Who's Down Wit' "O.P" - "O.P"????

By Amsinger - August 27, 2007


"O.P", better known as "OFF PROMPTER" is back baby! I know this blog reminded many of you of the season finale of the Sopranos...since it just stopped. But it's back now and with the new football season upon us I'm ready to continue the tradition you all have grown to love - PICKING EVERY DIVISION ONE-A COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME!!!!

You may be asking why I work so hard - BECAUSE I'M GOOD AT IT!!!

Last year my overall regular season picking record finished at a remarkable 525-216. Again, that's picking every game during the college football season!

There are a few things I should remind you of when taking part in this blog. I never look at "The Line" - and the point of this blog has nothing and I mean NOTHING to do with gamblling on college football. Betting on the game is a problem, so if you're using this for gambling purposes - see ya' later.

Also, my picks don't end with the score. I give you a few individual statlines for each game. It's easy to sit back and say USC will win by 20, but key stats will help prove my point as to how and why I think they'll win by that much.

My first installment each week will consist of picks from the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten and the MAC. Obviously, my second will consist of CUSA, Independants, Mountain West, Pac-Ten, SEC, Sun Belt and the WAC.

One more thing, if you don't agree with ANY of my picks - BLOG ME BACK! Thanks to the fine folks of cstv.com, any response will immediately be posted on my blog for all to read. It will not be edited because I'm a fan just like you and I want your voices heard as well!!!!

So sit back, relax and either love or hate the way I pick your favorite team on OFF PROMPTER!

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE:

East Carolina - 7
VIRGINIA TECH - 35

*Tough game for everyone in Blacksburg, including the visiting Pirates. With so much emotion filling Lane Stadium, the intensity level for the Hokies will reach an all-time high. Give the ECU defense some credit for holding guys like Brandon Ore, Sean Glennon and Eddie Royal to JUST 35 points. The offense didn't have a shot in this one, with Beamer's great defense and the arrest of ECU QB Rob Kass earlier this week. Well, it's safe to say the Pirates didn't stand a chance in this one. Solid win for Va Tech - for all the right reasons, and they'll get ready for their biggest test of the year in week two (LSU).

Glennon: 25-38, 277 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Ore: 27 carries, 148 yards, 1 TD
Royal: 4 catches, 83 yards, 2 TD

Clay: 13-30, 118 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
Johnson: 31 carries, 96 yards, 1 TD

Marshall - 9
MIAMI (FL) - 42

*The U is back! Randy Shannon stepped into a GREAT situation and will reap the benefits all season long. His defense is awesome, with future NFL stars like DE Calais Campbell (10.5 sacks in '06) and FS Kenny Phillips (6 tackles for a loss and 4 INT in '06). Some folks in Coral Gables were worried after hearing MLB Glenn Cook will miss the first 3-4 games to injury. No worries, converted linebacker and SUPER FROSH Allen Bailey may just keep the job after this stellar opener. Offensively, the Canes understand RB Javarris James is the man. QB Kirby Freeman will simply manage the game and find his open targets - despite being new to the starting eleven. Expect TWO defensive touchdowns in this early season blowout.

Freeman: 20-28, 195 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
James: 28 carries, 203 yards, 3 TD
Shields: 7 catches, 150 yards, 1 TD

Morris: 18-34, 167 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT
Small: 18 carries, 58 yards
Marshall: 16 carries, 40 yards

UCONN - 17
Duke - 14

*And here it goes again for the Dukies. After a miserable 0-12 season, the Blue Devils schedule - what they think - is a "winnable" game. They soon realize, the Huskies are the "Big Sleeper" in the Big East. RB Donald Brown carries the load behind HC Randy Edsall's young offensive line and UConn gets '07 started according to plan.

Lorenzen: 13-25, 132 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Brown: 38 carries, 192 yards, 2 TD

Lewis: 19-33, 213 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 10 carries, 42 yards
Boyle: 20 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD
Boyette: 12 carries, 61 yards
Riley: 6 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD

Virginia - 20
WYOMING - 21

UPSET SPECIAL #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*I know, I know, Al Groh has 19 starters back from '06 at Virginia. But they played on a VERY mediocre Cavalier club. This game was a classic last year with UVA winning 13-12 in OT. The Cowboys get revenge thanks to a gutsy comeback from sophomore sensation QB Karsten Sween. Watch out folks, a new star in the Mountain West is born!

Sween: 17-27, 227 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Seldon: 22 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
Ford: 7 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD

Sewell: 14-30, 118 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 17 carries, 82 yards, 2 TD
Peerman: 25 carries, 102 yards

GEORGIA TECH - 24
Notre Dame - 14

*No upset here. Tech is downright better. Still, losing by just ten at home is a good sign for Charlie Weis. Chan Gailey's group is my pick to win the Coastal Division of the ACC this year and with RB Tashard Choice running behind one of the best offensive lines in the conference, the Jackets have every right to be jacked up about '07. Expect Notre Dame QB Evan Sharpley to be sacked at LEAST five times with guys like Philip Wheeler (9 sacks in '06), Michael Johnson (5 sacks in '06) and Adamm Oliver (3.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss) coming after him.

