Tomorrow begins another new college football season. While we think we know what teams are going to be good and what teams won’t, we never really know until they start playing games. In past years there were not too many potential upsets in the first couple of weeks as big time programs would usually schedule some easy games to get the kinks out and get some wins toward bowl eligibility. But since the four team playoffs were implemented two seasons ago, big time programs have had to beef up their non-conference schedules or run the risk of getting left out at the end of the season. So we now have some pretty interesting match-ups even in the first weekend.
Here are few that could produce a surprise on Thursday Night:
Appalachian State at Tennessee– If you watched the bowls last year, you may recall one of the few good games was the one App State played. They wound up with an 11-2 record and a bowl win in their first year in the FBS. You may also recall that they went into the Big House at Ann Arbor and beat a top five Michigan team in 2007. They won’t be intimidated by #9 Tennessee. UT has had a problem getting out of the gates the past few seasons too, so watch out for the Mountaineers here. UT is favored by 20.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt– Vandy is a favorite here by four points. Vandy is one of those teams who you just can’t trust when they are favored. South Carolina should have better athletes than Vanderbilt and with new coach Will Muschamp they will be fired up to get his era off to a good start. Watch out Vandy.
Indiana at Florida International– Indiana is coming off a bowl season a year ago. The reason you should look out in this one is Indiana rarely has two good seasons in a row. Also, FIU is at home, the weather in Florida will not be good this weekend. Bad weather normally favors the underdog. FIU pulled off what looked like an upset in the opener last year when they went to Orlando and upset UCF. They could do it again. FIU is a 10 point dog in this one.
Oregon State at Minnesota– The Gophers are a 12 to 13 point favorite in this one. Oregon State could pull an upset here. The Beavers are in a power conference so they should have some good athletes. In a season opener, you just don’t know how good or bad teams like OSU and Minnesota are.