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College Football Picks: Opening Weekend

Small slate of games but at least it’s football!

Nebraska v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

College football is finally back. I know Florida State still has a week to wait before taking the field, but it’s never too early to get excited.

Each week this season, I’ll be making picks for five to ten games against the spread, mostly for my own amusement, and I’d love it if you guys played along with me down in the comments. I’ll include the FSU game each week so we can bicker over that.

Just to be transparent here, I’m not a shark running sportsbooks every weekend. I’m just a guy who loves college football and participates in a pick ‘em pool with my friends every year.

Hopefully, I can help you win your pool and I’ll try my best to see if I can get a leaderboard for us updated each week. Worst case scenario, we get you excited and prepped for some of the biggest games around the country each week.

We’ve got a short five slate for Week 0 or Week 1 Pt. 1 or whatever you want to call it so, without further delay, here’s who I’m rocking with. All lines will be coming from

  • Nebraska (-7) at Illinois (1:00 p.m. ET, ABC)

The Scott Frost era hasn’t been off to the greatest of starts at Nebraska has it? He certainly appears to be on the hot seat if the team fails to perform this year so this game is huge for him and the program. On the other side, former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema makes his return to the Big Ten after his time at Arkansas and the NFL. I feel like this one should be close because I’m just not buying what Scott Frost has been selling in Lincoln and, in that case, I’m almost always taking the points.

Prediction: Illinois +7

  • UCONN (+27.5) at Fresno State (2:00 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

I’ll keep this one simple. Fresno State is a good football program. UCONN is trying to build one. The Huskies have some talent but not enough to make a difference.

Prediction: Fresno State -27.5

  • Hawaii (+17.5) at UCLA (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

This is the game I’ll be paying the most attention to this weekend since UCLA plays LSU next weekend. I’m an LSU grad for those of you who are new to the program. UCLA is getting a tune up game under their belts here against a team they should be able to handle, though Hawaii is always a sneaky tough team to pick against since they always seem to get the backdoor cover. But for me, Chip Kelly’s team — yup forgot that was a thing too — is the better team and will not let up as they try to work out all their issues before next week’s game.

Prediction: UCLA -17.5

  • UTEP (-10) at New Mexico State (9:30 p.m.)

New Mexico State is one of the teams that played a few games in the spring but they got thoroughly handled by Tarleton State in one of them. UTEP isn’t great, but they’re better than Tarleton State.

Prediction: UTEP -10

  • Southern Utah (+23.5) at San Jose State (10:00 p.m., CBSSN)

Southern Utah played a pretty full spring schedule, but they didn’t do well at all. San Jose State is a solid football program so I’ll stick with them to take care of business.

Prediction: San Jose State (-23.5)

Again, leave your picks in the comments and let’s have some fun as we kickoff another college football season.