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College Football 2013: Week 1 Preview
Wednesday, 2013 August 28 - 10:51 pm
FOOTBAWWWWW. Michigan hosts Central Michigan and NCSU plays Louisiana Tech in the season openers this weekend.

#17 Michigan vs Central Michigan
Michigan has quality returning starters at many positions, including Devin Gardner at quarterback and Fitzgerald Toussaint at tailback, but there's youth at the interior of the offensive line as well as all over the defense. And while many of the young players were highly rated recruits, you just never know how they're going to respond to a game situation. Michigan this year might be a 6-6 team or an 11-1 team... it's that uncertainty that has me itching to get this season started.

Meanwhile, Central Michigan is breaking in a quarterback who threw just two completions last season. They have a talented tailback but not much else to hang their hopes on. There's no reason Michigan should lose this game, knock on wood, save a disastrous implosion.

Prediction: Michigan 38, CMU 10.

NCSU vs Louisiana Tech
And speaking of uncertainty... the Wolfpack have a new coach and a new quarterback, and they're replacing most of the offensive line and the defensive secondary. There is absolutely no telling what this team will be like.

Meanwhile, the first opponent is no pushover. Louisiana Tech went 9-3 last year. They're also bringing in a new coach (Skip Holtz) and a new quarterback, but they'll still likely feature a pass-heavy offense that will test State's young secondary.

I don't like how this matchup sets up for NCSU. I think it'll end up being a bit of a sloppy game with some serious defensive busts leading to big plays.

Prediction: NCSU 19, La Tech 29.

Games to Watch on TV

Thursday night the season starts with a bang, with what could be a good matchup between North Carolina and #6 South Carolina. It's on ESPN at 6:00 PM. If you want to stay up late, you can catch #24 Southern Cal against Hawaii at 11:00 PM on CBS.

At noon on Saturday there are a bunch of snoozers, so your best bet is actually the NCSU-LaTech game at 12:30 PM (though it's only available online on ESPN3 on the ACC network where's available, or online on ESPN3 elsewhere).

At 3:30 PM the Michigan-CMU game is on BTN. Syracuse plays Penn State on ABC at the same time; it's worth keeping an eye on that game. Temple plays #14 Notre Dame on NBC as well.

At 5:30 PM #1 Alabama plays Virginia Tech on ESPN. At 8:00 PM the Game of the Week is #5 Georgia at #8 Clemson on ABC. But then at 9:00 PM there's another good matchup as #12 LSU plays #20 TCU. And then at 10:00 PM #19 Boise State plays Washington on Fox; at 11:00 PM #22 Northwestern plays at Cal. A full slate of great games in the evening!

FOOTBAWWWWWW. Thank goodness.
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