Week 1 is here and my goodness has it been a long time since Alabama defeated Clemson 45-40 in the national championship game in Arizona or what?
And to kick it off we have one of, if not the best, opening weekends of college football ever! There are great games across the board and college football has the stage all their own…for 5 straight days leading up to the conclusion of Labor Day weekend!
This year I have decided to only pick games that match me up against Eli. So, you might see more videos from the little man, who actually turns 8 on Friday….they say time flies, right?
For Week 1 we have picked 7 games against each other and there should be some interesting thoughts from both of us on each battle!
Let’s go ahead and get to the fun:
Alabama vs. USC in Dallas at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium)
The Crimson Tide seem like the easy pick, but USC has athletes and a great offensive line that could provide headaches early for Nick Saban and his new defensive coordinator in their first contest together. But, my gut tells me to never bet against Saban when he has had all spring and summer to figure out a way to slow down the opposing offense. I see a knockdown drag-out slobber knocker early in the game as the two teams trade blows, but the Tide will eventually run away in the second half of this one as OC Lane Kiffen dials up the play-action passes to shred the tired Trojans defense.
Cov’s Call—Tide-31 Trojans-14
Oklahoma vs. Houston in Houston at NRG Stadium
The Cougars want to assert themselves into the upper echelon of college football and that can be done in Week 1 with a win over the Sooners in their own backyard. This place will be rocking come noon eastern on Saturday and the two teams will get into a slugfest with both offenses clicking and both defenses running around like mad men without a clue how to stop the opposing offense! The Sooners have Baker Mayfield and the Cougars respond with Greg Ward to lead the charge at QB, but I believe the Sooners defense will make one more stop than the Fightin’ Tom Herman’s. OU takes the win and quiets the partial H-Town crowd with 10 points late in the 4th quarter.
Cov’s Call—Sooners-30 Cougars-21
Notre Dame @ Texas in Austin
If Charlie Strong wanted to start his hot seat season off on the right foot then he would find a way, any way, to knock off Brian Kelly and his Fighting Irish. I just don’t see that happening and it leaves a sour taste in the Longhorns’ brass that does not bode well for Mr. Strong. The Irish have athletes galore and will play both quarterbacks throughout the night as Kelly’s head will explode trying to figure which QB match-up works best against the weak UT secondary. I see points scored a plenty on Sunday night as both teams drive up and down the field, but the Irish come out on top in the end!
Cov’s Call—Irish-34 Longhorns-23
Ole Miss vs. Florida State in Orlando at Camping World Stadium
The Labor Day matchup between conferences that can’t stand each other has a great chance to be an Instant Classic as these two teams trade blows all night long. Ole Miss has the daunting job to try to find replacements for key positions all over the field while Florida State seems to be reloading with another Top 5 recruiting class rolling into Tallahassee. QB Deondre Francis should provide some highlight reels throughout the night, but the ones that worry me for this game are when he tries to do too much and loses the football with a fumble or an interception. I believe his disregard of the prized pigskin keeps this game closer than people think, but because of their talented defense playing better than Hugh Freeze’s Landsharks the ‘Noles take the W in the first ACC-SEC battle of the year!
Cov’s Call—FSU-30 OM-24
LSU vs. Wisconsin in Green Bay at Lambeau Field
Talk about having a beautiful backdrop for an incredible atmosphere between two pretty darn good football teams! The game in northeast corner of Wisconsin has it all, down to the coaches who walk the walk and talk the talk! Talented players will be all over the field for LSU, but can LSU stop the vaunted running attack of the Badgers? Leonard Fournette starts his 3rd and most likely final season wearing purple and gold on a high note, rushing for over 150 yards and 2 scores. QB Brandon Harris has a Brandon Harris typical day…not too pretty, not too bad, just tepid and leaves LSU faithful wondering can he improve in time to handle the meat of the SEC schedule. Paul Chryst takes over in Madison and gets his first dose of SEC football as LSU throws a Wisconsin game plan (power run after power run) at the Badgers in the second half to salt away the victory!
Cov’s Call—LSU-28 UW-17
Clemson @ Auburn in Auburn
The Tigers are definitely going to win this game…put the mortgage on it, but which one you ask?! I believe it will be the visiting Tigers who will be wearing all white except for their traditional orange lids. Deshaun Watson plays QB for them and until someone can game plan how to slow him down I must go with the Clemson Tigers. A lot of experts are thinking that the environment plus the SEC speed on defense = slow down of DW4 and his weapons but folks, the Palmetto State Tigers D of Brent Venerables are pretty close to representing that every day in practice in Pickens County. Clemson might get punched in the mouth early by a hyped up War Eagle band of brothers, but I don’t think it lasts long as Dabo’s Boys wake up from the late kick and respond with at least 14-20 unanswered points on Kevin Steele’s defense as they travel north back up I-85 with dub!
Cov’s Call—CU-41 AU-20
South Carolina @ Vanderbilt in Nashville
One of the first games played on Thursday night matches up Will Muschamp’s new Gamecocks vs. Derek’s ‘Dores from Vanderbilt! This should be the defensive struggle of all defensive struggles. If you like offense do not tune in at 8 pm EST on 9/1 on the 4-letter…go check out the MAC or Sun Belt game that is also on. Last year’s score was 19-10 and to say these offenses have improved enough to score 20-plus points is absolutely insane. I see a knock down drag out with a lot of punts and no light bulbs on the scoreboard being in danger of being replaced Friday morning! Boom will play at least 2 QBs and hopes that 1 of them will settle into a rhythm that he can ride out the entire game. I know USC has athletes but I think the ‘Dores defense is too much for the energized Gamecocks! VU starts off the year with a W and looks for 5 more to become bowl eligible!
Cov’s Call—VU-17 USC-13
Week 1 picks are in the books! Let me know what you think and as always….thanks for reading!