Forecaster Frank's College Six Picks
Washington 38 Auburn30
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is starting to feel like home for Auburn as they are playing their third straight game there in Chick-Fil-A Classic. Instead of home sweet home, it has been home sweet hell for the Tigers as they lost the two previous games in the Benz. After losses in the SEC Championship and the Peach Bowl, the Tigers face another tough foe in Washington. The Huskies led by Jake Browning at quarterback have hopes to return to the College Football Playoff, as they enter the season as the favorites in the Pac-12. Washington offense should be able to move the ball and with Myles Gaskin running the ball have enough balance and weapons to keep Auburn off balance.
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West Virginia 41 Tennessee 17
It has been rocky time at old Rocky Top as Tennessee is coming off a disastrous 2017 season, which saw them go winless in conference play. The disastrous season led to the dismissal of Butch Jones. After the season, the coaching search turned into a dumpster fire as they came with pitchforks and torches when the name Greg Schiano was linked. The Volunteers ended up hiring Jeremy Pruitt, but there is a long road to getting back to respectability for Tennessee. West Virginia, on the other hand, is a solid contender in the Big XII Conference, with a solid quarterback Will Grier, who could make a run at that Heisman. Look for an easy win for the Mountaineers in Charlotte.
Alabama 34 Louisville 13
They got a name for the winners in the world; everyone needs a name when they lose. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide; the rest of the NCAA has the defeated blues. The only word that should be used to describe Alabama is a juggernaut, as you can’t stop them. Since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa after in 2008, the Tide have won five National Championships. After winning in 2017, the Tidal wave looks like it will continue as they have a favorable schedule and two quarterbacks capable of leading the way. Louisville with the departure of Lamar Jackson does not stand a chance. The goal for the Cardinals is that they don’t get discouraged and can press the reset button in Week 2 for the rest of their schedule.
Notre Dame 24 Michigan 20
The renewal of one of college football’s great rivalries sees Notre Dame taking on Michigan for the first time since 2014. The two teams played nearly every year over a 30-year period, with several big games along the way. Both teams come in with high expectations and immense pressure, with Jim Harbaugh taking the heat in Ann Arbor for a lack of success against Ohio State, while Brian Kelly is on the hot seat in South Bend to get the Irish back into the championship picture. Each team has a question mark at quarterback and a strong defense. The Irish defense returns nine starters from last year’s defense, and with Brandon Wimbush, this could be a special year for the Irish.
Miami 20 LSU 10
With turnover chains, an aggressive defense had fans in Coral Gables believing the U was back as the Hurricanes won their first ten games last season. However, the Hurricanes proved to a paper tiger, as they lost their final three games leaving Miami in a tropical depression. Looking to take a step forward, the Hurricanes hope to get to the College Football Playoff this season, knowing they have a huge obstacle with Clemson in the ACC. LSU meanwhile, comes in with no real buzz, as Ed Orgeron still feels like an interim coach. The Bayou Bengals are in for a long season, as Orgeron will soon be leaving Louisiana as LSU with a tough schedule is about to get buried in the SEC.
Florida State 24 Virginia Tech 16
Last season was a nightmare for Florida State as Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of the season against Alabama. When it was over the Seminoles found themselves looking for a new coach with the departure of Jimbo Fisher. Hoping that Willie Taggart can lead a rebound, the Seminoles begin the season with a conference opponent in Virginia Tech. Both teams are capable of making noise in the ACC and have a strong defense and question marks on offense. Before the injury, Deondre Francois was considered a top prospect giving Florida State the edge. With the home field edge at Doak Campbell Stadium and Francois getting back into action, the Seminoles win on adrenaline alone.