Aaron Green’s Deflected Touchdown Catch Keeps TCU in Playoff Hunt

College Football

TV cameras caught Gary Patterson smiling on Saturday afternoon. That’s not an occurrence that has happened very often during what so far has been an injury-riddled, mistake-filled 2015 campaign.

Patterson’s expression of glee came about following an improbable last-minute touchdown catch by RB Aaron Green that gave the Horned Frogs the decisive score they needed in their 55-52 victory over Texas Tech.

It’s only fitting that such a wild shootout would have such a wild ending.

On a critical 4th and Goal from the four-yard line, Trevone Boykin’s overthrown pass to Josh Doctson was tipped and happened to land right into the opportunistic grasp of Green, who had just inches to spare to score in the back of the end zone.

It was a play that sent shock waves throughout the stunned Red Raider crowd and sent a smile to a relieved head coach’s face, as he exhaled and thanked the football gods for the good fortune they bestowed upon his team.

Patterson knows that there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done to fix a banged-up defense that allowed 607 total yards of offense and 52 points to a frisky Texas Tech attack. It’s a unit that clearly isn’t close to championship caliber at this point in the season. Luckily, the defensive-minded head coach has been known to work his magic with his patented 4-2-5 scheme.

Luckily, the only number that really matters right now isn’t on the defensive stat sheet. Instead, it’s the zero in the loss column of TCU’s unblemished overall record. As the first month of the season draws to a close, it’s a number that signifies the Horned Frogs are still right in the thick of the hunt for a playoff berth, 

With bouts against Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State still left on the schedule, this game likely won’t be the last shootout that Patterson’s squad gets involved in this season.

Every championship team needs to get a few favorable bounces throughout its run to a title. TCU got its first big season-shifting bounce in Lubbock, which means the Frogs’ Final-Four aspirations are still alive.

College Football Week 4: Saturday Picks and Predictions

College Football

Although conference play hasn’t yet kicked into full swing, the fourth Saturday of the 2015 college football seasonhas its fair share of intriguing matchups and interesting storylines. 

Coming off a blowout win over Auburn last Saturday, No. 8 LSU travels to Syracuse. Star RB Leonard Fournette—the current early front runner in the 2015 Heisman race—will likely feast on an overmatched Orange defense.

No. 1 Ohio State (vs. Western Michigan), No. 2 Michigan State (vs. Central Michigan) and No. 3 Ole Miss (at Vanderbilt), will likely do plenty of offensive feasting as well.

Other top teams like No. 4 TCU (at Texas Tech), No. 9 UCLA (at Arizona) and No. 13 Oregon (vs. Utah), all need to be on upset alert.

So how will all the action play out?

Here’s a look at the complete picks for every Saturday game of Week 4.

