Fearless Rick's 2016 College Football Picks - Week 1 late games

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NCAA Week 1 Early Games


WEEK 1 NCAA Footall - late games

All times Eastern

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3:30 pm UCLA at Texas A&M (-3 1/2, 55 1/2) - Both teams were in bowls last season; the Bruins losing to Nebraska, 37-29, in the Foster Farms Bowl and finishing 8-5, while the Aggies matched their 8-5 mark with a 27-21 loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl.

This could be one of the best games of the weekend, matching up two solid teams looking to improve. Its the PAC-12 vs. the SEC, but a close call should go to the coastal squad on the road. The Bruins have won four straight season openers.

Coin Flip: Texas A&M

Prediction: Bruins 28 Aggies 27

3:30 pm LSU (-10, 44 1/2) at Wisconsin - Sure, the Tigers are projected for big things this season, but they're on the road against a Wisconsin squad that was 10-3 last season, losing only to Alabama, Iowa, and Northwestern. The big, burly Badgers won't back off a bit against the invaders from the SEC, and Big Ten teams are tired of hearing how they're somehow inferior to other conferences.

Wisconsin topped USC, 23-21, in last season's Holiday Bowl and they're shooting for more success this season.

Coin Flip: LSU

Prediction: Badgers 30 Tigers 24

5:30 pm Georgia (-2 1/2, 56) at North Carolina - Too easy. In annual season openers between the SEC and ACC, the SEC holds a solid edge and Georgia doesn't really hove much to prove after their 10-3 2015 campaign. Losses to Alabama, Tennessee and Florida were hardly blemishes for a team that may have a top three defense this year.

The Tar Heels are still a distance from being a national contender, but they are a solid squad and could eventually capture the ACC, but this will be a rough start.

Coin Flip: North Carolina

Prediction: Bulldogs 21 Tar Heels 16

8:00 pm USC at Alabama (-10 1/2, 54) - The Crimson Tide outlasted and outclassed Clemson to capture the national championship last season and will be looking to repeat and add to Nick Saban's legend at Alabama (Bear who?).

Up against it are the Trojans, who finished a respectable 8-6 last year, though they lost three of their last four in disappointing defeats to Oregon, Stanford (PAC-12 championship), and Wisconsin (Holiday Bowl). Alabama has made a habit of winning their opener. Roll Tide.

Coin Flip: Alabama

Prediction: Crimson Tide 41 Trojans 21

9:00 pm Clemson (-7 1/2, 61) at Auburn - Another ACC-SEC match-up, but this one is a little lopsided. Auburn was 7-6 last year, winning the Birmingham Bowl over Memphis, 31-10. The Clemson Tigers, however, were champions of the ACC and lost to Alabama in the national championship game, 45-40 for a 14-1 mark.

Coin Flip: Clemson

Prediction: Clemson Tigers 42 Auburn Tigers 30

10:30 pm Arizona at BYU (-1, 61 1/2) - The Cougars steadfastly remain an independent, opening their season against a PAC-12 foe that needs to improve. The wildcats were just 6-6 before whipping New Mexico, 45-37, in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. BYU should be respected after a 9-4 mark in 2015, though they lost the Las Vegas Bowl to Utah, 35-28. Plenty of fireworks in what should be a wide-open affair.

Coin Flip: BYU

Prediction: Cougars 51 Wildcats 42

Sunday, September 4

7:30 pm Notre Dame (-3 1/2, 60) at Texas - Still looking to get into the national championship Final Four, the Fighting Irish were denied last season when they lost a 38-36 decision at Stanford, dropping them to 10-2 and out of the running.

Notre Dame came up flat and disappointed in the Fiesta Bowl, losing, 44-28, to Ohio State, though they can be forgiven for the emotional letdown. They opened last season against the Longhorns as well, winning, 38-3, at home, and even though this one is on the road, the Irish are still superior. The Longhorns didn't even make it to a bowl last year, going 5-7.

Coin Flip: Notre Dame

Prediction: Fighting Irish 34 Longhorns 20

Monday, September 5

8:00 pm Ole Miss at Florida State (-4, 56 1/2) - Two teams with national championship aspirations close out the Labor Day weekend extravaganza and this one should be worth watching.

The Seminoles were second in the ACC Atlantic to Clemson - who just so ended up playing for the national title - with a 6-2 mark and were uninspired in the Peach Bowl, losing to Houston, 38-24. Look for a better effort in their season opener.

Ole Miss handed the Crimson Tide their only loss of the season last year, winning 43-37, but subsequent losses to Florida and Arkansas denied them the SEC West title. They did manage to whip Oklahoma State pretty badly in the Sugar Bowl, winning 48-20, for a 10-3 mark overall. The Rebels are loaded but the Seminoles are nobody's target.

Coin Flip: Ole Miss

Prediction: Rebels 44 Seminoles 42

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