College football storms into our living rooms this weekend with a daunting number of opening-weekend games involving FBS teams. But, don’t worry—you’ll survive. How do I know? Well, if you’re still alive after last year’s 84, then this year’s 83 should be a snap!
Only two games match nationally ranked teams led by #11 Oregon as a projected 33-31 winner over #19 Auburn. Oregon will start four-year senior Justin Herbert at quarterback while the Tigers return fire with newcomer, Bo Nix. Yes, Nix is a true freshman but he’s hardly an ordinary one. His composure and decision-making are second only to his NFL-ready arm.
In a mild upset, #24 Stanford is a one-point favorite at home against slow-starting Northwestern (#20). In another mild upset, we see Memphis surprising Mississippi, 37-36.
We see USC as a narrow favorite over Fresno State, although the reliability factor for that prediction is very low because FSU must replace a record-breaking quarterback and USC is going with a complete change in its offensive scheme and coordinator.
One we’re paying especially close attention to is UC-Davis against California of the PAC-12. Although UCD is a three touchdown underdog, the Aggies are solid contenders for the FCS national championship.
Most predicted point spreads are conservative in week 1 games.
In other PAC-12 matchups:
Washington State 41, New Mexico State 24
Cincinnati 32, UCLA 28 (Bearcats won by nine last year)
Utah 32, Utah 17 (Utah won 35-27 last year)
Washington 42, Eastern Washington 21
Arizona St. 37, Kent State 21
Colorado 33, Colorado State 28 (Buffs have won four straight. Odd-numbered years are blow-outs. Not this year.)
Oklahoma State 38, Oregon State 28
Most of the top ten teams are projected to win with little more than token challenges.
A full list of all 83 predicted games will be posted here before 2pm PDT.