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College Football Game of the Week (Part 1)

Zach Mettenberger and the LSU Tigers are ones to watch early in the season.

Zach Mettenberger and the LSU Tigers are ones to watch early in the season.

If you’re anything like us here at BettingSports.com, the SEC media sessions and all the non-news stories that seem to have come along with it have got you yearning for some on-field action.  Sadly, we still have 41 days to navigate before kick-off arrives.

Well, not to be forlorn by such things, we’ve decided to have a root through the entire Division I schedule and pick out some choice cuts that you have to look forward to. We’ve picked out what we think will be the game of the week*, as well as a second choice that in many cases, could easily be a first choice.

*While we have our ideas as to who will succeed this year, the batteries in our crystal ball have run out, which means we’ve not managed to pick out just who is going to be this year’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish and shock the world. As such, this list should be considered (very) fluid once we get a few weeks into the season.

We’ve tried to mix things up a bit with our selections (i.e. we weren’t going to pick every Alabama Crimson Tide fixture, so please excuse us Roll Tide fans), but this list does lean heavily towards those teams currently high-up on the College Football Futures list supplied by Bovada.

We start this week with Week 1 through Week 8. Next week, we’ll be back with Week 9 through Week 15, at least the part of the latter that is already in place.

So let us kick things off with a doozy in South Carolina.

Tajh Boyd and the Clemson Tigers face a stern test in Week 1.

Tajh Boyd and the Clemson Tigers face a stern test in Week 1.

Week 1:  Georgia at Clemson

Sat, Aug. 30, 8:00 p.m. ET

There are plenty of cupcakes on the Week 1 schedule but this showdown between the SEC’s Georgia Bulldogs and ACC’s Clemson Tigers should be a five-star event. At 14/1, the Bulldogs are ranked fifth in the nation by Bovada – and expected to meet Alabama in the SEC title game – while the Tigers (25/1) sit just outside of the top 10 and are expected to compete with the Florida State Seminoles for the division.

Second choice: North Carolina at South Carolina

* * * * *

Week 2:  Notre Dame at Michigan

Sat, Sept. 7, 8:00 p.m. ET

This classic rivalry is always worth tuning in for, but after Notre Dame’s achievements last season, this is must-see TV. The Michigan Wolverines – who were somewhat disappointing last year – will look to put an early blemish on the Irish schedule, while also trying to keep pace with Big Ten favorites, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Second choice: Florida at Miami (FL)

A.J. McCarron and Alabama face the Texas A&M Aggies in Week 3.

A.J. McCarron and Alabama face new rivals the Texas A&M Aggies in Week 3.

Week 3: Alabama at Texas A&M

Sat, Sept. 14, 3:30 p.m. ET

If you believe the bookies, these are the best two teams in the SEC and perhaps the nation. Alabama remains a 3/1 favorite to win the crystal football this year while the Texas A&M Aggies (9/1) currently sit in fourth. The media circus that is currently stalking Johnny Manziel seems to have influenced the bookmakers, as the team has slipped out of third place. Of course, the Aggies were the only team to beat the Tide last season so this has grudge match written all over it.

Second choice: UCLA at Nebraska

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Week 4: Boise State at Fresno State

Fri, Sept. 27, 9:00 p.m. ET

Yes, Notre Dame’s game against the Michigan State Spartans should be good’un, but let’s think outside of the box here. The Boise State Broncos and Fresno State Bulldogs were the two best teams in the Mountain West Conference last year. Not many people know that because not many people follow the MWC. But trust on this; last year the MWC was fun to watch. We’ll get an early indication if the same is true this year.

Second choice: Michigan State at Notre Dame

Will the Georgia Bulldogs get the better of LSU in Week 5?

Will Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs get the better of LSU in Week 5?

Week 5: LSU at Georgia

Sat, Sept. 28, TBA

We’ll soon know if Georgia is for real this season as the Bulldogs clash with the LSU Tigers at the end of September. The Tigers (18/1) are a few points behind the Bulldogs on Bovada’s list, and considered to be a threat to Alabama and Texas A&M in the West Division. After this game, Georgia’s schedule is fairly straightforward. LSU’s is anything but. Both need a win in this one.

Second choice: Oklahoma at Notre Dame

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Week 6: Kansas State at Oklahoma State

Sat, Oct. 5, TBA

The Big 12 hasn’t gotten much respect from the bookies this offseason as none of the conference’s schools can be found in the top 10. That should give those schools something to play for. In a division that looks wide open, it’ll be interesting to see how the Kansas State Wildcats without Heisman candidate Collin Klein. The Oklahoma State Cowboys meanwhile were voted by the Big 12 media to win the conference this season. We’ll get to see what each has to offer in this Week 6 clash in Stillwater, Okla.

Second choice: Ohio State at Northwestern

Texas will hope for a better result in the Red River Rivalry this season.

Texas will hope for a better result in the Red River Rivalry this season.

Week 7: Oklahoma vs. Texas (Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX)

Sat, Oct. 12, TBA

You wait all season for a Big 12 showdown and then two come at once. The Red River Rivalry is always worth a watch but with both the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns in with a shot at the conference title, this one should be particularly special. Bovada has the Longhorns (28/1) ahead of both the Sooners (50/1) and Cowboys (33/1) in the hunt for the BCS National Championship.

Second choice: Florida at LSU

* * * * *

Week 8: UCLA at Stanford

Sat, Oct. 19, TBA

A rematch of last year’s Pac-12 title game, this meeting could be of huge significance this season. The Pac-12 is expected to be a four-way battle this season, with the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks expected to contest the North Division and the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans the South Division. The Ducks are the out-and-out favorites, but with Chip Kelly gone, they may be lost in confusion. That means UCLA and Stanford will be looking to take advantage.

Second choice: Florida State at Clemson

Join us again next week when we shall bring you our pick of the best game of each week from Week 9 through to Week 15.

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