*Note: All betting lines courtesy of Covers.com

*Only games involving two FBS teams are included

Saturday’s Super Six Picks

  • UCLA Bruins (-3)
  • San Jose State Spartans (-4.5)
  • Georgia Southern Eagles (-16)
  • Colorado State Rams (-10)
  • Texas Tech Red Raiders (+6.5)
  • Michigan Wolverines (-6.5)
Matchup Total Picks
Southern Miss at Nebraska (-21.5) 68 NEB (-21.5), OVER
Navy (-7) at Connecticut 47 CON (+7), UNDER
Central Michigan at Michigan State (-26.5) 54 MSU (-26.5), OVER
Kansas at Rutgers (-14) 65 RUTG (-14), OVER
Bowling Green (-5.5) at Purdue 75 BG (-5.5), UNDER
Georgia Tech (-7.5) at Duke 56 DUKE (+7.5), OVER
UFC at South Carolina (-14.5) 44 SC (-14.5), UNDER
BYU at Michigan (-6.5) 44.5 MICH (-6.5), UNDER
LSU (-24) at Syracuse 46.5 LSU (-24), OVER
Indiana (-3.5) at Wake Forest 55 WF (+3.5), OVER
Northern Illinois at Boston College (-4.5) 47 BC (-4.5), UNDER
FIU at Louisiana Tech (-14.5) 53 LT (-14.5), OVER
New Mexico (-3.5) at Wyoming 56 WYO (+3.5), UNDER
Rice at Baylor (-34.5) 74.5 Rice (+34.5), UNDER
Maryland at West Virginia (-17) 57 WVU (-17), OVER
UMass at Notre Dame (-28.5) 59 ND (-28.5), OVER
Marshall (-7) at Kent State 49.5 MARS (-7), UNDER
San Diego State at Penn State (-15) 39.5 PSU (-15), UNDER
Western Michigan at Ohio State (-31.5) 61 OSU (-31.5), OVER
Miami (Ohio) at Western Kentucky (-20.5) 67 WKU (-20.5), OVER
Appalachian State (-8) at Old Dominion 56 APP (-8), UNDER
Virginia Tech (-10) at East Carolina 52 ECU (+10), UNDER
Tennessee (-1) at Florida 48 FLA (+1), OVER
Oklahoma State (-3) at Texas 59 OSU (-3), UNDER
Nevada (-1) at Buffalo 56 NEV (-1), OVER
Ohio at Minnesota (-10) 47.5 MIN (-10), UNDER
North Texas at Iowa (-25) 54.5 IOWA (-25), UNDER
Middle Tennessee at Illinois (-6) 62.5 MTU (+6), OVER
UL-Monroe at Alabama (-38) 55 ULM (+38), OVER
TCU (-6.5) at Texas Tech 80.5 TTU (+6.5), OVER
Cal (-3) at Washington 60 CAL (-3), OVER
Army at Eastern Michigan (-1.5) 57 ARMY (+1.5), OVER
Florida Atlantic (-11.5) at Charlotte 64 FAU (-11.5), OVER
Colorado State (-10) at UTSA 57 CSU (-10), OVER
Texas A&M (-7) at Arkansas 58 TAMU (-7), OVER
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss (-24.5) 54 MISS (-24.5), UNDER
Arkansas State at Toledo (-7) 61 TOL (-7), OVER
Akron at UL-Lafayette (-8) 50.5 ULL (-8), UNDER
Missouri at Kentucky (-2.5) 44.5 MIZZ (+2.5), UNDER
Mississippi State at Auburn (-3) 58 AUB (-3), OVER
Hawaii at Wisconsin (-24.5) 50 WISC (-24.5), UNDER
Ball State at Northwestern (-20) 49.5 NW (-20), UNDER
NC State (-17) at South Alabama 55.5 SA (+17), UNDER
UCLA (-3) at Arizona 66 UCLA (-3), OVER
Texas State at Houston (-16.5) 72.5 HOU (-16.5), OVER
Utah at Oregon (-12) 64.5 UTAH (+12), UNDER
Georgia Southern (-16) at Idaho 65.5 GSU (-16), OVER
Fresno State at San Jose State (-4.5) 56 SJSU (-4.5), UNDER
USC (-5.5) at Arizona State 61.5 ASU (+5.5), OVER 61.5

Leonard Fournette Takes Early Lead in Race For 2015 Heisman

2015 Heisman, College Football

19 rushes for 228 yards and three touchdowns.

Those were LSU RB Leonard Fournette’s final stats from the Tigers’ 45-21 victory over Auburn. They’re the type of incredible eye-catching numbers that obviously give a pretty good indication of just how dominant Fournette was in Death Valley on Saturday afternoon.

Still, stat-sheets are often limited in their ability to convey the complete story of a performance.

Unless you actually watched how the powerful and explosive 6’1’’, 230-pound sophomore superstar rusher manhandled and overpowered the Auburn defense—shaking would-be-tacklers off like flies and piling up big-chunk run after big-chunk run—you couldn’t fully appreciate just how superior he truly was.

For the second straight week, Fournette made an SEC defense look like a second-rate JV squad, as he unleashed his rare blend of size, strength and speed onto the helpless defenders who had the unfortunate task of having to try to get in his way and slow him down.

It was a message-sending showing to everyone watching, especially to Heisman voters.

Though the 2015 season may only be three weeks old, it’s never too early to start speculating and trying to pinpoint which of college football’s elite stars have the potential to make a run at winning the sport’s most prestigious award.

