N2K CFB Pick ‘Em – Week 1

College Football is back, and so are our N2K predictions! Last year, it was just Kevin and I stealing the show and going back and forth. While Kevin is taking the week off due to his own college football schedule (Go Bears), I’m joined by the rest of the N2K staff in making my picks. So let’s take a look at our picks for the ranked teams:

THURSDAY:

Charlotte v. #19 Louisville

Tyler: I really like Louisville this season. I think Lamar Jackson is a darkhorse Heisman candidate, and I expect him to work really well with senior wideout James Quick. Keep in mind that the Cards also return most key contributors to a 14th-ranked defense. Louisville by 28.

Gabe: Louisville by 24.

Sean: FCS vs. FBS teams are so unfair it isn’t even funny. Louisville is a super sleeper team and has a lot of returning talent on both sides of the ball. Sophomore Lamar Jackson will look to take a step forward after a good freshman season and DeVonte Fields will be a first round pick in 2017. Charlotte doesn’t have a chance. Louisville by 30.

TJ: Charlotte will be lucky to get 13 points, and they’ll also be lucky to hold Louisville under 40. I’ll take Louisville by 42.

Will: Clear warm-up game here for the Cardinals. Should be an easy win, probably a blow-out. I pick Louisville.

Mikey: See Bowling Green vs. OSU. Louisville by 20.

Appalachian State v. #9 Tennessee

Tyler: One time, Appalachian State pulled off a really cool upset, which is kind of cool. It would be a very Tennessee thing to do to lose this one, but I think this could be a special season for the Vols. Tennessee by 20.

Gabe: Tennessee by 10.

Sean: Tennessee is a team with national title hopes. Appalachian State stunned Michigan a few years back, but lightning wont strike twice. Vols by 35. RIP Appalachian State.

TJ: Appalachian State, the pride of the Sun Belt Division. It is tough to pick against an SEC school, and although I really, really want to pick an upset here. I can’t bring myself to do it. Although if Appalachian State wins, I’m going to tell everybody that I did call it. Vols by 3.

Will: After a strong year last year in the SEC, Tennessee needs to start off strong in their out of conference games if they want to finish atop the likes of Alabama and LSU. Tennessee should have no issues in this game. I’ll take Tennessee.

Mikey: Again, see Bowling Green vs. OSU. Tennessee by 44.

 

FRIDAY:

 Furman v. #12 Michigan State

Tyler: What’s a Furman? Spartans by 35.

Gabe: Michigan State by 38.

Sean: Michigan State lost a lot of talent and will break in a new QB this year. Good thing they start off the year against an absolute cupcake. MSU wins by 28.

TJ: The Spartans have a title run in their sights and Furman isn’t going to change that. Michigan State by 54

Will: ESPN doesn’t even have Furman’s season schedule on their site, which means to me there isn’t much to see. Michigan State and Michigan should be one of the biggest and most hyped games of the year. Until then, State will blow through Furman. Easy win for Michigan State.

Mikey: I pay attention to college football, and I’ve never even heard of Furman – they’re going to get steamrolled. MSU by 56.

Northwestern State v. #23 Baylor

Tyler: Baylor isn’t that good this year IMO, but Northwestern State isn’t gooder. Bears by 24.

Gabe: Baylor by 31.

Sean: What a horrible offseason for the Bears. A scandal led to the firing of Art Briles and the loss of multiple top signings, which puts them in a tough spot. A win would help heal the bruises left from the offseason. Baylor dominates and wins by 34.

TJ: Baylor might pass for 700 yards and run for 700 more but their defense might give up the same amount. I think the score will be closer than most anticipate, still a blowout though. Baylor Bears by 25.

Will: This could be an interesting upset to look at. Not much of my basis is on how good Baylor is going to be, but with an extremely messy situation in Waco, who knows if this football team is ready to play. Could be a close game. Let’s go with an upset, I pick Northwestern State.

Mikey: I’ll take Baylor by 21.

