Picking Every Game: College Football Predictions, Week 1

Game of the Week

USC_helmetUSC (0-1) vs.

Alabama_helmetAlabama (1-0)

8 p.m. EST
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Alabama -11 — O/U 54

USC and Alabama have faced each other seven times, the first one dating all the way back to 1938, when Alabama upset the Trojans 19-7 in the L.A. Coliseum. The pair faced off again in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 1946, with the Tide again victorious. But the real heart of this seldom-played rivalry is found in a pair of games played in 1970-1971, one in Birmingham, and the other in Los Angeles. When USC entered Legion Field in Birmingham on Sept. 12, 1970, Crimson Tide fans saw something they had never seen on their own team – black scholarship athletes. Led by a backfield – a black quarterback and two black running backs – USC proceeded to educate Alabama about the game of college football. After 60 minutes, the stunned crowd had seen their proud, white Tide obliterated by a stronger, faster team filled with stellar athletes – regardless of color. The final score was 42-21, but the impact was felt far beyond the win-loss column. Alabama and other southern schools began to bridge the racial divide, and to look at the roster of the typical college team today, you’d never guess that was ever an issue. You can thank Bear Bryant and John McKay for scheduling a game that has had a lasting – and wonderful – impact on college football. (The Tide paid a return visit to USC the following year and, with a newly installed wishbone offense, stunned the Trojans, 17-10.) This year’s contest won’t bear a lot of resemblance to those first games, but it will renew a proud tradition that encompasses two of the most epic college programs. Both teams are rebuilding, and neither are our favorite to even win their conference divisions. But Alabama is definitely the stronger of the two, even though the Tide will be breaking in a new quarterback. RB Bo Scarborough will be the focus of Alabama’s offense, and could get some serious national attention with a big day. He should get it, especially with USC’s defense in rebuilding mode. Offensively, USC will likely try to air it out to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is far and away the best receiver in the Pac-12. CB Minkah Fitzpatrick and SS Eddie Jackson will have their hands full covering him. In a neutral location, we expect USC to stick with Alabama for the first quarter and maybe even the first half. But ‘Bama’s superior front-line talent and depth will begin to wear down the Trojans the longer the game goes on. By the time the fourth quarter arrives, a gassed USC team will be glad just to keep it close. The Bear will be smiling down from above after the final whistle blows.

Prediction: Alabama 38, USC 17

Result:  Alabama 52, USC 6America – meet Jalen Hurts. The true freshman didn’t start, but made the most of his playing time by throwing for two TDs and running for two more. The Tide defense gave up just two field goals and 194 total yards – including only 64 on the ground. Meanwhile, ‘Bama chewed up the turf with 242 rushing yards on 45 carries.

This week: SU – 69-17; ATS – 18-22; O/U – 20-18-2
Overall: SU – 70-17; ATS – 19-22; O/U – 20-19-2

Upsets are bold underlined
(Results in parentheses; wins are underlined; losses in italics)

