Roy's Picks: Week No. 1

A new column from publisher Roy Philpott previewing this weekend's games.

Central Florida at South Carolina (Thursday, 7:45 PM ESPN)
The Gamecocks have high hopes under new head coach Steve Spurrier, but high hopes doesn't necessarily translate into more wins ... at least not this year. A strong defensive performance leads the way in a 17-point win Thursday night in Williams-Brice Stadium. It won't be pretty, but a win is a win.

Roy's Pick: Central Florida (+19); South Carolina Straight Up

Texas A&M at Clemson (Saturday, 8:00 PM ABC)
Can the Tigers stop the elusive playmaker QB Reggie McNeal? It's going to be tough. A home game that kicks-off in primetime gives Clemson a slight advantage in terms of intangibles, but the offense will have to click right off the bat to pull the upset. One stat to consider: the Aggies are 2-9 on the road under Denis Franchione, including an overtime loss to Baylor last season. Clemson sneaks by Texas A&M in a high-scoring affair.

Roy's Pick: Clemson (+1.5); Clemson Straight Up

Miami at Florida State (Monday, 8:00 PM ABC)
Defensively, the Hurricanes return nine defensive starters from a team that completely shutdown the Seminoles a year ago. Both teams are starting redshirt freshmen quarterbacks, but Miami's Kyle Wright will be better than Florida State's Drew Weatherford. The Canes take out the Noles and stake an early claim on the ACC Championship.

Roy's Pick: Miami (-3); Miami Straight Up

Boise State at Georgia (Saturday, 5:30 PM ESPN)
Georgia lost former SEC Player of the Year David Pollack and the NCAA's all-time winningest QB David Greene, but there's still plenty of talent left in the cupboard. Boise State is great team at home, but not on the road. Georgia stomps Boise State in the second half in a tune up before next weekend's SEC opener against South Carolina.

Roy's Pick: Georgia (-7.5); Georgia Straight Up

Duke at East Carolina (Saturday, 1:00 PM)
East Carolina is a program that will struggle under first-year head coach Skip Holtz. Duke isn't much better, but the Blue Devils have made strides on the recruiting scene in each of the last two offseasons and this could be the year those efforts start to pay off.

Roy's Pick: Duke (-1.5); Duke Straight Up Top Stories