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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 1: Big Ten Predictions

 A slew of easy games highlight the Big Ten's first week of the season. While eyes will focus on Ohio State to see how they react to the loss of Jim Tresel and Terrelle Pryor, others will be watching the newest Big Ten (12?) team in Nebraska. With a feasible chance for the Big Ten to escape the first week of games without a loss, we will delve deeper into each teams match up and give our predictions.

Michigan QB Denard Robinson
Wisconsin vs. UNLV
Prediction: Wisconsin 42, UNLV 14
UNLVmay be a decent MWC team this year. They will win 6 games, and they will have a successful season in their own right. Their first game against Wisconsin will not be one of those 6. I expect UNLV to jump out of the gate and take a small first quarter lead against Wisconsin. It's common on the first week of play to see a weaker team jump out early, but it won't last against a much more physical Wisconsin Badger's team. UNLV will be spirited, but they shouldn't be close after the second quarter.
UPDATE: With Budmayr confirmed out for this game the scoring gap may close in UNLV's favor. The Badgers will score less in their garbage time without Budmayr, keeping the score more reasonable for UNLV.

Michigan State vs. Youngstown State
Prediction: MSU 45, YSU 3
Simply over matched in every area of the game, Youngstown State will be one of the many lower division teams to lose a game against the Big Ten on the first weekend of play.

Ohio State vs. Akron
Prediction: tOSU 49, Akron 7
The most "interesting" game of the week for the Big Ten will be the Ohio State game. With all of the off season issues, losses and suspensions the Buckeyes may come into this game a little unnerved. However, the suspensions shouldn't come near hurting their chances against a weak Akron team. Ohio State's defense is still a quality group and it will wear Akron out quickly. The Ohio State University's offense may start sluggish, but they will get the ball moving against the Akron secondary for a number of first half scores. Akron scores a TD against the second team defense to prevent the shutout.

Week 1: Pac 12 Predictions

Week 1 of college football usually doesn't offer the most exciting crop of games. Instead, the majority of the games are usually powerhouses vs. cupcakes as tune up games for the schedules to come. Still, every year a few teams go out of their way to schedule big times games for week 1 (look at Boise State and Va. Tech last year).

This year, the marquee game for the first week is clearly Oregon vs. LSU, so that's where we will start our predictions off this week.

Oregon RB LaMichael James
Oregon vs. LSU @ Cowboy Stadium
Prediction: Oregon 24, LSU 17
I expect a close game early with LSU taking the halftime lead and Lee playing better than anticipated. However, I feel like Lee is going to falter at least once in the second half. That mistake will lead to an easy Oregon score, and with the game close going down the stretch I just don't think Lee is going to be able to cut it against a talented Oregon defense.

Utah vs. Montana State
Prediction: Utah 42, MS 7
Utah will get its first victory under their new Pac 12 banner. Remember when I said teams schedule cupcake games early on?

Top 25 Preseason Poll

Here are our picks for the Top 25 this year. Let's see how many can manage to stay in the poll throughout the season!

Top 25 Preseason Poll:
  1. Oklahoma
  2. Alabama
  3. Oregon
  4. LSU
  5. Stanford
  6. Boise State
  7. Florida State
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Texas A&M