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Week One Top 25 Forecasts!

Every week I will post my forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

Last year the Top 25 forecasts went 205-60 (77.3%)! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week which went 8-5 the L/6 weeks of last year.

# 1 OKLAHOMA VS TULSA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TULSA 122
225
21
2.9
-
OKLAHOMA 198
425
48
2.2
OU is the clear favorite to win the national title and open their season against a familiar foe. The Sooners are 5-0 vs Tulsa outscoring them 233-36. In their last meeting (‘09) OU got the shutout 45-0 w/a 529-269 yd edge. Tulsa actually finished #24 AP LY and has 18 st’rs back making them one of the most exp’d tms in the country and they have Texas transfer GJ Kinne in his 3rd year as starter (12-26 106 in ‘09 vs OU). They do have a new HC in Blakenship who hasn’t even been a college coor. LY the Golden Hurricane defense allowed 482 ypg on the road. OU is a dominating home team going avg 523 ypg LY at home and won by a 40-13 avg. They have a bye on deck before FSU. OU has my #1 rated offense and #3 D while Tulsa is #10 on offense but just #66 on D. Tulsa did not face a single ranked tm LY and with their star all-purpose player D. Johnson suspended the Sooners should be able to start the 2011 season in style as my computer calls for a 623-347 yd edge.

PHIL’S FORECAST: OKLAHOMA 48 TULSA 20

#2 ALABAMA VS KENT ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
KENT ST 35
105
2
3.2
-
ALABAMA
245
300
42
1.7
First Meeting

Saban is a Kent St grad which is part of the reason this game is being played. This Tide edition is similar to the ‘09 title team with a dominating defense and inexperience at the skill positions. Kent was better than their 5-7 record in ‘10 and only trailed Penn St 17-0 after 3Q. DE Roosevelt Nix spearheads a defense that was #1 in the NCAA vs the rush for most of the year and that is what Bama likes to do best. Bama does have a big game at Penn St next week but will need to give their young QB’s some confidence and should name the score here with my computer calling for an huge 545-140 yd edge.

PHIL’S FORECAST: ALABAMA 45 KENT ST 3

 

#3 OREGON VS #4 LSU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OREGON 216
198
30
2.8
•••
LSU
195
228
29
2.5
-
These two have not played in the last 14 years.

Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. This is one of the marquee games of the year in a battle of Top 5 tms. These two have not met since 1977. LSU has won 8 str ssn openers by 22 ppg. The loser from the Nat’l Title gm has gone 10-2 (avg score 39-13) in the opener the next season. Oregon has struggled when tms have extra time to prep for their offense with just 18 ppg in the last 2 bowls and just 8 pts in their opener in ‘09 when they also had a young O-line. UO has the off edge (#3 vs #20) and have the stronger QB in Thomas as LSU’s Jefferson is suspended. LSU has my #5 rated D and UO #28. LSU figures to have the crowd edge and are more exp’d as Miles has won 17 straight Sept games while LSU just played at this same stadium in their bowl win. Originally I had LSU by 1 but with the suspension of Jefferson, I will take the Ducks.

PHIL’S FORECAST: OREGON 21 LSU 20

 

#5 BOISE ST VS #19 GEORGIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BOISE ST 138
240
28
1.8
-
GEORGIA
137
265
29
2.1

Despite this being a “neutral site” game, GA will clearly have the crowd edge in their own backyard (Atlanta). In 2005 Georgia was #13 and Boise #18 as Boise was the sheik upset pick coming in all summer while UGA was well motivated. They took advantage of Jared Zabransky’s horrible day with TO’s and UGA won 48-13 in Athens w/a 574-292 yd edge. This time Boise has a QB that won’t have those turnover problems as Kellen Moore has just 9 int’s the last 2 years and led the NCAA in pass eff in ‘10. He guided Boise to a win in VT’s back yard LY in the opener. Boise has 14 ret st’rs and a win here could eventually land them in the title game. Boise is just as strong as LY’s 12-1 tm but GA is much better than LY’s 6-7 and my pick to win the SEC East this year. Georgia has a big game on deck vs South Carolina while Boise has a bye and that could be the difference.

