CFB Week 1 Picks
The 2009 NCCA football season is in full swing on Saturday and our team of writers and handicappers are handing out four picks for Week 1.
Oklahoma State -5.5 vs. Georgia
The Cowboys have one of the most-talented offenses in the country, led by Dez Bryant at wide receiver. Georgia is looking to replace a lot of players at key positions this season and opening the year with Oklahoma State on the road doesn’t do the Bulldogs many favors. The Georgia offense is likely to struggle early as it tries to mold the new pieces together, while the Cowboys should be running on all cylinders. Oklahoma State is poised to have a breakout year in 2009 and it should start with a sizeable win over Georgia.
Nevada +14.5 at Notre Dame, 3:30PM ET
Many have high expectations for the Fighting Irish this year and that is understandable, but it has just as much to do with their schedule as opposed to their talent. Notre Dame has one of their toughest games of the year on Saturday, hosting Nevada. The Wolf Pack is led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is a dual-threat that can run and pass. Nevada averaged 37.6 points per-game in 2008 and bring back most of the offense. The defense struggled, allowing 32 points per-game, but the Fighting Irish averaged just 24 points on offense last year. The Irish should be improved, but so should the Nevada defense. I see the Wolf Pack will make things interesting for the Fighting Irish and covering the 14.5 point-spread.
San Jose State +34 at USC, 3:30PM ET
The Trojans have a lot of questions to answer coming into the season, especially at quarterback, where they will start a true-freshman in Matt Barkley. USC does have nine starters back on offense to help, but only bring back three starters on defense. While San Jose is not a powerhouse team, the Spartans are coming off a 6-6 season last year and have 15 starters back. San Jose State only allowed 21 points per-game last season and didn’t lose by more than 25 points, including a loss to Boise State. Don’t expect the Spartans to win, but feel good about taking them with 34 points.
BYU +22 vs. Oklahoma, 7:0PM ET
The Cougars are getting more than three touchdowns against the Sooners at a neutral site in Cowboys Stadium. BYU only allowed 21.9 points per-game last season and brings back eight starters from that same defense. The Sooners have a tremendous offense, but the Cougars are no slouch on offense either, averaging almost 450 yards per-game last season. With Oklahoma dealing with a lot of new faces on the offensive line, their point production may be affected against a physical BYU defense. While Oklahoma may have the talent to hold off BYU, look for the Cougars to cover the 22-point spread.
Posted: 9/4/09 9:00AM ET