Kansas State v. #8 Stanford

Tyler: Kansas State is typically good for a tough game. However, they do not have Christian McCaffrey, who is debatably the best player in all of college football. I think Stanford begins their quest to the College Football Playoff this weekend with a win. Cardinals by 14.

Gabe: Stanford by 17.

Sean: Stanford is a one-man team with Christian McCaffrey, who is coming off a magical season and is looking to take home the Heisman trophy this year. David Shaw is subtly one of the best coaches in the nation and should have his roster ready for a KState team that isn’t that great. A young Stanford defense gets a relatively easy first task against the Wildcats. Cardinals by 17.

TJ: Collin Klein was a Heisman finalist at Kansas State but couldn’t even get playing time in the CFL, that is all I have to say. Stanford by 21.

Will: Stanford is in for a huge season with their returning Heisman finalist, Christian McCaffrey. Kansas State isn’t exactly a team that will sneak up on you, though, and I think Stanford will be aware of that going into the game. I’m picking Stanford.

Mikey: Two words: Christian McCaffrey. Stanford by 27.

 

SATURDAY:

#3 Oklahoma v. #15 Houston

Tyler: This game will be a whole lot of great offense and a whole lot of bad defense. I think that, ultimately, I like Oklahoma’s attack more strictly because of Baker Mayfield’s down-the-field ability. I like Greg Ward Jr. and Tom Herman as a play-caller, but I think Oklahoma just has more talent. Sooners by 7.

Gabe: Houston’s offense could be one of the best in CFB and OU’s defense isn’t quite the same as it was last year. If Mayfield struggles or turns the ball over, the OU might be in trouble. I think the Cougar’s D can harass him enough to make it a ballgame. Houston by 3.

Sean: The best game all weekend against two teams with sky-high expectations. Baker Mayfield and Greg Ward are two of the best QB’s in the nation with solid weapons around them. Houston shocked everyone with their performance last season and if they lose this game, they won’t get into the CFP. This game will be a shootout, and Oklahoma has a habit of losing big games, so I’ll go with the more motivated team who technically plays a home game away from home. Give me Houston by 10 in an upset.

TJ: Houston could have a promising season but it is really tough that they drew Oklahoma as their opening game. Although this should keep the Sooners honest to start the season, this will give the Cougars their toughest test all season. If the Cougars could beat the Sooners, maybe they could be legitimate National Champion contenders. But that would require beating Oklahoma which won’t happen. Sooners by 15.

Will: Baker Mayfield is my favorite QB in college football. He reminds me a lot of Manziel in his playmaking ability and charisma. Maybe I just wish Manziel could be play college football forever and never had to go to the NFL, but regardless, Mayfield and Oklahoma are a fun team to watch. Houston knows how to put up points. On this day though I believe they fall short to Oklahoma. Let’s go with Oklahoma.

Mikey: Houston comes out hungry trying to prove it wasn’t just a one-hit wonder, and does so effectively even without that big-name player, rolling over Bob Stoops and the Baker Mayfield-led Sooners. Houston by 17.

Hawaii v. #7 Michigan

Tyler: Hawaii is going very, very, very far away from home only to become sad. Michigan is a playoff-caliber team. This is an opportunity, however, to gauge how their quarterback situation is going to play out. Wolverines by 24.

Gabe: Michigan by 35.

Sean: The Wolverines are one of the more hyped non-defending-national-title teams in recent memory, mostly due to Jim Harbaugh. Michigan has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, even though we don’t know who will be starting against Hawaii, it shouldn’t really matter. Very rarely do teams go into the Big House and get a win. Wolverines win by 20.

TJ: The Michigan players probably wish this matchup was an away game, but I guess either way it’ll be a vacation for the Wolverines. Michigan by 52.

Will: Jim Harbaugh is going to must watch TV all season. If Michigan is playing a nationally televised game, there’s a solid chance I’m going to watch it, including this one. I don’t expect fireworks out of this one. Michigan shouldn’t have much trouble from a Hawaii team that lost handily to Cal.  I’ll pick Michigan.