Bennett: 16-24, 230 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Choice: 32 carries, 175 yards, 2 TD
Johnson: 9 catches, 122 yards, 1 TD

Sharpley: 13-28, 134 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Thomas: 14 carries, 67 yards, 1 TD
Aldridge: 10 carries, 73 yards, 1 TD
Carlson: 4 catches, 77 yards

Wake Forest: - 17
BOSTON COLLEGE: -28

*Wake's incredible 6-0 road record in '06 doesn't carry over into Chestnut Hill. New BC HC Jeff Jagodzinkski watches his Eagles play a polished ballgame against the defending conference champs. QB Matt Ryan shows why he could be ACC Player of the Year as spreads the ball all over the field, taking advantage of an inexperienced Demon Deacon D.

Ryan: 27-41, 257 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Callender: 18 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD
Whitworth: 24 carries, 75 yards, 1 TD
Purvis: 6 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD

Skinner: 14-26, 202 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Andrews: 21 carries, 90 yards, 1 TD
Moore: 4 catches, 66 yards

Villanova - 6
MARYLAND - 41

*I really like the Terps this season. Who cares if they're unproven at QB (Junior Jordan Steffy is the new starter), they have TWO dynamite running backs in Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore (A.K.A. Ray Lewis' little brother). This duo will remind Villanova why they are NOT a 1A squad with this home-town drubbing.

Steffy: 15-22, 146 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Ball: 25 carries, 194 yards, 2 TD
Lattimore: 21 carries, 177 yards, 1 TD

UCF - 13
N.C. STATE - 24

*Great start for new Wolfpack HC Tom O'Brien! UCF is a solid CUSA team with 17 returning starters and a sound ground game, but defensive lineman Martrel Brown and DeMario Pressley shutdown RB Kevin Smith and company for the hard fought victory. Even with 9 returning starters on defense, George O'Leary has no answer for the terrific tailback combo of Andre Brown and Toney Baker (one of the nation's best backfields I might add).

Evans: 14-28, 201 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Baker: 26 carries, 127 yards, 2 TD
Brown: 21 carries, 105 yards

Israel: 10-25, 129 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 7 carries, 38 yards
Smith: 36 carries, 116 yards, 1 TD
Thornton: 3 catches, 62 yards

James Madison - 14
NORTH CAROLINA - 24

*Oops, not a blowout! The Tar Heels are VERY young and thankfully they get a Subdivision program to begin the Butch Davis era in Chapel Hill. JMU is a good second teir team, but not good enough for the biggest upset in school history. Overall, solid start for redshirt freshman QB T.J. Yates...good enough to keep blue-chip QB Mike Paulus on the bench for at least one more week.

Yates: 20-32, 188 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 4 carries, 31 yards, 1 TD
Rich: 21 carries, 92 yards, 1 TD
Nicks: 7 catches, 78 yards
Dailey: 5 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD

Holloman: 32 carries, 106 yards, 2 TD

FLORIDA ST. - 27
Clemson - 20

*FINALLY!!!! The Bowden Bowl goes to Papa Bear for a change! Poor Bobby had to can his "other" son as OC at FSU and that change alone will be the difference in this one. New OC Jimbo Fisher has all the pieces of the puzzle to have an offense that contends for the ACC title. Clemson's dangerous duo of James Davis and C.J. Spiller will break a few runs in the first half and don't be shocked in the Tigers are winning at the half. But the experience of this superstar coaching staff gets it done in a VERY hostile enviroment. The best start to '07 Bobby could ever ask for.

Weatherford: 25-38, 239 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Smith: 21 carries, 100 yards
Fagg: 6 catches, 125 yards, 2 TD

Davis: 18 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD
Spiller: 14 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD


BIG 12 CONFERENCE:

Kent State - 21
IOWA ST. - 23

*Close call for first year HC Gene Chizik! The Cyclones find themselves fending off a very experienced KSU team with 8 starters back on each side of the ball. Fans in Ames are awaiting the breakout performance from QB Bret Meyer...they're still waiting after week one. ISU looks like they could be a contender in the Big 12 at times, then...fizzle out. The 'Clones will be happy they sneak away with a week one win here.

Meyer: 15-32, 200 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 90 yards, 2 TD
Bass: 16 carries, 83 yards
Blythe: 6 catches, 112 yards

Edelman: 20-38, 255 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 18 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD
Jarvis: 20 carries, 92 yards, 1 TD

COLORADO ST. - 23
Colorado - 17

*The Rams are getting revenge for three straight years of near misses against the Buffs ('03-'05). QB Caleb Hanie was near perfect in last year's 14-10 thriller on CSTV (20-23, 233 yds.). Expect Hanie to be even more dynamic with an actual RUNNING GAME!!! Remember, RB Kyle Bell was lost for the season in the final week of August with an ACL injury in '06. Bell is back, along with 17 OTHER CSU starters. As for the Buffaloes, HC Dan Hawkins has a better team this year in Boulder, just not enough to beat rival Colorado State. The Rams end their 7 game losing streak.

