Week 1 NCAA Predictions

Scores from every upcoming game
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 27th, 2008

Each Monday morning will preview every college football DI FBS game of the upcoming week. Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of Monday morning before the week. All of our college football content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the preview is located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.

The inputs to the 201 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position. This may be relatively obvious for some examples (i.e. LSU vs. Appalachian State), but non-FBS rosters and ratings are not maintained individually due to lack of data. In other words, right or wrong, all non-FBS teams are treated equally.


Games of the Week: #14 Alabama 18 vs #7 Clemson 28
Two top 15 teams in our pre-season Power Rankings clash in a great early season battle that may help determine which of these teams is legit (though we obviously like each of them). Both squads are talented, but Clemson has the clear edge in experience, and it helps them get past the Crimson Tide 72.1% of the time in Week 1.

#30 Utah 23 @ #27 Michigan 24
This may be the most compelling game on the schedule. With Brian Johnson at QB, Utah has a legitimate chance to be the best non-BCS team in the country this season. Those hopes may disappear if they lose to Michigan in Rich Rodriguez's home opener. Appalachian State made the statement last year and Utah can echo it. Our win percentage actually favors Utah, while the average score favors Michigan. That just means that this is too close to call for now and should be must-see TV.

#12 Illinois 31 vs #9 Missouri 39
Both of these teams return a great deal of talent, primarily on offense - and it shows in the final score. With Vontae Davis and Marvez Wilson, the Illinois defense may be the most athletic unit on the field, but it may also be the most experienced. Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin out-duel Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn (again) in this rivalry game. The Tigers win 59% of the time and by an average score of 39-31.

#21 Fresno State 34 @ #40 Rutgers 32
Pat Hill and Fresno State will play anyone anywhere. No season will that be more evident than this one as the team will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey for Week 1 and then return home to face a top ten team in the Wisconsin Badgers in Week 3. The simulation has Fresno State winning 59% of the time and by an average score of 34-32. This statement would not be nearly as loud as the one Utah could make, but it has to happen if the Bulldogs are going make any waves as a non-BCS team this season.

Week 1 Scores for Every FBS Game

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Charleston Southern @ Miami (FL)954-39
Delaware @ Maryland953-44
Jacksonville State @ GA Tech954-40
James Madison @ Duke954-32
McNeese State @ North Carolina955-41
Eastern Kentucky @ Cincinnati954-42
Hofstra @ Connecticut954-42
Tennessee-Martin @ South Florida954-47
Villanova @ W. Virginia953-57
Akron @ Wisconsin957-35
Coastal Carolina @ Penn State954-44
Maine @ Iowa954-36
Youngstown State @ Ohio State952-61
Chattanooga @ Oklahoma953-61
Eastern Washington @ Texas Tech954-44
Fla. Int. @ Kansas959-43
South Dakota State @ Iowa State955-29
Illinois State @ Marshall955-40
South Carolina State @ UCF954-39
Southern University @ Houston954-40
Towson @ Navy957-40
Eastern Illinois @ C. Michigan954-46
Northeastern @ Ball State955-41
Northern Iowa @ Brigham Young954-45
Southern Utah @ Air Force955-40
Northern Arizona @ Arizona St.954-44
Appalachian State @ LSU954-56
Georgia Southern @ Georgia953-60
Western Illinois @ Arkansas955-37
California-Davis @ San Jose State955-28
Grambling State @ Nevada956-46
Idaho State @ Boise State955-41
Indiana State @ E. Michigan956-32
Hawaii @ Florida9514-38
NC St. @ S. Carolina958-33
Western Kentucky @ Indiana9511-40
Cal Poly @ San Diego State957-25
North Texas @ Kansas State93.416-39
Bowling Green @ Pittsburgh91.814-33
Idaho @ Arizona90.216-36
LA-Monroe @ Auburn88.510-32
Florida Atlantic @ Texas85.223-32
Memphis @ Mississippi80.316-32
Arkansas St. @ Texas A&M78.722-36
Washington @ Oregon78.720-35
Utah State @ UNLV75.417-31
Alabama @ Clemson72.118-28
LA-Laf @ S. Miss72.122-36
Syracuse @ Northwestern70.520-34
Vanderbilt @ Miami (OH)70.512-27
W. Michigan @ Nebraska68.918-30
Northern Illinois @ Minn.67.224-37
Ohio @ Wyoming65.614-24
Kentucky @ Louisville60.725-34
UTEP @ Buffalo60.723-28
Illinois @ Missouri5931-39
SMU @ Rice55.726-35
Troy @ Mid Tenn52.515-23
Michigan State @ California50.825-30
Utah @ Michigan49.223-24
TCU @ New Mexico42.619-17
Fresno State @ Rutgers4134-32
Virginia Tech @ East Carolina36.122-22
Tennessee @ UCLA31.130-23
Colorado @ Colorado St.24.630-20
Boston College @ Kent St.1826-17
Oregon State @ Stanford16.423-16
Oklahoma State @ Washington St.13.137-25
Tulsa @ UAB9.837-21
Mississippi State @ Louisiana Tech6.625-10
WF @ Baylor529-14
Temple @ Army527-10
USC @ Virginia536-9

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