PHIL’S FORECAST : BOISE ST 28 GEORGIA 27

 

#6 FLORIDA ST VS ULM

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ULM 38
205
9
3.1
-
FLORIDA ST
222
280
44
1.7
•••
These two have not played in the last 14 years.
This will mark the 4th str season ULM opens w/a ranked opp (only team in country w/such a streak). The Warhawks have lost 17 straight road openers & are 0-23 vs ranked opp’s (L/3 by avg score of 45-3). FSU only has a FCS tm on deck and LY won their 3 non-conf HG’s by an avg of 41-8 and that included Florida and BYU! ULM is a much improved team with 17 ret st’rs and a vet QB but I still rate them #99 on Off and #87 on Def while FSU is #16 and #7. The Seminoles can name the score here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: FLORIDA ST 45 ULM 17

 

#7 STANFORD VS SAN JOSE ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SAN JOSE ST 68
170
12
2.8
-
STANFORD
242
295
39
2.0
SJSt is 1-7 S/’01 vs SU (L/gm ‘09). The win was by 1 pt in ‘06 & the avg loss has been by 29 ppg. The Spartans have dropped 8 str road openers by an avg score 46-9 (no TD’s in 5 gms). At one time in this series SJSt fared well as they billed it as “Class Warfare” (rich vs middle class) and these two are just 17 miles apart. SU does have QB Luck back but go from 15 ret st’rs to 11 and also lost their HC Harbaugh. San Jose was in a pure rebuilding year last season but is vastly improved in MacIntyre’s 2nd yr with 18 st’rs back. While the Spartans offense is #110 in my ratings their D is #63. LY SJSt traveled to Bama and Utah and lost 104-6 but did face a big physical team (similar to SU) in Wisconsin and only lost by 13. Look for San Jose to be competitive but in the end Luck and Co are too much.

PHIL’S FORECAST: STANFORD 37 SAN JOSE ST 16

 

#8 TEXAS A&M VS SMU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SMU 102
263
20
2.4
-
TEXAS A&M
189
333
38
1.6

PHIL’S FORECAST: CHECK BACK SUNDAY AT 12:00 EST

 

#9 OKLAHOMA ST VS LOUISIANA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
LOUISIANA 93
200
17
3.5
-
OKLA ST 172 435
50
2.4
•••
LY Okla St traveled to UL on Thurs Nt and gave them their best shot in the 1H and actually led 21-17 with a 254-161 yd edge. OSU got a TD with 4:59 left to make it 54-28 and UL was SOD at the OSU19 at the end. UL has lost all 4 trips to Stillwater by an avg score 40-8. Okla St is loaded on offense this year with QB Weeden and WR Blackmon and LY avg 534 ypg and 49 ppg at home. They do have a Thursday Night gm vs Ariz on deck. Even with that big game on deck the Cowboys can name the score here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: OKLAHOMA ST 52 LOUISIANA 17

 

#10 NEBRASKA VS CHATTANOOGA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
CHATTANOOGA  22  183  11  2.7  -
NEBRASKA  234  273  43  3.0  -
 First meeting. Nebraska has not lost a home opener since 1985. The Cornhuskers is 5-0 vs FCS teams since 2002 but only beat South Dakota St 17-3 last year. Chattanooga is 0-10 vs FBS foes since 1999 losing by an avg 47-16. Last year the Mocs lost to Arkansas 62-24 being outgained 628-334. Nebraska brings back 12 starters including QB Taylor Martinez, who threw for 1,631 and was the Cornhuskers #2 rusher (965, 6.0) with 12 rushing TD’s. Chattanooga returns 13 starters led by former Tennessee transfer BJ Coleman, who threw for 2,996 with a 26-13 ratio. Nebraska has a home game vs feisty Fresno St on deck but after last year’s game vs an FCS foe was closer than expected look for them to give Chattanooga their full attention.

