The college football season is back, which means the Frogs O' War staff picks are also back. I cannot for the life of me remember who won last year, but I'm pretty sure I was dead last. Or as I like to call it, leading from the rear.
Tons more staffers this year, which means more picks for you to read! As always, readers are welcome to give their picks in the comments below. I'll be keeping staff standings, and I trust you all to keep reader standings, if that's what you desire.
HERE WE GO!
Oklahoma State @ Central Michigan (Thursday)
Jamie Plunkett: Oklahoma State 42, Central Michigan 17 - I have no idea why Oklahoma State is traveling to Central Michigan, but I don't see them having a hard time with the Chippewas.
Marshall Weber: Oklahoma State 42, Central Michigan 10 - I'm pretty intrigued to see what Mason Rudolph can do this season; and this comfortable game should give the Pokes a nice start to their 2015 campaign.
Melissa Triebwasser: Oklahoma State 42, Central Michigan 24 - Central Michigan is able to move the ball some at home against the Cowboys, but OSU just has too much firepower and overwhelms the MAC program. Mason Rudolph throws for five touchdowns and the hype train rolls through Stillwater.
Hawkeyed Frog: Oklahoma State 42, Central Michigan 13 - Why in the world is OSU going to Michigan?
Andrew Felts: Oklahoma State 56, Central Michigan 23 - Despite opening the year on the road, Oklahoma State will continue to ride their late season momentum from a year ago. The Cowboys will expose Central Michigan’s defense up the middle, en route to a 400-yard performance.
Warrior Horned Frog: Oklahoma State 28, Central Michigan 21 - I see the Cowboy's a little better than last year…but not much.
Rusty Frog: Oklahoma State 35, Central Michigan 14 - Central MIchigan lost two of its best offensive playmakers, Titus Davis and Thomas Rawls. They're returning a QB and WR, but that's not enough for an Oklahoma State team hungry to prove themselves after a 2014 season full of bad luck. If Oklahoma State's offensive starters can stay healthy this season, they could be the #4 team in the Big 12.
Scott Boase: Oklahoma State 31, Central Michigan 24 - OSU will hope to improve on their run to end last season with Mason Rudolph at the helm. Central Michigan is a solid G5 team but has seemed to be quite the coaching stepping-stone lately. OSU gets ahead early, and while CMU counter-punches throughout the game the Pokes' lead is never in doubt.
Samantha Calimbahin: Oklahoma State 31, Central Michigan 17 - As predicted, Oklahoma State begins showing signs of its "dark horse" capability, beating Central Michigan in style.
Mason Jamboogie: Oklahoma State 34, Central Michigan 13 - Mason Rudolph shows off his potential for greatness, throwing for a hand full of scores. The cowpokes defense doesn't give up many big plays, leaving CMU with not a lot of room to do much on its home turf.
selices92: Oklahoma State 45, Central Michigan 17 - OSU finished the 2014 season with the 91st ranked defense in the country, but the eight returning starters hope to improve this year when they go to Kelly/Shorts Stadium to face the Central Michigan Chippewas. The OSU defense will prove too much for the Chippewas offense, while the Cowboys’ sophomore wide receiver James Washington and transfer running back Chris Carson get their highly touted offense rolling early in the season.
HToadSwayze: Oklahoma State 42, Central Michigan 28 - Oklahoma State takes a while to get into a groove offensively, but they pull away in the second quarter and this time there is no Bahama Bowl magic for the Chippewas.
No. 4 Baylor @ SMU (Friday)
Jamie Plunkett: Baylor 56, SMU 7 - SMU will be lucky to score a touchdown, but I think they do. After all, the home crowd will probhahahahahaha.
Marshall Weber: Baylor 60, SMU 28 - This is the Friday night game on ESPN. I think I may catch Alamo's tribute to Wes Craven instead. I'd much rather watch Nightmare on Elm Street before bed than my nightmare IRL. I do think Chad Morris' offense will show a little something though...