At this point in the young season, there’s no other candidate in college football who looks as well-equipped to make that run than the former heralded No. 1 overall recruit from New Orleans.

Sure, Fournette has only played in two games, but in those victories over Mississippi State and Auburn, he’s outclassed the competition and made two opponents from what’s supposedly college football’s toughest division look foolish. He’s rushed for 387 yards and six touchdowns and broken more tackles than even the sharpest of statisticians could keep count of.

Once a man among boys during his high school career, Fournette has now managed to develop into that same caliber of mythical monster on the collegiate level.

Right now, there’s not another player in college football who has that buzzworthy, magnetic “must-watch” feel that Fournette brings to the table. He has that rare “put the ball in his hands and then wait for something special to happen” quality that you look for in a top-rate Heisman candidate.

There may be plenty of other worthy contenders in the race for the 2015 Heisman Trophy such as Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott, TCU QB Trevone Boykin, Georgia RB Nick Chubb, Michigan State QB Connor Cook and Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly. However, LSU’s gifted young physical specimen is the one that’s come bursting out of the gates and sprinted out to a large early lead.

Fournette’s captured everyone’s attention. Now it’s up to him to keep shining now that the spotlight’s focused on him.

Many say the Heisman has become a quarterback’s award (eight of the last nine winners have been signal-callers). Maybe, though, all the race needs is a special type of thoroughbred like Fournette to come along and show that elite rushers are just as worthy.

College Football Week 3 Picks and Predictions

College Football, College Football Picks

Every college football season, the good old “Is the SEC overrated?” debate will inevitably get trotted out at some point. This year, it only took two weeks for the media to manufacture drama with that very question thanks in large part to the league’s rather lackluster overall showing on the second Saturday of the season.

Arkansas losing 16-12 to Toledo at home, Tennessee falling apart and giving up a 17-3 halftime lead and eventually losing 31-24 to Oklahoma at home and Auburn barely pulling out a victory in overtime against FCS opponent Jacksonville State were the three results that caused many to reevaluate just how strong and deep college football’s so-called most powerful conference truly is this year.

Since the season is just two weeks old, it’s too early to make sweeping judgments about just how good the SEC really is this year. Still, one thing’s for sure — the spotlight is still shining brightly on the Southeastern Conference, no matter what the league’s growing number of critics and detractors might be saying.

The two marquee games of Week 3 are both SEC showdowns: No. 2 Alabama hosting No. 15 Ole Miss and No. 13 LSU hosting No. 18 Auburn.

Sure, other games such as Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame, BYU vs. UCLA and Stanford vs. USC will draw their fair share of national interest. But there’s no doubt that the battle of the Tigers and the Tide seeking revenge against the Rebels are the two most intriguing battles of Week 3.

The college football world will have its eyes set on Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa on Saturday, but there will be plenty of other great action around the rest of the country that will be worth paying attention to as well.

Here’s a look at the complete list of picks and predictions for every Saturday game.

*Note: All betting lines and totals courtesy of Covers.com
*Only games involving two FBS programs are included.

Saturday’s Super Six Picks

  • USC Trojans (-9.5)

  • Ole Miss Rebels (+7)

  • Florida Atlantic Owls (-1)

  • Northwestern Wildcats (+4)

  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+2.5)

  • Missouri Tigers (-22.5)

