Week 1 Preview: Around the Conference and FBS

CFP National Championship Trophy | Image Credit: On3
CFP National Championship Trophy | Image Credit: On3

College football technically began in what is known as Week 0, which was last week. However, we’ve now reached the true Week 1, with a full slate from Thursday-Monday.

This is the true beginning of college football, especially for Buckeye fans, who look forward to seeing their team kickoff at Indiana at 3:30 pm EST.

Let’s take a look around the conference and FBS to preview some of the top games.

Big Ten:

Nebraska @ Minnesota- This game got things kicked off for the conference and didn’t disappoint. New year, new coach, same Nebraska team. They choked away a late lead by allowing a majestic touchdown on 4th and 10.

Minnesota won 13-10

East Carolina @ (2) Michigan- Even though they will be without their head coach, this should be a cupcake game for the Wolverines. They are favored by 36 and I’m sure they hit that with ease.

Prediction: Michigan 52, ECU 10

Utah State @ (25) Iowa- Although Iowa’s offense was pitiful last season, their defense was often stout. I doubt Utah St. can stun them at home, although I do like them to cover +24.

Prediction: Iowa 24, Utah St. 10

Fresno St @ Purdue- Fresno State is a solid group and could certainly upset Purdue. The Boilermakers are only favored by 3.5, I think they barely pull it out.

Prediction: Purdue 31, Fresno State 27

Buffalo @ (19) Wisconsin- First year head coach, Luke Fickell, will look to begin his campaign with a win. With a new QB in Mordecai and returning RB Allen, the Badgers will look to improve from 6-6 in 2022-23. They should easily handle business in Week 1.

Prediction: Wisconsin 48, Buffalo 17

Towson @ Maryland- Towson isn’t an FBS opponent so you won’t see any odds on this game. With Taulia Tagovailoa returning at QB plus some added WR strength Maryland should be a formidable Big Ten team. However, there are some question marks on the line. Either way, Towson isn’t an opponent who should trouble them.

Prediction: Maryland 56, Towson 3

Toledo @ Illinois- Toledo is a really fun group out of the MAC, led by QB DeQuan Finn. They were 9-5 last season and won the Boca Raton Bowl. They could give an Illinois group some trouble if they hit on some explosive plays. Ultimately, though the Illini should cover the 9.5 and win.

Prediction: Illinois 30, Toledo 14

West Virginia @ (7) Penn State- Penn State has a team that could certainly win the Big Ten if all goes right. However, James Franklin hasn’t found ways to secure wins in the big games. Defeating WVU convincingly with Drew Allar making a splash would be a good start.

Prediction: Penn State 45, WVU 20

Northwestern @ Rutgers- Amidst the massive scandal unfolding within NW athletics, this season might be tough for the program. I think they give Rutgers a good game, even covering the 6.5, but the Knights get it done at home.

Prediction: Rutgers 24, NW 17

Central Michigan @ Michigan St- Michigan St is a team that will likely find themselves middle of the Big Ten. A 13.5 point spread at home, against a MAC team, definitely alludes to that. I have a feeling MSU will be rocky and CMU could cover.

Prediction: MSU 31, CMU 20

As we look away from the conference there are a few other fun matchups to peek at:

Colorado @ (17) TCU: Deion Sanders squad draws a tough opener against a team that was just in the CFP. Although, the Horned Frogs will be led by a different QB. Should be a fun game either way.

(21) North Carolina @ South Carolina: It’s fun to see these two kicking off Week 1 against each other.

(5) LSU @ (8) FSU: A top-10 matchup week 1? Who could be mad at that? Give me all the fun in a game with lots at stake, two teams with high expectations.

Last but not least, I’ll throw in my prediction for the Buckeyes. I think it will be fun to see this QB battle in action. There is no doubt we will see both guys even with McCord starting. I doubt Indiana even sniffs at covering, let alone a lead. I’ll take the Buckeyes BIG TIME, 56-14.