Finally the start of college football is upon us. The anticipation of how good your team could be is making your body quiver. You are ready to spend Saturdays partying with thousands of strangers cheering and chanting traditions of your squad. It is here.
Week 1 is not a good litmus test for most teams. Most teams are playing nobodies just looking to get their feet underneath him, just like NFL Preseason games. They don’t want to risk coming out flat in the first game and lacking confidence going into the 2nd game. Momentum is everything in college football. No team takes advantage of this like Texas Tech. They always have a terrible non conference season. The only time they actually tried for a meaningful non-conference game was when they courted LSU until they refused to do a home-home series.
My Week 1 Top 5
- Boise St
Games of Week 1
Friday, September 2
This is the first competitive game of the season. All the games on Thursday could very well be great games but there are no Top 50 programs going against another Top 50 program.
Baylor has Robert Griffin III, who is a very balanced QB. Last year he threw for over 3000 yards and ran for over 600 on a surgically repaired knee. Griffin is really good at using all of his weapons on the field. 5 receivers had at least 40 catches last year. This takes all the pressure off Kendall Wright, the #1 WR. Baylor doesn’t have a consistant running back right now but the versatility of Griffin will help because the option will freeze the defense for a split second.
TCU has a new quarterback starting after Andy Dalton went to the NFL. Casey Pachall is a true sophmore and taking over the offense for the Horned Frogs. He has a strong arm but is an unknown since this will be his first start. He has big shoes to fill after the team finished undefeated last year. He will have help with 3 running backs that would start on many other teams. Pachall will have to hit receivers in order for teams not to load the box, though. Tank Carder and Tanner Block lead the defense on the field. They have to replace an All American safety and many corners, but if there is one thing that Gary Patterson can do, it is reload on defense. His 4-2-5 defense has been incredible the past few years.
The matchup of this game is Robert Griffin against the young secondary of TCU. If they can keep up around throwing short passes and keeping the long bombs in check, TCU has a good shot of winning. I believe Baylor will win though because of the experienced quarterback and explosive offense, as well as TCU’s new quarterback and young defense.
Saturday, September 3
UCLA is the sleeper of the PAC 10, according to many experts. They are coming off a 4-8 season, so these experts are very brave. Derrick Coleman returns to lead the rushing attack. UCLA’s run game was abysmal before he came around last year, including 160 yards against Houston last year. The quarterback has been horrid for UCLA though. So horrible, in fact, that UCLA will play duck duck quarterback the first game with Kevin Prince rotating with Richard Brehaut. UCLA has size at the WR spot, who could jump over most defenders. 8 starters are returning on defense including hard hitting Tony Dye. They were just outside the top 50 against the pass but need to improve against the run finishing outside the top 100.
Houston is exciting that Case Keenum returns for his 6th year of eligibility. Last year against UCLA, he tore his ACL attempting a tackle after throwing an interception. Tyron Carrier and Patrick Edwards return for UH. Edwards had over1100 yards last year, despite only being 5’9”. Bryce Beall also returns after scoring 12 rushing TDs in 2010. The defense in the major question mark. They were dismal against the run last year. I went to one of the UH scrimmages this year. The defense looked the same as last year in the early parts of the scrimmage but improved as the day went on.
The game will depend on if the University of Houston can stop the run. Another factor that is interesting in this game is UCLA is the only BCS team UH will play this season. They will be fired up to win this game. Keenum will also be motivated in this game to payback for last year, as well as prove the doubters wrong that he can make it through a season unscathed. This will be a shootout and I believe Houston will win in a game where both teams score above 30.
Saturday, September 3
Boise has been the ultimate “Cinderella” story the past few years. People complain that they don’t play anyone and are overrated. Everytime they play a team from a BCS conference, most of the time they win. They beat Virginia Tech last year and decided to play a team from the best conference in the land this year. This will be an incredible game. 2 teams with something to prove – one to prove it deserves mention in the championship considerations and one proving last year was a fluke and save their coach’s job.
Kellen Moore returns for his senior season. He has been one of the top quarterbacks every year. He might not have the strongest arm, but he consistently gets it to each of his receivers accurately. In three seasons, he has a touchdown to completion ratio of 99-19. He will have to use new targets though with Titus Young and Austin Pettis in the NFL.
Aaron Murray has a tough test to start his sophmore season. He had a good freshman season, despite his team finishing below .500. His completion percentage was about 60% and he had a 3:1 touchdown to incerception ratio against SEC competition
Can Boise State compete with an SEC defense and physical offense? That is the main question in this game. I believe that Boise State wins a close game in the Georgia Dome because this is their game to prove to the nation how good they are.
Saturday, September 3
The consensus game of the week is LSU-Oregon. Oregon is coming off a year where it’s first loss was in the championship game. They return most of their starters including their QB and heisman candidate running back. Most of their high powered offense remains intact. The team they lost to in the championship game was a fellow SEC team, Auburn. They were able to move the ball against that defense and I believe they will do the same against this team.
LSU has questions at quarterback after Jordan Jefferson went all WWE in a bar. Jarrett Lee, who has never impressed me, will be starting the game. The quarterback for LSU is not the most important player on the field. They are a running team, where the quarterback controls the tempo and makes a few plays based on matchups on the defense. They rely on their defense and taking advantage of mistakes from the other team. LSU has won “ugly” games more than any other team. The defense should be able to control the Ducks better than Auburn. They have a better defense. If LSU offense can match drives with Oregon, they should be able to win the game.
I believe that Oregon will win this game because of their high powered offense, as well as all the distractions in Baton Rouge. This will be a fun game to watch, though.
Texas Tech vs Texas State
I will actually be at this game. I will be watching Seth Doege and seeing how the timing is between his receivers and him. In order to be successful this season, he needs to be able to hit his receivers in stride. With the high powered offenses of aTm, OU, OSU, and Mizzou, that will help them keep up and have a chance late to win the game.
The defense will also have to play well and gain confidence leading into the conference games.
My upset of the week
East Carolina will beat South Carolina