 Mikey: The Wolverines set the tone with defense early, led by Jabrill Peppers, allowing them to steamroll the flying Hawaiians. Michigan by 31.

Bowling Green v. #6 Ohio State

Tyler: If this was a competition of which school has more STDs or which school would win in a tractor pull competition, I’d pick Bowling Green. But it’s a football game, and loss of talent or not, Ohio State is still among the nation’s best. Bucks by 21.

Gabe: Ohio State by 21.

Sean: Ohio State returns only 6 starters from last year’s team. That’s not good. What is good is that they bring back J.T. Barrett and Raekwon McMillan and have a ton of top recruits waiting to take over the reigns. Bowling Green was 10-4 last year… in the MAC. A lot of lingering questions about the Buckeyes will be answered in a Week 1 win against the Falcons. Buckeyes cruise by winning by 25.

TJ: I respect Bowling Green but I think that I respect Urban Meyer’s recruiting classes more. Bowling Green might keep it close for a while but not for long. Buckeyes by 28.

Will: JT Barrett is back as the starting QB for Ohio State and that’s good sign for them after the nasty injury he suffered a few seasons back. After witnessing first hand the amount of points Bowling Green can put up (62-38 against my Minutemen at UMass), they won’t be a pushover for Ohio State. Should be a high scoring game to keep an eye on. I will still pick Ohio State.

 Mikey: I’ve directed you all here to say this: It’s Ohio State vs. Bowling Green. Crazier upsets have happened, but once again; it’s Ohio State vs. Bowling Green. OSU by 45.

Rutgers v. #14 Washington

Tyler: Not an exaggeration, Rutgers is one of the worst programs in all of Division I-A. They will not pass “Go”. They will not collect $200. They will not be happy. Huskies by 27.

Gabe: Washington by 24.

Sean: Washington ended last year on a hot streak, and will look to carry over that success in 2016. Led by sophomores Myles Gaskin and Jake Browning, Washington’s offense is looking dangerous. Rutgers… well they’re not good at anything. Basketball, football, you name it. Nothing. Huskies win by 17.

TJ: For some reason, I really like Washington this year. But an opponent like Rutgers won’t be a challenge. Huskies by 35.

Will: How much can we expect from a Washington football team that finished 7-6? I’m not sure but being ranked #14 means the experts have faith in them, so for now I do too. Washington wins.

 Mikey:  I don’t know if it’s just me, but Washington always seems to lose when it’s supposed to be good. That trend continues this year, as they lose a nail biter to Rutgers. Rutgers by 2.

#5 LSU v. Wisconsin

Tyler: Pop quiz, what does LSU’s offense operate on? Running the ball, obviously, because of Leonard Fournette. Another pop quiz, who had the fourth-best rushing defense in the country last season, trailing only ‘Bama, BC and Akron (yes, Akron)? That would be Wisconsin. I think LSU is the better team, but Wisconsin is a good matchup. Badgers by 7.

Gabe: Wisconsin by 3.

Sean: A de facto home game for the Badgers, LSU will have their hands full against a team that always seems to play people tough, no matter the talent gap. LSU surprisingly returns a ton of talent, most notably Leonard Fournette. If Brandon Harris can figure it out at quarterback, LSU could win a national title. This has the feel of one of those weird games where it could either be really close, or a complete blowout. I’ll go with the former. Tigers by 7.

TJ: Leonard Fournette might break records, and maybe even the scoreboard. Still closer than most think but never a doubt for the Tigers. Leonard Fournette by 16.

Will: Leonard Fournette is going to be a beast, quite possibly could be a legendary college running back if he finishes this season the way many predict it. With the Heisman trophy in his hands. This game is being played at Lambeau Field, so could be a huge statement game for Wisconsin. I still love LSU here. I’ll take LSU.

 Mikey: Even without a great QB, Leonard Fournette allows LSU to pick up an early-season double-digit victory over the Badgers. Tigers by 14.

