Our Friday Locks section returns to CCM where the writing staff picks against the spread. With the uncertainty surrounding the start of the season we've got a pretty good feeling about a handful of games. Get a pen and paper to take notes on just how much we don't know about college football.
Appalachian St. (+34.5) vs Michigan - Home Opener...August...2007...The Big House...need I say more?
Alabama (-26.5) vs West Virginia - The Mountaineers have struggled since the Big 3 graduated and simply haven't had the offensive power of the past. My expectation is for Bama so shut down WVU in ever facet of the game while scoring two touchdowns on defense. Add to it what they are capable of with the running back duo of Yeldon and Henry and this is a nightmare for WVU.
Wisconsin (+5) vs LSU - After ranking in the top 10 in rushing offense, the Badgers have proven they can ground and pound with anyone in the nation. Unfortunately, LSU presents one of the best rushing defenses year after year. It will be strength on strength but the patience of Wisc wins out for me...or am I leaning on my hatred of the SEC in this one?
MARSHALL (-21) @ MIAMI (OH) -- Marshall's coach is, seriously, named Doc Holliday. Their star receiver is named Angelo Jean-Louis. The Redhawks have to go up against that kind of name recognition? No way.
MONTANA (Even) @WYOMING -- and people think Oklahoma is the middle of nowhere? My mom lives up around this part of the country, and my stepdad has a medical degree from Montana, and if you've never been out that way? It's beautiful country. Former Tom Osborne assistant Craig Bohls is hoping to bring some of that Go Big Red flair to Wyoming with a powerful ground game. Montana, however, gets my nod. As one player poignantly put it, "Who we get to go against is only going to make us better," the co-captain said. "I mean, best defensive line probably in the nation at our level." Indeed.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Even) @TOLEDO -- I picked New Hampshire because they're New Hampshire, and somebody should.
FSU (-18.5) vs. OkState - I see FSU defense being a little shaky early as they have a new Defensive Coordinator, but as the players settle in, FSU will physically overmatch the Cowboys across the board. I don't think it will be even as close as my score indicates. Noles win 45-17
West Virginia (+26.5) vs. Alabama - I think Alabama will completely control the game, but don't see them covering. Breaking in a new QB will slow their offense down and make the game appear closer than it really is. Tide wins 34-10
Clemson (+7.5) @ Georgia - Both teams I feel are over-ranked and the game will be close. Many will call it a thriller with Georgia pulling out the tough gritty win, but I see two teams who are just average this year. Bulldogs win 27-21
Iowa (Even) vs. Northern Iowa - OK, it's the first weekend and so I'm going to start off easy. The Hawkeyes have eight returning starters on offense, including their leading passer, rusher, and receiver. An even line at home against a Missouri Valley school that lost five games in 2013.
TCU (Even) vs. Samford - The Frogs have a bunch of questions on offense (especially at quarterback) but will have more than enough defense to get past Samford at home.
Kansas State (Even) vs. S.F. Austin - Alright, call me a cheater if you want but it isn't my fault that there aren't lines set on these games. Picking winners is what we're supposed to do. Don't don't blame me if they make it easy for us.