Hanie: 17-28, 226 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Bell: 34 carries, 163 yards, 1 TD
Morton: 8 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD

Hawkins: 13-22, 142 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 8 carries, 58 yards
Charles: 37 carries, 124 yards, 2 TD

Nevada - 10
NEBRASKA - 45

*STATEMENT!!! The Cornhuskers are a LEGIT national title contender. Bill Callahan went the junior college rout to replace six defensive starters and will upgrade at the RB and QB positions with new starters there as well. QB Sam Keller becomes an instant hit in Lincoln running the west coast offense to perfection against a Nevada secondary that's breaking in a new corner and safety - to go along with a new defensive coordinator in Ken Wilson (he was LB coach last year). The Huskers won't even miss their #1 wideout Maurice Purify (who's suspended one game) as Keller crushes the Pack.

Keller: 35-52, 425 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT
Lucky: 20 carries, 154 yards, 1 TD
Nunn: 12 catches, 205 yards, 3 TD

Graziano: 21-40, 201 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 12 carries, 30 yards
Lippincott: 20 carries, 51 yards

MISSOURI - 45
Illinois - 31

*Eleven thousand MORE season tickets were sold in Champaign this season, leaving the grand total at 34,000 - the highest since the University of Illinois started tracking season ticket sales back in 1981. Why am I telling you this? Because Ron Zook's freshman class is the reason. Aurrellius Benn will be the NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR!!!! Benn, who is considered the best receiver in the class of '07 will do it all for the Illini, but Missouri is too much in a neutral site (St. Louis). Chase Daniel begins his quest for the Heisman Trophy as he utilizes an amazing tight end combo that may go down in history as one of the greatest in the college game.

Daniel: 27-42, 332 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; 14 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD
Temple: 17 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD
Rucker: 7 catches, 140 yards, 2 TD
Franklin: 9 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD

Williams: 14-25, 186 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 15 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD
Mendenhall: 24 carries, 152 yards, 2 TD
Benn: 5 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, 45 yards

Baylor - 9
TCU - 30

*Last year's contest was close between these two (17-7 TCU) - this year? Not so much. The Horned Frogs lose a a very good graduated QB in Jeff Ballard, thankfully for HC Gary Patterson, the Frogs have one of the top 5 defenses in the NATION!!!! Don't roll your eyes either! They held Texas Tech to just 3 points last year! 9 starters are back from that unit including DE Tommy Blake, who may be an NFL first rounder when his college career is said and done. Junior running back Aaron Brown uses his enormous offensive line to walk all over the Baylor defense.

Dalton: 12-19, 153 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 6 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD
Brown: 35 carries, 234 yards, 2 TD

Beatty: 23-40, 188 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Whitaker: 14 carries, 66 yards

Oklahoma St. - 24
GEORGIA - 34

*Whew! Close call for Mark Richt! Oklahoma State is one of the best "unknown" teams in the nation and they don't roll over and die in Athens. QB Bobby Reid has a great first half against an inexperienced Georgia defense (only 4 starters back) and RB Dantrell Savage rushes for over 100 yards (which is tough to do AT Sanford Stadium. The issue is the OSU defense, there's no way they get the big stop against an offense as talented and battle-tested as Georgia's. QB Matthew Stafford makes all the right plays and Thomas Brown returns from his knee injury to prove why he is the starting tailback over Kregg Lumpkin and Knowshon Moreno.

Stafford: 21-31, 230 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Brown: 24 carries, 107 yards, 1 TD
Lumpkin: 12 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD

Reid: 22-41, 218 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 12 carries, 96 yards, 2 TD
Savage: 27 carries, 102 yards
Bowman: 7 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD

Arkansas St. - 14
TEXAS - 58

*Tough way to open up for ASU. They travel to Austin to face the Horns, then face a VASTLY improved Memphis squad (who they beat last year), an SMU club that spanked them in '06 (55-9) and Tennessee in KNOXVILLE!!! 0-4 is a realistic future for HC Steve Roberts. As for Texas, they'll be without star wideout Billy Pittman (shoulder), but Quan Cosby and Limas Sweed will pick up the slack and smack the ASU secondary into week two.

McCoy: 32-40, 390 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT: 7 carries, 48 yards, 1 TD
Charles: 30 carries, 206 yards, 3 TD
Sweed: 9 catches, 205 yards, 2 TD

Leonard: 14-29, 152 yards, 1 TD; 14 carries, 30 yards
Arnold: 25 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD

North Texas - 14
OKLAHOMA - 48

*Knowing Bob Stoops, he's going to walk away upset with his defense for giving the Mean Green 14 points. NTU does have Jamario Thomas, who many of you remember as the guy that led the nation in rushing as a freshman back in '04. He's been a bit of a disapointment since but should play well his senior season. Expect Jamario to have a decent game against OU. As for the Sooners, QB Sam Bradford will look like a seasoned vet after this season opening laugher.

