College Football Fab 5 - Week 1
(Photo: USA TODAY Sports, Sports Illustrated)
GEORGIA @ CLEMSON
What more could you ask for in week 1 of the 2021 College Football season? No. 3 Clemson v No. 5 Georgia in Death Valley. (Hurts me to say that being an LSU fan, because we have the real Death Valley).
The Tigers enter this blockbuster as 3-point favourites, but they’ll be a new team without Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne at QB and RB, respectively.
This is a huge game for Clemson because they will not face many ranked opponents throughout the season, so beating Georgia in the opener which will be held in judgement for or against them.
Georgia is a powerhouse college football program, but you should still respect their consistency of excellence.
With big clashes against old rivals Florida and Auburn upcoming as well, the Bulldogs have a massive chance to kickstart their season in fashion. Going on the road and beating Clemson is among one of the top handful of things you can achieve in a regular season in the NCAA.
TIP - Georgia 33, Clemson 28
LSU @ UCLA
My Tigers suffered a steep drop-off after a Championship-winning season. Losing Burrow, Chase (COVID), Jefferson, Edwards-Helaire + more will have that effect, but LSU looked awful at times. They open their 2021 season with a tricky match-up at the Rose Bowl, facing UCLA.
The Bruins are already 1-0 on the season, behind 108 yards and 3 rush TD from back Zach Charbonnet. Dorian Thompson did not do much through the air so the Tigers will be keyed in on the UCLA rushing attack.
Due to Hurricane Ida mowing down parts of Louisiana, the football team has been preparing for this game in Houston - which is difficult to predict what type - if any - impact that has on the team’s performance.
TIP - LSU 28, UCLA 20
ALABAMA v MIAMI
It’s almost impossible to see the Crimson Tide lose their season opener. The team is yet to lose in their first game of a season since coach Nick Saban took the helm.
Expect this to be no different but a talented Hurricanes team will have eyes on a major upset.
This one will be held at the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, which gives either team less than a normal home field advantage, although the Tide fanbase will travel en masse to see this one.
Bryce Young steps up at QB, following in the footsteps of Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts. They’re big shoes to fill but the kid has major upside.
It’s likely Alabama possesses the No. 1 defence in college football - something we can frequently say about this collegiate juggernaut.
TIP - Alabama 38, Miami 21
PENN STATE v WISCONSIN
An early season Big Ten blockbuster as the Nittany Lions travel to Madison to square off with Wisconsin.
Both are ranked inside the top 20 and both will have eyes on a signature win to kickstart their seasons. The Badgers are always a tough out at home, no matter who enters Camp Randall Stadium.
Penn State began last season zip-and-five. A positive start to 2021 is the ideal bandaid to last season’s mess. Jalen Berger could be a dangerous commodity for the Badgers in the run game.
It’ll be close, but a raucous home crowd should be enough for W to secure the W.
TIP - Wisconsin 28, Penn State 23
NOTRE DAME @ FLORIDA STATE
Can McKenzie Milton be the Seminole’s shining light at QB?
That’s the hope in Tallahassee, with the former UCF QB lining up for his first game action in three years. The Irish will make things tough for M.M. The ground and pound duo of Williams and Tyree can be the powering force toward another ND win.
Some home cooking might help FSU stay close but in the end the physicality of Notre Dame should easily be enough to escape at 1-0.
TIP - Irish 33, Florida State 22
Which is your favourite NCAA Football match-up for week one?