Pick 'Em Amsinger, Pick 'Em!

By Amsinger - August 30, 2006


I was born to predict college football games.

With my duties as host of Crystal Ball (Wednesday, 7 ET on CSTV) back and better than ever, I've decided to reinvent my "Off Prompter" blog with another fantastic idea.

I will pick all Division 1A football games and my Lindenwood University Lions matchup leading up to Saturday. It will be a lot of work, but I'm game...are you?

The idea was inspired by the popularity of all these preseason college football magazines. Why do we love them so much? Here's why: No matter what Division 1A school you attend(ed), the magazines talk about your program. With that in mind, I decided to pick all games - even Buffalo vs. Temple!!!!

I'll organize this so it's easy to know when your favorite team will be talked about. Normally, I'll give you predictions from the Big Ten, SEC, Big East, Conference USA, WAC, Sun Belt and my Lindenwood University - on MONDAY. On TUESDAY, the same will come your way from the Pac-Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West, MAC and the Independants.

This is obviously a later version. So get ready for the Pac-Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West, MAC and the Independants Friday - right here on "Off Prompter."

And...we're off!

BIG TEN:

N. Illinois - 21
OHIO ST. - 41

*NIU is a well coached team and at halftime folks in Columbus are nervous. Expect NIU RB Garrett Wolfe to have a great first half and get shut down in the second by Jim Tressel's adjustments. Bottom line, OSU is just too deep offensively for practically anyone - especially NIU.

Montana - 7
IOWA - 55

*Anytime a BCS program plays a 1AA opponent I wanna puke.

Akron - 10
PENN ST. - 35

*The Zips score their first touchdown late in the game against PSU's 2nd team defenders. The Nittany Lions come out with a roar at home in this one. Anthony Morelli looks good and eases minds in Happy Valley.

Vanderbilt - 0
MICHIGAN - 49

*Vandy I'm sorry...but with Ron English running the Big Blue "D" and Jay Cutler collecting a pro-paycheck there's little hope in Ann Arbor.

Indiana St. - 17
PURDUE - 62

*Wait, scheduling 1AA teams doesn't make me puke. Scheduling 1AA teams that go 0-11 the season prior makes me puke.

WISCONSIN - 31
Bowling Green - 24

*This game ends up being way too close for comfort. Expect the Falcons to make it close late in the game and come pretty close to sending it to overtime.

MINNESOTA - 55
Kent State - 35

*There's that Gopher defense again. The Golden Flashes can score! Fortunately for Minnesota, KSU's defense is far worse.

Idaho - 6
MICHIGAN ST. - 45

*The Drew Stanton Heisman campaign starts now! Dennis Erickson leaves East Lansing asking himself why he started all over.

N'WESTERN - 31
Miami (OH) - 20

*With the emotion of Randy Walker's death still fresh on the minds of his players - the Wildcats get a tough road win. Miami will be held back by the injured RB Brandon Murphy. He'll play, but is ankle is giving him fits.

E. Illinois - 9
ILLINOIS - 21

*It's not going to be pretty for the Illini, but at least Ron Zook can say he's coaching a winning football team again.

W. MICHIGAN - 31
Indiana - 30

*There you have it! My first upset in this conference! IU's defense gives up a big lead after the Hoosiers look like a new program in the first half. Terry Hoeppner feels the Annual IU Hot Seat after this last second heartbreaker.

SEC

S. Miss - 14
FLORIDA - 35

*Chris Leak finally turns it on in the season opener after seeing true freshman QB Tim Tebow warm up on the sideline during the first half. Gators win in ugly fashion...which in Gainesville, is almost as bad as a loss.

W. Kentucky - 6
GEORGIA - 30

*The Bulldogs use both Joe Tereshinski and Joe Cox at quarterback and believe it or not, Tereshinski will be more effective. WKU will be a very good 1AA team this season that should score plenty, but in Athens - NO WAY!

CALIFORNIA - 42
Tennessee - 24

*Hmmm...not the way Phillip Fulmer wanted things to start huh? Cal comes out with an offense that reminds us of USC the past two years.

S. CAROLINA - 42
Miss State - 10

*Spurrier comes out of the gate with an offense that looks like his teams from Gainesville. The Gamecocks show they can play some "D" too by giving Sylvester Croom's bunch fits at home.

Kentucky - 42
LOUISVILLE - 55

*This game went down to the wire last year and it will be even better this season. Both quarterbacks will put up huge numbers but in the end Brohm will outplay Andre' Woodson.

Vanderbilt - 0
MICHIGAN - 49

*Vandy I'm sorry...but with Ron English running the Big Blue "D" and Jay Cutler collecting a pro-paycheck there's little hope in Ann Arbor.

