College Football Week 1 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

College Football Week 1 Picks and Predictions

Week 1 predictions for every D-I/FBS college football game

By Ryan Fowler and Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: August 31, 2012

Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2012 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Upsets of the Week available on Wednesdays.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Michigan vs. Alabama

{In my best radio disc jockey voice}

And we're back!

After eight months in hibernation, the WhatIfSports.com college football simulation prediction engine is back to work. We now look to build upon our 579-198 prediction record (74.5 percent accurate SU) from a season ago.

What better way to kick of the 2012 college football simulation season than with two storied programs. Michigan versus Alabama at Dallas Cowboys Stadium is our Week 1 Game of the Week!

The Wolverines', 11-2 in 2011, last win came over Virginia Tech in a Sugar Bowl thriller last January. Senior quarterback Denard Robinson was just named captain of the 2012 squad and will be the catalyst for this offense once again. His sights may be set on a National Championship, but a Heisman Trophy isn't out of the question either. He threw for 2,173 yards and 20 touchdowns and added 1,176 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns in 2011.

You may also remember the drastic improvement in Michigan's defense a season ago. Former Ravens d-coordinator Greg Mattison came in and made the black sheep, top dogs in the Big Ten. The Wolverines allowed 17.2 points per game in 2011, eighth-best in the country among BCS schools.

Unfortunately, for the Maize and Blue, their Week 1 opponent was/is pretty good on the defensive side of the ball, too.

Nick Saban's Crimson Tide avenged a regular season loss to LSU by absolutely dominating them in the 2011 BCS National Championship game.

Their 21-0 victory awarded them their 14th (depending what number you believe) national title in school history.

Every preseason preview you read about 'Bama stresses the team's strength is the offensive line. When their four returning starters average 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, who am I to question that analysis? Junior quarterback A.J. McCarron, 2,634 passing yards with 16 touchdowns, returns behind those big bodies, but will need to break in a fresh receiving corps in 2012.

Only four starters return on defense, but it's not like Nick Saban didn't stockpile talent on his bench and in the recruiting game. The secondary could be a weakness as three starters are gone.

Using our college football simulation engine, we "played" the Crimson Tide and Wolverines 101 times and it's Alabama beating Michigan on the neutral field 70.3 percent of the time by an average score of 28-21.

Please note: The Michigan vs. Alabama was re-simulated on 8/31 to account for Fitzgerald Toussaint's suspension.

