How nice. Lots of marquee matchups in college football's Week 1—for two reasons. Television money. And with the four-team playoff format, teams are encouraged to schedule quality nonconference opponents—a point I have been making for 20-plus years. Now you can lose a game without torpedo-ing the entire season. But that’s a rant for another day.
Let the games begin. My Pick Three openers are Notre Dame-Texas, LSU-Wisconsin and Northern Illinois-Wyoming.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
THE GAME: Northern Illinois giving 10 at WYOMING.
THE PICK: NIU, 31--14
THE COMMENT: Seasoned QB Drew Hare, back from major Achilles injury, returns to Huskies’ offense eager to play.
THE GAME: Louisiana State giving 10 vs. Wisconsin, at Lambeau Field, Green Bay.
THE PICK: LSU 30-17
THE COMMENT: What a great atmosphere (and tough ticket) in this dramatic matchup on the Packers’ historic home field. Obviously, the Badgers will be pumped up at the start, but so will LSU. And, the Tigers will have more ways to play the game as the day goes on.
THE GAME: Notre Dame giving 3-1/2 at TEXAS.
THE PICK: Notre Dame, 27-20.
THE COMMENT: Really tough test for the Irish, who already are steeped in turmoil with quarterback controversy and the fallout from six arrests. In this case, turmoil is good. It will give ND the edgy side it will need against improving Texas.
(home team in CAPS)[/membership]