Melissa Triebwasser: Baylor 56, SMU 17 - So badly want to pick the upset here, but there's no way SMU can play at a BU level this early in the season. Ponies score first, giving their fans some hope, but Briles puts his foot on the gas and embarrasses SMU in their home stadium.
Hawkeyed Frog: Baylor 99, SMU 27 - SMU scores early, so Art Briles decides to make his typical statement: "I am an ass."
Andrew Felts: Baylor 62, SMU 0 - Baylor sidelines their off-the-field issues and routs SMU to open the season on Friday night. Seth Russell transitions into his position as a starter quickly and easily while the Bears’ defense prevents Chad Morris’ squad from doing anything of offense.
Warrior Horned Frog: SMU 61, Baylor 58 - I can dream, right? Won't you all be shocked if I'm right!?! I'm going to take the hit on my prediction tally just to be ornery.
Rusty Frog: Baylor 69, SMU 0 - SMU is a hot mess. Baylor has a good team. They'll have absolutely no mercy on SMU, and it'll be a blowout.
Scott Boase: Baylor 56, SMU 10 - The Bears will probably put up more points than they did last year on the rebuilding (again) Ponies. Chad Morris' squad will put up more points than the June Jones-coached team of last year, but don't expect this to be anything but a blowout.
Samantha Calimbahin: Baylor 34, SMU 24 - After a nightmarish 2014 season, SMU plays with the biggest chip on its shoulder ever and gives Baylor quite the fight. New head coach Chad Morris has everyone's jaws dropping with SMU's explosive new offense. The Bears' defense, which had grown somewhat lackadaisical, unusually finds itself scrambling to figure out how to handle the Mustangs. New quarterback Seth Russell saves the day, though, pushing Baylor's offense through and winning with a 10-point game.
Mason Jamboogie: Baylor 56, SMU 10 - Talk about a confidence builder for new QB Seth Russell. Goodness, nobody should predict SMU having more than 10 points, I think that a touchdown is pushing it, but hey they have a new coach, so maybe one exciting thing will happen? Unless you want to watch Russell pad his stats, then there won't be much to see here.
selices92: Baylor 48, SMU 10 - This Baylor offense looks to start the 2015 season right where they left off in 2014; number one in the country in both scoring offense as well as total offense. While on the other sideline, SMU returns the lowest scoring team in the country. All signs point to a Baylor rout, but SMU fans should be excited to see how first time head coach Chad Morris handles his first game in charge.
HToadSwayze: Baylor 48, SMU 7 - Baylor starts off their challenging non-conference slate by beating SMU in a hostile road environment.
Kansas vs. South Dakota State
Jamie Plunkett: Kansas 31, South Dakota State 20 - What? It's not like they're playing North Dakota State or Montana. They'll take care of business here.
Marshall Weber: Kansas 45, South Dakota State 17 - .....
Melissa Triebwasser: Kansas 24, South Dakota State 21 - In an upset of sorts, the David Beaty era gets off to a positive start, and the Jayhawks use a late fumble return to take the lead, holding on with a fourth down stop as time expires.
Hawkeyed Frog: South Dakota State 31, Kansas 17 - I don't think that people recognize how bad Kansas is going to be this year. Their depth chart is ravaged.
Andrew Felts: Kansas 27, South Dakota State 13 - The David Beaty era in Lawrence begins with a high note as Kansas opens the season with a win over FCS South Dakota State. It isn’t pretty, but a win is a win.
Warrior Horned Frog: Kansas 21, South Dakota State 7 - Yawn.
Rusty Frog: South Dakota State 35, Kansas 10 - I love an underdog, but Kansas has a lot to overcome in this game. Nine defensive starters are returning for SDSU, which is going to keep Kansas' scoring opportunities low. But SDSU has to break in a new quarterback, so while they'll will easily win this game, the score won't be anything crazy.
Scott Boase: South Dakota State 24, Kansas 20 - Kansas is going to be bad. Like, really bad. This one will likely be within one score either way, and I'm going to put a little more faith in a strong FCS team over the rebuilding (and meddling) Clint Bowen-led Jayhawks. It will be a one-score game either way.