PHIL’S FORECAST: NEBRASKA 45 CHATTANOOGA 10

 

#11 WISCONSIN VS UNLV

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UNLV 45
160
14
2.4
WISCONSIN
320
240
47
1.4
-
UNLV is 1-3 in Madison (only win in ‘03 vs #14 UW). LTH (‘04) the Rebels lost 18-3 but allowed an 86 yd TD ret after a blk’d FG & two safeties (down just 11-3 into 4Q). LY UNLV capitalized off two UW TO’s for a 17-14 deficit at HT at home as they had -4 yds off with 1:13 left in the half. UW “only” won 41-21 as UNLV got a TD with 12:36 left to pull within 20 but did miss a FG with 6:24 left. UW has a young O-line but is at its best when able to establish the rush and UNLV has just 2 st’rs back on its defensive front 7 and allowed 5.2 ypc in ‘10! UW put up 70, 83 and 70 in 3 diff HG’s LY and with dynamite QB Wilson taking over expect a lot of points from the Badgers.

PHIL’S FORECAST: WISCONSIN 51 UNLV 13

 

 

#12 SOUTH CAROLINA VS EAST CAROLINA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
EAST CAROLINA 15
315
22
3.2
SOUTH CAROLINA
225
300
44
2.1
-
While this gm is in Charlotte NC, SC is actually closer and will have more fans. EC did upset #17 VT here in ‘08. SC has won 11 str openers by 19 ppg and opened vs a CUSA tm LY beating SMiss 41-13. SC does have perhaps the gm that determines the SEC East on deck vs Georgia but faced SM in that same spot LY. EC will have an improved defense TY but was last in the NCAA allowing 479 ypg LY and SC has an explosive offense. EC has an explosive offense as well led by veteran QB Dominique Davis and vs BCS schools in the reg season LY they avg 401 ypg and 25.6 ppg and that incl the defenses of VT and NC. Spurrier is a perfect 41-0 all-time as a HC vs non-BCS schools and should have no problem here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : SOUTH CAROLINA 45 EAST CAROLINA 21

 

#13 VIRGINIA TECH VS APPALACHIAN ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
APP ST  79  103  12  2.5  -
VA TECH  272  263  38  2.2  -
These two have not played in the last 14 years.
VT is 3-0 vs Appalachian St but the last game was in 1982 (34-0). While VT is 6-1 vs FCS opponents since 1999 including 4 shut outs but lost 21-16 to James Madison last year coming off a 33-30 loss to Boise St. ASU is 3-15 vs FBS foes but is of course known for their 34-32 defeat of #5 Michigan in 2007. While they came close vs East Carolina (29-24) in 2009 they lost to LSU 41-13 in ‘08 and Florida 48-10 last year being outgained by an avg 503-257 in those two games. VT returns 12 starters and must replace QB Tyrod Taylor and will likely looking to get everything up to speed on both sides of the ball. They only have a road trip to East Carolina on deck and after last years loss to JMU will give the extra reasons to give the Mountaineers their full attention. ASU also returns just 12 starters but are led by AA QB DeAndre Presley, who had 2,631 yds passing and 1,039 yds rushing last year.
VIRGINIA TECH 42 APP ST 10

 

#14 TCU AT BAYLOR

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TCU 219
210
34
2.1
••
BAYLOR
156
250
27
2.4
-
 LY BU was dominated by its old conf rival (schl’s are 90 miles apart) as #4 TCU scored TD’s on its 1st 5 drives building a 35-3 lead & 335-72 yd edge at HT as TCU RB Ed Wesley had 165 rush yds. TCU enters ‘11 with the nation’s longest road gm winning streak (11). Baylor is the more veteran tm led by exciting QB Griffin and has 14 st’rs back while TCU has just 8 st’rs back with a new QB surrounded by just 3 st’rs on offense. TCU has won the last 3 vs Baylor by a comb 89-17. Baylor has my #15 rated offense while TCU, which has led the NCAA in defense 3 straight years, has my #15 rated defense with a pair of AA LB’s to help corral Griffin who only had 21 yds rush and was 16-28-164 but was still not 100% coming off an ‘09 injury (got better as season went on). TCU has my #51 off vs BU’s #89 defense and TCU also has the ST edge (#14 vs #63). TCU is not as strong as LY’s team while Baylor has their strongest team in years making this a competitive match up.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TCU 34 BAYLOR 27

#15 ARKANSAS VS MISSOURI ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISSOURI ST  92  103  8  2.2  -
ARKANSAS  219  438  51  1.5  -
 Arkansas is 6-0 vs MSU including a 48-10 win in 2009. Arkansas is 8-0 vs FCS teams since 2000 winning by an avg 43-12 including a 44-3 win over Tenn Tech last year. Missouri St is 0-10 vs FBS teams since 2000 including a 48-24 loss to Kansas St last year but they wereonly outgained 496-447 in that loss. The Razorbacks return 13 starters and have to replace QB Ryan Mallett. Missouri St returns just 9 starters and also have to replace their QB. Arkansas only has New Mexico on deck and so should be looking to gain confidence for their new QB.

