This Week in College Football

The tortuously long off-season is now behind us as Florida State gets ready to open the 2013 season Monday night at Pittsburgh. The 'Noles are coming off an ACC title as well as a BCS bowl win and Jimbo Fisher is 5-1 vs. UF/Miami.

Seminoles Play Monday Night

The bad news for FSU fans is that they have to wait until Monday night to get the season rolling, the good news is that FSU will have the night to themselves and should play before a big, national audience.

All storylines seem to begin and end with freshmen quarterback Jameis Winston (who was officially named the starter). The thought process is that as long as Winston does not lose the game, FSU will win it. While we acknowledge the risk of having a young, untested QB, that is college football and Winston is one of the most talented QB's to come through the ranks from the last decade.

Other interesting situations are how the defense will be 'different' this season(perhaps more aggressive) and who steps up to put pressure on the QB (Mario Edwards, Chris Casher, Dan Hicks, Desmond Hollin).

Our early take is that FSU wins this game fairly easily and pulls away in the second half for a 37-10 victory.

Big Week for the ACC

There are three marquee match-ups in the ACC this week:

(1) North Carolina at South Carolina (Thursday, 6:00, ESPN)

(2) Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (Saturday, 5:30, ESPN)

(3) Georgia at Clemson (Saturday, 8:00, ABC)

The ACC does not have a good 'national brand' right now because the conference is simply not winning enough games. These three games are against the vaunted SEC and going 2-1 in these games would be terrific.

The problem is that UNC is 11.5 point underdogs, VT is 18 point 'dogs, and Clemson is favored by just 2. We have to hope that the "men in the desert" are incorrect in these lines. Clemson is garnering national headlines as a title contender, a win there, plus competitive performances from UNC/VT would probably be good enough.

Several other games "matter" for the ACC:

Syracuse at Penn State

FIU at Maryland

BYU at Virginia

Let's be clear here, none of these are good wins, but they are bad losses. The bad loss is another area where the ACC had under-achieved recently, we can hope that it does not happen again this year.

National Games

LSU vs. TCU (in Arlington)

Interesting game as both teams are coming off disappointing (for them) seasons. The winner starts the season with what figures to be a quality win, the loser might be in some trouble considering the future schedule's of both programs. LSU is favored just five points here.

Mississippi State at Oklahoma State

Another SEC vs. Big 12 match-up, the Cowboy's are 13 point favorites which seems a little high considering MSU is on the upswing and has started strong recently. The MSU defense will be tested early and often here.

Boise State at Washington

We did not have to listen to any Boise nonsense last year and the Huskie's can do the country a favor with a win here to give us another year reprieve. The problem is that the Pac12 has not won this game vs. BSU recently. These teams are meeting for the second time in a row as BSU beat Washington 28-26 in the bowl game last year.

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