Bradford: 16-21, 227 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 10 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD
Murray: 21 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD
Patrick: 15 carries, 120 yards

Meager: 11-26, 96 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
Thomas: 37 carries, 116 yards, 2 TD

Montana State - 7
TEXAS A&M - 66

*You really think A&M is going to let MSU get another season opening upset against a 1A opponent? No way. Sure the Bobcats knocked off Colorado in '06 - but these Aggies are so much better those bad Buffs. 9 starters back on offense including Goodson, Lane and QB McGee = no fair.

McGee: 27-34, 318 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT; 7 carries, 83 yards, 1 TD
Lane: 15 carries, 64 yards, 2 TD
Goodson: 25 carries, 134 yards
Bennett: 8 catches, 182 yards, 2 TD

C. MICHIGAN - 31
Kansas - 27

*I wish I could call this an "Upset Special" - but I can't. The Chippewas are for real, with 7 starters on both sides of the ball - including future NFL QB Dan LeFevour (who's just a sophomore!). Expect CMU to go on the road and kickstart a MAC championship worthy season with solid win over the Jayhawks.

LeFevour: 32-44, 377 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; 16 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD
Sneed: 18 carries, 135 yards, 1 TD
Anderson: 13 catches, 227 yards

Reesing: 16-31, 152 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 5 carries, 73 yards, 1 TD
Sharp: 17 carries, 73 yards
Fields: 5 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD

KANSAS ST. - 21
Auburn - 20

UPSET SPECIAL #2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*This is the story of an upstart program knocking off - what I like to call a "slow fader." The Auburn Tigers did beat the national champion Florida Gators last year on their way to a 11-2 season, but with only 5 starters back on offense - including just ONE offensive lineman, this one smells like an upset to me! Auburn QB Brandon Cox is one of the most overrated QB's in the country and he shows it in this one. On the other side, QB Josh Freeman is ready to become a household name. Expect a last-second field goal to determine this one as Ron Prince gets his 2nd cornerstone victory (KSU beat Texas in '06).

Freeman: 20-35, 240 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Johnson: 17 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD
Patton: 21 carries, 93 yards
Nelson: 6 catches, 100 yards, 1 TD

Cox: 17-32, 155 yards, 1 TD 3 INT
Tate: 22 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD
Fannin: 11 carries, 104 yards

TEXAS TECH - 56
SMU - 27

*Sure SMU is a better team than they were last year and CSTV's college football insider Brian Curtis picked them to win the CUSA this season, but of all the teams in Division 1A last year - no team "burned" me more than the Mustangs. Of their eleven regular season games, I picked just 4 correctly!!!!! So I'm doing HC Phil Bennett a favor and going with a blowout - not just a loss, but a blowout loss in week one.

Harrell: 43-62, 472 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT
Woods: 15 carries, 72 yards, 1 TD; 11 catches, 152 yards, 1 TD
Crabtree: 10 catches, 153 yards, 2 TD

Willis: 26-47, 302 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT; 13 carries, 54 yards
Martin: 16 carries, 61 yards


BIG EAST CONFERENCE:

Buffalo - 13
RUTGERS - 27

*YUCK! The Scarlet Knights come out a bit flat against a very improved bunch of Bulls. HC Turner Gill has his guys ready for Greg Schiano's guys and at the half it's all tied. RB Ray Rice re-establishes himself as a Heisman contender in the second half with two big touchdown runs.

Teel: 21-38, 190 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rice: 35 carries, 227 yards, 2 TD
Underwood: 10 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD

Willy: 13-32, 128 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 8 carries, 41 yards, 1 TD
Starks: 27 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD

SEMO - 10
CINCINNATI - 42

*1st year HC Brian Kelly is used to winning. Fresh off a MAC championship with Central Michigan, Kelly inherits a veteran group of Bearcats that can make a run in the Big East. QB Dustin Grutza can do it all; pass, run and manage the game. Too bad he's not starting! Nope, former Wake Forest field general Ben Mauk will try his hand at leading the Cats. Defensively, Anthony Hoke may be one of the quickest DE you'll see in this league. Southeast Missouri State never stood a chance.

Mauk: 16-21, 182 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 15 carries, 103 yards, 2 TD
Benton: 22 carries, 155 yards, 1 TD
Moore: 16 carries, 66 yards
Goodman: 7 catches, 94 yards, 1 TD

Murray State - 0
LOUISVILLE - 55

*Ummm...this one will be UGGGGGGGGLY!!!! When looking at this score, keep in mind the Racers are actually better than they were last year (for crying out loud they were 1-10). QB Brian Brohm becomes the Heisman frontrunner after this near-perfect week one performance.

Brohm: 32-37, 355 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Stripling: 20 carries, 156 yards, 2 TD
Allen: 23 carries, 113 yards, 1 TD
Douglas: 12 catches, 168 yards, 2 TD

WASHINGTON - 17
Syracuse - 16

*Tough call! Greg Robinson needed a win to open up at home, just doesn't fall his way. I predict the Orange miss a field goal with a few seconds remaining.