#16 UCLA v. Texas A&M

Tyler: Texas A&M is a solid squad, but UCLA should take another step forward. Also taking a step forward will be Josh Rosen, who will show that he’s one of the better passers in college football. UCLA by 17.

Gabe: UCLA by 10.

Sean: This should be a fun one. Josh Rosen recently called out the 12th Man saying they weren’t that loud, which will create quite an atmosphere in College Station. TAMU is probably the best team that wasn’t ranked, so this wont be easy for UCLA. Rosen lost a lot of weapons, but the Aggies are also in a weird spot. UCLA by 9.

TJ: The season starts with a tough test for the Bruins. In my opinion this game will be the most entertaining of all of the games on slate for this week. I want to give the edge to the Aggies, but although UCLA is ranked, they’re still the underdog according to ESPN. Give me an underdog Bruins team by 4

Will: UCLA lost their best all around player this past season in Myles Jack to the draft, so they will have to make up for that. With their first game being at A&M, I’m going to predict an upset here. Give me Texas A&M.

 Mikey: I’ll take UCLA by 14.

Southeastern Louisiana v. #21 Oklahoma State

Tyler: Southeastern Louisiana’s mascot a Lion. Oklahoma State by 30.

Gabe: Oklahoma State by 21.

Sean: After Mason Rudolph and James Washington, there isn’t anyone else worth mentioning for Oklahoma State. They’re not very deep and don’t have a lot of star power, so they are tough to project. They do, however, play in the BIG XII, so you know they can put up points, which they will certainly do against an FCS foe. Cowboys by 25.

TJ: I do not see a scenario in which the Cowboys find a way to lose this game. OK State by 46.

Will: Unless Southeastern Louisiana has the Waterboy starting at middle linebacker for them, I don’t see them coming close to winning this game. Oklahoma State wins.

Mikey: Again, see Bowling Green vs. OSU. OKSU by 52.

Miami (OH) v. #17 Iowa

Tyler: Miami of Ohio hasn’t done one thing right on the gridiron since Ben Roethlisberger. Expect much of the same in this ‘matchup’ against Iowa. Hawkeyes by 21.

Gabe: Iowa by 24.

Sean: Iowa was one of the most surprising teams from the 2015 season, but now they have targets on their backs. Desmond King is a lockdown corner on defense and CJ Beathard is back for his senior season. Miami (OH) is a tougher task than most top 25 teams in Week 1, but the Hawkeyes shouldn’t have a problem. Iowa wins by 16.

TJ: Iowa was generously ranked last year until they ended up getting embarrassed in the final week of the season. I think that embarrassment will roll over and begin a long, disappointing season for the Hawkeyes. Miami (OH) by 2.

Will: Miami (OH) is one of the few team UMass has ever been able to beat, so Iowa should have no issue here. I pick Iowa.

 Mikey: Led by Desmond King, Iowa comes out with the same purpose as Houston, only against a much weaker opponent, allowing them to dominate in their opener. Iowa by 38.

UC Davis v. #24 Oregon

Tyler: LOL. Ducks by 27.

Gabe: Oregon by 30.

Sean: Another new FCS quarterback will take over for Oregon this year, but his job should be relatively simple; give the ball to Royce Freeman. The junior is a top five back in the country and is a darkhorse for the Heisman. This game could be a shootout because the Ducks are pretty pitiful on defense. Either way, Oregon doesn’t lose at Autzen. Ducks win by 27.

TJ: Frankly, I’ve never even heard of UC Davis. This game will be more interesting thanks to the uniforms Oregon decides to wear. Ducks by 37.

Will: Oregon will be swagged out per usually in some new style of new uniform and will overmatch UC Davis on the field with their usual speed on offense and defense. They seem to have fallen off a bit since Mariota, I see a chance to ease into the season against UC Davis. I pick Oregon.

Mikey: Oregon has such an up-tempo offense that UC Davis won’t have a chance to keep up. Oregon by 31.

