Emma's Fearless Predictions: Week One

Boiler Sports Report publisher Chris Emma fires away with his predictions for week one of the season.

North Carolina at South Carolina (-12.5)

CE: South Carolina 21, North Carolina 13

-- Never bet against the Old Ball Coach with weeks to prepare. Quarterback Connor Shaw has a big game as South Carolina nabs a win in the Carolina battle.

Northern Illinois at Iowa (-3)

CE: Northern Illinois 31, Iowa 14

-- Northern Illinois has Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch while Iowa still has a mess of an offense. The Huskies will beat up the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium.

Temple at Notre Dame (-30)

CE: Notre Dame 27, Temple 7

-- It's hard to put too much faith into Tommy Rees, but he'll have a solid showing in his return as Notre Dame's starter. The Fighting Irish earn a win against Temple to help the recovery process from last January in South Florida.

Georgia (1.5) at Clemson

CE: Clemson 20, Georgia 16

-- There's always that one loss that Georgia wishes it could have back. That will come in week one, as Clemson will top the Bulldogs in Death Valley, holding them off late in the fourth quarter. This battle of top-10 teams will be a fun one to watch.

LSU (-4.5) at TCU

CE: LSU 24, TCU 8

-- What do Zach Mettenberger and the Tigers have to do for a little respect? Les Miles will have his team in championship contention this season, and a week one win at TCU will get LSU off the right way.

Alabama (-20.5) vs. Virginia Tech

CE: Alabama 41, Virginia Tech 3

-- It would be fun if Alabama lost in its opener, that after a long offseason of praise. But it's not going to happen. The Crimson Tide will roll again, dominating the Hokies in Atlanta. Just stay unbeaten for the Texas A&M game!

Northwestern (-6) at California

CE: Northwestern 27, California 16

-- Coach Pat Fitzgerald is 7-0 in season-openers, including three in a row on the road against major-conference programs. That trend will continue as the Wildcats—a team many are sleeping on in the Big Ten—will cruise past Cal. Oh, keep an eye on Venric Mark.

Purdue at Cincinnati (-11)

CE: Cincinnati 27, Purdue 10

-- Look, we all have to realize this is going to be a tough year for Purdue. This schedule is brutal—especially this opener at Cincinnati. It would be a dream, storybook tale if Darrell Hazell led the Boilermakers to the Rose Bowl in year one. But it's going to be a challenge to reach a bowl game.

Cincinnati has a roster loaded with talent and experience, and the Boilermakers will face a tough test against these Bearcats. Purdue can win if it executes the offense and plays smart defense, all while minimizing mistakes. But I don't see that happening. I feel it's Tommy Tuberville and crew getting the win at Nippert Stadium.

All odds posted Thursday, courtesy of the LVH Casino in Las Vegas.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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