First week predictions are always a little tough. Sure, there are the obligatory FBS - FCS matchups that are generally easy to pick, but those are beginning to dwindle as more conferences are mandating games against other FBS teams. Additionally, those games don't really count for anything with the advent of the College Football Playoff Committee structure, so we'll see less teams scheduling them. But for now, we're still seeing schedules that were made several years ago and they'll need to work through the process of moving into a new era. The reason the first week can be difficult is that unlike the NFL, there is a guaranteed turnover of personnel as players graduate and rosters are retooled to accommodate the changes. Does the new offensive line gel? Can the freshman cornerback cover as well as the all-conference guy that's now playing for the Giants? Who knows? But here we go on another wild ride of a college football season.
Charlotte 14 @ (19) Louisville 37 : Last season Louisville's hopes for a big season evaporated with three opening losses that in retrospect don't look all that bad. Auburn, Houston and Clemson turned out to be a tough gauntlet.Charlotte, Syracuse and Florida State should give them a much better chance to go no worse than 2 - 1, keeping title hopes alive.
Appalachian State 16 @ (9) Tennessee 27: There are high hopes for the Volunteers, who return almost all of their key starters from 2015. Expectations are for them to contend for not just a spot in the SEC Championship game, but perhaps even in the College Football Playoffs. Appalachian State will be a worthy test to begin the season.
Tulane 17 @ Wake Forest 24: A lot of similarities between these two teams, both coming off three wins and expected to finish at or near the bottom of their respective leagues. The difference is that Wake Forest brings back a lot o experience from an ACC team, while Tulane has a first year coach that inherits a fairly empty cupboard in the AAC.
South Carolina 23 @ Vanderbilt 17: In an underwhelming SEC opener, two teams that combined for seven wins a season ago look to get into the win column early. Gamecock coach Will Muschamp hopes he can do a better job succeeding legendary Steve Spurrier than he did in trying to follow Urban Meyer at Florida. I say good luck with that, but he better find a way to get past Vanderbilt or he could find himself on the hot seat in a heartbeat.
Colorada St. 27 vs. Colorado 30 (Denver): This is always a
little of a grudge match, with neither team having much success on a
national scale of late. I like the Buffaloes to repeat last year'
Northwestern State 6 @ (23) Baylor 57: Finally, the Baylor football team will get on the football field and put the offseason turmoil behind them. They'll get a good chance against a second division team from an FCS conference. I doubt new coach Jim Grobe will allow the Bears to pile up too many points.
Furman 0 @ (12) Michigan State 40: The Spartans will have difficulty repeating as Big Ten champs and getting into the playoffs, but they shouldn't have any problems with a lackluster FCS program.
Kansas State 13 @ (8) Stanford 28: This might have been an entertaining game in Bill Snyder's Wildcat heyday, but Kansas State is just treading water and the Cardinal have legitimate playoff aspirations.
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