#18 Georgia v. #22 North Carolina

Tyler: I really like North Carolina. They had an excellent offense last year, and despite really struggling in their bowl, they were able to go toe-to-toe with Clemson. The talent is there, but I think there’s just so much hype and confidence surrounding Kirby Smart beginning his reign on the football program. Plus, Georgia typically has looked better in the first half of the season compared to the second half.  If freshman Jacob Eason can make smart plays, Georgia should be able to win this one. Bulldogs by 6.

Gabe: This game intrigues me. Georgia has an incredible running game headed by potential All-American Nick Chubb. UNC’s run defense was awful last year. But Georgia doesn’t even know who their QB will be yet, and Nick Chubb can’t play every position. I think UNC’s offense has the potential to make big plays with Elijah Hood and Ryan Switzer as playmakers on offense. I think it comes down to the 4th quarter having to make plays though the air, and I think UNC has an advantage in that category. UNC by 7.

Sean: This game is probably the most even opening week matchup between top 25 teams. Georgia gets Nick Chubb back after a nasty knee injury knocked him out for most of last year, while the Tarheels lose Marquise Williams to graduation. Kirby Smart’s first game as head coach is a tough one in Chapel Hill, but he’s an Alabama guy, so you know the Dawgs will be ready. Georgia by 5 in a nail biting finish.

TJ: Another great game for this week one of college football. Georgia comes into enemy territory. UNC wants to make a statement and Georgia is in their way. Tar Heels by 5.

Will: He’s not going to sneak up on anyone, yet Nick Chubb being back and healthy could be a true dark horse to win the Heisman over Fournette or McCaffrey.  UNC is going to need every player academically eligible for this game, knowing them they will find a way. Chubb is going to tear it up in his first game back. I like Georgia.

Mikey: Larry Fedora will keep the Tar Heels focused, and Georgia will begin the transition to life without Mark Richt with a tough loss. UNC by 7.

UMass v. #25 Florida

Tyler: UMass had two good players last year. They’re both gone. That’s not to say Florida is an exceptional team, because I don’t think they are. But they’ll still take at home this week. Gators by 3,000 (not a typo).

Gabe: Florida by 31.

Sean: Florida should have one of the best defenses in the country. UMass doesn’t stand a chance in The Swamp. Florida wins 30-3.

TJ: I will not be picking against UMass in these college football articles, fair warning. Don’t sleep on quarterback Ross Comis. The Minuteman defense needs to finish their tackles unlike their Notre Dame performance. I sure wish Tajae Sharpe, Blake Frohnapfel and Randall Jette didn’t go on to the NFL because I could be a little more serious about this pick. Minutemen by 2.

Will: Love them with all my heart, but we are going to get murdered. Florida will win.

Mikey: Florida is an SEC school. UMass is UMass. Florida by 35.

#20 USC v. #1 Alabama

Tyler: I think this is one of the better games of opening weekend, too. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that Alabama wins this game, but I’m curious to see what an improved USC squad, led by all-world athlete Adoree’ Jackson, can do. Tide by 10.

Gabe: Alabama starts the year as number one and defending national champs and rightly so. They bring back a lot of talent, including potential All- Americans in Calvin Ridley and Jonathan Allen. USC boasts a ton of talent as well, but they haven’t been relevant in a while in terms of competing on a national stage. I think Alabama is too good for USC, but I think it be kept close by Bama’s lack of a definite QB. Bama by 7.

Sean: Two of the most storied programs in college football history face off in what is a highly anticipated matchup. USC has a stupid amount of talent on the offensive side of the ball, but will be without linebacker Osa Masina who is suspended. Alabama has a lot of questions, especially at quarterback and running back, but the depth of the Tide is something that can’t be matched. Bama rolls by 17.

TJ: Nick Saban is a magician and USC has a great reputation of not living up to expectations. Although I do think this year’s Trojans team will finish strong and maybe even in the top ten of the rankings. But Alabama is in a league of their own. Roll Tide. Bama 27-10.