Locker: 22-42, 231 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rankin: 15 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
Hasty: 9 carries, 45 yards
Reece: 6 catches, 88 yards, 1 TD

Robinson: 14-25, 160 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT; 5 carries, 55 yards
Brinkley: 16 carries, 73 yards
Chiara: 7 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD

UCONN - 17
Duke - 14

*And here it goes again for the Dukies. After a miserable 0-12 season, the Blue Devils schedule - what they think - is a "winnable" game. They soon realize, the Huskies are the "Big Sleeper" in the Big East. RB Donald Brown carries the load behind HC Randy Edsall's young offensive line and UConn gets '07 started according to plan.

Lorenzen: 13-25, 132 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Brown: 38 carries, 192 yards, 2 TD

Lewis: 19-33, 213 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 10 carries, 42 yards
Boyle: 20 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD
Boyette: 12 carries, 61 yards
Riley: 6 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD

Western Michigan - 21
WEST VIRGINIA - 49

*Gotta give CMU credit for hanging around in the first half, but Pat White and Steve Slaton steal the show once again in the second half. Also look for freshman sensation RB Noel Devine to have one of the top freshman performances of week one.

White: 17-30, 216 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT: 21 carries, 153 yards, 2 TD
Slaton: 23 carries, 161 yards, 1 TD
Devine: 6 carries, 61 yards; 4 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD

Bonds: 24 carries, 105 yards, 2 TD

E. Michigan - 14
PITTSBURGH - 34

*The hard-luck Eagles continue to give max-effort, for nothing in return. EMU, fresh off a 1-11 2006 campaign will watch junior QB Bill Stull keep his distance from blue-chip QB prospect Pat Bostick. Stull leads the Panthers up and down the field with so many weapons at his disposal. A great showing for Dave Wannstedt who knows this is a make-or-break year in the Steel City.

Stull: 22-31, 197 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Howling: 28 carries, 166 yards, 1 TD
Turner: 5 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD

Schmitt: 13-27, 108 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 21 carries, 80 yards, 2 TD

Elon - 3
USF - 44

*Matt Grothe. Matt Grothe. That's all you have to say - Matt Grothe. The redshirt sophomore QB makes Elon look like a JY squad with his speed, arm and leadership. The Bulls are here to stay Big Easters!!!!

Grothe: 30-45, 312 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; 17 carries, 137 yards, 2 TD
Ford: 13 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD
Williams: 15 carries, 56 yards
Johnson: 7 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD


BIG TEN CONFERENCE:

Appalachian St. - 27
MICHIGAN - 38

*Oh my goodness! A close one! Remember folks, ASU is the defending Division One Championship Subdivision National Champions (the longest title in sports history) and THIS is their real national title test. Let's face it, Michigan was as good as anyone last year (on the big boy level) and they have around the same amount of returning starters as the Mountaineers. ASU has the remarkable sophomore quarterback Armanti Edwards, who became just the second freshman in NCAA Division 1 history to pass for over 2,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 in the same season. Also back is senior running back Kevin Richardson, who rushed for over sixteen-hundred yards last year. Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Mario Manningham will be ready to pick apart an ASU defense that will be breaking in three new starters on the defensive line. This one will be tied at the half, stressing out way too many Wolverine fans - but Big Blue wears down the champs in the second half.

Henne: 23-35, 248 yds, 2 TD and 1 INT
Hart: 27 carries, 163 yds, 2 TD
Manningham: 8 catches, 120 yds, 1 TD

Edwards: 12-28, 115 yds, 0 TD and 2 INT; 18 carries, 175 yds, 2 TD
Richardson: 31 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD

Youngstown St. - 10
OHIO STATE - 31

*Not as much fun stuff to talk about in OSU's opener compared to Michigan's. Jim Tressel will face the same program he guided from '86-2000, for the first time ever. Aside from that nuggett - this one should be a snoozer. Former Tressel assistant Jon Heacock (who's brother Jim is co-defensive coordinator at OSU) will try to replace a fantastic running back in Marcus Mason who snagged over 1,800 yards last year and carried YSU to the national semifinals (where they lost to Appalachain State). Problem is, the Penguins have to find a new "go-to-penguin" against a very young, but good OSU defense. Expect a huge game from sophomore running back Chris Wells who has a ton of talent in front of him with Kirk Barton and Alex Boone at the tackle positions. Junior QB Todd Boeckman won't be put in a position to fail. This guy is 23 years old and hasn't started a game in five years (his senior year of HS). Don't expect inflated passing stats from OSU, but they get the job done.

Boeckman: 12-18, 127 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Wells: 35 carries, 220 yds, 3 TD

Zetts: 18-40, 204 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT
Irizarry: 6 catches, 85 yds, 1 TD

Florida International - 3
PENN STATE - 41

*PSU fans better NOT be dismissing rivals OSU and Michigan for playing Championship Subdivision programs to open the season because FIU went 0-12 in '06!!! The Golden Panthers did have a top 30 defensive unit - nationally - last year, but lose five of their top six tacklers. New head coach Mario Cristobal is bringing in a spread offense but will have a new starting quarterback running the system with experienced tailbacks that couldn't reach the 500 yard mark individually in '06. The Nittany Lions, meanwhile, think they have a national championship caliber team. It's hard to argue when you consider the returning talent on offense. QB Anthony Morelli has all FOUR of his top targets back and should help develope WR Derrick Williams into a household name this season. Sr. RB Austin Scott is fresh off a redshirt season and will FINALLY live up to the hype for Joe Paterno...that is, if he stays out of his doghouse.