Samantha Calimbahin: Kansas 21, South Dakota State 7 - Kansas' defense gets a big boost with the help of TCU's former defensive coordinator Kenny Perry. The Jayhawks keep South Dakota State to a single touchdown. While Kansas' offense doesn't necessarily take off, they nail three touchdowns and come out with a win.
Mason Jamboogie: Kansas 24, South Dakota State 10 - Kansas hosts the college that gets confused with division 1 slayer, North Dakota State University. Kansas' new coach has reportedly brought a lot of fun and new life to the program. I don't know though it's still Kansas and I can't see them running it up too much, but I do expect a handful of scores and Kansas will break away in the 3rd quarter.
selices92: South Dakota State 21, Kansas 17 - Though Kansas returns only four starters from their 3-9 2014 team, they hope to turn things around this year with new head coach, David Beaty’s fast-paced, spread offense. Starting their season off with South Dakota State will be no simple task though. Ranked 15th in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll, the Jackrabbits are one of six teams to appear in the playoffs each of the last three seasons, yet still have to replace their programs all-time leading passer as well as their leading rusher for the past three seasons.
HToadSwayze: Kansas 26, South Dakota State 24 - Something wacky happens and Kansas somehow misses an extra point/has it blocked. They still managed to win the game because that would just be too depressing if they didn't.
Texas Tech vs. Sam Houston State
Jamie Plunkett: Texas Tech 42, SHSU 24 - Tech is going to be better this year, and Sam Houston isn't on the same level as UTEP, who gave the Raiders problems in 2014.
Marshall Weber: Texas Tech 56, SHSU 35 - A wonderful game to take your whole family to, or a great way to kill time on your Labor Day Saturday. Mahomes and Davis Webb should both get a look, and that'll be fun.
Melissa Triebwasser: Texas Tech 45, SHSU 31 - Tech plays two QBs, but it's Mahomes who shines against an overmatched Sam Houston team. But, once again, questions loom about the defense, as they surrender 30 points.
Hawkeyed Frog: Texas Tech 50, SHSU 23 - There are defensive hiccups to make the Rebels worry, but not enough to have the fightin' Sams give Tech a scare.
Andrew Felts: Texas Tech 28, SHSU 17 - Patrick Mahomes takes the field for the Red Raiders in their opening contest against Sam Houston State. The sophomore leads Texas Tech to a less-than-convincing 28-17 win over the Bearkats. Red Raider fans begin to fret that 2015 could be another disappointing year in Lubbock.
Warrior Horned Frog: SHSU 21, Texas Tech 10 - Yawn. Oh, man. I gotta stop yawning.
Rusty Frog: Texas Tech 56, SHSU 7 - Tech is acting like they’re QB is a matter of national security, but both Maloney and Webb were said to have had great camps. So either will take the field, and if one gets hurt, then the other will play. Regardless of who steps onto the field first, I think Tech will run away with this game. I just don’t see Sam Houston putting up much a fight here.
Scott Boase: Texas Tech 34, SHSU 17 - Another game against a strong FCS squad, but Tech has a bit more firepower than Iowa State and Kansas.
Samantha Calimbahin: Texas Tech 38, SHSU 14 - Finally, Texas Tech has harnessed the power of its air raid offense, blowing away Sam Houston State. Under new defensive coordinator David Gibbs, Tech's defense puts on a good show, baffling SFA's father-son duo, head coach Clint Conque and quarterback Zach Conque. The Red Raiders score five thrilling touchdowns, including a pick six, for a smooth sailing win.
