By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
For the third year in a row, CycloneFanatic.com will offer you our panel of "expert" picks for the big college football games of the weekend.
We might as well get started with last year’s defending champion, Brent Blum from the Cyclone Radio Network.
BRENT BLUM – CYCLONE RADIO NETWORK
UNI @ Iowa State – Iowa State has 5 shut-outs in the last 25 years. Three have come against the Panthers. Don’t think this will be a shut-out, but the defense will be the story in week one. Cyclones 27 UNI 10.
TCU @ Baylor – TCU lost some headlining players, namely QB Andy Dalton, but they still return the core of their defense in two outstanding linebackers. Baylor was 13th in the nation in total offense a year ago, but their defense was about as effective as the new Cy-Hawk trophy. TCU too balanced for the Bears. TCU 31 Baylor 25
Oregon vs. LSU (@ Cowboys Stadium in Dallas) – Fun off-season for these two. LSU QB Jordan Jefferson kicked a marine-in-training in the head at a Baton Rouge Bar so he is suspended. Oregon QB Darron Thomas got caught in a car doing 118 miles per hour with a suspicious odor coming from the vehicle. But he was only a passenger! He plays! Oregon 27 LSU 23.
BYU @ Ole Miss – BYU returns four of five starters on their O-Line. Their roster doesn’t list ages so I can only assume they are all at least 38 years old. One lesson I learned in middle-school: the dude with more facial hair has an advantage. BYU 24 Ole Miss 17.
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Texas A&M gets threatened early in this game and refuses to come out of the locker-room at halftime. They instead are glued to the Longhorn Network like an infatuated little brother. "It’s all Texas’ fault! We’re so scared!" Texas A&M 37 SMU 20.
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – Kellen Moore is still on the Broncos?! He is definitely a charter member of the Jess Settles 15 year enrollment plan. I will take the savvy lefty to cover. Boise State 30 Georgia 21.
CHRIS HASSEL – WHO-TV 13 SPORTS
UNI @ ISU – The Panthers are a great FCS team, but they’re not a great FBS team. UNI gives ISU a game for a half, but the Cyclones win, 24-10.
TCU @ Baylor – Is there a better home-field advantage than that of Floyd Casey Stadium? Yes. TCU has nearly as many fans as Baylor and wins, 31-24.
Oregon vs. LSU – No QB, no problem. LSU starts with a huge win over Oregon, 24-21.
BYU @ Ole Miss – Mountain West @ SEC, advantage SEC. Rebels take it, 14-13.
SMU @ A&M (-16) – The Aggies finally make some noise on the field by blowing out SMU, 42-12.
Boise St. (-3) vs Georgia – It’s the end of the road for Boise State. They got lucky against VT, last year, but this ain’t 2010. Georgia covers, and wins, 24-20.
DAVE ZAWILINSKI – ABC 5 SPORTS
UNI @ Iowa State – I think this game will be a lot closer than last year but a BCS school should NEVER lose to an FCS school. NEVER. This one should at least be against the spread. Come on man! I’ll take ISU.
TCU @ Baylor – TCU BLASTED Baylor last year. This year the game is in Waco and there is no Andy Dalton. Doesn’t matter to me. TCU has arguably been the most consistent program over the past six years. I’ll take coach Patterson and the Horned Frogs.
Oregon vs. LSU – This game, much like the Ohio State Miami game should be called the ineligibowl. I liked LSU before all of their suspensions, especially with the game in Dallas. But losing Jefferson will be too much to overcome. Give me the defending National Runner-Ups, Oregon.
BYU @ Ole Miss – I litterally have no idea. Coin flip said Ole Miss.
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Texas A&M is loaded with talent. Gray, Tannehill, Foster. You name it they are stacked. SEC teams beat non-BCS opponents by 30+ (unless you’re Alabama in the Sugar Bowl). A&M better set the tone for the next decade with a 30+ victory. Aggies win BIG.
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – This is the game I am looking forward to the most. Boise lost quite a bit but they still have Kellen Moore back A good game here and he can get his Heisman campaign off on the right foot. I think last year’s Va Tech team is better than this year’s Georgia team and Boise took care of the Hokies. This is a gamble, but I’ll lay the points on the road.
BRET MEYER – FORMER IOWA STATE QUARTERBACK
UNI @ Iowa State – Clones start 2011 off on the right note. Dominating performances by the offensive line and front seven highlight the victory. ISU 24-UNI 10
TCU @ Baylor – Robbert Griffin might be my second favorite player in the country. (Steele Jantz is #1). A nightmare for defenses, Griffin has a big day, but TCU wins on the road, 38-31.
Oregon vs. LSU – LSU isn’t ranked #4 because of Jordan Jefferson. As long as Jarett Lee can avoid the costly turnovers, look for LSU to win the battle upfront and win a close one. LSU 23 Oregon 20
BYU @ Ole Miss – Very interesting game here. I like Ole Miss to win a close one at home. 28-24
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Absolutely hate everything about A&M right now. But for the sake of this competition, I like the Aggies to cover.
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – Kellen Moore is a great QB with plenty of big game experience. However, his best receivers now play on Sundays. Look for UGA to make a statement in Atlanta. I’ll take Georgia.
AUSTEN ARNAUD – FORMER IOWA STATE QUARTERBACK
UNI @ Iowa State – Clones will have a few growing pains on offense but defense will establish itself 24-10 ISU.