Morelli: 25-35, 255 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Scott: 20 carries, 115 yds, 1 TD
Williams: 8 catches, 133 yds, 2 TD

Younger: 11-27, 108 yds, 0 TD, 2 INT
McCall: 5-15, 33 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT
Ned: 23 carries, 70 yds

Northeastern - 10
N'WESTERN - 34

*The Wildcats do not lose to ANOTHER Championship Subdivision program (last year Northwestern lost to New Hampshire). Northeastern has a stellar RB in Maurice Murray and will hang tough in the first half. Tyrell Sutton finally gets going in the second half and Pat Fitzgerald's defense proves it could be one of the best in the Big Ten.

Bacher: 15-27, 159 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Sutton: 30 carries, 187 yards, 2 TD

Murray: 35 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD

UAB - 3
MICHIGAN ST. - 17

*Glad to see new MSU HC Mark Dantonio win his first game in East Lansing, but jeez...this one will be U-G-L-Y! The lone star to watch will be MSU RB Javon Ringer. With a new offensive coordinator (Don Treadwell), a new QB (Brian Hoyer) and THREE new receivers, the 5'9 junior (Ringer) will be the star. The Spartans will go as far as Javon carries them. As for UAB, this will be a tough first season for HC Neil Callaway. Four returning starters on both sides of the ball isn't good. 2006 was rough in Birmingham and '07 will be just as bad for the Blazers.

Hoyer: 14-20, 128 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Ringer: 35 carries, 171 yards, 2 TD

Webb: 10-26, 110 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT; 9 carries, 50 yards

Washington St. - 24
WISCONSIN - 28

*Gotta love this one! A week one wonder lives up to the hype. WSU QB Alex Brink has his top tailback and two of his top three targets back from last year. The Cougar defense does have to replace six starters and that inexperience will lead to a HUGE week one performance from RB P.J. Hill. Beating the Badgers in Madison isn't an easy thing to do. Wisconsin went undefeated at Camp Randall Stadium in '06 and I expect them to the run the table at home once again...starting with the Cougars.

Donovan: 23-35, 228 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Hill: 33 carries, 201 yards, 2 TD
Beckum: 8 catches, 134 yards, 1 TD

Brink: 31-46, 307 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Tardy: 20 carries, 62 yards
Bumpus: 10 catches, 178 yards, 2 TD

MISSOURI - 45
Illinois - 31

*Eleven thousand MORE season tickets were sold in Champaign this season, leaving the grand total at 34,000 - the highest since the University of Illinois started tracking season ticket sales back in 1981. Why am I telling you this? Because Ron Zook's freshman class is the reason. Aurrellius Benn will be the NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR!!!! Benn, who is considered the best receiver in the class of '07 will do it all for the Illini, but Missouri is too much in a neutral site (St. Louis). Chase Daniel begins his quest for the Heisman Trophy as he utilizes an amazing tight end combo that may go down in history as one of the greatest in the college game.

Daniel: 27-42, 332 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; 14 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD
Temple: 17 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD
Rucker: 7 catches, 140 yards, 2 TD
Franklin: 9 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD

Williams: 14-25, 186 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 15 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD
Mendenhall: 24 carries, 152 yards, 2 TD
Benn: 5 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, 45 yards

IOWA - 34
N. Illinois - 13

*Kirk Ferentz needs a good start to his season after ending '06 with a losing record (6-7). Good news! The Hawkeyes get to face Garrett Wolfe-less Northern Illinois, sorry Syracuse and a rebuilding Iowa State Cyclone team. Oh wait, it gets better! Iowa doesn't play Ohio State OR Michigan this season! Starting quarterback Jake Christensen likes the sound of that docket, along with senior tailback Albert Young - who will no doubt be the "go-to-Hawkeye" in '07. Poor NIU, replacing an experience quarterback (Phil Horvath) and a school legend (Wolfe) will be damn near impossible. That's only over FOUR THOUSAND yards of total offense gone.

Christensen: 15-22, 255 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 6 carries, 34 yards, 1 TD
Young: 34 carries, 178 yards, 1 TD
Douglas: 6 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD

Nicholson: 20-37, 230 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT
Anderson: 14 carries, 50 yards
Davis: 11 catches, 158 yards, 1 TD

Purdue - 35
TOLEDO - 38 (OT)

UPSET SPECIAL #3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Ahhh...the best game of the day!!! A classic shootout where the home crowd is left tearing down the goal-posts! The Rockets have 8 starters back on both sides who remember last year's opening day triple overtime loss to Iowa State. Aaron Opelt (Sophomore) will get the early call at QB - barely beating out Clint Cochran who opened the season last year. After this classic ballgame, Opelt doesn't have anything to worry about. The running QB and his backfield partner, Jalen Parmele will rush for over 250 yards against a decent Purdue defense. Boilermaker fans won't be happy with this pick, since returning QB Curtis Painter is considered a Heisman contender in West Lafayette. This isn't a case of Purdue playing poorly, rather it's Toledo having the game of their lives.

