Alex Frank | Sports Director Zach Fries | Staff Reporter Joe Petrosino | Staff Reporter Ethan Bastian | Staff Reporter Sean McMahon | Staff Reporter
Here we go ladies and gentlemen! College football is back and that can only mean frenzy-packed Saturday’s filled with tailgating, shaking the bleachers and hopefully partying after victories.
We’re doing something new here at Bearcast Media. We’ve assembled a team of five members from the sports staff to pick all the games and scores on these five networks: ABC, CBS, ESPN, FOX, FS1 and NBC when the Notre Dame has a home game.
To add some suspense for those reading and keeping up with the standings throughout the year, the member with the best record after conference championship week will get a delicious Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse dinner from the member who comes in second place. Duh duh duh duh…
With that here’s our week one picks with the commentators for each game in parentheses.
Western Kentucky @ 4. Wisconsin – 9 E.T. on ESPN (Jason Benetti Kelly Stouffer)
Alex: Wisconsin 48 Western Kentucky 14 Zach: Wisconsin 42 Western Kentucky 17 Joe: Wisconsin 59 Western Kentucky 17 Ethan: Wisconsin 30 Western Kentucky 17 Sean: Wisconsin 52 Western Kentucky 12
Ethan: Wisconsin, who is coming off a 13-1 season and just fell short to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, has unfinished business this season. They are No. 4 in the rankings for a reason and with a very competitive Big Ten schedule in front of them they cannot afford to lose a cupcake game against Western Ketucky. I expect them to come out fired up at home and bring home the victory and have the crowd jumping.
Oregon State @ 5. Ohio State – Noon E.T. on ABC (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill)
Alex: Ohio State 38 Oregon State 14 Zach: Ohio State 38 Oregon State 10 Joe: Ohio State 55 Oregon State 10 Ethan: Ohio State 31 Oregon State 13 Sean: Ohio State 35 Oregon State 21
Alex: Even with head coach Urban Meyer’s suspension, I don’t think Ohio State will be too effected by it on Saturday. In fact, I think they are just ready to start playing football and they will be licking their chops to play a team who finished a dismal 1-11 last year and have a new head coach this year in Jonathan Smith. I see the Buckeyes putting the kabosh on the Beavers in this one.
Florida Atlantic @ 7. Oklahoma – Noon E.T. on FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft)
Alex: Oklahoma 41 Florida Atlantic 17 Zach: Oklahoma 42 Florida Atlantic 27 Joe: Oklahoma 42 Florida Atlantic 31 Ethan: Oklahoma 27 Florida Atlantic 17 Sean: Oklahoma 49 Florida Atlantic 28
Sean: Lane Kiffin and the Owls are looking to improve upon last year’s impressive record as they finished at 11-3. They capped off the season with a win in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl against Akron. They look to be capable of reaching the Top 25 in the CFB rankings this year. The Sooners ,on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from a heart-breaking season-ending loss in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against the Georgia Bulldogs. One could easily conclude that the Sooners should win this one easily, but not without a fight from FAU.
Texas Tech @ Ole Miss – Noon E.T. on ESPN (Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek)
Alex: Texas Tech 35 Ole Miss 28 Zach: Texas Tech 34 Ole Miss 30 Joe: Texas Tech 42, Ole Miss 35 Ethan: Texas Tech 35 Ole Miss 31 Sean: Texas Tech 35 Ole Miss 24
Ethan: Ole Miss vs Texas Tech should be an exciting match up as well. We all know the Red Raiders love to throw the football and I expect them to continue that trend and throw the ball all over the field. I don’t see Ole Miss being near the top of the SEC this year and I think this Texas Tech offense should be keeping Ole Miss up at night. I think it will be a lot of touchdowns and everything is bigger in Texas, right?
23. Texas @ Maryland – Noon E.T. on FS1 in Landover, MD (Joe Davis, Brady Quinn)
Alex: Texas 33 Maryland 23 Zach: Texas 31 Maryland 17 Joe: Texas 35 Maryland 13 Ethan: Texas 34 Maryland 21 Sean: Texas 24 Maryland 21
Joe: I see Texas bouncing back after a tough last year and considering the state of the Maryland team after the recent tragedy of their offensive lineman. I think quarterback Sam Ehlinger has a good day and leads the team to a comfortable victory
6. Washington vs. 9. Auburn – 3:30 E.T. on ABC in Atlanta (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay)
Alex: Auburn 28 Washington 21 Zach: Auburn 30 Washington 24 Joe: Washington 21 Auburn 17 Ethan: Auburn 30 Washington 27 Sean: Auburn 28 Washington 24
Alex: What could be better than a top-10 cross-country battle on Opening Weeknd being held at, in my opinion, the best stadium in the NFL in the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium? However, I see this as a true road game for Washington as Auburn is extremely used to playing in Atlanta being in the SEC. With that adversity, I see them once again choking in front of a national audience as the Tigers will not only beat them but also potentially end the chance for a Pac12 team to earn a bid to the College Football Playoff.
Tennessee vs. 17. West Virginia – 3:30 E.T. on CBS in Charlotte, NC (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Jamie Erdahl)
Alex: West Virginia 31 Tennessee 27 Zach: West Virginia 44 Tennessee 28 Joe: West Virginia 33 Tennessee 21 Ethan: West Virginia 24 Tennessee 14 Sean: Tennessee 30 West Virginia 24
Zach: West Virginia QB Will Grier and WR David Sills V lead one of the nation’s premier aerial attacks. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt will have his work cut out for him in his first season.
