NCAA Week 1 Picks - Early Games

DTMagazine Home
Sports Home
Untitled NFL

Super Bowl LVI (56)

Conference Championships

Divisional Early Games
Divisional Late Games

Wild Card Early Games
Wild Card Late Games

Week 18 Early Games
Week 18 Late Games

Week 17 Early Games
Week 17 Late Games

Week 16 Early Games
Week 16 Late Games

Week 15 Early Games
Week 15 Late Games

Week 14 Early Games
Week 14 Late Games

Week 13 Early Games
Week 13 Late Games

Week 12 Early Games
Week 12 Late Games

Week 11 Early Games
Week 11 Late Games

Week 10 Early Games
Week 10 Late Games

Week 9 Early Games
Week 9 Late Games

Week 8 Early Games
Week 8 Late Games

Week 7 Early Games
Week 7 Late Games

Week 6 Early Games
Week 6 Late Games

Week 5 Early Games
Week 5 Late Games

Week 4 Early Games
Week 4 Late Games

Week 3 Early Games
Week 3 Late Games

Week 2 Early Games
Week 2 Late Games

Week 1 Early Games
Week 1 Late Games

Week 3 Preseason Early Games
Week 3 Preseason Late Games

Week 2 Preseason Early Games
Week 2 Preseason Late Games

Week 1 Preseason Early Games
Week 1 Preseason Late Games

College

CFP Semi-Final Games

CFP Semi-Final Games

Bowl Week 3 Early Games
Bowl Week 3 Late Games

Bowl Week 2 Early Games
Bowl Week 2 Late Games

Bowl Week 1 Early Games
Bowl Week 1 Late Games

Week 15 Army-Navy

Week 14 Early Games
Week 14 Late Games

Week 13 Early Games
Week 13 Late Games

Week 12 Early Games
Week 12 Late Games

Week 11 Early Games
Week 11 Late Games

Week 10 Early Games
Week 10 Late Games

Week 9 Early Games
Week 9 Late Games

Week 8 Early Games
Week 8 Late Games

Week 7 Early Games
Week 7 Late Games

Week 6 Early Games
Week 6 Late Games

Week 5 Early Games
Week 5 Late Games

Week 4 Early Games
Week 4 Late Games

Week 3 Early Games
Week 3 Late Games

Week 2 Early Games
Week 2 Late Games

Week 1 Early Games
Week 1 Late Games

Untitled

Bookmark and Share

NCAA Week 1 Early Games

All times Eastern

Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 2

7:00 pm Boise State at UCF (-5, 68 1/2) - Coming off a disrupted 5-2 season that culminated in a 34-20 loss to San Jose State in the Mountain West championship game, Boise State looks to rebound back to the form that had them perennial conference victors.

Oft-injured Hank Bachmeier returns at QB for the Broncos, facing a UCF squad that - by their standards - severely underperformed in 2020 with a 6-4 record and a 49-23 loss to BYU in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Junior QB Dillon Gabriel may get some Heisman mentions this season. He threw for 3570 yards, 32 TDs with just 4 picks last year. If the defense is shored up for the Knights, Boise may be in for a long evening.

Coin Flip: UCF

Prediction: Knights 37 Broncos 24


8:00 pm #4 Ohio State (-14, 63 1/2) at Minnesota (FOX) - A backup to Justin Fields last season, C.J. Stroud will be the starting QB for the Buckeyes as they look to improve on 2020s 7-1 season that fell just short, losing in the national championship game to Alabama, 52-24.

Stroud was a four star recruit in 2020, but he's never thrown a pass in a live college game, so there's much for him to prove. The Buckeyes lost a lot when Fields jumped to the NFL, but Ohio State has plenty of talent.

Minnesota limped home to a 3-4 record opening with a 49-24 loss to Michigan and closing out the season a 20-17 OT loser at Wisconsin. The troubles were inconsistencies on both sides of the ball, likely due to COVID-related benching and lack of practices.

QB Tanner Morgan and RB Mohamed Ibrahim both return and they're pretty solid. If they are ready and Ohio State's defense isn't, the home team could spring the upset.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Buckeyes 35 Golden Gophers 27


Friday, September 3

6:00 pm #10 North Carolina (-5 1/2, 64) at Virginia Tech - Junior Sam Howell returns to lead the Tar Heels explosive offense following an 8-4 campaign in 2020 that ended in a 41-27 loss to Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl. Other than a 31-17 loss to Notre Dame, North Carolina's losses were close calls: 31-28 at Florida State, and 44-41 at Virginia. They outlasted the Hokies last season, 56-45.

Both running backs, Michael Carter and Javonte Williams, went to the NFL, so there may be a falloff in rushing production.

Virginia Tech went 5-6 last season and may have offensive problems this season, as Hendon Hooker transferred to Tennessee, leaving the QB job to Braxton Burmeister, who saw limited action last season after transferring from Oregon. A transferee from Rutgers, Raheem Blackshear, adds versatility as a RB, WR or wildcat QB. The Hokies are probably going to be better than last year, but keeping up with the Tar Heels is a tall order.

Coin Flip: North Carolina

Prediction: Tar Heels 45 Hokies 30


9:00 pm Michigan State at Northwestern (-3, 45) (ESPN) - The Spartans won this match-up, at home, 29-20, last season. It was one of just two wins for Mel Ticker's squad, against five losses, in his first season as the Spartans' head coach.

He got a pass on the COVID-interrupted season and the Spartans should be improved in 2021, but by how much is the big question. The starting QB will be either redshirt sophomore Payton Thorne or Temple transfer, Anthony Russo, both experienced and capable of handling the job.