Opelt: 28-45, 308 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT; 15 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
Parmele: 24 carries, 124 yards, 1 TD
Hopkins: 8 catches, 159 yards, 2 TD

Painter: 36-54, 382 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Taylor: 17 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD
Sheets: 14 carries, 57 yards
Bryant: 14 catches, 166 yards, 2 TD

Indiana State - 28
INDIANA - 58

*Hoosier pride fills up Bloomington as the post-Terry Hoeppner era begins. Hoeppner, who passed away in the offseason was replaced by his offensive coordinator - Bill Lynch, who has much more to work with at IU than he ever did during his time as head coach at Ball State. QB Kellen Lewis is the main reason the Hoosiers will end their streak of 12 consecutive losing seasons. Lewis will dismantle a terrible Indiana State program with the help of his 6'7 favorite target James Hardy. Get ready for IU to open up 3-0.

Lewis: 23-32, 320 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; 16 carries, 157 yards, 2 TD
Thigpen: 28 carries, 140 yards, 2 TD
Hardy: 10 catches, 172 yards, 2 TD

Murphy: 21-45, 218 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT; 12 carries, 48 yards, 1 TD
West: 22 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD

Bowling Green - 17
MINNESOTA - 20

*Whoa! A near miss for Minny! First year head coach Tim Brewster has a very capable defense and will rely heavily on his super-experienced linebacker/secondary cores. Bowling Green has the "potential" to pull off this upset on the road, but one player is in their way...Amir Pinnix. The Minnesota Senior RB is THE offense for the Golden Gophers as I expect Amir to rush for over 1,600 yards this season. He gets off to a good start in the Metrodome.

Weber: 14-29, 147 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Pinnix: 31 carries, 218 yards, 2 TD
Simmons: 5 catches, 74 yards

Turner: 21-43, 255 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 9 carries, 51 yards
Bullock: 20 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD
Partridge: 8 catches, 106 yards

MAC CONFERENCE:

Buffalo - 13
RUTGERS - 27

*YUCK! The Scarlet Knights come out a bit flat against a very improved bunch of Bulls. HC Turner Gill has his guys ready for Greg Schiano's guys and at the half it's all tied. RB Ray Rice re-establishes himself as a Heisman contender in the second half with two big touchdown runs.

Teel: 21-38, 190 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rice: 35 carries, 227 yards, 2 TD
Underwood: 10 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD

Willy: 13-32, 128 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 8 carries, 41 yards, 1 TD
Starks: 27 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD

Miami (OH) - 23
BALL STATE - 37

*A bowl game will be celebrated in Muncie this year! I know it's early and Cardinal fans have heard if plenty of times before, but this squad shapes up very nicely in the '07 MAC. Nate Davis is the 2nd best QB in this league (behind CMU's LeFevour of course) and I expect him to take OC Stan Parrish's offense to a high level. Only one new face on the offensive line will help Quale Lewis become the new feature back for HC Brady Hoke. As for the Redhawks, I'm predicting another long year in Oxford.

Davis: 27-43, 310 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Lewis: 21 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD
Love: 5 catches, 113 yards, 2 TD

Kokal: 16-33, 210 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; 10 carries, 36 yards
Murphy: 21 carries, 88 yards

Kent State - 21
IOWA ST. - 23

*Close call for first year HC Gene Chizik! The Cyclones find themselves fending off a very experienced KSU team with 8 starters back on each side of the ball. Fans in Ames are awaiting the breakout performance from QB Bret Meyer...they're still waiting after week one. ISU looks like they could be a contender in the Big 12 at times, then...fizzle out. The 'Clones will be happy they sneak away with a week one win here.

Meyer: 15-32, 200 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 90 yards, 2 TD
Bass: 16 carries, 83 yards
Blythe: 6 catches, 112 yards

Edelman: 20-38, 255 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 18 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD
Jarvis: 20 carries, 92 yards, 1 TD

NAVY - 42
Temple - 13

*Gotta feel bad for the Owls. Believe it or not, Temple is actually an improving program. The problem is, this Navy team may be Paul Johnson's best in the 6 years he's been in Annapolis. The running game simply unstoppable in week one for the Mids as QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (swear that's his name) takes the reigns and runs the bone offense to perfection. For those of you who are worried Navy only has 3 returning defensive starters - don't. Ten upperclassmen are set to start on that side of the ball - which means the Midshipmen won't be breaking in inexperienced talent to DC Buddy Green's system.

Enhada: 10-23, 146 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 28 carries, 145 yards, 2 TD
Ballard: 31 carries, 155 yards, 2 TD
Campbell: 22 carries, 94 yards

DiMichele: 16-41, 173 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT; 8 carries, 27 yards

Western Michigan - 21
WEST VIRGINIA - 49

*Gotta give CMU credit for hanging around in the first half, but Pat White and Steve Slaton steal the show once again in the second half. Also look for freshman sensation RB Noel Devine to have one of the top freshman performances of week one.

