We’ve made it through the dog days of summer and now college football is officially back. Week 0 was a nice appetizer, but Labor Day Weekend is the entree that football fans have been waiting for. There are some big games to kick off the season, so let’s take a look at the marquee match ups and what’s at stake.
#11 Oregon vs #3 Georgia:
The defending national champion, Georgia Bulldogs, start their title defense against their former defensive coordinator, Dan Lanning, who now leads the Ducks. This is a nuetral site game, but with the mathcup being held in Atlanta, this will essentially by a road game for the Ducks. Georgia lost a lot of players to the NFL, but they still have a lot of talent and should win the battle in the trenches. Vegas agrees as Georgia is 17.5 point favorites. I think Georgia handles business as well.
#7 Utah vs Florida:
The defending Pac 12 champs start off their season in the swamp against new Gators’ coach Billy Napier and his squad. The Pac 12 is always looking for respect and you have to commend both Oregon and Utah for traveling to SEC country week one. Vegas thinks this game is going to be tight – having Utah is 2.5 point favorites. I think this game will be a nailbiter, but I think Utah will pull out with the close win.
#5 Notre Dame vs #2 Ohio State:
In the marquee matchup of the weekend, Notre Dame travels to Columbus to battle Ohio State. Ohio State brings back CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and a squad hungry after falling short of the Big 10 championship and College Football Playoff. Notre Dame lost Brian Kelly and now will be led by Marques Freeman. I think Freeman will be successful at Notre Dame, but coming into the season ranked #5 is lofty for this team and I think this game has the potential to not be close. Vegas agrees as Ohio State is 17 point favorites. The Buckeyes will be too much for the Irish to handle.
Sleeper Game – Florida State vs LSU (-3):
This matchup will be in prime time Sunday night in New Orleans. Seminoles’ head coach Mike Norvell enters his 3rd season, and while the Noles did show signs of improvement towards the end of the year, a win here would do a lot for Norvell as patience will start to wear thin if the Noles don’t continue to improve. LSU welcomes in Brian Kelly as their new coach. Kelly took the job because he thought that leading the Tigers would give him a better chance to compete for a title than Notre Dame. Both teams will need a win and I expect a tight game.