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Berger’s Bold Predictions for Week 1

Photo Credit: AP Photo

Yes, the 2018 College Football season has technically kicked off already. Teams such as UMass, Rice, Colorado State, Hawaii, Wyoming, and New Mexico State have already played their first games. While these teams are preparing for their second match-up, the rest of the teams across the country are making final preparations for this weekend’s games.

After this past weekend, here’s my updated CFP Standings:

  1. Hawaii
  2. UMass
  3. Wyoming
  4. Rice

First Two Out:

  1. Prairie View A&M
  2. Colorado State

Ladies and gentlemen, college football is back, and with that comes the Week 1 outlook and predictions for the nation’s best games this upcoming weekend. So, without further ado, here’s the outlook for this opening weekend’s slate.

Ole Miss vs Texas Tech (Noon on ESPN): Ole Miss has arguably the best WR corps in all of college football. Many people, including myself, have predicted the Rebels to finish close to last in the SEC West, and this first game may be a telling sign as to how the season goes for Matt Luke’s squad. The Red Raiders may have to win this game with their defense ironically. They return eight starters on defense, including their entire secondary. That secondary may be the key that can stop Ole Miss’ only solid offensive attack. Take the Red Raiders and the points. Texas Tech 38-27. (TTU -2.5)

Oregon State vs Ohio State (Noon on ABC): Given the current status of the suspended head coach at Ohio State, this game could be seen as a “trap game.” In all honesty, it won’t be. Ohio State has depth, speed, experience, and strength. They Buckeyes may have some first game hiccups, but the Beavers aren’t the ones to take advantage of Urban Meyer’s “suspension.” Buckeyes win big, but don’t take them and the points. Buckeyes 45-17. (Ohio St. -37.0)

Texas vs Maryland (Noon on FS1): The offseason firestorm that has surrounded the Terrapins program comes into the season with Maryland under the direction of interim head coach Matt Canada. The offensive guru will have his hands full with a Texas team set on revenge for last year’s season opening loss to Maryland. In the second year under head coach Tom Herman, Texas comes into the 2018 season loaded with more talent than they’ve had in some time. The potential for Texas this year is very high, as are their chances for winning this game. Take the Longhorns and the points. Texas 34-13 (TEX -13.5)

FAU vs Oklahoma (Noon on FOX): The Lane Train rolls into Norman for what could be a shootout. Oklahoma is, as I’ve said before, one of the fastest teams in all of college football. FAU, however, is not far behind. Kiffin has amassed a small giant in only one year in Boca Raton. Kiffin’s second year looks to pick up where they left off last season, but Lincoln Riley’s team looks to do the same in their conference. This game will be a little closer than its 21 point point-spread, but Oklahoma outlasts FAU. Boomer wins 48-28. (OU -21.0)

Washington vs Auburn (3:30 on ABC): One of the best matchups of the weekend, the Tigers find themselves in Mercedes Benz Stadium for their third straight game. Auburn fans haven’t been so lucky in the building recently, and Washington gives the Tigers a very tough test in Game 1. However, Auburn has heard all offseason that they can’t win in the Benz and that they’re the reason UCF thinks they’re national champions. Washington will test Auburn’s secondary with their passing game, but Auburn’s speed will eventually wear down the Huskies. Take Auburn and the points. Tigers 38-27 (AUB -2.5)

Tennessee vs West Virginia (3:30 on CBS): Both teams’ human mascots are practically the same person if you think about it. But anyway, this SEC vs Big 12 showdown puts a West Virginia team looking to finally win the conference against a Tennessee team looking to at least win a conference game this season. Tennessee’s new leader in Jeremy Pruitt has brought new life and direction to the program while West Virginia looks to build on their strong passing game this season as they make a push to the Big 12 Championship Game. Tennessee is better without Butch Jones (by a nautical mile), but West Virginia is better in this game. Take the Mountaineers and the points. West Virginia wins 38-24. (WVU -10.0)

Michigan vs Notre Dame (7:30 on NBC): This old classic rivalry gets renewed in the first weekend. This game is insanely large for both teams’ seasons in terms of rankings and CFP Standings later in the year. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has a history of not winning rivalry games, and this game being in South Bend doesn’t bode well with Harbaugh’s history in games like these. The Irish have weapons on offense to spread Michigan’s defense across the field, and the line has this game pretty close, as it should be. Take the Irish and the upset in this classic, 27-23. (UM -1.0)

Louisville vs Alabama (8:00 on ABC): I’ll make this one easy. Louisville doesn’t have Lamar Jackson, and even when they did, they still struggled at times and barely won games they should’ve won handily. Bama is Bama, and rolls in this one. Tide + this spread = easy money. Bama wins 38-10. (Bama -24.5)

Miami vs LSU (Sunday 7:30 on ABC): This Sunday night matchup brings in a rebuilding LSU team struggling to find consistency at QB against a Miami team looking to bust out their turnover chain many times in the first game of the season. Mark Richt and Miami have strong internal leadership, especially in QB Malik Rozier, while Coach O and LSU have the first of many major tests in what may be a harder season than usual in Baton Rouge. The Tigers fight hard, but fall short. Take Miami and the points. The U 24-20. (MIA -3.5)

Virginia Tech vs Florida State (Monday 8:00 on ESPN): The weekend caps off on Labor Day evening with an epic ACC battle. With so much at stake here, I tend to favor the more experienced team and coach. In this case that’s Virginia Tech. On the other hand, I also tend to take the home team, especially when they have talent and speed all over the field. If that’s the case, I would take Florida State. This one is honestly a toss-up, and by the looks of the points, Vegas really likes the home team in this one. I stand with Sin City. Noles win 34-24. (FSU -7.5)

Enjoy the drama that college football brings as the quest to this year’s College Football Playoff begins this weekend. Have a safe a great Labor Day Weekend!<iframe

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