Will: This game is in Texas for some reason, if USC is at home, I give them a better shot in this game. Saban has shown he can do a lot with a first year QB, winning the National Title, with 3 out of 4 first time starting QBs at Bama. Even though it’s a neutral site, it should be a home game for Bama being in the deep south. Should be a close game though. Alabama wins.

Mikey: Bo Scarbrough quickly adds his name to the elite running back corps throughout the nation, Eddie Jackson and Jonathan Allen reestablish the tempo for this defense, and the Tide roll over the 20th-ranked Trojans. Tide by 24.

South Dakota State v. #13 TCU

Tyler: Same analysis as Baylor – I don’t think TCU is that good this year, but South Dakota State just got introduced to laptops. Horned Frogs by 24.

Gabe: TCU by 7.

Sean: Something about me really wants to pick a colossal upset. TCU doesn’t bring back a lot of talent and doesn’t have many names of notice. I think TCU will get a big scare from SDSU, but being at home under the lights on opening night gives the Horned Frogs a big boost. TCU by 5.

TJ: I know other writers were talking about this game being a potential upset. But I see no reason to give this game the ‘Upset Alert’ stamp. TCU’s offense is extremely powerful and South Dakota State’s defense is no match for them. Horned Frogs by 38.

Will: TCU lost their best receiver in Josh Doctson to last years draft who will be sorely missed. Shouldn’t make too much of a difference against South Dakota State. TCU wins.

Mikey: Even with the loss of QB Trevone Boykin, TCU ekes out a win in the opener over SDSU. TCU by 10.

#2 Clemson v. Auburn

Tyler: I’ve seen a lot of people have Auburn as a darkhorse team to make the playoff, and opening the season at home really helps. But Clemson’s offense is just too much for any team in the country to handle. Expect a massive game out of Deshaun Watson. Tigers by 14.

Gabe: Clemson faces a tough test on the road. Auburn doesn’t have an established QB, in fact they might play all three. Clemson’s defense took a big hit with 7 players drafted or graduated but they always seem to reload and have a top defense. Deshaun Watson will be too much for Auburns defense. Clemson by 17.

Sean: Quite a tough task for Clemson to start off the season. The Tigers could have one of the best offenses of all time this year, led by Heisman frontrunner DeShaun Watson. Auburn should have a pretty solid defense led by Carl Lawson and Jonathan Ford. Weird things tend to happen to top teams favored against Auburn in Jordan-Hare stadium, but Clemson will buck that trend on Saturday. Tigers win by 19.

TJ: Deshaun Watson is too good and Clemson is hungry after losing to Alabama in the National Championship Game last year. The Tigers are a freight train and the Auburn Tigers are victims number one. Tigers by 11.

Will: Auburn hasn’t shown they can compete anymore against good teams since the departure of Cam Newton. Deshaun Watson needs a strong start to the Heisman campaign and it could be tough to rack up some stats in this first game. Clemson is too deep of a team to not come out of Auburn with a win. Clemson will win.

Mikey: Deshaun Watson starts off another fantastic campaign, and even with the loss of several key defensive players, Auburn is completely outmatched by Dabo and his boys. Clemson by 28.

BONUS – Georgia Tech v. Boston College

Tyler: BC’s defense is still pretty stout, though it’ll be hard to replicate last year’s ridiculous season-long performance. However, they’re still completely, utterly, totally inept on the offensive side of the ball. GT by 10.

Gabe: Georgia Tech by 7.

Sean: Georgia Tech had a bad year last year and will likely be bad again this year. BC’s defense is elite, and the offense is the opposite. But give me BC by 3 in an ugly game from start to finish.

TJ: Boston College’s most entertaining game will come next week against the UMass Minutemen but Georgia Tech isn’t going to lose to the Eagles. If BC somehow does beat the Yellow Jackets they’ll most likely have a pair of defensive touchdowns. Either way, I still find it tough picking the Eagles, as much as I love them. Sike. They’re going to start the season 1-0. Eagles by 3.