White: 17-30, 216 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT: 21 carries, 153 yards, 2 TD
Slaton: 23 carries, 161 yards, 1 TD
Devine: 6 carries, 61 yards; 4 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD

Bonds: 24 carries, 105 yards, 2 TD

E. Michigan - 14
PITTSBURGH - 34

*The hard-luck Eagles continue to give max-effort, for nothing in return. EMU, fresh off a 1-11 2006 campaign will watch junior QB Bill Stull keep his distance from blue-chip QB prospect Pat Bostick. Stull leads the Panthers up and down the field with so many weapons at his disposal. A great showing for Dave Wannstedt who knows this is a make-or-break year in the Steel City.

Stull: 22-31, 197 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Howling: 28 carries, 166 yards, 1 TD
Turner: 5 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD

Schmitt: 13-27, 108 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 21 carries, 80 yards, 2 TD

Garder-Webb - 0
OHIO - 35

Come on...Gardner-Webb? Not even talking about this one.

ARMY - 20
Akron - 13

UPSET SPECIAL #4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*The Black Knights are 3-0 vs. Akron coming into this contest and they continue to own the Zips! Just what the doctor ordered for first year HC Stan Brock as the Knights get a win the academy will be proud of.

Williams: 7-12, 63 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 20 carries, 107 yards, 1 TD
Pevoto: 2-7, 34 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; 12 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD

Kennedy: 29 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD

IOWA - 34
N. Illinois - 13

*Kirk Ferentz needs a good start to his season after ending '06 with a losing record (6-7). Good news! The Hawkeyes get to face Garrett Wolfe-less Northern Illinois, sorry Syracuse and a rebuilding Iowa State Cyclone team. Oh wait, it gets better! Iowa doesn't play Ohio State OR Michigan this season! Starting quarterback Jake Christensen likes the sound of that docket, along with senior tailback Albert Young - who will no doubt be the "go-to-Hawkeye" in '07. Poor NIU, replacing an experience quarterback (Phil Horvath) and a school legend (Wolfe) will be damn near impossible. That's only over FOUR THOUSAND yards of total offense gone.

Christensen: 15-22, 255 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 6 carries, 34 yards, 1 TD
Young: 34 carries, 178 yards, 1 TD
Douglas: 6 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD

Nicholson: 20-37, 230 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT
Anderson: 14 carries, 50 yards
Davis: 11 catches, 158 yards, 1 TD

C. MICHIGAN - 31
Kansas - 27

*I wish I could call this an "Upset Special" - but I can't. The Chippewas are for real, with 7 starters on both sides of the ball - including future NFL QB Dan LeFevour (who's just a sophomore!). Expect CMU to go on the road and kickstart a MAC championship worthy season with solid win over the Jayhawks.

LeFevour: 32-44, 377 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; 16 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD
Sneed: 18 carries, 135 yards, 1 TD
Anderson: 13 catches, 227 yards

Reesing: 16-31, 152 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 5 carries, 73 yards, 1 TD
Sharp: 17 carries, 73 yards
Fields: 5 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD

Purdue - 35
TOLEDO - 38 (OT)

UPSET SPECIAL #3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Ahhh...the best game of the day!!! A classic shootout where the home crowd is left tearing down the goal-posts! The Rockets have 8 starters back on both sides who remember last year's opening day triple overtime loss to Iowa State. Aaron Opelt (Sophomore) will get the early call at QB - barely beating out Clint Cochran who opened the season last year. After this classic ballgame, Opelt doesn't have anything to worry about. The running QB and his backfield partner, Jalen Parmele will rush for over 250 yards against a decent Purdue defense. Boilermaker fans won't be happy with this pick, since returning QB Curtis Painter is considered a Heisman contender in West Lafayette. This isn't a case of Purdue playing poorly, rather it's Toledo having the game of their lives.

Opelt: 28-45, 308 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT; 15 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
Parmele: 24 carries, 124 yards, 1 TD
Hopkins: 8 catches, 159 yards, 2 TD

Painter: 36-54, 382 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Taylor: 17 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD
Sheets: 14 carries, 57 yards
Bryant: 14 catches, 166 yards, 2 TD

Bowling Green - 17
MINNESOTA - 20

*Whoa! A near miss for Minny! First year head coach Tim Brewster has a very capable defense and will rely heavily on his super-experienced linebacker/secondary cores. Bowling Green has the "potential" to pull off this upset on the road, but one player is in their way...Amir Pinnix. The Minnesota Senior RB is THE offense for the Golden Gophers as I expect Amir to rush for over 1,600 yards this season. He gets off to a good start in the Metrodome.

Weber: 14-29, 147 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Pinnix: 31 carries, 218 yards, 2 TD
Simmons: 5 catches, 74 yards

Turner: 21-43, 255 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 9 carries, 51 yards
Bullock: 20 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD
Partridge: 8 catches, 106 yards


Posted by Amsinger at 02:05 PM on August 27, 2007
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