"The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting." - Andy Warhol
College football has a brutally long offseason, but the national nightmare is nearly over. In three days we'll be back watching our favorite sport once again. I’m excited that Mark Richt named Malik Rosier the starter already so the team will be able to rally around him. Miami is poised for the best season we've seen in a decade. Enjoy a nice four game college football appetizer this Saturday before you head to Hard Rock Stadium next week to watch the Canes debut.
For new SOTU readers, I'll be writing a weekly column picking games throughout the season. In 2015, I had a banner year and the website negotiated a contract extension before the NFL could steal me away. With high expectations coming in, my 2016 campaign was more disastrous than Hugh Freeze's cell phone records. I enter 2017 with the attitude of the embattled head coach of FAU, Lane Kiffin. Eager to prove myself, I am willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Greatness takes dedication and preparation. While most of the country was camping in national parks to watch the eclipse, I was in a dark room meticulously reviewing Rice’s 2016 All-22 footage. You can spend your time watching the spectacle of Mayweather easily beating McGregor on Saturday night. I’m much more excited to see if Rice can put up 14 points on Stanford in Sydney. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Australia are stressed at the moment. Fortunately for America, ESPN is sending college football’s premiere politician David Shaw to help smooth things over.
COLORADO STATE -4 vs Oregon State - 230pm - CBSSN
Colorado State is 19-9 ATS at home the past five seasons and the Rams are opening up a brand new on-campus stadium Saturday. Despite Oregon State being in the Pac 12, the Rams will have the most talent on the field Saturday afternoon. CSU QB Nick Stevens ranked 5th nationally in quarterback rating in 2016 and has his best two receivers back - Michael Gallup and Olabisi Johnson. Oregon State will start junior college transfer Jake Luton at QB. The Beavers have some decent wide receivers but have lost thirteen consecutive road games. Look for the Rams to start off the college football season with an impressive win.
HAWAII -1 vs Umass - 6pm
Umass head coach Mark Whipple plans to use two quarterbacks on Saturday and they’ll both be focused on finding star TE Adam Breneman, an NFL caliber transfer from Penn State. Hawaii returns QB Dru Brown who led the Rainbow Warriors to three straight wins to close out the 2016 season. Both offenses should move the ball with ease against two mediocre defenses. Hawaii won 46-40 at home last season so expect another shootout. I like Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich and think he has his program headed in the right direction. The Rainbow Warriors win by a touchdown.
SOUTH FLORIDA -20 at San Jose State - 730pm - CBSSN
San Jose State should improve on a 4-8 record this season, but will be completely overmatched by the Bulls on Saturday. The Spartans allowed an incredible 245 rushing yards per game in 2016. Good luck stopping USF’s star QB Quinton Flowers who rushed for 1530 yards and 18 TD last season. USF has explosive playmakers at the skill positions and should score on nearly every possession in the first half. I expect a convincing blowout.
RICE +31 vs Stanford - 10pm - ESPN
Stanford’s offensive line should dominate the line of scrimmage against an undersized Rice front seven. Stanford QB Keller Chyrst will start despite tearing his ACL just eight months ago in the bowl game. In his five regular season starts in 2016, Chyrst only averaged 22 pass attempts a game. Stanford will play it safe and keep the ball on the ground most of the night. Rice’s redshirt freshman QB Sam Glaesmann only needs to make a few plays to earn me a win. The Owls returning offensive linemen have 92 combined starts in their careers. RB Sam Stewart has speed and played well before an injury in 2016. This is Rice’s bowl game so I expect the Owls to be ready. Look for Stanford to win by 20-25 points.