Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets in college football heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright.
There will also be picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Considering most teams haven't played yet, just about everybody is technically a CFP candidate right now, so I'll go with the AP Top 25 for this week.
Week 1 picks
Tennessee vs. No. 17 West Virginia (-9.5): WVU has been touting quarterback Will Grier as a Heisman Trophy candidate. He should get a chance to get off to a good start against a Volunteer team that is rebuilding under former Alabama defensive coordinator and new coach Jeremy Pruitt. Tennessee needs some time to build up to an opponent the caliber of the Mountaineers. Pick: West Virginia (-9.5)
FAU at No. 7 Oklahoma (-21): I believe Oklahoma will be back in the College Football Playoff when the season is over, but this is a tough first opponent. Lane Kiffin has made FAU into a potential New Year's Six team in short order. The Sooners will start with Kyler Murray under center, replacing Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Kiffin will dig deep into the bag of tricks and the Owls will hang around, but the Sooners should still win. Pick: FAU (+21)
Texas State at Rutgers (-16): I know that Rutgers figures to struggle in the Big Ten, but if you look at preseason rankings where all FBS teams are included, you will find Texas State at or near the bottom. Even if Rutgers is not as good as we think, the Scarlet Knights should still be three touchdowns better than the Bobcats. Pick: Rutgers (-16)
Upset of the Week
Wake Forest at Tulane (+7): Tulane has nine starters back on an offense that averaged 27.5 points per game a year ago. That unit will have to carry the weight for the Green Wave until the defense gets its legs. Wake Forest also figures to be a strong offensive team, but has to go with a backup quarterback while expected starter Kendall Hinton serves a three-game suspension. Pick: Tulane (+7)
Other CFP candidates
- No. 1 Alabama vs. Louisville (+25)
- Western Kentucky at No. 4 Wisconsin (-35.5)
- Oregon State at No. 5 Ohio State (-37)
- No. 9 Auburn vs. No. 6 Washington (+2.5)
- No. 25 LSU vs. No. 8 Miami (-3)
- Appalachian State at No. 10 Penn State (-24)
- Utah State at No. 11 Michigan State (-23.5)
- No. 14 Michigan at No. 12 Notre Dame (-1)
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