The start of another season of predictions...
College football starts tonight. With that comes the return of the predictions of the week for the Mountain West Conference. Last year I finish the season, after predicting every bowl game, with a record of 49-15(.766). This year I wanted to add a wrinkle onto the prediction process. This year I will be picking against my buddy Scott. We will each predict every Mountain West Conference game. In addition we will also predict the Utah State game, and three other national games selected from the best games that week. The person that picks the most games correct wins the week, with margin of victory being the tie-breaker. We will keep a running total of both overall record, and weekly victories. So here are the predictions for week 1.
Ohio @ Wyoming 12PM MT The Mtn.
These first games for Wyoming are crucial. They get a couple of cup cakes that will allow them to go 3-0 before a trip to Provo to play BYU. Ohio is traveling from the Mid-America Conference to take on the Pokes. If Wyoming wants to get to a bowl this year this is a must win. On paper this should be an easy win for Wyoming, and a good game to break in a new quarterback.
Wyoming 38 Ohio 7
Scott's Pick: Wyoming 28 Ohio 10
Southern Utah @ Air Force 12:05 PM MT
I am going out on a limb; however, I think this is a first of many disappointing losses for Air Force. Southern Utah has some talent, including a good quarterback, and a running back that could have over a 1,000 yards this season. Air Force is only returning three starters on offense, they lost Carney and Hall from last season. That is the bulk of their offense. Their defense will keep them in the game against the Thunderbirds, but SUU will come out on top.
Southern Utah 17 Air Force 10
Scott's Pick: Air Force 35 Southern Utah 7
Utah @ Michigan 1:30 PM MT ABC
Michigan is young, they are trying to install a new offense and defense for this season. They have a new coach, and the sky is the limit for the system he will install for Michigan this year. Yet, Utah is the only constant that exists in this game. Johnson is going into his senior season, and logically this should be his best season. This is a great chance for Utah to come in and get a big win. The difference will be Michigan's youth at O-line versus Utah's experience on the D-line.
Utah 31 Michigan 17
Scott's Pick: Michigan 20 Utah 14
Northern Iowa @ #16 BYU 4:00 PM MT The Mtn.
It is nice that BYU was able to schedule a scrimmage for the first game of the season. The down side is the team they schedule for the scrimmage might be better than a few teams in the conference. Northern Iowa beat Iowa State on the road last season, so they aren't afraid of playing a bigger school. BYU will still win the game; however, it is going to be closer than BYU fans would like it to be.
BYU 35 Northern Iowa 17
Scott's Pick: BYU 52 Northern Iowa 17
TCU @ New Mexico 4:00 PM MT
This is a tough game for both teams. Starting your season with a conference game is always a good way to get the season off on the wrong foot. This will be an early test for TCU, and it will be an opportunity for the Lobos to make some noise in the conference. The Lobos have a stable of running backs, and a returning starter at quarterback. They will be going against a talented, but inexperienced, defense for TCU. The Horned Frogs will go home from the trip unhappy.
New Mexico 28 TCU 14
Scott's Pick: New Mexico 24 TCU 21
Cal Poly @ San Diego State 7:30 PM MT
On paper this should be a quick and painless game for the Aztecs, but two years ago Cal Poly beat the Aztecs. This is going to be a tough game for the Aztecs, and home field really doesn't make much of a difference for SDSU. A very close victory this week for SDSU.
SDSU 21 Cal Poly 20
Scott's Pick: SDSU 28 Cal Poly 14
Utah State @ UNLV 8:00 PM MT
This is the make or break game for both teams this season. Last year the Aggies had the game won and gave the game away at the end. This year the Aggies are improved on both sides of the ball. While UNLV is still about the same level that they were last year. Yet, UNLV is at home, and they will be playing with a sense of urgency. This game will be decided in the last two minutes of the game.
Utah State 16 UNLV 14
Scott's Pick: Utah State 21 UNLV 10
Colorado State @ Colorado Sunday 5:30 PM MT
This is the start of the return of the Rams to a powerhouse within the Mountain West Conference. It will be a bad start though. The Rams will be trying to execute a new offense, and doing it with untested personal. Against a Colorado team that is improved from last season. This is a big game for the state of Colorado, and Colorado should have the advantage.
Colorado 31 Colorado St 10
Scott's Pick: Colorado 31 Colorado St. 10
National Games of the Week
Hawaii @ #5 Florida 10:30 AM MT
Hawaii is going to be two-for-two for getting their teeth kicked in by a SEC power team.
Florida 52 Hawaii 3
No Brennan, No Jones=No Chance for Hawaii. Look for a repeat performance that we saw in the Sugar Bowl from Hawaii. They just can't compete with an elite team like Florida. This gets ugly fast and Hawaii scores a late TD to end the game.
Scott's pick: Florida 45 Hawaii 17
#24 Alabama @ #9 Clemson 6:00 PM MT ABC
Alabama has some great recruits coming into the program...the problem is they only really have those recruits. Clemson wins big.
Clemson 34 Alabama 10
Welcome to Death Valley Nick Saban. Talent wise Alabama is an inferior team. Clemson has never lived up to expectations, and this year the expectations are high. I don't expect Clemson to stumble over 'Bama. The freshman class at Alabama is talented no doubt, but will they be ready to play in one of the most hostel environments in all of college football. Clemson wins, but not by a lot.
Scott's Pick: Clemson 31 Alabama 21
#20 Illinois @ #6 Missouri 6:30 PM MT ESPN
This is the game between the overratted (Missouri) and the extremely overrated (Illinois). Missouri will beat up on Illinois at home, and the nation will think that Missouri is on track for another great season. This will be the Tigers only real test(and not much of one) until they go and play at Texas.
Missouri 42 Illinois 21
Last year both Illinois and Missouri exceeded everyone's expectations. The talent is there for both teams, but I think Illinois will take a step back this year. Juice Williams is a decent QB in the spread for the Illini. He can run with the best of them, but he can't pass worth a lick. Mendenhal is now playing in the NFL and the question remains as to who can pick up the slack on the ground. Not only did the Illini lose their best offensive player, they lost their best defensive player too. Missouri on the other hand returns a Heisman hopeful at QB. I don't like this match up for Illinois.
Scott's Pick: Missouri 35-14
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The start of another season of predictions...