Mason Jamboogie: Texas Tech 38, SHSU 20 - Tech's defense last year could've had its own reality TV show on MTV, due to all the disasters and drama. So this year's unit couldn't be any worse right? I fully expect Mahomes or Webb (who will have at least 1 turnover) to do just fine in this game, beating Sam Houston with offense and eventually pulling away later in the game. I give the start to Mahomes, he appears to be a better athlete and less mistake prone.
selices92: Texas Tech 34, SHSU 28 - Texas Tech has said they will look to run the ball more this year with DeAndre Washington, but the safer bet is to still expect the Red Raider offense to throw the ball and throw it a lot. Tech’s passing game gained momentum towards the end of last year and will hope to see that continue week one as Sam Houston State comes to town. Sam Houston State returns nine starters on offense and ten starters on defense. The Bearkats will look to go into Lubbock and set the tone for their season early.
HToadSwayze: Texas Tech 45, SHSU 17 - While the Red Raiders made an excellent defensive hire in David Gibbs, their defense will need some time to show significant improvement. In this game, Pat Mahomes and Jakeem Grant make it a moot point.
No. 19 Oklahoma vs. Akron
Jamie Plunkett: Oklahoma 49, Akron 13 - This game is on Pay Per View.
Marshall Weber: Oklahoma 38, Akron 13 - Baker Mayfield for Prez.
Melissa Triebwasser: Oklahoma 52, Akron 7 - 'The OU is a title favorite' conversation gets awfully loud around Norman after the Sooners pummel the Zips in the opener. Baker Mayfield goes off, responsible for six touchdowns, including a nifty rushing score to end the first half. the defense is as good as advertised, hardly allowing Akron across midfield.
Hawkeyed Frog: Oklahoma 55, Akron 17 - Akron is not very good at football. Oklahoma may not even have to throw a pass in this one.
Andrew Felts: Oklahoma 45, Akron 13 - The Baker Mayfield era in Norman begins with a bang. The Texas Tech transfer throws three touchdowns and runs for another during the win over the Akron Zips. Semaje Perine continues his dominant form and runs for two scores in the Sooners’ first non-conference battle.
Warrior Horned Frog: Oklahoma 70, Akron 0 - Don't think Oklahoma will need the tune up, but they'll probably enjoy it.
Rusty Frog: Oklahoma 44, Akron 13 - Akron had to replace several key positions on both offense and defense, and it’ll take more than one game for QB Kyle Pohl to get in sync with his new receivers. Oklahoma will run away with this one, and their true freshman kicker will have a lot of chances to show off.
Scott Boase: Oklahoma 45, Akron 6 - Say what you will about Herbstreit picking Oklahoma to win the Big 12, Bob Stoops' team will be better this year. Akron has no hope in this game, OU rolls.
Samantha Calimbahin: Oklahoma 48, Akron 0 - What. In. The. World. Oklahoma shows that it has returned to greatness after last year's "decent" season. In a shut-out win that was nothing more than style, both the offense and defense make replay-worthy plays. Quarterback Baker Mayfield stuns the crowd with an improved arm, while running back Samaje Perine has one long run for a touchdown. Akron can't seem to manage a first down, giving Oklahoma's defense some perfect chances to score.
Mason Jamboogie: Oklahoma 38, Akron 6 - We'll get to see how much damage Stoops' new air raid can do. It'll be interesting to see if Mayfield is more careful with the ball then when he was at Tech. Samaje Perine could honestly have another record day if Stoops lets him run the ball 45 times, but don't count on it. Oklahoma's defense won't give the zips much to work with on the ground, so we may see the occasional broken coverage for a deep pass. Mayfield is going to sling it, but will be able to have Perine as fail safe.
selices92: Oklahoma 42, Akron 10 - Transfer quarterback Baker Mayfield was recently named the starter for Oklahoma and will immediately look to lift quite a bit of pressure off of Samaje Perine’s back. Many analysts see this Sooner team as a team with a lot of potential to not only win the BIG 12 but also to make a strong push for the College Football Playoff. On the other hand, Akron comes into this game as a definite wildcard. Head Coach Terry Bowden has yet to name a starting quarterback, and the only real units that have named definitive starters right now are the offensive and defensive lines.
