Writers: Aaron Hendon & Andrew Martin
Showing up fashionably late to the party after missing 4 of the 1st 20 games from top 25 teams in week 1 of the 2017 college football season on Thursday & Friday. Without further ado, here are the picks for the top 25 teams.
Thursday August 31, 2017
#2 Ohio St. Vs. Indiana
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
Time: 8 PM ET, on ESPN
After Coming Out to start the game flat and going into halftime down by 1, Ohio State turned it on to run away from Indiana in the 2nd half led by true freshman RB K.J. Dobbins with 181 yards on 29 carries.
Result: #2 Ohio St 49-21
#10 Oklahoma St. Vs. Tulsa
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on FS1
Oklahoma State came out Thursday night and showed why so many have them pegged to win the BIG 12, Senior quarterback put on a clinic by completing 83% of his passes in the route of Tulsa.
Result: #10 Oklahoma St 59-24
Friday September 1, 2017
#8 Washington Vs. Rutgers
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
Time: 8 PM ET, on FS1
Down 7-3 to Rutgers with 3:50 left in the half, Dante Pettis swung the momentum Washington’s way with a 61-yard punt return to put them ahead at the half 10-7. After that is was all Husky in the rest of the way to take down Rutgers on the road.
Result: #8 Washington 30-14
#9 Wisconsin Vs. Utah St.
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Time: 9 PM ET, on ESPN
Another slow start from a BIG 10 school in the 1st two nights of games to kick off the season, Utah St. pretended to hang around for a quarter until Wisconsin laid down the boom with 59 unanswered points to grab the 1st win of the year for the badgers.
Result: #9 Wisconsin 59-10
Saturday September 2, 2017
#1 Alabama Vs. #3 Florida St.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Time: 8 PM ET, on ABC
Line: Alabama -7.0
By far the most exciting game of the weekend as 2 top 5 teams square off at the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama and Florida St, both with college football playoff aspirations look to start off the year on a high note.
#4 USC Vs. Western Michigan
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 5:15 PM ET, on PAC 12 Network
Line: USC -27.5
After finishing the season in crazy fashion last January, USC starts off the year with a easy task against Western Michigan who will try to replace the NCAA leading receiver in 2016 and the #5 pick in the NFL draft Corey Davis.
#5 Clemson Vs. Kent St.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Time: 12 PM ET, on ESPN
Line: Clemson -39.5
Clemson coming off a National title in 2016 Clemson gets a Kent St. team that finished 1-4 to finish the year in 2016. Clemson should have no problem even having to replace Deshaun Watson.
#6 Penn St. Vs. Akron
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Time: 12 PM ET, on ABC
Line: Penn St. -30.5
As mentioned earlier, USC finished the year in crazy fashion, Penn St. was on the opposite side of that crazy ending on the losing side. Returning is RB Saquon Barkley, looking to solidify his 1st round draft grade, Penn St. will be in good shape if he can stay healthy.
Aaron: Penn St.
Andrew: Penn St.
#7 Oklahoma Vs. Utep
Where: Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Time: 3:30 PM ET, on FOX
Line: Oklahoma -43
As a favorite to finish in the top 2 in the BIG 12, Oklahoma must find ways to replace the 1, 2 punch backfield of shifty Joe Mixon and the Bruising Samaje Perine, not to mention their leading receiver DeDe Westbrook. Luckily, they will return Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield to lead the sooners in 2017.
#11 Michigan Vs. #17 Florida
Where: AT&T Stadium
Time: 3:30 PM ET, on ABC
Line: Michigan -4.5
Looking at another solid matchup in week 1, two powerhouses from power 5 conferences match up at Jerry World in Arlington. Both teams looking to find some new playmakers after losing some of their primary production from 2016. Florida will need a little more after RB Jordan Scarlett and WR Rick Wells are suspended for the season opener.
#12 Auburn Vs. Georgia Southern
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on SEC Network
Line: Auburn -35
Auburn will have a new face under center as Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham gets the nod. The former 5 star quarterback out of Stephenville, TX played in 10 games in 2015 throwing for 1265 yards and 12 touchdowns.