Will: I’ll take BC by 7.

Mikey: The triple option offense will keep BC off balance, and they lose their season opener in Ireland. GT by 13. 

***Kevin is here in spirit and would absolutely pick BC to win this one***

 

SUNDAY:

#10 Notre Dame v. Texas

Tyler: Preview to come tomorrow, so you can get my complete thoughts there. Texas isn’t a pushover by any stretch, but I still expect the Irish to pull out a victory with relative ease. ND by 17.

Gabe: I’ll make Tyler happy. ND by 14.

Sean: Don’t sleep on Texas this year. The talent has been there the last few years, the results haven’t. They’re still a young team, but they have plenty of upside. Notre Dame’s roster will look very different heading into 2016 after losing key pieces on both sides of the ball. DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire are going to split snaps, which is never good for an offense. Going into Austin is never fun, and it won’t be for the Irish. This will be the game that will be remembered for turning around Texas football. Longhorns by 3.

TJ: Notre Dame might go 0-12, as much as I doubt that. If they do lose to the Longhorns, they’ll be on pace to do just that. Matthew McConaughey is teaching a class at UT this semester and maybe some of the Fighting Irish will be too preoccupied trying to sneak into his office hours. Justin Yoon will hit a 50-yard field goal though, you can take that to the bank. Longhorns by 1

Will: I think Charlie Strong needs a big season this year to keep his job at Texas. The best way to start it off would be home win against top ranked Notre Dame. I think there is confusion at who will be starting for the Irish and with a lot of players suspended, they may not have what it takes to come out of Texas unscathed. Love Texas’ opportunity. I pick Texas.

Mikey: Brian Kelly always has his team ready for the season opener, and DeShone Kizer and the fighting Irish come out and pound the Longhorns. ND by 28.

 

MONDAY:

#11 Ole Miss v. #4 Florida State

Tyler: In terms of entertainment, this should be the best game of the weekend. In terms of his on-the-field talent, I’m a big fan of Chad Kelly (swag). However, I don’t think Ole Miss is good at winning the big game, save their victory in Tuscaloosa last year (which they still almost lost). FSU looks ticketed for the CFP, and I think that Dalvin Cook will make his first case for Heisman in this matchup. I’ll give him 150-200 total yards all by himself. Seminoles by 7.

Gabe: Dalvin Cook is a monster at HB and could be a Heisman contender. Chad Kelly leads the Rebels in his senior year. Its a great game to end the Opening Weekend with, I will take FSU in this one because they return almost every player on offense around their freshman QB, who has looked good in camp and their defense is athletic enough to hang with Kelly and his receivers. FSU by 13.

Sean: Chad Kelly swag returns for his senior year but the weapons around him are worse. From wide receiver to offensive line. Ole Miss is still a quality team no doubt and could win the SEC, but they’ll need all the help they can get. Getting Florida State in Week 1 doesn’t help. Dalvin Cook might be the best running back in the NCAA and could win the Heisman. FSU, as usual, has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Their QB situation right now is shaky, but Deondre Francois has enough around him to lead the Seminoles to victory. ‘Noles by 9.

TJ: Dalvin Cook is Heisman-hunting and Ole Miss’s defense will be a good opening test for him and the Seminole offense. If the Rebels were at home, instead of on the road in front of an always difficult Seminole fan base, I’d pick them to win. But they’re not, and I think Dalvin Cook has too much to prove. Seminoles by 4.

Will: Florida State passed on their experienced QB Sean Maguire for a lesser known in Deondre Francois, which means they have a lot of confidence in him or Maguire did not improve much. With that being said, Florida State has the home field and experience advantage so I’m going with them. I like Florida State.

Mikey: Why: Dalvin Cook starts off the 2016 season with a big performance, and due to the losses of major players like Laquan Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche to the NFL, Ole Miss gets edged out by FSU. FSU by 3.

Cover Photo via TBO

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