 41-17

Nevada at Notre Dame: The beginning of the end for Charlie Weis does not wait past the first week. Nevada has the No. 1 offense in all the land and it will show against the Irish. Nevada 38-28

BYU vs. Oklahoma: This will be a great test for the Cougars. It likely won't be close, but if BYU could seize the day against the Sooners it would mean a ton for the non-BCS mid-major schools in America. Oklahoma 45-21

#Ole Miss at Memphis: Closer than the experts think. Ole Miss will have a good team, but this one will show how susceptible they may be to the bigger teams. Ole Miss 27-17

**Cincinnati at Rutgers: This one will be tough for Cincy to win on the road, especially considering how good this Rutgers D might be. Rutgers 34-28


**Miami (Fl) at Florida State: Miami faces a tough slate in it's first four games. They'll give FSU a good game, but in the end the 'Noles take it. FSU 31-23

* Thursday game

# Sunday game

** Monday games

Till next week...