Fearless Rick's 2017 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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6:00 pm Hawaii at Massachusetts (-2, 62) - Independent UMass was just 2-10 last season, but the schedule was impressive, with games against Florida (L, 24-7), Mississippi State (L, 47-35), South Carolina (L, 34-28) and BYU (L, 51-9). The wins came against Wagner and Florida International, both games at home, where this contest will be played.

This is a return date, as the Minutemen were out-surfed by the Warriors in the season finale, 46-40 on November 26. The weather should suit Hawaii just fine, and they travel well, winning half of their six road games. The road losses were to some serious connections, Michigan, Arizona, and San Diego State. They did win at Air Force, 34-27, in double overtime, a feather in their collective caps. The Rainbow Warriors finished at 7-7, winning the Hawaii Bowl over highly-hyped Middle Tennessee. They're the choice for a repeat victory.

Coin Flip: Massachusetts

Prediction: Rainbow Warriors 34 Minutemen 27

7:30 pm South Florida (-21 1/2, 69 1/2) at San Jose State - The Bulls were surprisingly good in 2016, winning the American Athletic conference with a 7-1 mark, including a 48-31 championship win over UCF. They also took down SEC rival, South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, winning, 46-39, in overtime.

South Florida scored 43.8 points per game in 2016, ranked #4 in the FBS. They don't offer much in the way of defense, but every effort has been made to improve on that side of the ball in the off-season.

San Jose State was 3-5 in the Mountain West conference and 4-8 overall last season. After a 1-5 start, they improved, with a 3-3 record down the stretch and played well in losses to Boise State (45-31) and Air Force (41-38), ending their season on a high note with a 16-14 win at Fresno State. Home field will help, and while they have only a slight chance of winning outright, they may not be so easily beaten. Take the points.

Coin Flip: San Jose State

Prediction: Bulls 41 Spartans 26

10:00 pm Stanford (-30 1/2, 51) at Rice - The Cardinal, after graduating All-American Christian McCaffery, will reload on offense behind a massive offensive line, which has become something of their signature over the past decade.

While Stanford underperformed expectations - which were very high - they did manage a 10-3 season, closing out with a win over North Carolina in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, 25-23. As usual, they're loaded and will be in contention for the PAC-12 title. They are ranked #14 preseason and defeated Rice, 41-17, in their final regular season game.

As for the Owls, they were simply awful in 2016, finishing with a 2-6 mark in Conference-USA (a very weak conference) and 3-9 overall, with some epic losses, to Western Kentucky, 46-14, Baylor, 38-10, and Louisiana Tech, 61-16. If there's a circle on this game, it will be no surprise as the Cardinal should blow out the Owls with a hoot.

Coin Flip: Rice

Prediction: Cardinal 48 Owls 10

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