02:07 PM - August 31, 2012 by MMChrisS
It's finally here, the wait is over and it's football time once again! This season OS Executive Editor Chris Sanner and College Football Blogger Justin Mikels will be squaring off in a weekly duel to see who reigns supreme over picking games. So without further adieu, let's get to it:
Game of the Week: Michigan vs. Alabama
Justin: The Wolverines finally have defensive talent and depth to match their explosive offense. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Alabama still has more of each. Nick Saban's conservative offense and smothering defense is the right fit to prevent an early season upset. Bama wins 27-24.
Chris: This is an interesting game for a couple of reasons: One, Michigan is very experienced and talented. Two, Alabama isn't experienced comparatively but has plenty of talent. You would expect Alabama's style to play into this game. Expect the Alabama front seven to be the difference maker but this one is closer than you'd think with Alabama scoring a late TD for the win. Alabama 24-17.
Clemson vs. Auburn
Justin: Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins won't suit up for this one which makes things a little dicey. Two years removed from a national championship, I'm interested to see the recruiting spoils that have since trickled into Gene Chizik's company. Auburn's defense givs me caution, but I think Clemson has too much experience and talent to fall in this one. Clemson's Tigers claim the victory 34-30.
Chris: Auburn returns a lot of guys on defense, and Clemson will miss Sammy Watkins on some level for sure. This is a tough game to pick because it feels like a strength vs. strength game to be sure. At the end of the day, I think Auburn wins an extremely tight game that'll be very fun to watch. Auburn 31 Clemson 28.
NC State vs. Tennessee
Justin: The Wolfpack were a quiet 8-4 last year and have a solid shot at repeating or improving on that this year. The loss of Da'Rick Rogers really hurts the Volunteers, but not enough to spoil what should be a strong showing in Knoxville. Vols over the Wolfpack 23-13.
Chris: There is a sense of desperation in Knoxville for sure, as the program has definitely slipped a notch in the past decade. The Volunteers will play inspired ball and will eek a close win out, with NC State having some big holes I'm really questioning vs. Tennessee. Tennessee 24 NC State 20.
Boise State at Michigan State
Justin: This is my favorite game of the week based on the far-reaching message it will send. Michigan State is becoming a dependable double-digit commodity in the Big-Ten and Boise State is the lovable giant killer. This is Chris Petersen's least experienced group and a lack of talent will hurt them this year. I take the Spartans in a comfortable win over the Broncos 28-13.
Chris: Boise is going to feel the loss of Kellen Moore, they just are. Watching him play, he was one of the finest college QBs in the Nation and was so accurate and on-top of things. Michigan State could be a darkhorse National Title contender and has more talent at just about every position this season. Comfortable win for Sparty. Michigan State 34-17.
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
Justin: The Yellowjackets have the best offensive line in the Paul Johnson era. For teams facing the option attack that's bad news. But if anyone can counter that attack it's a Bud Foster defense. Given the entire offseason to prepare, the Hokies should win this one in a nail-biter 14-13.
Chris: Virginia Tech has has all offseason to prepare for the quirky (who would've thought that?) triple option of Georgia Tech. It'll be a grind it out type of game, but I'm fully expecting Virginia Tech to win this one in a game that's close on the scoreboard. VT 28 - 20.
Ohio at Penn State
Justin: Apologies to the Bobcats, but America won't be tuning in to watch your performance. On what should be a strange day in Happy Valley, curiosity will draw the nation as many questions linger. How will the Nittany Lions recover? Who is even on the roster still? Will they be relevant? Ohio is a very strong MAC team this year, but Penn State will play inspired football and pull out a close win 33-28.
Chris: There has been so much happen outside of the football program in Happy Valley, it's hard to really concentrate on football itself. Gutted by sanctions, Penn State's program is relling. Meanwhile, Ohio lost the MAC Championship last year and is an incredibly hungry team. Penn State was ultimately lucky to get the record they had last year, as they were an ugly team to be frank. With all of the departures and turmoil, this is the start of a long season for Penn State. Ohio 20 Penn State 14
Who do you have in each week one game OS? Any other picks or surprises?