Picks For Every Saturday Game

Matchup Total Picks
Air Force at Michigan State (-24.5) 54 AF (+24.5), OVER
Kent State at Minnesota (-24.5) 46 MINN (-24.5), UNDER
UNLV at Michigan (-34.5) 48 MICH (-34.5), OVER
Illinois at North Carolina (-8) 63.5 UNC (-8), OVER
Wake Forest (-6) at Army 50 ARMY (+6), UNDER
Buffalo at Florida Atlantic (-1) 63.5 FAU (-1), OVER
Tulsa at Oklahoma (-30) 71 TULS (+30), UNDER
South Florida at Maryland (-7) 51.5 MARY (-7), UNDER
Nevada at Texas A&M (-34) 65 TAMU (-34), OVER
Connecticut at Missouri (-22.5) 41 MIZZ (-22.5), UNDER
Northwestern at Duke (-4) 48.5 NW (+4), OVER
Central Michigan at Syracuse (-8.5) 44.5 CMU (+8.5), UNDER
Georgia State at Oregon (-44.5) 72 ORE (-44.5), UNDER
Rice (-7.5) at North Texas 55 Rice (-7.5), OVER
Louisiana Tech at Kansas State (-10) 50.5 LT (+10), UNDER
Temple (-13.5) at Massachusetts 54.5 TEMP (-13.5), UNDER
Ball State (-4.5) at Eastern Michigan 63 EMU (+4.5), OVER
Memphis (-3) at Bowling Green 78.5 MEMP (-3), OVER
Georgia Tech (-2.5) at Notre Dame 55.5 ND (+2.5), UNDER
Nebraska at Miami (-3) 59.5 MIA (-3), OVER
East Carolina at Navy (-4.5) 57.5 NAVY (-4.5), UNDER
Cincinnati (-20) at Miami (Ohio) 60 CINC (-20), OVER
Troy at Wisconsin (-34.5) 58.5 WISC (-34.5), UNDER
UTSA at Oklahoma State (-26.5) 56 OSU (-26.5), UNDER
Northern Illinois at Ohio State (-35) 66.5 OSU (-35), OVER
Virginia Tech (-6.5) at Purdue 49 PURD (+6.5), UNDER
Auburn at LSU (-6.5) 48.5 LSU (-6.5), OVER
Western Kentucky at Indiana (-1) 72.5 IND (-1), OVER
Utah State at Washington (-7) 44 WAS (-7), UNDER
South Carolina at Georgia (-16.5) 53 GEOR (-16.5), OVER
Texas Tech at Arkansas (-11.5) 71 ARK (-11.5), UNDER
N.C. State (-17.5) at Old Dominion 58.5 ODU (+17.5), UNDER
Colorado (-3) at Colorado State 57 COL (-3), OVER
Southern Miss at Texas State (-3) 68 SM (+3), OVER
Charlotte at Middle Tennessee (-21) 64 MTU (-21), UNDER
California (-6.5) at Texas 58 CAL (-6.5), UNDER
Florida (-3.5) at Kentucky 52.5 KENT (+3.5), UNDER
Stanford at USC (-9.5) 50 USC (-9.5), UNDER
Rutgers at Penn State (-9) 46 PSU (-9), UNDER
Pittsburgh at Iowa (-5.5) 47 PITT (+5.5), UNDER
South Alabama at San Diego State (-17.5) 46 SDSU (-17.5), OVER
UTEP (-3) at New Mexico State 61 UTEP (-3), OVER
San Jose State at Oregon State (-7) 49.5 SJSU (+7), UNDER
SMU at TCU (-37) 67 TCU (-37), UNDER
Iowa State at Toledo (-7) 58 TOL (-7), OVER
Wyoming at Washington State (-24.5) 66 WSU (-24.5), OVER
Ole Miss at Alabama (-7) 53 MISS (+7), UNDER
Utah (-14) at Fresno State 52.5 FRES (+14), UNDER
BYU at UCLA (-16.5) 60 UCLA (-16.5), OVER

College Football Week 3 Predictions: Auburn vs. LSU

College Football, College Football Predictions

Matchup: No. 18 Auburn Tigers at No. 13 LSU Tigers

Location: Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Kickoff Time: 3:30 pm ET

Spread and Total: LSU (-7), 48.5

Both breeds of Tigers head into this pivotal SEC showdown coming off of victories in Week 2. However, it’s the purple and yellow-striped cats that have the clear-cut momentum advantage over their orange and blue-clad counterparts.

Last Saturday night, LSU rode its freight train of a running back Leonard Fournette to a 21-19 victory over Mississippi State in Starkville. It was a game that was largely one-sided for three quarters before the Bulldogs rallied from a 21-6 deficit to make things interesting.