Austin Peay @ 3. Georgia – 3:30 E.T. on ESPN (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman)
Alex: Georgia 45 Austin Peay 6 Zach: Georgia 44 Austin Peay 13 Joe: Georgia 56 Austin Peay 0 Ethan: Georgia 35 Austin Peay 10 Sean: Georgia 52 Austin Peay 7
Ethan: Austin Peay vs the Georgia Bulldogs should be another predictable matchup. The Bulldogs were a quarterback change from Alabama head coach Nick Saban away from winning a national championship just last season. They have a young roster returning even with running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel leaving for the NFL this off-season. Look for them to come out strong and get that first big win on the board because they will need it in what looks to be a strong SEC.
North Carolina @ California – 4 E.T. on FOX (Brian Custer, Ben Leber)
Alex: California 38 North Carolina 27 Zach: California 34 North Carolina 21 Joe: California 31 North Carolina 17 Ethan: North Carolina 28 California 27 Sean: North Carolina 28 California 14
Sean: Both the Tar Heels and the Bears haven’t been big college football powerhouses in recent years. The last time North Carolina was in a bowl game was in 2016, where they lost out to Stanford 25-23 in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The last time they won a bowl game was against Cincinnati in 2013 in the Belk Bowl. The last time California went to a bowl game was also the last time they won a bowl game. They defeated Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl in 2015 55-36. I could see this game going either way but in the end, only one can remain.
Cincinnati @ UCLA – 7 E.T. on ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard)
Alex: UCLA 34 Cincinnati 24 Zach: UCLA 35 Cincinnati 24 Joe: UCLA 28 Cincinnati 17 Ethan: UCLA 38 Cincinnati 24 Sean: Cincinnati 21 UCLA 18
Ethan: Cincinnati and UCLA will be an interesting contest. Without Josh Rosen the Bruins are not nearly at the same level they were last season. The Bearcats have a promising team led by head coach Luke Fickell who is heading into his second season. Look for both teams to be moving the ball early, but I think the Bruins will come on top on this one.
14. Michigan @ 12. Notre Dame – 7:30 E.T. on NBC (Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Kathryn Tappen)
Alex: Notre Dame 31 Michigan 28 Zach: Notre Dame 27 Michigan 23 Joe: Notre Dame 35 Michigan 33 Ethan: Notre Dame 38 Michigan 31 Sean: Notre Dame 21 Michigan 14
Alex: First off, I love that this rivalry is back. It’s great for college football and I think this is the biggest game in the series history since 2006 when the then 11th-ranked Wolverines went into South Bend and destroyed then No. 2 Notre Dame 47-21. There have been several close games in recent meetings between the two teams including the epic first night game in the Big House in 2011, won by the Wolverines on a last-second touchdown. I see the Fighting Irish, though, pulling this one out on their home turf. Michigan may have the better team on paper, but I think head coach Jim Harbaugh’s inability to win an important game on the road will be his waterloo once again.
Louisville vs. 1. Alabama – 8 E.T. on ABC in Orlando (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
Alex: Alabama 38 Louisville 10 Zach: Alabama 42 Louisville 10 Joe: Alabama 42 Louisville 10 Ethan: Alabama 41 Louisville 24 Sean: Alabama 42 Louisville 28
Alex: I see this game playing out exactly how the game between Alabama and USC did two years ago when the Crimson Tide beat the Trojans 52-6. Yes, you read that correctly. Regardless of who the quarterback is for Alabama, their defense and championship pedigree will outclass Louisville on Saturday night. They will also once again pave the road for the “journey” to the national championship to go through Tuscaloosa.
UTSA @ Arizona State – 10:30 E.T. on FS1 (Chris Myers, James Laurinaitis)
Alex: Arizona State 31 UTSA 13 Zach: Arizona State 33 UTSA 17 Joe: Arizona State 28 UTSA 13 Ethan: Sean: Arizona State 28 UTSA 17
Joe: I think this will be a very good game. UTSA brings back an experienced defensive group while ASU will be starting the Herm Edwards era, who brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding. I see the Sun Devils pulling out a tough one.
BYU @ Arizona – 10:45 E.T. on ESPN (Adam Amin, Rod Gilmore)
Alex: Arizona 37 BYU 24 Zach: Arizona 40 BYU 23 Joe: Arizona 24 BYU 10 Ethan: Arizona 30 BYU 23 Sean: BYU 28 Arizona 21
Ethan: This will be a competitive game and I can see it coming down to the fourth quarter. This is where I have to lean on the power five conference and say the Wildcats will have a better day. but I won’t be surprised if BYU keeps it close.
8. Miami (FL) @ 25. LSU – 7:30 E.T. on ABC (Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge)
Alex: Miami (FL) 24 LSU 21 Zach: Miami (FL) 28 LSU 20 Joe: Miami (FL) 31 Virginia Tech 24 Ethan: LSU 24 Miami (FL) 21 Sean: Miami (FL) 28 LSU 24
Alex: I see the Hurricanes making a big statement in this one. Let’s not forget that this team was No. 2 heading into the final week of the regular season last year before getting upset at Pittsburgh, starting a three-game losing streak to end their season. Mark Richt’s team was picked to win the ACC Coastal at the conference’s media days and they’re going up against an LSU team that has underachieved for the past few years. I think it will be a rough go for new Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow, a transfer from Ohio State, going up against the tenacious Hurricanes defense that will do anything to dawn the turnover chain. Miami (FL) will get a resume-building win on Sunday.
20. Virginia Tech @ 19. Florida State – 8 E.T. on ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit)
Alex: Florida State 35 Virginia Tech 21 Zach: Florida State 31 Virginia Tech 27 Joe: Virginia Tech 28 Florida State 20 Ethan: Florida State 27 Virginia Tech 14 Sean: Virginia Tech 21 Florida State 14
Ethan: A lot has changed since Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy a few seasons ago. Now when you look at the Seminoles it’s unclear what kind of quarterback play they will get this season, but I expect the talent on the roster to pull through and get the win on Monday.