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NCAA College Football 2015-16 Week 1 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2015-16 College Football Week 1 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 3-7, 2015

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 3

6:00 pm North Carolina at South Carolina (-3, 64) - Pretty even matchup in this border, cross-conference clash, as the Tar Heels were 6-7 last season, while the Gamecocks slumped to a 7-6 mark, but were 5-3 at home, but the game is actually being played in Charlotte, so SC is the home team in name only..

North Carolina needs to improve defensively. They allowed 39 ppg last season. The Tar Heels may not be able to contain wideout Pharaoh Cooper, who may have a breakout season.

Prediction: Gamecocks 37 Tar Heels 31


8:30 pm Michigan at Utah (-5 1/2, 47) - The Wolverines struggled mightily last season, not even qualifying for a bowl game with a 5-7 mark, whereas the Utes had a solid 9-4 mark, including a 45-10 rout of highly-touted Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Home field is certain to be advantageous to Utah, but Michigan is likely to find success in their running game and keep matters close enough to pull off the upset. Should be one of the better games of the weekend and a great start to the college gridiron season.

Prediction: Wolverines 27 Utes 24


9:00 pm TCU (-14 1/2) at Minnesota - While the Horned Frogs have been progressively pushed up the preseason rankings, they find themselves in a tough spot to open the season, on enemy turf.

The Golden Gophers were 8-3 before losing the final two games of the season, a 34-24 loss at Wisconsin and a 33-17 defeat by Missouri in the Citrus Bowl.

These two teams met in September, 2014, with the Horned Frogs winning at home, 30-7, which was the worst defeat of the season for Minnesota. This one won't be any closer, and TCU should prevail with relative ease.

Prediction: Horned Frogs 37 Golden Gophers 10


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Friday, September 4

7:00 pm Michigan State (-18 1/2, 58) at Western Michigan - Every year, the Spartans play a game against one of the teams in the Mid-American conference, typically, a Michigan squad, and this year's selected sacrificial lamb is the Broncos, a team which finished the season with an 8-5 mark and was 6-2 in the conference.

There's a huge difference between these two teams and the spread does not even begin to appreciate that. Last year, the Spartans came off a tough road loss to Oregon and punished Eastern Michigan with a 73-14 shellacking two weeks later.

A similar result here would be no surprise.

Prediction: Spartans 56 Broncos 14


10:15 pm Washington at Boise State (-12, 56 1/2) - The Huskies finished last season with an 8-6 record, but all of their losses, except for their 30-22 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl, were to ranked opponents in the PAC-12 - Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and Arizona.

Since Boise is coming off a strong, 12-2, campaign and finished by winning their last 9 games - including a 38-30 stunner of Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl - the chances for Washington are going to be limited.

The Broncos should be improved on defense this season and their offense is already solid, so this could be a massive blowout.

Prediction: Broncos 48 Huskies 24


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Saturday, September 5

3:30 pm Virginia at UCLA (-17, 53 1/2) - Virginia started last season 4-2, but then the wheels came off and the Cavaliers won just one more game, against five losses, finishing up with a 5-7 mark overall.

The Bruins are poised to have one of their finest seasons in years, but they have a problem with slow starts, as evidenced when these two teams hooked up last season, UCLA pulling out a 28-20 win on the road.

The Bruins should win, but it may be closer than many would like.

Prediction: Bruins 31 Cavaliers 24


3:30 pm BYU at Nebraska (-6 1/2, 64 1/2) - Funny to see the Cornhuskers as nearly a TD favorite here because they really didn't fare well against quality foes last year, losing all of their games to ranked teams while finishing 9-4.

The Cougars will always have a quality squad as long as Bronco Mendenhall is the head coach. He's served up a record of 90-39 and went 8-5 last season. Lots of people go with home teams and big name conference teams, but this one is for the independents amongst us.

Prediction: Cougars 38 Cornhuskers 35


3:30 pm Louisville at Auburn (-10 1/2, 58 1/2) - Auburn will certainly be a strong team this season, and this game will prove to be a valuable testing ground, but too many people are writing off the Louisville program before the season even gets started.

Be mindful of the fact that the Cardinals were 9-4 last season and managed a 5-3 mark their first season in the ACC, so this one may not be an automatic for the Tigers.

Prediction: Tigers 27 Cardinals 23

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2015, 2016, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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