HToadSwayze: Oklahoma 59, Akron 7 - The Akron Zipps will struggle to surpass the hype that surrounded them when Cardale Jones fake transferred for May-fools.
Kansas State vs. South Dakota
Jamie Plunkett: Kansas State 35, South Dakota 17 - Kansas State will win this one with ease, and that's all I really have to say about that.
Marshall Weber: Kansas State 49, South Dakota 10 - Trill Bill Snyder begins yet another dark-horse campaign. I'm actually starting to get more and more scared about TCU's trip to the Little Apple.
Melissa Triebwasser: Kansas State 34, South Dakota 13 - Bill Snyder just wins these games, year in and year out.
Hawkeyed Frog: Kansas State 44, South Dakota 13 - I don't think Kansas State is more than a fringe bowl team this year, but South Dakota is a bad FCS team.
Andrew Felts: Kansas State 35, South Dakota 7 - An already well-disciplined Kansas State squad takes care of South Dakota to open their season on Saturday night. New quarterback Jesse Ertz begins his transition to the starting role following Jake Waters’ departure while the Kansas State defense holds the Coyotes to under 200 total yards.
Warrior Horned Frog: Kansas State 45, South Dakota 10 - First of Kansas State's 7 wins.
Rusty Frog: Kansas State 30, South Dakota 17 - Bill Snyder is being all dramatic about waiting to release his starting QB until Tuesday, but it will likely be last year’s third strong Jesse Ertz, who apparently had a strong showing at camp. Plus, you gotta root for Bill Snyder—he’s like the nicest coach ever.
Scott Boase: Kansas State 20, South Dakota 7 - I have no idea what to expect from Kansas St this year, but have confidence they'll win against an FCS team.
Samantha Calimbahin: Kansas State 42, South Dakota 10 - I'm never going to stop saying this regardless of the high likelihood that I am wrong: Kansas State is going to come out of nowhere this year. The Wildcats cruise through an easy win, loosening up in the fourth quarter to allow a touchdown and field goal for South Dakota. Rob Gronkowski randomly shows up to support his brother, Glenn, and the two post hilarious videos on the Internet after the game.
Mason Jamboogie: Kansas State 35, South Dakota 9 - The Wildcats will win this one, I'm sure of that, but by how much I have no real clue where to guess. Bill Snyder is as methodical a coach as there ever was, but I don't have a clue of what he has on offense. I know he doesn't have Lockett and Waters to rely on, so I'm just going to guess that Bill does Bill things and uses good fundamentals on defense to hold South Dakota to 3 field goals. I'm going to guess that the offense is slow to start, but will get the job done and roll up the points.
selices92: Kansas State 48, South Dakota 0 - Kansas State looks to start their season off win an early with over the South Dakota Coyotes. The Wildcats, however, will have to do so without three of their main offensive pieces from last year. Gone now are the program’s all time leading receiver in Tyler Lockett, 1000 yard receiver Curry Sexton, and starting quarterback Jake Waters. Junior quarterback Ryan Saeger returns for South Dakota after going 2-2 in his limited starts last year, along with the most experienced running back on the Coyotes’ team, Trevor Bouma.
HToadSwayze: Kansas State 28, South Dakota 10 - Kansas State has some things to figure out this year, but the Wizard can game plan like no other. The Wildcats make it past South Dakota without much trouble.
Texas @ No. 11 Notre Dame
Jamie Plunkett: Notre Dame 31, Texas 28 - You heard it here first: Tyrone Swoopes will be better this season. He comes out and plays well against the Fighting Irish, but falls just short with a late-game interception.
Marshall Weber: Notre Dame 31, Texas 13 - The only Big 12 loss is also the only game other than TCU-Minnesota that's worth watching. Strong's defense shows why he's one of the best defensive minds in the country; and the freshman, Malik Jefferson has an exciting debut. But the questions on offense show damaging it will be to Texas' campaign--at least the first half--in 2015.
