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College Football Predictions: We Pick Every Weekend Game

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Thursday night was just an appetizer to college football's kickoff weekend. To get your ready for the first Saturday, we give you predictions for every game from Friday to Monday. All the rankings are based on Athlon's college football rankings. Enjoy.

By Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)

Friday September 2nd:
No. 15 TCU at No. 47 Baylor
Baylor is a popular underdog pick, but I’m sticking with the Horned Frogs. Last season, TCU was the best team in the nation relative to its conference; the Frogs outgained MWC foes by an average of 312 yards per game. And when these teams met last season, TCU outgained Baylor 558 to 263 en route to a a 45–10 victory.
TCU 28, Baylor 21

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Youngstown State at No. 23 Michigan State
The Penguins actually led Penn State, 7–3, after one quarter in last season’s opener. They got outscored 41–7 the rest of the way.
Michigan State 51, Youngstown State 10

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Saturday, September 3
No. 99 Kent State at No. 1 Alabama
Nick Saban takes on his alma mater for the first time as a head coach. On the other sideline, former Ohio State assistant Darrell Hazell, will be making his debut.
Alabama 44, Kent State 0

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No. 62 Tulsa at No. 2 Oklahoma
Tulsa’s chances of upsetting Oklahoma took a huge hit when senior wide receiver Damaris Johnson, the Golden Hurricane’s best player, was suspended last week.
Oklahoma 44, Tulsa 10

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No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 8 LSU (at Arlington, Texas)
The marquee game of the opening weekend is without some of the most recognizable names — Oregon cornerback and return specialist Cliff Harris and LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and wide receiver Russell Shepard.
LSU 28, Oregon 24

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No. 102 Louisiana-Monroe at No. 4 Florida State
Florida State has a legitimate chance to play for a national title this season. Teams with such lofty aspirations should be focused enough to take care of business against inferior competition.
Florida State 48, Louisiana-Monroe 14

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No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 14 Georgia (at Atlanta)
Two keys in this game: Georgia’s ability to put pressure on Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, and Georgia’s ability to run the ball against the Broncos’ very good defensive front.
Boise State 28, Georgia 24

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No. 35 South Florida at No. 6 Notre Dame
It’s the Holtz Bowl, as Skip Holtz takes his South Florida Bulls to face his alma mater — and the school that his father, Lou, led to the 1988 national title. This game could be decided by which quarterback plays better — South Florida’s B.J. Daniels or Notre Dame’s Dayne Crist.
Notre Dame 27, South Florida 20

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Appalachian State at No. 7 Virginia Tech
Here is the obligatory comment that Virginia Tech will be prepared to play an FCS foe after last season’s shocking loss to James Madison.
Virginia Tech 34, Appalachian State 10

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Chattanooga at No. 9 Nebraska
Former Tennessee Vol B.J. Coleman begins his third season as the starting quarterback at Chattanooga. He will need to play the game of his life to keep this competitive.
Nebraska 47, Chattanooga 13

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No. 114 UL-Lafayette at No. 11 Oklahoma State
The Ragin’ Cajuns played three BCS teams last season, giving up 55 to Georgia, 54 to Oklahoma State (at home) and 43 to Ole Miss. The Cowboys will have no problem hitting 50 again (if they so choose).
Oklahoma State 58, UL-Lafayette 3

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No. 113 San Jose State at No. 12 Stanford
San Jose State should be much improved in Mike MacIntyre’s second season. That, however, doesn’t mean the Spartans are ready to compete with a very talented Cardinal team.
Stanford 48, San Jose State 10

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Missouri State at No. 16 Arkansas
The Arkansas offense will be eager to prove that it can thrive without Ryan Mallett at quarterback (gone to the NFL) and Knile Davis at running back (torn ACL).
Arkansas 48, Missouri State 13

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No. 120 Florida Atlantic at No. 18 Florida
Howard Schnellenberger’s final season as a head coach will not get off to a very good start.
Florida 41, Florida Atlantic 0

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No. 116 Akron at No. 20 Ohio State
The Buckeyes have been waiting a long time to put the offseason drama behind them and actually play a football game. This one will be over early.
Ohio State 47, Akron 7

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No. 70 Minnesota at No. 21 USC
For the record, I think Jerry Kill was the best hire by any school in the nation last offseason. For the record, I don’t think Jerry Kill will win his first game as the head coach at Minnesota.
USC 37, Minnesota 17

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No. 82 East Carolina vs. No. 22 South Carolina (at Charlotte)
Last year, ECU featured one of the most explosive offenses in the country, scoring 35 points or more nine times in 13 games (and 44 points or more four times). The problem? The Pirates ranked last in the nation in total defense (478.8 ypg) and 119th in the scoring defense (44.0 ppg).
South Carolina 44, East Carolina 27

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No. 94 Rice at No. 24 Texas
We won’t learn a lot from this game, but Texas needs to play well as it tries to right the ship after winning only five games last fall. Keep an eye on Rice running back Sam McGuffie. The former Michigan Wolverine is poised for a big junior season.
Texas 37, Rice 13

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No. 93 Miami (Ohio) at No. 25 Missouri
Don Treadwell makes his coaching debut at his alma mater. It could be a rough one. Last season, Missouri ripped Miami 51–13 and rolled up over 230 yards rushing and passing.
Missouri 41, Miami (Ohio) 14

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Tennessee Tech at No. 26 Iowa
Watson Brown’s Tennessee Tech club opened the 2010 season against two FBS teams, losing 44–3 at Arkansas and 62–7 at TCU. Expect a similar result.
Iowa 41, Tennessee Tech 7

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South Dakota at No. 29 Air Force
South Dakota split its two games vs. FBS teams last year, losing 38–7 at UCF before shocking Minnesota, 41–38. Don’t count on another upset this weekend. Troy Calhoun’s team is too good and too well prepared to slip up in Week 1.
Air Force 48, South Dakota 13

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Indiana State at No. 30 Penn State
If you’ve got Silas Redd on your fantasy team (which I do), be advised to put him in your lineup. Last year, Indiana State ranked 105th in the in the FCS ranks in stopping the run.
Penn State 44, Indiana State 3