Every week I will be taking a look at the top 5 college football games of the week to get you all ready for the upcoming week of tailgating, fight songs and football. This year we actually have some really good games opening weekend. Here is my list to kick the season off in 2013.
5) Vanderbilt Commadores vs Ole Miss Rebels
This game is a sneaky one. Both programs were a surprise last year with Vandy winning 9 games and Ole Miss winning 7 but pulling in an amazing recruiting class headlined by DE/OLB Robert Nkemdiche. These are two programs on the rise that will desperately need to win this game. After this week Ole Miss plays a cupcake but after that goes at Texas, at Alabama, at Auburn, vs. Texas A&M and vs. LSU so a 1-6 start would be devastating. The QB for Ole Miss Bo Wallace(pictured above) is someone you won’t hear much about but he is very good. He will lead the Rebels to a road victory and have the fans yelling Hotty Toddy.
4) Mississippi State Bulldogs vs #13 Oklahoma State Cowboys
For some odd reason this game will be played in Reliant Stadium in Houston. Well if you like offense, this is going to be a fun one. The Cowboys start the season as the highest ranked team in the Big 12, yet no one is talking about them to win the conference. Mostly that’s because their defense is pretty bad even though Mike Gundy (he’s still a man but not 40 anymore) can coach some offense. Mississippi State has a suspect secondary and will have a tough time slowing down the Cowboys passing attack. However, Dan Mullen can also coach offense and the Bulldogs will put up points. That won’t be enough though and the Dawgs go down by double digits.
3) #1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech has a few running backs injured, will start a freshman at left tackle and is breaking in a new offensive coordinator. All of that combined makes it’s tough for you to win most season openers, much less a game against Nick Saban’s juggernaut. Do the Hokies have a chance here? Well a slight one if the 6’6” 260 lbs QB Logan Thomas balls out. QB’s that can run are the great equalizer but it will be a tough road for the Hokies in this one. There is a reason Frank Beamer said this Alabama team is the best he has ever played (and yes that includes 2001 Miami) and it’s because they are loaded. Beamer will get the Hokies to play hard but Bama rolls.
2) #12 LSU Tigers vs #20 TCU Horned Frogs
Even at #12, I think LSU is underrated but they need to be careful here. They got a big matchup here with #20 TCU at JerryWorld in Dallas. TCU is always well coached under Gary Patterson and plays above their talent level. This game has some interesting build up with the coaches tweaking each other about suspension policies so there is some bad blood. However, TCU took a huge hit by having to suspend defensive end Devonte Fields who could still win Big 12 defensive player of the year. The return of embattled QB Casey Panchall helps TCU but in the end, LSU’s defense, led by “The Freak” Anthony Johnson will bring this one home leading them to a close victory.
1) #8 Clemson Tigers vs #5 Georgia Bulldogs
For me, this is the highlight game of the weekend. We got #5 Georgia going to the other Death Valley to take on #8 Clemson in an epic season opening night game. We got ourselves a great matchup of QB’s that you will hear about all season (and for good reason) in Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray. We also have a something has to give matchup here since Murray 3-11 in his career vs teams that finish in the top 25 but Boyd is average against ranked teams going 5-4 the last two years. With that being said, I like the RB duo of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley to lead the Dawgs to a road victory.
Honorable mention: #6 South Carolina Gamecocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels.
This one got left off because outside of Clowney getting 6 sacks, it will be a blowout. The Ol Ball Coach and his crew roll though by more than the spread of 11.