Wash. St. - 21
AUBURN - 51

*The Cougars have a healthy offense but the Tigers have Kenny Irons. What does that equal? About 220 yards on the ground and 4 touchdowns.

La-Lafayette - 17
LSU - 30

*I wish I could give you more upsets, because I like 'em too. The Rajun Cajuns will lead at halftime, but Alley Broussard and the Tigers ground game will finally take the attention away from JeMarcus Russell.

Hawaii - 21
ALABAMA - 27

*The Tide's defense is tested and Kenneth Darby shows the SEC he's the most powerful offensive weapon in the conference. Expect over 200 yards for the Tide's tailback.

USC - 35
Arkansas - 21

*No Darren McFadden, no Mitch Mustain, NO WIN for Houston Nutt. The Trojan offense looks shaky in the first half, but turns it on as they get their bearings.

Memphis - 10
OLE MISS - 13

*Ed Orgeron's offense struggles in the season opener. Fans in Oxford realize QB Brent Schaeffer isn't the savior offensively...but rather RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

BIG EAST

Marshall - 7
W. VIRGINIA - 72

*Yeah, the Mountaineers make an early season statement. White and Slaton combine for over 500 yards of total offense.

Kentucky - 42
LOUISVILLE - 55

*This game went down to the wire last year and it will be even better this season. Both quarterbacks will put up huge numbers but in the end Brohm will outplay Andre' Woodson.

Virginia - 34
PITT - 35

*Week 1's best game! Tyler Palko brings the Panthers back with a perfectly executed two-minute drill. Dave Wannstedt begins a dramatic turnaround from last year's disappointing 5-6 season.

McNeese St. - 17
S. FLORIDA - 21

*The Bulls aren't impressive against this 1AA opponent. QB issues continue as Pat Julmiste is pulled for sophomore Carlton Hill.

Rhode Island - 14
UCONN - 41

*Boy it's nice to have RB Terry Caulley back from injury!!! He rushes for 150 yds. and the Huskies roll in Storrs.

Rutgers - 24
N. CAROLINA - 30

*QB Joe Dailey and WR Jesse Holley combine for a big day against - what should be - a good Big East team this year. Greg Schiano begins to look ahead to three straight wins over Illinois, Buffalo and Howard.

E. KENTUCKY - 24
Cincinnati - 21

*This one hurts. Cincy head coach Mark Dantonio doesn't know what to think after losing to a very good 1AA team.

Syracuse - 18
WAKE FOREST - 27

*The Orange look respectable in the first half...then the Deacons dominant running game takes over. Get used to this feeling Greg Robinson.

CONFERENCE USA

Villanova - 0
UCF - 52

*George O'Leary told me his team will be much better than last year. After watching the Golden Knights play perfectly on both sides of the ball...we see his point.

S. Miss - 14
FLORIDA - 35

*Chris Leak finally turns it on in the season opener after seeing true freshman QB Tim Tebow warm up on the sideline during the first half. Gators win in ugly fashion...which in Gainesville, is almost as bad as a loss.

Memphis - 10
OLE MISS - 13

*Ed Orgeron's offense struggles in the season opener. Fans in Oxford realize QB Brent Schaeffer isn't the savior offensively...but rather RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Marshall - 7
W. VIRGINIA - 72

*Yeah, the Mountaineers make an early season statement. White and Slaton combine for over 500 yards of total offense.

E. Carolina - 35
NAVY - 42

*CSTV Football Nation gets off to a great start with this thriller. Two of the top up-and-coming head coaches show off their stuff. Paul Johnson's ground game is simply too much for Skip Holtz's Pirates.

UAB - 13
OKAHOMA - 41

*Adrian Peterson makes his Heisman pitch in week 1 against a Blazers defense that has no experience on the defensive line and secondary. Peterson rushes for a cool 220.

UTEP - 35
San Diego St. - 24

*The Miners offense is loaded and QB Jordan Palmer is ready to make his senior season a Heisman one. New SDSU head coach Chuck Long has a decent defense but Mike Price has way too many weapons.

Stephen F. Austin - 3
TULSA - 54

*The Golden Hurricane will make this one look like a scrimmage against a JV team.

HOUSTON - 48
Rice - 20

*The Owls offense makes strides with Major Applewhite calling the plays, but Cougars QB Kevin Kolb is NFL "good" and the Bayou Bucket will stay with Houston.

SMU - 40
Texas Tech - 35

*TT head coach Mike Leach usually uses week one as a chance to boost his ranking by blowing weak teams out of the water. The problem is, SMU is good!!! So many returning starters and a ton of confidence has head coach Phil Bennett looking forward to a great season.

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Sacremento St. - 9
BOISE STATE - 56

*The post Dan Hawkins era begins with an easy victory. QB Jared Zabransky looks great and gives Oregon St. plenty to dissect for their week two matchup.

