Week one of college football is finally finished after a slate of games that stretched over five days. It was a standard week of games with no thrilling upsets of top-ranked teams. There were some shocking final scores, though.
However, there are several schools that some might say overachieved to start the season.
Howard University deserves props for its victory over the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Bison’s win is the biggest upset against the points spread in college-football history. They were 45-point underdogs but walked out with a 43-40 win and $600,000. The Bison started quarterback Caylin Newton, who just happens to be the younger brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Howard, out of the Football Championship Subdivision Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, also scored a major victory for historically black colleges and universities across the nation. The MEAC, just like the Southwestern Athletic Conference, is a conference composed of HBCUs.
Meanwhile, FCS team Tennessee State University is coming off a win over FBS team Georgia State University, making for a second big win for HBCUs in the first week of the season.
James Madison University also earned special mention for its victory over FBS team East Carolina University. The Dukes are the top team in the FCS division and will likely be the early national championship favorite.
Major props go to FCS team Liberty University, who took down Baylor University. The Flames beat the Bears, who are not only an FBS school but also in a Power Five conference.
Lastly, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, whose football program shut down just a couple of year ago, was a standout this week. The Blazers are back this year and opened the season with a win over Alabama A&M University.
Now, onto this week’s picks.
Millsaps College travels west to face Texas Wesleyan University tomorrow, Sept. 9. After the Majors’ hard-fought loss against Belhaven last week and a long road trip, I’m going with the Rams.
Delta State University will host Chowan University tomorrow, and I’m betting the Fighting Okra will go 2-0.
Mississippi College lost a heartbreaker to Clark Atlanta University last week on the road. This week, the Choctaws will stay on the road with a trip to Southwest Baptist University tomorrow night. With another long road trip—this time to Missouri—I’m going with the Bearcats.
Alcorn State University will be traveling to take on Florida International University tonight at 6 p.m., and this game feels like a Golden Panthers win over the Braves.
After traveling to North Dakota State University last week for a loss, Mississippi Valley State University will be heading to the University of Southern Illinois tomorrow night. Another long road trip will likely mean another loss for the Delta Devils.
Jackson State University will face Tennessee State tomorrow night, and TSU, to me, seems like the better team. Expect JSU to fall to 0-2.
The University of Southern Mississippi is changing starting quarterbacks this week, but the defense looked solid in the Golden Eagles’ close loss to the University of Kentucky in week one. They face Southern University out of the SWAC tomorrow night, but the Golden Eagles should get enough on offense to win.
Mississippi State University will travel to Louisiana Tech University tomorrow, which fans can watch on CBS Sports at 6:30 p.m. It is always tough to play in Ruston, but MSU should move to 2-0 this week.
The University of Mississippi will host the University Tennessee in Martin tomorrow at 11 a.m., which will air on the SEC Network. If the Rebels’ offense plays this entire game like it did in first half of its win against the University of South Alabama, UM should have no trouble moving to 2-0.
There are four top-25 matchups this week, and all the games have potential to be great. Here are my picks for those four games.
Auburn University will travel to face defending champion Clemson University tomorrow at 6 p.m., with the game airing on ESPN. If Auburn is going to challenge Alabama in the SEC, winning this game is a must. It will be close, but I predict that Auburn will win this battle of the Tigers.
The University of Georgia will hit the road to take on the University Notre Dame, airing at 6:30 p.m. on NBC, in a game that features two programs looking to stand out after last season. Georgia starts a new quarterback this week in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus, but the Bulldogs will likely do just enough to win.
Ohio State University will host the University of Oklahoma in a rematch of a game that the Buckeyes won in a blowout last season. The Sooners will keep this game close, but OSU has more talent overall, which will earn the win. Fans can tune into ABC at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow to watch.
Stanford University will hit the road to take on the University of Southern California. The Cardinal had two weeks to prepare for this game, which airs on Fox tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., and the Trojans looked shaky for three and half quarters last week. I’m feeling a Stanford win.