The 230-pound sophomore Heisman contender kept the opposing crowd’s cowbells quiet, as he posted one of the best performances of his career, rushing for 159 yards and all three of his team’s touchdowns.

Auburn, on the other hand, narrowly avoided disaster in Week 2. It needed overtime to eke out a 27-20 win over Jacksonville State—an FCS program from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Tigers’ lackluster performance at home against an off-the-radar team caused them to drop 12 spots in the latest AP Top 25 poll and it diminished the perception that they are a viable national title contender.

Not only do the boys from Baton Rouge enter this showcase showdown with a clear momentum advantage, they’re also motivated by the thought of avenging last year’s embarrassing 41-7 defeat at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

LSU QB Brandon Harris—who had just eight completions in that blowout loss—looks to be much more confident and comfortable leading the offense this year. The same can’t be said, though, for Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson, who has plenty of potential and physical ability but little experience running Gus Malzahn’s spread attack.

It doen’t help that Johnson doesn’t have a true featured rusher in the backfield to take some of the pressure off him.

The efficiency of Harris, the powerful presence of Fournette, the overall experience edge on the offensive side of the ball and the hostile atmosphere of Death Valley will likely be the difference in this matchup.

It also wouldn’t be surprising if the dangerous receiving duo of Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural—who combined for 12 touchdowns in 2014—ends up stealing the show against an Auburn secondary that was routinely toasted against quality passing offenses last season. The only question is will Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron give Harris enough chances to air it out (LSU attempted just 14 passes last week) to his two stud wideouts?

Ultimately, both these teams have a great chance to materialize into contenders for a West division crown this season. But at this early juncture in the season, it’s LSU that looks to be the more well-rounded squad.

Prediction: LSU 31, Auburn 20

College Football Week 2: Picks and Predictions

College Football

Vengeance will be main theme of the bout that pits No. 5 Michigan State against No. 7 Oregon in East Lansing on Saturday night. The battle between the Spartans and the Ducks is undoubtedly the most anticipated matchup of what can only otherwise be described as a rather unintriguing Week 2 slate of college football games.

Unfortunately, the second week of the season is shaping up to be just as noncompetitive and uninteresting as the largely forgettable kickoff weekend.

When looking at Week 2 of the college football season from a betting standpoint, large spreads and big home favorites abound.

So who’s worth backing and who’s worth fading on the second Saturday of the season?

Here’s a look at every pick and prediction for College Football Week 2.

Saturday’s Super Six Picks

  • Oklahoma Sooners (-1.5)
  • Memphis Tigers (-13)
  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-30.5)
  • Michigan State Spartans (-4)
  • Oregon State Beavers (+14.5)
  • Cincinnati Bearcats (-6.5)

*Note: Only games involving two FBS teams are included.
*Betting lines and totals courtesy of Covers.com