TCU @ Baylor – Love Baylor in this home game for them. Its going to be a shootout. I think Baylor wins by a field goal.
Oregon vs. LSU – Too much turmoil in Baton Rouge, Oregon’s offense will be tough to stop no matter who’s on defense. LaMichael James HEISMAN!
BYU @ Ole Miss – Dont know alot about this game but I find it hard to believe that BYU will travel all the way to Ole Miss and get a win.
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Texas A&M
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – Boise
ADAM GRAY – ADAM GRAY INSURANCE AGENCY
UNI @ Iowa State – I can’t wait for Saturday night! Nothing beats seeing how the older guys progressed during the offseason and seeing the young guys take the field for the first time. Also nothing beats beating up on UNI and Farley by the score of 31-10. If only we could be as good as Stephen F. Austin!
TCU @ Baylor – I can’t believe I’m picking Baylor to beat TCU! But TCU lost a lot of talent from last years team, especially their QB. Give me the home team and the team with the best player in Robert Griffin. Griffin is the difference maker and Baylor wins 27-24
Oregon vs. LSU – Both teams have had off field distractions this offseason. I think Oregon is the better team and I think they are better coached. But,I just can’t pick against LSU in a home opener game that is being played at night. I think that defense is going to end LaMichael James heisman campaign early. LSU 24-10
BYU @ Ole Miss – Both teams have a lot coming back on the offensive side of the ball but I will take the team with the returning QB. I think Jake Heaps makes a big jump from year 1 to 2 and leads BYU into Ole Miss and walks away with a 31-20 win .
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Count me in as someone that is not on the Texas A&M bandwagon. I think they will be solid but far from a top 10 team. SMU returns a lot of talent and has shown the ability to play close with some really talented teams the past couple years. I think A&M wins this game but doesn’t cover. 34-24
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – Really looking forward to this game. Both teams have really good QB’s and a lot to prove. Every year Boise is trying to prove they belong with the elite (they don’t) and Georgia is trying to prove that they are back with the SEC elite (they aren’t). In the end, give me the home team in this one. Georgia 27-24
ADAM CARPER – FORMER IOWA STATE LINEBACKER
UNI @ Iowa State – UNI claims this is one of the better teams they’ve fielded in some time with 18 starters returning. Nothing against FCS programs but they typically have subpar line play relative to BCS schools. UNI believes they can come in and chalk up a W but I say no chance. ISU 24 UNI 14
TCU @ Baylor – Yes, there’s been a lot of turnover at TCU and Baylor is on the cusp of being a consistent bowl team, but it’s hard for me to go against Tank Carder and those crazy armbands. No football player should be allowed to wear that many unless approved by the "Armband Godfather" himself Deion Sanders. TCU 31 Baylor 24
Oregon vs. LSU – Although Jordan Jefferson is suspended, Oregon also has a lot of questions on both sides of the ball. The Tigers keep it close but LaMichael James and Co. prevail in Jerry’s House. Oregon 41 LSU 27
BYU @ Ole Miss – I could act like I know something about either team and give some in-depth analysis but frankly I’m just going with the team not coached by Houston Nutt. BYU 34 Ole Miss 21
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – These teams certainly have contrasting attitudes toward the Big 12 conference as SMU says they’re ready to replace A&M. Maybe their administrators should focus on developing a fan base first as they averaged 24,000 a home game last year. As for the game, I like the Aggies to cover.
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – Mark Richt and his Bulldogs haven’t been relevant since they scored a touchdown against Florida in 2007 and the whole team proceeded to storm the end zone acting as if they were playing a game of Dance Dance Revolution. With the departure of Boise’s top 2 receivers and Georgia’s attacking defense, I like Georgia to cover.
TREVOR ENERSON – THE VOICE OF THE FAN (YAMAN3)
UNI @ Iowa State – Iowa State big. I know UNI is better but I just don’t feel that they will be able to put up many points against a defense that will be better.
TCU @ Baylor – TCU in a close one. I think TCUs defense and Baylor’s lacktherof will be the difference.
Oregon vs. LSU – I’ll take Oregon. They will just be too much offensively. Even if Jordan Jefferson can play LSU doesn’t have the firepower to keep up.
BYU @ Ole Miss – Did anyone watch Ole Miss last year? Based on that alone, I am taking BYU and it could be ugly.
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Give me aTm to cover. SMU just doesn’t have enough on either side of the ball to be competitive.
Boise (-3) vs. Georgia – I’ll take Georgia and the points. I really like Kellen Moore but Aaron Murray may be college football’s best kept secret plus they have home field advantage.
CHRIS WILLIAMS – CYCLONEFANATIC.COM’S PUBLISHER
UNI @ Iowa State – Read about it HERE. Cyclones 31, Panthers 10.
TCU @ Baylor – With line of +3.5, I’d go Baylor on the moneyline. A lot of points will be scored. Give me the Big 12 and Robert Griffin in this one.
Oregon vs. LSU – Pac-12 vs. SEC? Normally I’d go SEC. But this early in the season, give me the Ducks.
BYU @ Ole Miss – The soon-to-be Big 12 Cougars or the SEC? I won’t pick against the best conference in America twice. Rebels.
SMU @ Texas A&M (-16) – Has the past week been a distraction for Texas A&M? Probably. Will it matter this weekend? Nope. Aggies 40, SMU 17
Boise St. (-3) vs. Georgia – I think that Georgia will be one the most surprising teams in America this season. They’ll start things off with a win over the Broncos 27-24.