Thursday, Sept. 1      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Charlotte (+39.5) at Louisville (O/U 59.5) 7 p.m. Louisville, 51-10
(Louisville, 70-14)
Maine (NL) at Connecticut 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Connecticut, 27-3
(Connecticut, 24-21)
Presbyterian (NL) at Central Michigan 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Central Michigan, 41-14
(Central Michigan, 49-3)
Tulane (+17) at Wake Forest (O/U 43.5) 7 p.m. Wake Forest, 31-21
(Wake Forest, 7-3)
UT Martin (NL) at Cincinnati 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Cincinnati, 38-14
(Cincinnati, 28-7)
Appalachian State (+20) at Tennessee (O/U 59) 7:30 p.m. SEC Network Logo Tennessee, 37-21
(Tennessee, 20-13 OT)
Indiana (-9.5) at FIU (O/U 61) 7:30 p.m. ESPNU logo Indiana, 41-14
(Indiana, 34-13)
William & Mary (NL) at N.C. State 7:30 p.m. N.C. State, 38-17
(N.C. State, 48-14)
Jackson State (NL) at UNLV 8 p.m. MWN logo UNLV, 31-20
(UNLV, 63-13)
Rice (+16.5) at Western Kentucky (O/U 63) 8 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Western Kentucky, 48-17
(Western Kentucky, 46-14)
South Carolina (+3.5) at Vanderbilt (O/U 42.5) 8 p.m. ESPN logo Vanderbilt, 23-17
(South Carolina, 13-10)
Southern Utah (NL) at Utah 8 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Utah, 45-20
(Utah, 24-0)
Montana State (NL) at Idaho 9 p.m. ESPN3 logo Idaho, 41-38
(Idaho, 20-17)
Oregon State (+13) at Minnesota (O/U 56) 9 p.m. BTN logo Minnesota, 31-14
(Minnesota, 30-23)
South Dakota (NL) at New Mexico 9 p.m. ROOT Sports logo New Mexico, 24-10
(New Mexico, 48-21)
Weber State (NL) at Utah State 10 p.m. MWN logo Utah State, 31-10
(Utah State, 45-6)
Friday, Sept. 2      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Mississippi Valley State (NL) at Eastern Michigan 6 p.m. ESPN3 logo Eastern Michigan, 45-10
(Eastern Michigan, 61-14)
Albany (NL) at Buffalo 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Buffalo, 48-14
(Albany, 22-16)
Army (+16) at Temple (O/U 46.5) 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Temple, 35-17
(Army, 28-13)
Ball State (+3.5) at Georgia State (O/U 52.5) 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Georgia State, 31-17
(Ball State, 31-21)
Colgate (NL) at Syracuse 7 p.m. Syracuse, 35-17
(Syracuse, 33-7)
Furman (NL) at Michigan State 7 p.m. BTN logo Michigan State, 55-3
(Michigan State, 28-13)
Northwestern State (NL) at Baylor 7:30 p.m. FSN logo Baylor, 63-14
(Baylor, 55-7)
Colorado (-8) vs. Colorado State (at Denver) (O/U 57) 8 p.m. ESPN logo Colorado State, 31-28
(Colorado, 44-7)
Kansas State (+15.5) at Stanford (O/U 48.5) 9 p.m. FS1 logo Stanford, 38-14
(Stanford, 26-13)
Toledo (+3.5) at Arkansas State (O/U 64.5) 9 p.m. ESPNU logo Toledo, 38-34
(Toledo, 31-10)
Cal Poly (NL) at Nevada 9:30 p.m. MWN logo Nevada, 35-23
(Nevada, 30-27)
Saturday, Sept. 3
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Georgia Tech (-3.5) vs. Boston College (at Ireland) (O/U 44) 7:30 a.m. ESPN2 logo Georgia Tech, 17-14
(Georgia Tech, 17-14)
Boise State (-20) at Louisiana (O/U 64) Noon ESPN3 logo Boise State, 45-20
(Boise State, 45-10)
Bowling Green (+27.5) at Ohio State (O/U 63.5) Noon BTN logo Ohio State, 48-31
(Ohio State, 77-10)
Eastern Kentucky (NL) at Purdue Noon  ESPNews logo Purdue, 31-21
(Purdue, 45-24)
Fordham (NL) at Navy Noon CBS Sports Network logo Navy, 51-21
(Navy, 52-16)
Hawaii (+40) at Michigan (O/U 54.5) Noon ESPN logo Michigan, 48-3
(Michigan, 63-3)
Howard (NL) at Maryland Noon BTN logo Maryland, 51-0
(Maryland, 52-13)
Missouri (+9.5) at West Virginia (O/U 50.5) Noon FS1 logo West Virginia, 31-17
(West Virginia, 26-11)
Oklahoma (-10.5) vs. Houston (at NRG Stadium) (O/U 68) Noon ABC logo Oklahoma, 42-28
(Houston, 33-23)
South Alabama (+29) at Mississippi State (O/U 54) Noon SEC Network Logo Mississippi State, 45-14
(South Alabama, 21-20)
Western Michigan (+5.5) at Northwestern (O/U 52) Noon ESPNU logo Northwestern, 27-24
(Western Michigan, 22-21)
Liberty (NL) at Virginia Tech 12:30 p.m. ACCN logo Virginia Tech, 38-17
(Virginia Tech, 36-13)
Villanova (NL) at Pittsburgh 1:30 p.m. Pittsburgh, 27-14
(Pittsburgh, 28-7)
Abilene Christian (NL) at Air Force 2 p.m. MWN logo Air Force, 41-10
(Air Force, 37-21, 4th)
Rutgers (+26) at Washington (O/U 54.5) 2 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Washington, 45-17
(Washington, 48-13)
Kent State (+21) at Penn State (O/U 45) 3:30 p.m. BTN logo Penn State, 30-10
(Penn State, 33-13)
LSU (-10) vs. Wisconsin (at Green Bay) (O/U 44.5) 3:30 p.m. ABC logo LSU, 34-17
(Wisconsin, 16-14)
Miami (Ohio) (+27.5)  at Iowa (O/U 51.5) 3:30 p.m. ESPNU logo Iowa, 42-10
(Iowa, 45-21)
