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 Let the blowouts begin.
OK, not every Top 25 team opens the season with a made-to-order patsy. And surely if anything was learned from last season, it's that nothing is automatic.
However, as the college season begins with wall-to-wall football from Thursday to Labor Day, most of the Top 25 shouldn't have a problem starting 1-0.
No. 1 Georgia (against Georgia Southern) and No. 2 Ohio State (against Youngstown State) are among 10 ranked teams opening this week against FCS schools. Nine others are at least double-digit favorites.
Of course one of those games matching a ranked team against a member of what used to be known as Division I-AA is a lot more intriguing than most.
Appalachian State, which became the first team from Division I's second tier to beat a ranked team when it stunned Michigan to start last season, takes on defending national champion LSU.
Defending champs, huh. Well, the Mountaineers have won the last three championships at their level. How do you like that, Tigers?
The picks:
Thursday
No. 23 Wake Forest (minus 12) at Baylor
Remember when Wake was the Baylor of the ACC? ... WAKE FOREST 34-14.
Saturday
Georgia Southern (no line) at No. 1 Georgia
You know, Georgia Southern plays in same conference as App State ... GEORGIA 42-13.
Youngstown State (no line) at No. 2 Ohio State
Coach Jim Tressel's old employer gets big pay day from Buckeyes ... OHIO STATE 35-6.
No. 3 Southern California (minus 19 1/2) at Virginia
USC QB Mark Sanchez expected to play after knee injury ... USC 34-7.
Chattanooga (no line) at No. 4 Oklahoma
Sooners get their running in ... OKLAHOMA 58-10.
Hawaii (plus 35) at No. 5 Florida
Remember what Georgia did to Warriors? And that was with Colt Brennan ... FLORIDA 58-21.
No. 6 Missouri (minus 9) vs. No. 20 Illinois at St. Louis
Tigers won last season's track meet with Illini 40-34 ... MISSOURI 41-28.
Appalachian State (no line) at No. 7 LSU
No, not again ... LSU 38-17.
Villanova (no line) at No. 8 West Virginia
Who gets to 100 yards rushing first, Pat White or Noel Devine? ... WEST VIRGINIA 45-14.
No. 9 Clemson (minus 4 1/2) vs. No. 24 Alabama at Atlanta
Tide tries to derail Tigers' season of great expectations ... CLEMSON 28-26.
Louisiana-Monroe (plus 26) at No. 10 Auburn
Tigers work out the kinks of their new spread offense ... AUBURN 44-14.
Florida Atlantic (plus 24) at No. 11 Texas
FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said Longhorns were short on toughness ... TEXAS 60-28.
Eastern Washington (no line) at No. 12 Texas Tech
First of several stat-padding tuneups for QB Graham Harrell ... TEXAS TECH 58-10.
Akron (plus 26 1/2) at No. 13 Wisconsin
Badgers bully Zips .... WISCONSIN 42-10.
Florida International (plus 36) at No. 14 Kansas
Jayhawks won last year's meeting 55-3 ... KANSAS 55-6.
Northern Arizona (no line) at No. 15 Arizona State
Sun Devils 10-0-1 in last 11 meetings with Lumberjacks ... ARIZONA STATE 45-14.
Northern Iowa (no line) at No. 16 BYU
Cougars take first step toward trying to bust into BCS ... BYU 39-14.
No. 17 Virginia Tech (plus 9 1/2) at East Carolina
Pirates played Hokies tough last year in Blacksburg ... VIRGINIA TECH 20-14.
Tennessee-Martin at No. 19 South Florida
USF starts season ranked for first time ... SOUTH FLORIDA 50-10.
Washington (plus 13 1/2) at No. 21 Oregon
Tyrone Willingham could really use upset of Ducks ... OREGON 35-20.
Coastal Carolina at No. 22 Penn State
JoePa can tie Bobby Bowden on career wins list ... PENN STATE 42-14.
Bowling Green (plus 13) at No. 25 Pittsburgh
Big season for Pitt; It'd be bad to start with loss to MAC team ... BOWLING GREEN 31-24.
Monday
No. 18 Tennessee (minus 7 1/2) at UCLA
Rick Neuheisel's return to college sidelines could be rough ... TENNESSEE 28-13.
---
Last season: 225-77 (straight); 147-129-6 (vs. points).

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