Melissa Triebwasser: Notre Dame 31, Texas 24 - I am not a believer in Notre Dame as a title contender, but I believe more in them than I do Texas' offense. The defense is as salty as ever for the Longhorns, but a couple untimely Swoopes turnovers give Notre Dame favorable field position and the scores come too easy.
Hawkeyed Frog: Notre Dame 27, Texas 17 - This should be one of the closest games in the Big 12 this week, but overrated as the Domers are, I don't know that Texas is good enough to win on the road their first game.
Andrew Felts: Notre Dame 33, Texas 21 - Despite opening the season on the road at the 11th best team in the country, Charlie Strong turns some heads with a solid performance in South Bend. Tyrone Swoopes looks to have improved in the game during the offseason as the junior quarterback accounts for three total touchdowns. However, UT just can’t overcome Notre Dame’s offense and the Irish take this one.
Warrior Horned Frog: Notre Dame 48, Texas 21 - I'll be at a Notre Dame friend's house. He has promised some sort of cattle will be grilled. I think he's talking about dinner, though.
Rusty Frog: Notre Dame 31, Texas 21 - Texas will be returning Swoopes at QB, who won’t be such a deer in the headlights after being thrown to the wolves in the very first game last season. But Notre Dame has home field advantage and strong leadership from their 10 returning starters. The first-year starters for Texas won’t be able to keep up with the big boys of Indiana by the end of the game.
Scott Boase: Notre Dame 16, Texas 7 - Texas' defense puts up a big fight in this primetime, blue-blood showdown, but I do not have any faith in Tyrone Swoopes to put up much of anything resembling numbers on offense. Notre Dame gets the nod at home here, but for the record, I think the Irish are way overrated, as usual.
Samantha Calimbahin: Notre Dame 38, Texas 17 - Notre Dame puts up points early and quickly, scoring five touchdowns and a field goal. Texas manages a couple touchdowns and a field goal themselves. But suddenly, upon seeing the numbers on the scoreboard, Texas does everything in its power to keep the score from changing.
Mason Jamboogie: Notre Dame 31, Texas 16 - Unless Swoopes and the offense went through a TCUesque transformation (which if that's the case watch out) then Texas' defense is going to once again try to keep the Horns in it as long as possible. I think it'll be close for about a quarter and a half, but I don't see the Horns winning unless Swoopes can carry 11 defenders while running down the field. Notre Dame is a mystery to me, but I know that they can answer on offense, and stopping the Texas offense isn't that big of an ask. Notre Dame beats a motivated Charlie Strong squad by scoring at the end of the half and scoring the dagger early in the 3rd.
selices92: Texas 24, Notre Dame 21 - Texas travels to South Bend looking to improve on their 6-7 record from last year. It is time to see what this Longhorn team is capable of, as Charlie Strong begins his second season. Though their defense is thought to be the best in the Big 12, Tyrone Swoopes and the offense must catch up if the Longhorns stand a chance. Jaylon Smith, Sheldon Day, and KeiVarea Russell lead an incredibly talented defense that will hope to shut down Swoopes, and potentially Jerrod Heard if he gets any action in the first week. If the Texas offense can put up some points early in this game and let their defense go to work, the Irish could be in for a huge upset at home.
HToadSwayze: Notre Dame 24, Texas 17 - Notre Dame is perpetually overrated. Charlie Strong's defense is not. Just a little bit of offense and Texas could win this one....alas.....
West Virginia vs. Georgia Southern
Jamie Plunkett: West Virginia 24, Georgia Southern 21 - Georgia Southern is making a habit out of scaring P5 teams, with a win over Florida, and losing close games to Georgia Tech and NC State over the past two seasons.
Marshall Weber: West Virginia 35, Georgia Southern 13 - Most couches survive.
Melissa Triebwasser: West Virginia 42, Georgia Southern 10 - With a newish QB and a new receiving corp, Skylar Howard looks solid as WVU runs all over Georgia Southern.
Hawkeyed Frog: Georgia Southern 34, West Virginia 28 - West Virginia gets tripped up after accidentally scheduling Georgia Southern instead of the team they wanted- Georgia State.