PHIL’S FORECAST: ARKANSAS 56 MISSOURI ST 17

 

#16 NOTRE DAME VS USF

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
USF 108
150
16
2.3
-
NOTRE DAME
137
325
33
2.0
First Meeting
Skip Holtz was an ‘86 grad of ND (played on ST/WR) & later was on the coaching staff from 1990-’93 (OC L2Y) under his legendary father. USF is 5-9 in road openers incl 1-6 vs BCS schools (only win at #17 Auburn in ‘07). Prior to ND Kelly was the HC at Cincinnati going 3-0 vs USF with the avg win by 12 ppg but none of those matchups were vs Holtz. ND is 12-3 S/’96 in home openers including 3 straight wins by an avg score of 26-8. USF has just 11 ret st’rs while ND has 17 and both coaches will pilot much improved teams in their 2nd years. USF did pull road upsets of Miami, L’ville and Cincy LY but allowed 381 ypg on the road vs just 263 at home. While USF has the intangible edge with this game being so special to Holtz and ND has a big game vs Michigan on deck, I will call for the Irish by 10 as they have the better team on offense (#11 vs #62) and defense (#6 vs #35).

PHIL’S FORECAST : NOTRE DAME 30 USF 20

 

#17 MICHIGAN ST VS YOUNGSTOWN ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
YOUNGSTOWN ST  123  155  19  1.1  -
MICHIGAN ST  242 365 47  2.1 -
 First meeting. MSU has faced just 2 FCS opponents since 1950, winning 44-3 over Montana St in ‘09 and 45-7 over Northern Colorado last year. YSU is 3-14 vs FBS oppenents since 1997 but have lost 9 straight since beating Kent St 26-20 in 2000. Last year they lost 44-14 to Big Ten member Penn St being outgained 371-264. However those 14 ptS were more than they combined to score in the previous 5 FBS games (shut-out twice). MSU only has a home game vs FAU on deck so should not look past the Penguins. While YSU does return more starters (14) , MSU returns a solid core of 12 including QB Cousins and their top 6 rushers. MSU avg 236 ypg rushing (4.5 ypc) last year while YSU allowed 215 ypg (4.7).

PHIL’S FORECAST: MICHIGAN ST 52 YOUNGSTOWN ST 14

 

#18 OHIO ST VS AKRON

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
AKRON -4
120
2
2.9
-
OHIO ST
294
255
43
1.7
••
With all the off-season problems, Buckeye fans and players have to be looking forward to on-the field happenings. Akron “only” lost 28-14 in ‘01 & 20-2 in ‘07 in the 2 recent meetings. In that ‘07 game Akron had a total of 3 FD’s and OSU had a big game vs Wash on deck. OSU has won 32 str home openers by 21 ppg. OSU is without the “Buckeye 5” and coach Tressel and with only Toledo on deck will want to gain some confidence. Without the susp players they have just 8 st’rs back. Akron will be better than LY’s 1-11 tm but is way out of their class here. Akron is #120 in my offensive ratings and #116 on defense so even a short handed Buckeye team will be able to name the score here and my computer calls for the Buckeyes to roll up a 549-116 yd edge.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OHIO ST 41 AKRON 6

 

#20 MISSISSIPPI ST AT MEMPHIS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISSISSIPPI ST 209
285
39
1.6
-
MEMPHIS
66
175
10
3.3
MSU has won 11 str over Mem by 14 ppg. LTH (‘02) MSU won 29-17 but needed 5 int’s & 16 4Q pts (trailed 17-13 into 4Q). MSU is 2-8 the L/10Y in road openers (3 str L’s by 18 ppg). Memphis hasn’t beat MSU S/’93 when HC Larry Porter was a Sr RB. LY UM got 39% (92) of their yds after trailing 49-0 in the 4Q in Porter’s UM debut as HC. Miss St does have Auburn and LSU on deck but has a veteran team with 16 ret st’rs while Memphis has just 9 and breaks in a new QB vs a Top 25 defense. The Bulldogs should roll in this one.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MISSISSIPPI St 41 MEMPHIS 10

