Washington Huskies (-4) @ Syracuse Orangemen:
8/31/07 8:00pm EST
I don’t know what else to say besides the Huskies are the better team here. Washington had some tough bounces last season, but they were a much better team under the guidance of Tyrone Willingham. He hasn’t gotten much credit for his job well done, probably because he finished out of bowl eligibility, and he’s on the hot seat this season because the UW job is highly sought after these days. To make matters worse, the Huskies have the Nation’s toughest schedule. Fortunately, this game isn’t one of those tough ones. Freshman quarterback, Jake Locker, is an amazing athlete who will breathe life into the program. I expect a win of a couple touchdowns in this one. Hopefully Tyrone can find some wins this season, he’s a very good coach.
UCLA Bruins (-17) @ Stanford Cardinal:
9/1/07 3:30pm EST
The Bruins have been inconsistent at best, as they ousted cross town rival, USC, to knock them out of the National Championship last season before losing their bowl game against FSU. The Bruins have the talent to give USC a run in the Pac 10, but Karl Dorrell needs to coach these kids to consistency. Stanford isn’t a tough match-up, and UCLA has a history of starting the season playing well. Even though Jim Harbaugh is doing his best to turn Stanford around, he’ll have to do it with a new quarterback – as Trent Edwards is in the NFL. Look for Stanford to take some bumps early, one of them will be this weekend against UCLA.
UAB Blazers (+21.5) @ Michigan State Spartans:
9/1/07 12:00pm EST
I just don’t think the Spartans have it in them. They aren’t a good football team, as was seen by losing game after game as the season went on last year. UAB played a lot of close games in 2006, and they’re returning a lot of starters. New MSU coach, Mike Dantonio, will have to work with the little talent he has, and that will be apparent early as they have to fight tooth and nail to beat UAB. Michigan State will not be in a bowl in 2007.
Iowa Hawkeyes (-12.5) @ Northern Illinois:
9/1/07 3:30pm EST
Iowa had a tough season in 2006, and NIU played way above their talent level to finish 7-6. Garret Wolfe is gone, and so is NIU’s starting quarterback from last season. Iowa will be dominant defensively in this game, and will make a run at the Big 10 title, despite what people think. Kirk Ferentz is one of the best college coaches around. His first losing season was last year, and he’ll be back with at least 9 wins in 2007. I just don’t think this team can continue to lose, they have enough talent all over the field to turn ’07 into a success, and I’ll believe they’re going to do just that. They should route NIU.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+2) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish:
9/1/07 3:30pm EST
I initially wanted to take the Fighting Irish at home, but I just love GT’s toughness too much for a soft Fighting Irish club. Last year the Irish needed their own luck to skip past the Yellow Jackets, but I don’t see it happening this year. Notre Dame had too much resting on their freshman quarterback’s shoulders, and since he injured one of those shoulders, they could fumble early in the season. None of the 3 Irish quarterbacks have played well enough to take the starting job, but that’s all Charlie Weis has, so it’ll have to do. Georgia Tech’s defense might be the toughest and fastest unit Notre Dame sees all year. That’s not who I’d like to start the season with. Look for Tech to out-muscle Notre Dame at every step.