NCAA Football Week One ReportNOTE: This is something new for this year. Think of it as a mini-newsletter, which will be published on the site by Thursday morning each week. We'll look at a few games, give thoughts, look for teams that fall into our various systems and plenty more.
Because point spreads have been out for many weeks, we didn't see the traditional movement that will occur in most weeks.
ThursdaySouth Carolina at Vanderbilt: South Carolina opened as 6.5-point favorites and the line rose to 7.5, before settling in at 7. The Gamecocks fall into a 65% system that says to take road favorites of 7 or more points on opening week if they won at least seven games the previous season. Our power ratings have South Carolina winning by nine, but Vanderbilt falls into our September Conference Underdog System (even though it's still technically August) so I'll likely pass.
Central Florida at Akron: Central Florida's rushing attack will be too much for Akron in this spot. Our power ratings have the Knights winning by 27, but a game against Ohio State is on deck, so a bit of a look-ahead situation may be present. Still give a solid lean to UCF.
Eastern Michigan at Ball State: Our power ratings have Ball State big, but EMU falls into our Sept. underdog system, making it a likely pass.
Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech: POSTPONED
UCLA at Rice: Check the weather closer to game time. The Wednesday forecast is calling for thunderstorms and windy conditions, which would certainly favor the home underdog.
Minnesota at UNLV: An ugly game that I'd lean towards Minnesota in.
FridayNC State vs. Tennessee: A solid match-up played in Atlanta. The Vols return a ton of talent from last year's team, but not too keen on laying more than a field goal here. Would give the slightest of leans to Tennessee if forced to choose.
Boise State at Michigan State: The Broncos lost a lot of talent from last year's team, but so did Michigan State, as both teams return just five offensive starters and must replace effective QBs. The line on this game is MSU-7, which seems a bit high and makes me a tad wary of taking Boise. It's a long season and there are likely to be better games to wager on than this.
SaturdayIowa at Northern Illinois: The line has jumped all the way to Iowa -10, which I don't see. Lean to the home underdog.
Bowling Green at Florida: The Gators will have a strong defense once again, but their offense is a bit suspect, making this spread a tough one against a team that can move the ball. With Texas A&M on deck, wouldn't be surprised to see Florida go through the motions a bit, making Bowling Green worth a look.
Wyoming at Texas: Wyoming may be able to hang around for a bit, but have to believe Texas will wear them down in the second half with its punishing ground game. Lean to the Longhorns, but will check the weather first.
Rutgers at Tulane: Rutgers also falls into our seven-win system mentioned earlier and our power ratings agree.
Oklahoma at UTEP: The Sooners are another team to fall into our system and our power ratings have Oklahoma by 32, which is close to the number. Lean to the Sooners.