Matchup Total Picks
South Florida at Florida State (-28.5) 54.5 USF (+28.5), OVER
Kansas State (-16.5) at UTSA 52 KSU (-16.5), UNDER
Army at UConn (-7.5) 47 UConn (-7.5), UNDER
Miami (Ohio) at Wisconsin (-31) 52 WISC (-31), OVER
Houston at Louisville (-13.5) 54 LOU (-13.5), OVER
Bowling Green at Maryland (-8) 71.5 BG (+8), OVER
Buffalo at Penn State (-17.5) 48.5 BUF (+17.5), OVER
Oregon State at Michigan (-14.5) 45.5 OSU (+14.5), UNDER
Appalachian State at Clemson (-19) 58.5 CLEM (-19), OVER
Wake Forest at Syracuse (-4) 40.5 WAKE (+4), UNDER
UMass at Colorado (-12.5) 62.5 COL (-12.5), OVER
UTEP at Texas Tech (-20) 65.5 TTU (-20), OVER
Tulane at Georgia Tech (-30.5) 55 GT (-30.5), UNDER
Notre Dame (-12.5) at Virginia 47.5 VIRG (+12.5), UNDER
Georgia (-21) at Vanderbilt 50.5 GEOR (-21), UNDER
Minnesota (-5) at Colorado State 54.5 CSU (+5), OVER
Hawaii at Ohio State (-41) 65 OSU (-41), OVER
Fresno State at Ole Miss (-30.5) 55.5 MISS (-30.5), UNDER
Washington State at Rutgers (-3.5) 63 RUTG (-3.5), OVER
Toledo at Arkansas (-21.5) 55.5 ARK (-21.5), OVER
Middle Tennessee at Alabama (-35) 56.5 ALAB (-35), OVER
Eastern Michigan at Wyoming (-13) 53 WYO (-13), UNDER
Iowa (-3) at Iowa State 50 ISU (+3), OVER
San Diego State at California (-14) 61 CAL (-14), UNDER
Western Michigan (-4) at Georgia Southern 56.5 WMU (-4), OVER
Pittsburgh (-12) at Akron 50 AKR (+12), UNDER
Oklahoma (-1.5) at Tennessee 63 OKLA (-1.5), UNDER
Ball State at Texas A&M (-30.5) 63.5 TAMU (-30.5), OVER
East Carolina at Florida (-21) 53.5 ECU (+21), OVER
Missouri (-10) at Arkansas State 58 ASU (+10), OVER
Arizona (-10.5) at Nevada 63 ARIZ (-10.5), UNDER
Marshall (-3) at Ohio 60.5 OHIO (+3), UNDER
Memphis (-13) at Kansas 62 MEM (-13), OVER
North Texas at SMU (-5.5) 61.5 SMU (-5.5), OVER
Kentucky at South Carolina (-7) 55.5 KENT (+7), UNDER
Rice at Texas (-14.5) 48.5 TEX (-14.5), UNDER
Oregon at Michigan State (-4) 65.5 MSU (-4), UNDER
South Alabama at Nebraska (-27.5) 54.5 NEB (-27.5), OVER
Idaho at USC (-44) 67 USC (-44), OVER
Temple at Cincinnati (-6.5) 54.5 CINC (-6.5), UNDER
Tulsa at New Mexico (-4) 75 TULSA (+4), OVER
FIU at Indiana (-8) 56 IND (-8), UNDER
Georgia State at New Mexico State (-6.5) 65 NMSU (-6.5), OVER
LSU (-4) at Mississippi State 50 LSU (-4), UNDER
Boise State (-2.5) at BYU 55 BYU (+2.5), UNDER
San Jose State at Air Force (-6) 59.5 SJSU (+6), OVER
UCLA (-30) at UNLV 65.5 UCLA (-30.5), OVER
UCF at Stanford (-19) 45.5 STAN (-19), UNDER

College Football’s First Saturday Needs to Be Better Than That

College Football

When trying to come up with a single word to sum up the first Saturday of the 2015 college football season, anticlimactic is the one that immediately came to mind. That’s due mainly to the fact that it was a day filled with uncompetitive blowouts, instead of actual compelling action and meaningful matchups.

If you want to know just how bad it was, all you have to do is look at the lopsided numbers.

There were 58 games involving FBS teams on Saturday (not counting the canceled LSU-McNeese State game). The average score of those games was 45-15.

35 of those 58 games were decided by 20 points or more, 28 were decided by 30 points or more, 18 were decided by 40 points or more, seven were decided by 50 points or more, two were decided by 60 points or more and one was decided by more than 70 points.

That 70-plus-point game was Mississippi’s 76-3 throttling of UT-Martin—an FCS program from the Ohio Valley Conference.

Do you really think the 60,186 Rebel fans in attendance left the stadium that afternoon thinking they got their money’s worth?

Ole Miss is hardly the only team, though, that deserves to be criticized for padding its non-conference schedule with inferior FCS cupcake opponents.

34 other FBS programs —Boston College, Cal, Clemson, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas (who lost 41-38 to South Dakota State), Kansas State, LSU (who had its game with McNeese State called off due to repeated lightning delays), Maryland, Miami, Missouri, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Washington State (who lost 24-17 to Portland State), Air Force, Appalachian State, Buffalo, Colorado State, East Carolina, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee, Navy, New Mexico, Rice, San Diego State, South Alabama, South Florida and Wyoming (who lost 24-13 to North Dakota)—started off their 2015 campaigns in the same fashion.