College Football Week 1
MatchupWin%Avg Score 
Elon Phoenix 5.08Boxscore
@ North Carolina Tar Heels95.050 
William & Mary Tribe 5.08Boxscore
@ Maryland Terrapins95.044 
Richmond Spiders 5.09Boxscore
@ Virginia Cavaliers95.049 
Murray State Racers 5.07Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles95.053 
Liberty Flames 5.08Boxscore
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons95.047 
Auburn Tigers36.624Boxscore
vs. Clemson Tigers63.428 
FIU Golden Panthers43.626Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils56.428 
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets43.622Boxscore
@ Virginia Tech Hokies56.425 
Miami (FL) Hurricanes61.426Boxscore
@ Boston College Eagles38.621 
Youngstown State Penguins 5.08Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers95.046 
Chattanooga Mocs 5.07Boxscore
@ South Florida Bulls95.047 
Villanova Wildcats 5.08Boxscore
@ Temple Owls95.044 
Massachusetts Minutemen 5.910Boxscore
@ Connecticut Huskies94.130 
Kentucky Wildcats38.118Boxscore
@ Louisville Cardinals61.923 
Northwestern Wildcats58.427Boxscore
@ Syracuse Orange41.625 
Indiana State Sycamores 5.06Boxscore
@ Indiana Hoosiers95.043 
Eastern Kentucky Colonels 5.09Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers95.049 
Northern Iowa Panthers 5.08Boxscore
@ Wisconsin Badgers95.056 
Miami (OH) RedHawks19.818Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes80.229 
Southern Miss Golden Eagles27.720Boxscore
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers72.328 
Western Michigan Broncos37.623Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini62.427 
Boise State Broncos43.624Boxscore
@ Michigan State Spartans56.425 
Ohio Bobcats56.423Boxscore
@ Penn State Nittany Lions43.621 
Alabama Crimson Tide76.227Boxscore
@ Michigan Wolverines23.818 
Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 5.07Boxscore
@ Central Michigan Chippewas95.040 
Towson Tigers 5.09Boxscore
@ Kent State Golden Flashes95.034 
Iowa Hawkeyes68.327Boxscore
vs. Northern Illinois Huskies31.719 
Eastern Michigan Eagles73.328Boxscore
@ Ball State Cardinals26.722 
UCF Knights95.032Boxscore
@ Akron Zips 5.014 
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 5.07Boxscore
@ Arizona State Sun Devils95.050 
Northern Colorado Bears 5.08Boxscore
@ Utah Utes95.045 
Nicholls Colonels 5.08Boxscore
@ Oregon State Beavers95.049 
Hawaii Warriors 5.016Boxscore
@ USC Trojans95.037 
San Jose State Spartans 6.914Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal93.135 
San Diego State Aztecs12.918Boxscore
@ Washington Huskies87.132 
Arkansas State Red Wolves14.920Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks85.135 
Nevada Wolf Pack38.621Boxscore
@ California Golden Bears61.426 
Toledo Rockets39.126Boxscore
@ Arizona Wildcats60.930 
Buffalo Bulls 5.011Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs95.035 
Central Arkansas Bears 5.09Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels95.042 
Jackson State Tigers 5.07Boxscore
@ Mississippi State Bulldogs95.045 
Southeastern Louisiana Lions 5.07Boxscore
@ Missouri Tigers95.048 
Jacksonville State Gamecocks 5.07Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks95.058 
North Texas Mean Green 5.912Boxscore
@ LSU Tigers94.136 
Bowling Green Falcons15.814Boxscore
@ Florida Gators84.225 
North Carolina State Wolfpack46.521Boxscore
vs. Tennessee Volunteers53.522 
South Carolina Gamecocks66.324Boxscore
@ Vanderbilt Commodores33.717 
Sacramento State Hornets 5.09Boxscore
@ New Mexico State Aggies95.039 
Southern Utah Thunderbirds 5.07Boxscore
@ Utah State Aggies95.041 
Eastern Washington Eagles 5.08Boxscore
@ Idaho Vandals95.034 
Texas A&M Aggies77.730Boxscore
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs22.319 
Navy Midshipmen37.623Boxscore
vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish62.427 
Washington State Cougars49.524Boxscore
@ Brigham Young Cougars50.526 
Northwestern State Demons 5.06Boxscore
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders95.050 
South Dakota State Jackrabbits 5.06Boxscore
@ Kansas Jayhawks95.046 
Missouri State Bears 5.08Boxscore
@ Kansas State Wildcats95.048 
Savannah State Tigers 5.08Boxscore
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys95.055 
Marshall Thundering Herd17.822Boxscore
@ West Virginia Mountaineers82.235 
Wyoming Cowboys19.817Boxscore
@ Texas Longhorns80.229 
Southern Methodist Mustangs27.722Boxscore
@ Baylor Bears72.329 
Tulsa Golden Hurricane40.124Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones59.928 
Appalachian State Mountaineers 5.09Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates95.041 
Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks 5.06Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers95.032 
Texas State Bobcats 5.916Boxscore
@ Houston Cougars94.139 
Troy Trojans50.529Boxscore
@ UAB Blazers49.528 
Rutgers Scarlet Knights71.326Boxscore
@ Tulane Green Wave28.715 
UCLA Bruins86.131Boxscore
@ Rice Owls13.918 
Oklahoma Sooners88.133Boxscore
@ UTEP Miners11.918 
Idaho State Bengals 5.07Boxscore
@ Air Force Falcons95.047 
Weber State Wildcats 5.07Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs95.043 
Southern University Jaguars 5.08Boxscore
@ New Mexico Lobos95.034 
Colorado Buffaloes71.325Boxscore
vs. Colorado State Rams28.718 
Minnesota Golden Gophers81.228Boxscore
@ UNLV Rebels18.815 
Wagner Seahawks 5.07Boxscore
@ Florida Atlantic Owls95.033 
McNeese State Cowboys 5.08Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders95.040 
Lamar Cardinals 5.07Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns95.043 
Austin Peay Governors 5.07Boxscore
@ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers95.037 
Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners46.523Boxscore
@ South Alabama Jaguars53.524 
Gridiron Dynasty

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

Gridiron Dynasty

Coach, recruit and run your own college football program.

Every DIA, DIAA, DII & DIII College Awaits


SimLeague Baseball

Compete in a full season with your dream team from MLB past and present. Lineups, player settings, trades, prizes and more.

Try It For Free


Hardball Dynasty

Run your own baseball franchise in this in-depth, multi-player baseball game.

Try It at a Discount

What is WhatIfSports?

WhatIfSports.com is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join WhatIfSports.com today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.