We’re back with another year of College Football picks! This year’s party is comprised of Seth Austin (@Seth_Austin,) Zak Kolesar (@ZakKolesarOU) and Kevin Noonan (@KNoonan991.) Enjoy the college football season, everyone!
Notre Dame vs. Navy (Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)
Seth: NAVY 28, ND 17 – What can we expect from Notre Dame in morning primetime in Ireland? That’s right, disappointment! #FreeTommyRees
Zak: ND 24, NAVY 7 – Although the Irish will be missing some stars on offense (Tommy Rees, Cierre Wood) and a pair of defenders (Carlo Calebrese and Justin Utupo) due to suspensions, they will have no problems taking care of a Navy team they embarrassed last season. The defense will still shine, making up for the lack of offensive production.
Kevin: ND 21, NAVY 17 – This game is a bit of a tossup for me since it’s taking place in Ireland. Notre Dame will pull through in the first game of the Everett Golson (Yes, he was listed as the fourth quarterback last year) era, primarily thanks to the defense.
Marshall vs. 11 West Virginia (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.)
Seth: WVU 70, MAR 10 – Geno Smith will put up RGIII-like numbers in the Big XII this season. Expect him to start his season off like a Hesiman candidate against Marshall.
Zak: WVU 38, MAR 10 – West Virginia will ring in their Big 12 debut in style, as they are returning most of their starters from their very successful 2011-12 campaign. With eight returning starters on offense and seven on defense, this team will be ready to play from the first snap.
Kevin: WVU 28, MAR 10 – West Virginia is 11-0 all-time against Marshall. I don’t expect that trend to change this weekend as a very talented Mountaineers team rolls. I expect huge games from Geno Smith and Tavon Austin
Miami (OH) vs. 18 Ohio State (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.)
Seth: OSU 37, MIAOH 12 – I think Braxton Miller will win a Heisman trophy before he’s done at Ohio State.
Zak: OSU 35, MIAOH 7 – Miami is going to be physically overmatched by the Buckeyes at almost every position on the field on Saturday, so look for this one to be over early on. The RedHawks don’t stand a chance at the Horseshoe.
Kevin: OSU 23, MIAOH 10 – I think this game will be a lot closer than many anticipate. Miami might be the most improved team in the MAC, while Ohio State has struggled with MAC teams at times over the last few years. I expect this game to be close into the fourth quarter, where the Buckeyes will finally pull away.
Ohio vs. Penn State (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.)
Seth: PSU 17, OHIO 14 – Everyone thinks Ohio has this as an upset special. The atmosphere will be unlike anything they’ve ever experienced and Penn State’s defense is still pretty darn good. The big time is close for the ‘Cats, but not right now.
Zak: OHIO 24, PSU 21- There are so many story lines surrounding this game, but if the Bobcats’ offensive line can protect Tyler Tettleton and hold back the Penn State front seven, they will come away with the close victory. This will be Ohio’s toughest matchup all season, but they are more than capable to come away with a win in Happy Valley.
Kevin: OHIO 17, PSU 13 – The nation might perceive this one to be a massive upset, but anyone who has followed the Bobcats recently won’t be surprised in the least. The first ten minutes will be crucial, because they could ultimately determine what type of role the crowd will play. I like Ohio because of an experienced team, experienced coach, disciplined defense and a dynamic game changing quarterback.
14 Clemson vs. Auburn (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)
Seth: CLEM 24, AUB 16 – Welcome to another year of me picking Clemson games. Mr. Tajh Boyd says, “Swag Reasons.”
Zak: CLEM 30, AUB 27 – Although Clemson had a more than disappointing showing against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, they’re coming off a 10-win season and are returning seven starters on defense. If they can rattle quarterback Kiehl Frazier, who is making his first start, in the first half, that will be enough to force him to make some big mistakes.
Kevin: AUB 24, CLEM 21 – Is there a team in a BCS conference that underachieves more frequently than Clemson? This one should be a great game; I’m giving Auburn the nod strictly because of homefield advantage.
Hawaii vs. 1 Southern California (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
Seth: USC 42, HAW 21 – I wonder what impact Silas Redd will have for this Trojans squad…
Zak: USC 56, HAW 13 – Before last season even ended I had the Trojans going all the way and Matt Barkley as the Heisman favorite (check my Twitter feed if you don’t believe me). With that said, I’m rolling with them all season and this game should be a laugher.
Kevin: USC 45, HAW 10 – USC is bowl-eligible again, a scary thought for BCS bowl hopefuls. Their season will begin with an exclamation point as Matt Barkley has a field day to start 2012.
8 Michigan vs. 2 Alabama (Saturday, 8:00 p.m.)
Seth: BAMA 34, MICH 21 – I love Denard Robinson, but A.J. McCarron will be the best quarterback on the field.
Zak: BAMA 28, MICH 20 – The Alabama defense is good enough to swallow up Denard Robinson, and that’s why the Crimson Tide will come away with a win in the most-anticipated non-conference game of the season perhaps. This game will be a lot closer than people think, but Alabama is too good in the trenches.
Kevin: BAMA 20, MICH 10 – A phenomenal matchup for the first week of the college football season. The most intriguing part of this game in my opinion will be Denard Robinson vs. the Alabama defense. Robinson fits the mold of an SEC style player; will he be able to give the new look Alabama defense fits? I’ll simply say no, Alabama gets a nice win to start their 2012 campaign.
Georgia Tech vs. 16 Virginia Tech (Monday, 8:00 p.m.)
Seth: GT 28, VT 27 – Some are calling Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas a sleeper Heisman candidate. He’ll be shell-shocked by the Ramblin’ Wreck in Week 1.
Zak: VT 27, GT 17- This Virginia Tech defense has the opportunity to be one of the best in the nation this season, and that’s why they’ll be able to shut down a formidable offense in Georgia Tech.
Kevin: VT 23, GT 14 – Virginia Tech is a tough team to project at this stage of the season. They return nine players on defense, however they lose all but one of their starting offensive linemen. I tend to favor stronger defenses toward the beginning of the year, plus, Virginia Tech will be playing this game in Blacksburg which makes this a safe pick.