Week One Predictions

After not bothering to preview the Big East (OK, so we think that UConn are going to win the division), we've got to quickly move onto the first week of the college football season, which will (thank you Jesus!) be upon us from Thursday.

I'm going to stick my neck out there and say that yours truly - this horrible weekend aside because I'm attending one of my closest friends' wedding up in Scotland and probably won't be able to watch a lot of/any live college football on Saturday - will be watching a hell of lot of college football this year. And so (bearing in mind you're kind enough to read this rubbish) are you.

Anyway, here's some predictions for the Week 1 of the college football season.

Thursday


Marshall at Ohio State: Terrelle Pryor, the abbatoir known as The Horseshoe, and the No.2 Buckeyes are going to be too much for the Thundering Herd, who will get beaten by 30 points after a slow start from Jim Tressel's men.

Southern Miss at South Carolina: It's not been an easy off-season for Steve Spurrier's men. Wesleye Saunders will be lucky if he ever puts on a Gamecocks' jersey again, and there's possible NCAA sanctions hanging over their head. Oh, and they've also got an unpredictable QB in Stephen Garcia. They should be thanking God that they're at home. South Carolina by 14

Pittsburgh at Utah: Last season Pittsburgh were hellish unlucky NOT to win the Big East after a frenetic last game of the year against Cincy. This year, they are once again predicted to do well in the Big East. We think they'll win in Utah, but it's going to be very tough. Pitt by 7

Friday


Youngstown State at Penn State: While we think that the Nittany Lions will comfortably win, all eyes will be on the team's performance with Alabama up next week. Will Joe Paterno be able to work out who his QB is by the fourth quarter of the opening game? Will it be a mystery? Will there be two QBs? How will the offensive line hold up? How will the injuries affect the team's speed? Is Chaz Powell going to play both ways? We can't wait until Saturday, folks.

Louisiana-Lafayette vs Georgia: This is more about future indications for UGA's defense than anything else. Oh, and how good this kid Murray is, too. And welcome back, AJ Green - college football's most exciting play bar none.

Purdue at Notre Dame: The ghost of Charlie Weis will only finally be put to bed if Brian Kelly has a successful season this year, in our view. With Jimmy Clausen, Michael Floyd and Golden Tate all departed to the NFL, the Irish are going to be slightly depleted in their offense, while Purdue's QB Robert Marve has been getting a lot of noise from Boilermakers fan. Oh, and Notre Dame's defense will suck, too. Purdue scores the upset in one of the most exciting games of the week, 31-26.

LSU vs North Carolina (in Atlanta): Much has been talked about North Carolina - although sadly most of it has been about UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who was one of the stupidest Twitter authors of the year. While we don't know what the NCAA are going to do to Butch Davis' program (probably not all that much, if we're honest), Davis' defense is definitely an exciting one to watch. Mind you, so's LSU's too. Jordan Jefferson can play under pressure (as he did at UGA last year), but let's be honest - the Tigers' offense isn't a thing of beauty. LSU wins 21-10 in a game not really worth getting psyched for.

Oregon State at TCU Much is going to be made of TCU (again), now that they are ranked sixth because Gary Patterson's such a darned good coach and TCU's got every good guy coming back except Jerry Hughes, who's landed himself some serious money in the NFL. Oregon State has some weapons too -especially Jacquizz Rodgers, who can slice and dice a defence at will. We're calling the upset like Babe Ruth calls shots: Oregon State 38, TCU 35 in a classic that we'll be seeing again on ESPN quite soon.

Monday

Boise State at Virginia Tech. The 3-10 match-up is generally one we wouldn't go near during March Madness, but we'll have a quick stab at during Week One of this season. Much will be talked about Boise State and the possibility of an appearance in this year's National Championship Game, and you could well be right. But how in the hell - on a neutral venue - is Boise State going to be able to stop Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech's very good and very elusive running back, as well as Tyrod Taylor, who may well be the second (and taller) coming of Pat White? I'm sorry Boise, but I'm not feeling the love. Virginia Tech by 7.

And here's my soundtrack to Week One - and this is extremely catchy. Remember to sing along with the "Hey Heys!".