#13 LSU Vs. BYU
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Time: 9:30 PM ET, on ESPN
Line: LSU -14.5
After a natural disaster in Houston the AdvoCare Texas kickoff was moved from Reliant Stadium in Houston to the Mercedes Benz Stadium in New Orleans. After losing Taysom Hill in 2016 BYU won game 1 of the season last Saturday against Portland St. They will have their hands full with LSU being not only much more talented, but essentially playing in their backyard.
#15 Georgia Vs. Appalachian St.
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Time: 6:15 PM ET, on ESPN
Line: Georgia -14
10 years and 1 day ago, Appalachian St. shocked the world as they marched into Ann Arbor and stunned the Wolverines in a 34-32 victory over the nationally 5th ranked team in the country. They come into Athens only a 14-point dog, could history repeat itself? We’ll just have to wait and see.
#16 Louisville Vs. Purdue
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on FOX
Line: Louisville -25
Reigning Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals aim to prove their dominance after scuffling with 3 straight losses to end the 2016 season. Lamar Jackson isn’t the favorite to win the Heisman but he could prove he is a force to be reckoning with if he can have a strong outing against Purdue.
#18 Miami Vs. Bethune Cookman
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
Time: 12:30 PM ET, on ACC Network
Finishing the year winning 4 of 5, Bethune Cookman isn’t the worst FCS team Miami could be playing, but I expect Mark Richt to have his hurricanes ready. Miami returns RB Mark Walton who finished top 5 in the ACC with 1117 yards last season.
#19 USF Vs. Stony Brook
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Time: 4 PM ET, on ESPN3
Charlie Strong in his 1st year at USF started out on a high note as the Bulls smacked San Jose St. by 20. USF QB Quinton Flowers completed less than 50% of his passes and still managed to throw for over 200 yards and 2 TD’s. expect him to be much sharper against lesser competition this week.
#20 Kansas St. Vs. Central Arkansas
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS
Time: 7:10 PM ET, on ESPN3
The disciplined Wildcats should not be alarmed with central Arkansas coming to town, the bears are just 0-5 against FBS schools since 2011. Jesse Ertz and the ground and pound run game should put Central Arkansas away early.
Aaron: Kansas State
Andrew: Kansas State
#23 Texas Vs. Maryland
Where: DKR Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
Time: 12 PM ET, on FS1
Line: Texas -19
The Tom Herman ERA officially will begin in Austin come noon eastern on Saturday, Shane Buechele and the longhorns will look to bounce back from an embarrassing 5-7 season last year. Moving on from Charlie Strong, Texas fans and boosters have high hopes for Herman and the horns in 2017.
#24 Washington St. Vs Montana
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
Time: 10:30 PM ET, on FS1
Mike Leach and his air raid return for another year of cougar football. Led by QB Luke Falk, Washington St. will throw the ball all over the lot and try to score a lot of points. The late start and some touchdowns from Falk earl against one of the lesser FCS schools, could have the ratings falling towards the end of the night.
Aaron: Washington St.
Andrew: Washington St.
Sunday September 3, 2017
#21 Virginia Tech Vs. #22 West Virginia
Where: Fedex Field, Landover, MD
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on ABC
Line: Virginia Tech -4
One of our favorite matchups of the weekend will take place Sunday night between the BIG 12 and ACC in the battle for the Black Diamond Trophy. Will Grier has found a new home, again, in Morgantown, and will look to finally prove that he can consistently play football at the college level.
Aaron: West Virginia
Andrew: Virginia Tech
Monday September 4, 2017
#25 Tennessee Vs. Georgia Tech
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Time: 8 PM ET, on ESPN
Line: Tennessee -3
The upset alert will come on the final game of the weekend as Tennessee and Georgia Tech throw down at Mercedes-Benz stadium, losing Alvin Kamara and Josh Dobbs will really hurt the Vols early as they search for a new identity, then also having to prepare for the triple option could be a nightmare in the making.
Aaron: Georgia Tech