After a long off-season, the college football season is finally upon us. Talking season is over and fans are itching to catch the first action since Tua Tagovailoa’s bomb which gave Alabama their 2nd national title in three years. Saturday will feel like Christmas came early for die-hard college football fans. This season I’ll be teaming up with Nosebleed’s very own Aaron Greenberg to pick the top 5 college football games of the week. We will also provide a prediction for the South Carolina Gamecocks each week, as Aaron and I both attend the University.
*Note: these picks are not correlated with the spreads of each game, just outright winners. Here are our week 1 picks.
#1 Alabama v. Louisville (Orlando)
Ben: This game would have more of a national appeal last year, pitting then Heisman hopeful Lamar Jackson against a juggernaut Crimson Tide defense. This year Cardinal fans will not have their star QB to save them from embarrassment. You could make the quarterback controversy argument about Alabama, but quite frankly, I think the Tide could win this game with myself at quarterback. Look for the Tide to Roll through Week 1.
Aaron: The off-field storylines will be much more interesting than the game on the field in this one. With trash talk already beginning it will be fun to see how chippy this one gets. I think we see both Bama QB’s in this one so be sure to tune in, hopefully Tua gets the start. No the Louisville OL will not dominate the Tide, but a shoutout to Mekhi Becton from my hometown in VA a big boy on that Offensive Line that should fare well. Nonetheless Roll Tide Roll.
Tennessee v. #17 West Virginia (Charlotte)
Ben: As stated in my season preview, I think Will Grier will win the Heisman. I believe his campaign starts with an opening weekend game against a rebuilding Tennessee team. Outside of the Volunteer fan base (who is consistently ranked as one of the country’s most delusional) not many people around the country believe Tennessee will win that many games this year. I think the Butch Jones “stink” will take awhile to leave the program and I expect a long year ahead for the Volunteers. I see the Mountaineer offense having a big day against a Vols program that in disarray.
West Virginia 35
Aaron: I hope Tennessee goes 0-13 this year. Not that they will, but I don’t see them getting off to a strong start here, as West Virginia has one of its best rosters in recent years, look for them to show their strength through the air early and often featuring QB Will Grier and WR David Sills III, who in my opinion is one of the best WRs in the country.
#25 LSU v. #8 Miami (Arlington)
Ben: In yet another neutral site matchup, we have the U and the Bayou Bengals in a showdown at Jerry’s World. To all of the “The U is Back!” crowd, I’m going to need you all to slow things down a bit. I think Mark Richt is building something special in Miami, but it’s going to take a little bit longer for them to be a playoff contender. LSU also seems to ranked a little higher than they should be, but they finally seem to have a quarterback in a system that should be better than what we have seen in the past. I see this being a close game, but I think that LSU’s defense will seal the deal.
Aaron: All Hail the Turnover Chain. The U is back and this could be their year, Coach Mark Richt is one of my favorite in all of College Football and I am very excited to see what they do this year. LSU being ranked over my Gamecocks is a bit ridiculous in my opinion, but look for them to have a good amount of success this year, This will be the best game of the weekend in my opinion.
The U 24
#12 Notre Dame v. #14 Michigan (Atlanta)
Ben: Here are two teams that also appear to be a little over hyped, but that is what storied programs with brand recognition are afforded. It always seems like Notre Dame comes into a season with lofty expectations and ends up under performing. While that may be more of a stereotype than a reality, I don’t see them reaching 10 wins like they did a season ago. On the other hand, while I see Jim Harbaugh as one of the more overrated coaches in the nation, he now has more than a game manager at quarterback. That fact coupled with a stout defense, should provide a formula for a very successful season. I don’t think the road atmosphere will affect Ole Miss transfer, Shea Patterson, and I look for Michigan to rely on his arm and their front seven to steal one in South Bend.
Notre Dame 24
Aaron: There is no doubt that Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the country, it will be very interesting to see him this year with all the pressure on. Look for Michigan to start the season strong behind transfer QB Shea Patterson, who I think will really strengthen his NFL resume this year, also keep an eye out for Rashan Gary as he looks to solidify a Top 10 draft status this season. Notre Dame is an interesting team for me this year and every year, but it’ll be all about Michigan on Saturday.
Notre Dame 17
#9 Auburn v. #6 Washington
Ben: Auburn had one of the worst endings to a season that any fan could have imagined. After beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl they were dominated on both sides of the ball in the SEC Championship Game by Georgia. They then went on to be beaten by a less talented but more motivated UCF team in the Sugar Bowl. I see this year for being a revenge year for Auburn and it starts with a highly experienced quarterbacks in Jarrett Stidham. Auburn has an excellent defense but look for Stidham to be the difference in a few games this fall. I never buy into the any of the hype surrounding PAC-12 schools and I certainly won’t start here. I’m sure Washington will have a good year, but I don’t see them having the bodies to handle Auburn’s physicality.
Aaron: If Washington wants to make the CFP they have to win this game, they have all the tools to win this game and Auburn has the tendency to start seasons slow. I think the same will happen here as Washington and Jake Browning will start their road to coming just short of the playoff again, with a big win vs. the big mean SEC.
South Carolina v. Coastal Carolina
Ben: Disclaimer: I will not pick the Gamecocks to win every game. With that being said, I’m looking forward to seeing Jake to Deebo over and over again. I also think we will see a much improved run game and pash rush. Most folks in Columbia are looking to the titan sized matchup in Week 2, but I don’t see Muschamp letting his players look that far ahead.
South Carolina 45
Coastal Carolina 10
Aaron: The Gamecocks have a strong chance to make a statement to back-up the hype here, Jake Bentley and co. have a great chance to be great this season and I don’t see Coastal getting in the way of that. Not much more needs to be said about that.