My favorite sports season starts tomorrow with the official kick-off of college football. Although the top games come in week 2, there are still plenty of intriguing matchups in week 1. Out of pure superstition I will not make any predictions on my favorite team (The U), despite them playing one of the toughest schedules in college football. Here are the top five games for week 1:
Oregon State vs TCU- the Beavers are nothing short of awful in September on the road so this matchup could be a disaster for Oregon St. TCU needs to win this game convincingly and then hope the Beavers go on to a very successful season. TCU has a super-soft schedule and despite an undefeated season might get jumped by a one loss team from a major conference. If TCU loses this game they will most likely kiss their shot at a BCS game goodbye.
My Pick: TCU. A combination of a poor performing Oregon State team on the road and too much on the line for TCU makes my pick simple.
LSU vs UNC- I was thinking about this game all week. UNC has a great defense and I've been waiting years for the ACC to finally turn the tide on the SEC. However, with the indefinite suspension of Marvin Austin and the NCAA investigation ongoing this Tar Heels team isn't focused. Les Miles will have the Tigers focused and looking to improve upon a bumpy 2009.
My Pick: LSU. If UNC was focused I think their defense can shut down any team in the country.
Wisconsin vs UNLV- I have high expectations for the Badgers. In fact, I picked them to be the sleeper pick for the national championship (3 weeks before ESPN did). However, they historically start off slow in September against far inferior opponents, so UNLV might just give Badger fans a heart attack.
My Pick: Wisconsin. John Clay and a great offensive line will prove too much for UNLV and the Badgers take a good first step in the 2010 campaign.
Virginia Tech vs Boise State- despite the Hokies being rivals with Miami I respect the shit out of Frank Beamer and the program he has built. Beamer gets mediocre recruits and somehow turns them into winners. He fears no school and will play anyone, and despite losing the opening game two years in a row I'm confident for the Hokies. However, Boise State finally has a legitimate shot at a national title. If they beat the Hokies and run the table through their WAC schedule I see no reason why the Broncos won't play for the title.
My Pick: Va. Tech. In my opinion the ACC Coastal is the deepest division in the country. Va. Tech has the best running back group in the nation and I think ultimately a combination of a solid running game and a veteran Tyrod Taylor will prove too much for the Broncos. Plus, the game is being played in Maryland a virtual home game for the Hokies. Lets see how many Bronco fans make the trip.
Uconn vs. Michigan- living in Connecticut and having a bunch of friends go to UCONN you would think my pick would be written on the wall. However, its not that simple. I respect what Randy Edsall has done with the football program at UCONN, but he has failed to take them from a mediocre team to a good team. Until he proves that he can beat ranked opponents regularly and that doesn't include a fluke USF team or a shitty Notre Dame team, I will have my doubts. Rich Rodriguez has struggled to implement his offense at Michigan, however he made West Virginia a proven winner and I think he will achieve similar success at Michigan.
My Pick: Michigan. The Big House will have UCONN players heads spinning. The 110,000 people will be the difference in this game, and UCONN will need to work towards a Big East title in order to prove their legitimacy.
Thanks for reading check back next week for when the real fun begins!