The College Football season is back and all is right in (my) the world. This opening weekend gives us just one ranked versus ranked matchup but there are plenty of games under the radar that should produce drama. The PAC-12 demise is reality so for now anyways this will be the last year for several west coast rivals some with over 100 plus meetings. Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride that is the regular season of College Football.
#5 LSU vs. #8 Florida State: Last year this one came down to some ugly football plays especially the numerous errors by the Tigers. Both teams return their solid starting quarterbacks in Jayden Daniels and Jordan Travis. The offensive and defensive lines have steadily improved for the Seminoles something that has held them back as a program. Although FSU won 10 games in 2022, they never did beat a ranked opponent at the time of the victory. Yes, LSU did slip up against Texas A&M but saw significant improvement in the second half of the season with back to back victories over Top-10 Ole Miss and Alabama. The Tigers have more talent on the roster and even with all the returning production for FSU the coaching advantage is the kicker for me when deciding a winner.
The Pick: LSU -2.5
#14 Utah vs. Florida: Another rematch from early in the 2022 season in which the Gators were able to come up with a big goal line stop to win in the swamp. The venue changes this year and so does the UF signal caller under center now that Anthony Richardson plays for the Indianapolis Colts. Speaking of QB’s, it’s still vague on whether or not Cam Rising will actually play for the Utes. At the time this article was finished ESPN reported Rising was not expected to play. If so this College Football podcasters still sides with the better coach and normally sturdy defense from Utah. Florida will have to play elite level redzone defense and be able to run the ball effectively. Backup QB Bryson Barnes isn’t that experienced but to be fair the Gators likely will start former Badgers QB Graham Mertz who isn’t all that great. Also, look for a change of pace for Utah in redshirt freshman QB Nate Johnson. Not overly confident in the -4.5 but Utah will win the game.
The Pick: UTAH wins outright & the pick is the under 44.5
Minnesota vs. Nebraska: Former Baylor & NFL coach Matt Rhule landed the head man in charge position for the Cornhuskers. It was a great hire and should pay dividends in the coming years. P.J. Fleck has strung together at least 9 wins in the last 4 seasons full season for the first time in 100+ at Minnesota. The only thing he hasn’t done is beat Iowa which has prevented 2 or 3 trips to the conference title game. Look for the Gophers to be able to pass the ball more effectively this year because of wide receiver talent along with a more capable QB in Athan Kaliakmanis. Minnesota has won 4 straight but 3 have been by one-score.
The Pick: Minnesota -7
South Carolina is a slight underdog +2.5 at home over #21 UNC
Honorable Mention: South Alabama pulls the upset as a +6.5 road dog at #24 Tulane.
Houston vs. UTSA: With an over/under of 60 and the strides San Antonio has made in recent years keep your eye on this one hardcores. Did I mention this game went to 3 overtimes last year? UTSA gets over the hump this time around.
The Pick: UTSA -2
Purdue vs. Fresno State: The spread is at -3.5 in favor of the Boilermakers and seems to be shrinking. In the offseason Jeff Brohm resigned in favor of his alma mater Louisville so in walks Ryan Walters for Purdue. Fresno comes in riding a 9-game winning streak and Purdue breaks in a new QB, making for the perfect ingredients for a barnburner.
The Pick: Purdue -3.5
Coastal Carolina will lose by less than +14.5 versus UCLA
Honorable Mention: Are we 100% positive that Iowa can win by 24 points over Utah State based on how bad their offense was the last two years? Plus, Wolverines transfer QB Cade McNamara is questionable for Saturday.
-Returning Heisman winner USC QB Caleb Williams threw for 4 TD’s in a blowout over San Jose St. 56-28.
-Wake Forest transfer quarterback Sam Hartman also put up 4 touchdowns through the air as Norte Dame walked thru Navy 42-3.
-The Georgia Bulldogs are on the hunt for a 3-peat something that hasn’t happened since the 1930’s when you guessed it the Minnesota Golden Gophers won three straight titles.
-6 College Football stadiums turn 100 years old this year including USC, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan St. and Cal.
-With the PAC-12 demise teams like Washington State and Oregon State along with many other programs should look to schedule their rivals in the future. Multiple 100+ meetings between league foes need to be continued or revived.
-Heard some news about ACC and Playoff games possibly being shown in the Movie Theatres which is an interesting note.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio &
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