Murray State (NL) at Illinois 3:30 p.m. BTN logo Illinois, 41-21
(Illinois, 41-21)
Richmond (NL) at Virginia 3:30 p.m. Virginia, 27-24
(Richmond, 37-20)
SE Louisiana (NL) at Oklahoma State 3:30 p.m. FSN logo Oklahoma State, 63-10
(Oklahoma State, 61-7)
Texas State (+21) at Ohio (O/U 60) 3:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Ohio, 41-14
(Texas State, 56-54 OT)
UCLA (+3) at Texas A&M (O/U 53) 3:30 p.m. CBS logo UCLA, 35-31
(Texas A&M, 31-24 OT)
Louisiana Tech (+26) at Arkansas (O/U 52) 4 p.m. SEC Network Logo Arkansas, 41-21
(Arkansas, 21-20)
UC Davis (NL) at Oregon 5 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Oregon, 45-14
(Oregon, 53-28)
Georgia (-3) vs. North Carolina (at Atlanta) (O/U 57) 5:30 p.m. ESPN logo North Carolina, 31-28
(Georgia, 33-24)
Austin Peay (NL) at Troy 6 p.m. ESPN3 logo Troy, 34-7
(Troy, 57-17)
Florida A&M (NL) at Miami (Fla.) 6 p.m. Miami, 54-7
(Miami, 70-3)
N.C. Central (NL) at Duke 6 p.m. Duke, 41-10
(Duke, 49-6)
Savannah State (NL) at Georgia Southern 6 p.m. ESPN3 logo Georgia Southern, 63-10
(Georgia Southern, 54-0)
Southern Illinois (NL) at Florida Atlantic 6 p.m. CUSA-TV Logo Florida Atlantic, 31-28
(Florida Atlantic, 38-30)
Western Carolina (NL) at East Carolina 6 p.m. ESPN3 logo East Carolina, 28-20
(East Carolina, 52-7)
VMI (NL) at Akron 6:30 p.m. ESPN3 logo Akron, 35-28
(Akron, 37-24)
Alabama A&M (NL) at Middle Tennessee 7 p.m. CUSA-TV Logo Middle Tennessee, 49-14
(Middle Tennessee, 55-0)
Alabama State (NL) at UTSA 7 p.m. KMYS-CW 35 UTSA, 27-14
(UTSA, 26-13)
Rhode Island (NL) at Kansas 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Kansas, 35-7
(Kansas, 55-6)
San Jose State (+4) at Tulsa (O/U 70) 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Tulsa, 38-35
(Tulsa, 45-10)
S.E. Missouri State (NL) at Memphis 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Memphis, 31-10
(Memphis, 35-17)
SMU (-9.5) at North Texas (O/U 69) 7 p.m. ASN logo SMU, 27-14
(SMU, 35-21)
South Carolina State (NL) at UCF 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo UCF, 41-14
(UCF, 38-0)
Southern (NL) at ULM 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo ULM, 45-21
(ULM, 38-21)
Towson (NL) at USF 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo USF, 45-10
(USF, 56-20)
Southern Miss (+6.5) at Kentucky (O/U 63.5) 7:30 p.m. ESPNU logo Southern Miss, 34-30
(Southern Miss, 44-35)
Massachusetts (+35) at Florida (O/U 50) 7:30 p.m. SEC Network Logo Florida, 55-10
(Florida, 24-7)
Eastern Washington (NL) at Washington State 8 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Washington State, 45-24
(Eastern Washington, 45-42)
Fresno State (+28) at Nebraska (O/U 62) 8 p.m. BTN logo Nebraska, 38-14
(Nebraska, 43-10)
New Mexico State (+7.5) at UTEP (O/U 60) 8 p.m. bein SPorts logo UTEP, 31-28
(UTEP, 38-22)
Northern Iowa (NL) at Iowa State 8 p.m. Cyclones.TV Iowa State, 27-23
(Northern Iowa, 25-20)
South Dakota State (NL) at TCU 8 p.m. FSN logo TCU, 48-14
(TCU, 59-41)
Stephen F. Austin (NL) at Texas Tech 8 p.m. FSN logo Texas Tech, 56-14
(Texas Tech, 69-17)
USC (+11) vs. Alabama (at Arlington) (O/U 54) 8 p.m. ABC logo Alabama, 38-17
(Alabama, 52-6)
New Hampshire (NL) at San Diego State 8:30 p.m. n/a San Diego State, 48-17
(San Diego State, 31-0)
Clemson (-7.5) at Auburn (O/U 63) 9 p.m. ESPN logo Clemson, 41-17
(Clemson, 19-13)
Arizona (-1) vs. BYU (at Glendale) (O/U 60) 10:30 p.m. FS1 logo BYU, 34-27
(BYU, 18-16)
Northern Illinois (-10) at Wyoming (O/U 55.5) 10:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Northern Illinois, 38-17
(Wyoming, 40-34 OT)
Northern Arizona (NL) at Arizona State 10:45 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Arizona State, 63-14
(Arizona State, 44-13)
Sunday, Sept. 4      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Hampton (NL) at Old Dominion 3:30 p.m. CUSA-TV Logo Old Dominion, 24-17
(Old Dominion, 54-21)
Notre Dame (-3.5) at Texas (O/U 60) 7:30 p.m. ABC logo Notre Dame, 31-28
(Texas, 50-47 2OT)
Monday, Sept. 5      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Ole Miss (+4.5) vs. Florida State (at Orlando) (O/U 57) 8 p.m. ESPN logo Florida State, 34-31
(Florida State, 45-34)

Copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt


About Douglas Blaine

Capnpen is a writer who was a newspaper and magazine journalist in a previous life. A college journalism major, he now works as an administrator, but gets his writing fix by blogging about a variety of topics, including politics, religion, movies and television. When he's not working or blogging, Capnpen spends time with his family, plays a little golf (badly) and loves to learn about virtually anything.
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