I’ve already explained how much I loathe FBS programs beating up on FCS schools in my article “College Football’s Power-5 Teams Must Stop Feasting on FCS Cupcakes.” Still, even though I feel it’s a slap in the face to the fans and something that drags down the quality of the sport overall, I’ll admit that I fully understand the logic and the reasoning of it.

In this day and age, most head coaches and athletic directors have some type of postseason incentive clause in their contracts that gives them a nice five-figure payday if their team reaches a bowl game. Therefore, it only makes sense they want to make things as easy as possible to get to the necessary six wins to earn a bowl invitation. Obviously, padding the schedule with one or two drastically inferior FCS opponents helps the cause.

Plus, in this case, schools know that they’re most likely going to rake in big attendance numbers on opening weekend, regardless if the team is hosting a quality opponent or not.

Luckily, there’s at least some hope that this practice will begin to die off in the coming years. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is one of the champions of the cause. Delany’s made it clear that his league’s schools will no longer be scheduling FCS opponents after the 2016 season. Hopefully, other league commissioners will soon follow suit.

The best possible solution could be the installation of some sort of Exhibition Weekend such as the one I outlined in my Blueprint For a College Football Superconference System article. In that proposed scenario, every FBS school would host an FCS opponent on the Saturday before the season started in an exhibition game that would be like a glorified spring game atmosphere. The games and the stats wouldn’t count, but it allows FBS teams to work out the kinks, and it allows the FCS schools to still get a nice payday from a cut of the gate revenue.

It’s certainly a better alternative to having a Week 1 slate filled with a plethora of meaningless record-boosting, stat-padding games.

The start of the college football season should have an extravagant feel. Nothing about the first Saturday of the 2015 season felt anything relatively close to extravagant.

Admittedly, it didn’t help that the three marquee prime-time games — Alabama vs. Wisconsin, Arizona State vs. Texas A&M and Notre Dame vs. Texas — turned out to be rather ho-hum one-sided affairs. Still, the fact that there were only really three games that had any national buzz shows how weak and sub par the overall slate of games truly was.

When college football is at its best, it’s arguably the most exciting and entertaining sport in America. But there was nothing exciting nor entertaining about what we witnessed on Saturday in those abundance of boring blowouts.

Sure, a month from now, once conference play kicks into full gear, no one will remember how lackluster Week 1 may have been. Still, it’s clear that a change is needed, and that change needs to start with the elimination of the FBS-FCS matchups that only serve to drag down the overall quality of the sport.

College Football Week 1: Picks and Predictions

College Football

Trying to find truly compelling matchups within the college football Week 1 slate is no easy feat. Most of the Power-5 conference schools have chosen to open up their 2015 campaigns by feasting on a cupcake opponent.

Still, from a wagering perspective, there are at least some games that stick out as intriguing. 

Here’s a look at the against the spread and total picks for every remaining game of Week 1.

College Football 2015 Season Preview: Complete Rankings, Predictions and Projections

College Football

If you believed all the talk you heard this offseason, you might wonder why they’re even playing the 2015 college football season, instead of just handing defending national champion Ohio State another title right now.

The Buckeyes enter the season as the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the nation and the clear-cut favorite to repeat. Considering how loaded Urban Meyer’s team is with talent, it’s hard to argue that the hype isn’t warranted.

Since many of the other top-ranked teams in the nation have questions at quarterback along with plenty of other significant holes to fill, there’s no doubt that Ohio State is the team most ready to compete for a championship in 2015. Still, there are other teams and other standout players outside of Columbus that are worthy of attention and praise as well.

Now that the waiting is over and the season has finally arrived, we’ll have the chance to see which teams and which players are ready to step out onto the national stage.

Included in the following preview are picks for the four-team playoff, national team rankings, conference power rankings, player positional rankings, bowl projections as well as the prediction for who will take home the sport’s most prestigious award: The Heisman Trophy.

With kickoff to the college football season now a mere few hours away, here’s a look at Gridiron Perspective’s complete 2015 College Football Season Preview.