 

#21 MISSOURI VS MIAMI, OH

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MIAMI, OH 27
238
8
3.0
-
MISSOURI
149
288
35
2.5
Miami went 10-4 LY but lost 51-13 here as MO led 51-6. At the MU11 late, MO had the QB dive into the line 4 str times (SOD) to not roll the score up and Miami went 98/15pl for a garbage TD with 1:40 left. The Tigers do have an important Friday gm at Ariz St on deck while Miami has a bye. Miami has 17 ret st’rs incl QB Dysert (20-27-178 vs MO LY) and MO has 15 ret st’rs but is breaking in a new QB. Missouri is #37 on off and #30 on D while Miami is #103 and #55. Miami has a new HC in Treadwell and he was the HC when Mich St beat Wisky LY. The situation favors Miami as MO may take them lightly but the talent and matchups side with the Tigers, again and my computer agrees.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MISSOURI 34 MIAMI, OH 10

 

#22 FLORIDA VS FAU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
FAU 50
90
2
3.7
FLORIDA
245
315
47
2.0
-
When these two last met in 2007, Florida only had a 298-257 yd edge and led just 28-20 late 1H but a blk’d punt TD turned the momentum as did a TD with :09 left in the half. UF got a late TD and won 59-20. This is the first time Will Muschamp runs his team out in the Swamp so it will be special and they only have UAB on deck. With just 10 ret st’rs they will not be holding back. FAU is a much stronger tm than LY’s 4-8 squad that had 0 ret st’rs on the O-line and now has all 5 back to that unit. Schnellenberger uses these gms vs BCS schools early to get his team experience and prepare them for the Sun Belt and I look for QB Brantley and the Gator offense to look much improved while the UF defense is among the best in the country.

PHIL’S FORECAST : FLORIDA 48 ULM 6

 

#23 AUBURN VS UTAH ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UTAH ST 142
163
18
2.4
••
AUBURN
279
268
43
2.3
-
1st Meeting
Since ‘99 the National Champ from the previous yr is 12-0 with an avg win 45-11 in the ssn opener (one TD allowed L/4Y, none L/2). Auburn is in a rebuilding year with just 6 st’rs back and is breaking in a lot of young but very talented players who need to get up to speed with Miss St on deck. The last two years with a 1st time starting QB, Auburn has totaled 556 and 608 yds in the opener. The Aggies have a veteran team with 14 ret st’rs but are breaking in a new QB and Auburn should make it 13 straight for defending national champs in openers.

PHIL’S FORECAST : AUBURN 45 UTAH ST 21

 

#24 WEST VIRGINIA VS MARSHALL

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MARSHALL 82
173
13
2.5
WEST VIRGINIA
114
358
38
2.4
-

PHIL’S FORECAST : CHECK BACK SUNDAY AT 12:00 EST

 

#25 USC VS MINNESOTA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MINNESOTA 87
183
14
2.4
-
USC
224
313
40
2.3
Kiffin went to HS in suburban Minneapolis and interviewed in 2007 for the job that eventually went to Tim Brewster. LY UM led 14-13 mid-3Q but all’d a 97 yd KR TD to spark 19 str USC pts before UM scored a garbage TD w/:11. USC has won 13 str home openers by a 35-11 avg. QB Barkley takes on a defense that finished #102 in pass D LY but he was only 17-26-192 vs them LY with USC rushing for 216 (5.7). USC TB’s were repeatedly able to outrun Minn defenders to the edge. Minn RB Duane Bennett sat the 2H of LY’s gm because he wasn’t the same after spraining his ankle the wk earlier. Carroll used to blow teams out in Sept and set an attitude and USC needs a strong start after two down years and should do so here vs a the Gophers who will still be adjusting to their new schemes under HC Kill.

PHIL’S FORECAST : USC 41 MINNESOTA 17

 

Upsets of the Week:
8-5 L/6 Weeks Of Last Year!
Mississippi over BYU
Fresno St over California
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  • KissmeCatexoxo

    Also, Tulsa has won & covered the last 6 games.