The Wildcats will start Hunter Johnson behind center. he Clemson transfer struggled in 2019 and gave way to Peyton Ramsey in 2020, who started every game but will not return this season. Evan Hall and Cam Porter headline a solid group of running backs. Lots of questions to answer on both sides, but the Wildcats get the nod on defense, In their seven wins, no teams scored more than 20 points. Their only loss other than to Michigan State, was to Ohio State, 22-10.

Coin Flip: Michigan State

Prediction: Wildcats 26 Spartans 13


Saturday, September 4

12:00 pm #2 Oklahoma (-31 1/2, 68 1/2) at Tulane (ABC) - In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, this game has been moved to Norman, Oklahoma, making the Sooners the home team.

Not that it mattered very much, but the Sooners should start off their 2021 campaign with a bang. Spencer Rattler is back at QB and he'll have a solid cast with him after a 9-2 season capped off by a 55-20 win over Florida in the Cotton Bowl.

The Green Wave had an up and down year in 2020, ending with a 38-27 loss to Nevada in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, though they did win four of their last five in the regular season. They're capable of scoring points in bunches and if the Sooner defense is as shaky as last season, may find a way to cover the spread.

Coin Flip: Oklahoma

Prediction: Sooners 42 Green Wave 31



12:00 pm #19 Penn State at #12 Wisconsin (-5 1/2, 50) (FOX) - Coming off a 4-3 season in which the three losses were to ranked opponents (Northwestern, Indiana, Iowa), the Badgers should be improved with the maturity of QB Graham Mertz, who starts as a sophomore.

Penn State lost its first five in 2020, then won its last four, though over dubious opposition. Senior QB Sean Clifford matured along the way and has good enough skills to keep the Lions in the Big 10 hunt this season.

This one has the makings of a close one, maybe even OT.

Coin Flip: Penn State

Prediction: Nittany Lions 29 Badgers 26


12:00 pm Western Michigan at Michigan (-17, 67) (ESPN) - There were rumors that Jim Harbaugh would lose his job last fall, but the coach is back for his seventh season with the Wolverines and he's named Cade McNamara as his starting QB.

Michigan had its final three games cancelled, which may have saved Harbaugh's job, because the team was 2-4 and had been blow out by Iniana, 38-21, and Wisconsin, 49-11, along the way. McNamara started the final two games and wasn't bad, though the Wolverine defense was.

The Broncos were 4-2 and QB Kaleb Eleby, TB La'Darius Jefferson and WR Jaylen Hall all return. This is a dangerous squad with a chip on its shoulder. Michigan has to be better than they were last year to win this. Mid-American teams have sprung opening day upsets often in the past.

Coin Flip: Michigan

Prediction: Broncos 34 Wolverines 30


2:00 pm Fresno State at #11 Oregon (-20 1/2, 63 1/2) - Oregon better not sleep on these Bulldogs, especially after Fresno dusted UConn, 45-0, last Saturday (8/28). Fresno was just 3-3 last year, but their offense can light it up.

Oregon went 4-3 in 2020, losing to Iowa State, 34-17 in the Fiesta Bowl. They have many spots to fill and will probably not have all positions fully settled until after this game. RB Travis Dye is a bright spot, as is emerging WR, Devon Williams.

This is no lock for the Ducks. They could be in for a struggle if the Bulldogs find some offensive consistency.

Coin Flip: Fresno State

Prediction: Ducks 37 Bulldogs 30

Click here for late games.

Already played:

Saturday, August 28

1:20 pm Nebraska (-7, 55) at Illinois (FOX) - Anybody with even rudimentary football knowledge would think this game might be a walkover for the Cornhuskers and would consider giving the Fighting Illini a touchdown on the Illinois home turf.

That would probably be a huge mistake. Illinois smacked Nebraska last season, 41-23, at Nebraska, and, to make matters worse, overhyped QB Adrian Martinez returns for his senior season. In 2019, Nebraska won, 42-38, at Illinois. As a starter, Martinez is 7-9.

The Illini were just 2-6 last season, near the end of which they fired Lovie Smith (good move) and hired Bert Bielema from Arkansas. That's probably good news for the whole team, but especially for QB Brandon Peters, who missed three games last season on positive virus tests. Peters was behind center in last year's win over the Cornhuskers.

Coin Flip: Illinois

Prediction: Fighting Illini 34 Cornhuskers 27


3:30 pm Hawaii at UCLA (-17, 68 1/2) (ESPN) - Marred by the virus protocols last season, UCLA only played seven games, going 3-4, in 2020. What's interesting about last season's Bruins was their uncanny ability to give up points, even to less worthy opponents. Their three wins were solid: 34-10 over Cal; 27-10 over Arizona; and, 25-18 at Arizona State.

In every loss the Bruins gave up at least 38 points, but the offense was nearly equal to the task, losing those four contests by a combined 15 points, the last a 48-47 2OT heartbreaker vs. Stanford.

Coach Chip Kelly starts his fourth year as UCLA head coach with a 10-21 record in Westwood, though he's 0-6 in non-conference games. The Bruins return 20 starters.

Hawaii went 5-4 last season and returns 18 starters. They capped off a 4-4 regular season with a 28-14 win over Houston in the New Mexico Bowl. The Rainbow Warriors finished strong, winning three of their last four. Considering UCLA's loose defense, Hawaii has a chance for the upset, and a good probability to cover the fat spread.

Coin Flip: Hawaii

Prediction: Bruins 36 Rainbow Warriors 30



Untitled
Sign up for the Back Issue Price Guide newsletter to receive updates and special sale info.

Subscribe by entering your email address:

All information relating to the content of magazines presented in the Collectible Magazine Back Issue Price Guide has been independently sourced from published works and is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. All pages on this web site, including descriptions and details are copyright 1999-2022 Downtown Magazine Inc., Collectible Magazine Back Issue Price Guide. All rights reserved.

Untitled