College Football Week 1 – 5 Things to Know
College football season – arguably the best gambling time of the year – is back. From Alabama looking to kick off their title defense to FCS teams looking for a miracle, here are five things to watch for in week 1.
Tulane hosted Wake forest tonight in NOLA. This is an interesting matchup with both teams looking to carry over the momentum they finished last season with. The Green Wave are coming of a 5-7 season in which they won two of their last three games. They upset Houston at home in one of the wins and were stopped at the goal line in a season-ending loss to SMU 41-38. Wake Forest is a 6 point favorite heading into tonight’s matchup. Tulane was 5-1 against the spread at home last season, coving both times as an underdog.
Nicholls State open the season ranked #18 in FCS preseason poll and has a great chance to notch their first win against a power 5 school Saturday night vs. the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks finished last season 1-11 with the only victory over FCS Southeast Missouri. Nicholls returns 8 starters on both sides of the ball, including a third-year starting QB in Chase Fourcade. A dual-threat QB that should give Kansas fits, he was the teams 4th– leading rusher last year with 389 yard on 83 carries. Overall Nicholls returns 90 players on a roster that took Texas A&M down to wire in College Station last before falling 24-14. Lawrence won’t be a problem for the Colonels, Nicholls rolls 31- 20.
SMU and North Texas kick of their season in the Safeway bowl. The name of this rivalry game comes from former UNT coach Matt Simon, after he felt SMU was ducking the Mean green in the late 90s he challenged SMU to a game on a safeway parking lot. Both schools have programs on the rise and this matchup will have major recruiting implications for the Dallas area. It’s been four years since the Mean Green last defeated their rival, in a brutal 43-6 shellacking that ultimately resulted in then SMU head coach June Jones resign. SMU has won three straight games since. The Mean Green are a 4 point favorite heading into the weekend and are fully equipped to the handle the Mustangs. UNT star QB Mason Fine is back and is one of 17 returning starters from a team that fell to FAU in the C-USA title game last year.
This opener could end up being one of the best non-power 5 matchups of the season, carrying plenty of importance for both sides. This matchup has the potential of being a defensive battle with one little mistake by either could be the difference in playing in the Fiesta bowl or playing in a before Christmas bowl. Both teams surge into this year with a ton of high expectations. Boise has the upper hand with minimal turnover on key players from a year ago. Troy will be replacing a QB and two outstanding RBs, it may take a few weeks for the Trojans to get it rolling. Both teams play exceptional defense, so I love the under and Troy to cover at home.
Alabama will look for their second consecutive national championship this year. The Crimson Tide will have a defense filled with inexperienced players, but it shouldn’t matter due to elite to recruiting and coaching. On offense, no matter who the quarterback is, they still have running backs like Damien Harris, coming off consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season and receivers like sophomore Devonta Smith to throw to. Alabama faces tough road games, traveling to LSU and Ole Miss. But that won’t matter, Alabama has the talent and coaching to not only win the SEC West but also the SEC championship. The Crimson Tide should also be expected to make the playoff and make another run at a national championship this upcoming January.