Week 1 of college football is here, and I cannot wait for Saturday afternoon. There are tons of games to choose from, but I have narrowed them down to myWith the start of College Football this weekend, check out these free pick previews on the top 5 teams you have to watch!. for the Saturday slate of games
FAU vs. Ohio State (-27.5)
Ryan Day takes over a very talented Ohio State roster that has been incredibly confident all camp long. The biggest change to the team is the loss of Dwayne Haskins and their 3 veteran receivers, but I think that the concern here is slightly overblown.
The Buckeyes brought in Justin Fields to run the show just a few days after the Rose Bowl last year. Fields is a true sophomore that played sparingly at Georgia last season. Now, Fields comes into an offense much better for his skillset in a shotgun, spread offense with true passing progressions, something the Fields specifically wanted after his only season in Athens.
Fields is 6’3, 230 pounds. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash time and can throw the ball 70 yards downfield. Oh yeah, and he won Elite 11 MVP over Trevor Lawrence just two years ago.
Fields is a freak athlete and teams without elite talent are going to have no answer for the Buckeyes. This spread is big, but I don’t think it’s big enough.
FAU has basically zero experience on the offensive line, and they will see 5 different 5-star linemen from Ohio State, including one of the best players in the country, Chase Young. They do have talent at a few skill positions, but I do not think it will be anywhere close to enough.
The other thing that is going overlooked is that Ryan Day actually coached for three games last year. In the opener, the Buckeyes were up 42-14 and sustained an hour and a half lightning delay at halftime. Day sent the starters back out onto the field to start the second half and kept them in until they were up 63-31 through 3 quarters.
I love the Buckeyes to cover here, and I also like the first half-line as well.
Duke (+33.5) vs. Alabama
Alabama should win this game going away. However, I think some recent happenings make me like the Blue Devils chances to compete here for a little bit.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Dylan Moses, a top 15 NFL prospect, tore his ACL and will be out for the season. This came to an already decimated Alabama linebacking group. Alabama lost their defensive signal-caller and will likely start 2 true freshmen.
These freshmen are talented, but they were not top 10, elite prospects that may actually be ready to play. Losing the signal-caller is going to hurt Alabama’s ability to communicate and make plays. I think Duke can attack this weakness and score enough to cover.
Northwestern (+6.5) vs. Stanford
Stanford loses their best receiver and running back to the NFL and now take on a very tactical Northwestern team with a lot of question marks. The biggest one being will Hunter Johnson start at quarterback?
If we get Hunter Johnson confirmation before game time, I want the Wildcats on the road. Johnson would likely be the most talented player on the offensive side of the ball, ignoring linemen and I think that Paddy Fisher is the most reliable defensive player on the field.
This combination of talent and consistency should bring the Wildcats very close to winning this game outright.
Oregon (+3.5) vs. Auburn
The Ducks are more experienced on the offensive line and at QB, and I think that is the key to this game. The Auburn defensive line has the talent to make the Oregon line look inexperienced though, which can be a cause for concern.
The Ducks lack WR experience, but I think that Justin Herbert should be very prepared for this game. Herbert struggled a bit last year and should have had this game circled on his calendar months ago as a national statement game. All the while, Bo Nix is just competing to win a job and learn the playbook.
The quarterback experience and preparation is the key to this one. I like the Ducks to cover and win outright.
Georgia (-22.5) vs. Vanderbilt
I think that this one comes down to just how much Georgia’s offense has changed under a new coordinator. Georgia has a top 3 roster in college football in raw talent, and I think that Alabama’s injuries put them into a pretty clear battle for first.
The issue is that this team plays what I would call “boring and slow.” Georgia has ELITE athlete all over the field; if they were to spread the field and take more shots for big plays, they would be a much scarier offense to face. Watch Georgia’s scheme against Alabama the last two years.
Why don’t they call offense like that every game? It baffles me that this team struggles to score at times against mediocre teams, but I think this line even has that baked in. Sooner or later, this team is going to be more aggressive, and this is a time where they COULD make that switch.
I love the Bulldogs to cover here.