NEVADA - 52
Fresno St. - 48

*The losing streak continues for Bulldog fans. Nevada picks up a crucial conference victory as QB Jeff Rowe throws for four touchdowns.

Hawaii - 21
ALABAMA - 27

*The Tide's defense is tested and Kenneth Darby shows the SEC he's the most powerful offensive weapon in the conference. Expect over 200 yards for the Tide's tailback.

Louisiana Tech - 18
NEBRASKA - 61

*Zac Taylor throws for over 400 yards while RB Marlon Lucky gives the Huskers balance in the running game. Nebraska looks like the Nebraska of old in this one...except...they throw...a lot...more.

San Jose State - 27
WASHINGTON - 40

*Despite ending '05 with two straight wins, an inexperienced Spartan defense can't stop a much improved Huskies football team.

Utah State - 14
WYOMING - 17

*Not exactly the prettiest game you'll ever see, but for Wyoming fans, it's a much needed win. After ending '05 with six straight losses, RB Wynel Seldon carries the Cowboys to a 1-0 start.

Idaho - 6
MICHIGAN ST. - 45

*The Drew Stanton Heisman campaign starts now! Dennis Erickson leaves East Lansing asking himself why he started all over.

SE Louisiana - 20
NEW MEXICO ST. - 37

*NMSU head coach Hal Mumme wins his first game in Las Cruces against his old team! How perfect! Watch out WAC, because the Aggies are back! Hahahahaha...

SUN BELT CONFERENCE

La-Lafayette - 17
LSU - 30

*I wish I could give you more upsets, because I like 'em too. The Rajun Cajuns will lead at halftime, but Alley Broussard and the Tigers ground game will finally take the attention away from JeMarcus Russell.

North Texas - 13
TEXAS - 72

*No better way to break in a redshirt freshman quarterback than by having him face a Mean Green defense that isn't very threatening. Colt McCoy holds on to the starting job with this blowout win. Jamaal Charles rushes for 180 yards.

Fla. International - 27
MIDDLE TENN. - 28

*New head coach Rick Stockstill picks up his first win and some revenge over FIU after losing to them last year 35-31.

ARMY - 45
Ark. St. - 17

*The Indians won the league in '05 but are breaking in too many players at the skill positions. Give Bobby Ross some credit, the Black Knights get off to a great start!

Alabama St. - 6
TROY - 7

*Get ready for the most boring of all the week one games. Well, hold on. This is a bit of an in-state rivalry and Troy does win by just one...so I guess it has some suspense.

ALCORN ST. - 22
La. Monroe - 21

*The Warhawks drop the season opener to a 1AA team. Not a good way to start. Big win for the Braves.

Florida Atlantic - 3
CLEMSON - 72

*This may be the most violent loss FAU has ever experienced in college football. The Tigers are out to prove they're most dangerous team in the ACC. New Clemson QB Will Proctor looks better than Tiger alum Charlie Whitehurst in this ugly blowout.

OTHER THURSDAY GAMES

N. Arizona - 10
ARIZONA ST. - 35

*ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter looks great at home tonight. He'll pass for over 300 yards and no picks. Sun Devils could make a run in the Pac Ten.

E. Washington - 42
OREGON ST. - 44

*EWU can score in bunches and they give the fans in Corvallis a few gray hairs in week one. Kicker Alexis Serna wins this one in overtime.

Toledo - 21
IOWA ST. - 41

*ISU QB Bret Meyer dismantles Toledo with this arm and legs. Looks like a Heisman darkhorse after the Cyclones prove they're a team to be reckoned with in the Big 12.

E. Michigan - 12
BALL ST. - 13

*Give the Cardinals some credit, there is NO football support in Muncie, Indiana. Still, head coach Brady Hoke has done a solid job in grouping enough talent to pull off BSU's first winning season since...well...maybe since David Letterman went there - who knows.

BOSTON COLLEGE - 24
Central Michigan - 16

*CMU has a legit defense...for the MAC. Defensive end Daniel Bazuin could play anywhere and he proves it in this one. The Eagles are just too deep for the Chippewas to pull off the upset.

Temple - 9
BUFFALO - 14

*Head coach Turner Gill has fans of the Bulls thinking national championship following this emotional victory over powerhouse Temple! Man, gotta feel for the Owls...again.

THE NAIA GAME OF THE WEEK

Culver-Stockton - 31
LINDENWOOD U. - 35

*Following a heart-breaking loss to NW Oklahoma State in the Wheat Bowl, 14-13...the Lions return home and are ready to wake up the offense. Head coach Patrick Ross celebrates a thrilling victory in front of an estimated crowd of 4,104 fans.

Posted by Amsinger at 02:16 PM on August 30, 2006
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