Andrew Felts: West Virginia 42, Georgia Southern 21 - West Virginia is cautious with Georgia Southern after the Eagles lost to NC State and Georgia Tech by a combined five points a year ago. However, a fast WVU start puts Dana Holgorsen’s worries to rest.
Warrior Horned Frog: West Virginia 55, Georgia Southern 14 - 'Eers can have this one, but not the one in Fort Worth!
Rusty Frog: West Virginia 42, Georgia Southern 17 - West Virginia has experience this year. Though they seem to have a lot of juco transfers, that experience will give them an advantage in the first game of the season. They’ve got strength in their offense, even in the younger players. Georgia Southern is still getting used to playing with the big kids of D1 football. And we all know the craziness that goes down when you play in West Virginia.
Scott Boase: West Virginia 31, Georgia Southern 3 - West Virginia will be much improved this year, but facing probably the toughest schedule in the Big 12. They roll early and the improved defense shuts down Georgia Southern.
Samantha Calimbahin: West Virginia 31, Georgia Southern 19 - The West Virginia-Georgia Southern game is just plain weird, mainly because of the strange wind that is just throwing everyone off their game. The Mountaineers show that they are obviously missing the Clint Trickett-Kevin White connection, as the defense scores two of their four touchdowns. Georgia Southern puts in two field goals and two touchdowns, but misses an extra point because, seriously, what is wrong with this wind?
Mason Jamboogie: West Virginia 42, Georgia Southern 10 - The West Virginia faithful will get to light couches on fire, and Fort Worth native Skyler Howard shows how he's improved since the Liberty Bowl. The defense will be as tenacious as ever and Morgantown will be ablaze with flaming seat cushions.
selices92: West Virginia 21, Georgia Southern 17 - If the West Virginia offense wants to be successful in 2015, they will have to find a way to replace wide-receiver Kevin White who led the BIG 12 in receptions just a year ago. The Mountaineers should be very glad that they get to start their season at home as Georgia Southern was one of the hottest teams in the FBS last year. Going undefeated in conference play as well as leading the nation in rushing with over 380 yards per game, the Eagles will try to continue that momentum when they travel to Morgantown.
HToadSwayze: West Virginia 35, Georgia Southern 10 - West Virginia wins this one by running the ball, controlling the clock and playing solid defense. Wait....what?
Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
Jamie Plunkett: Iowa State 24, UNI 13 - Northern Iowa beat Iowa State 28-20 back in 2013, and I'm sure Iowa State will do everything to prevent a repeat of that. Doesn't mean it'll be pretty, but they'll defend Jack Trice.
Marshall Weber: Iowa State 31, Northern Iowa 21 - Northern Iowa is one of the better FCS teams, and they open up 2015 ranked in the Top 10. They played Iowa really well in their opener last year, and get a really good shot to take down a big boy again this year. But even though it's a struggling Cyclone team, I think Paul's team takes it and shows the large gap between an FBS team and an FCS one.
Melissa Triebwasser: Iowa State 28, Northern Iowa 24 - In a game that is too close for comfort, Allen Lazard hauls in a long touchdown late in the fourth quarter to secure the win for Paul Rhoads.
Hawkeyed Frog: Northern Iowa 21, Iowa State 13 - The Paul Rhoads farewell tour starts out with a flop.
Andrew Felts: Iowa State 13, Northern Iowa 10 - The largest home crowd in Iowa State football history will spend much of their Saturday on pins and needles as the Cyclones struggle to put away Northern Iowa. Despite three turnovers, Paul Rhodes’ team finds a way to pull out the victory.
Warrior Horned Frog: Northern Iowa 8, Iowa State 7 - The state of Iowa's liquor industry should do well this year.
Rusty Frog: Northern Iowa 30, Iowa State 3 - Iowa State is the SMU of the Big 12. They have no idea who they’re starting this weekend, they’re still moving players around, and they’ve lost the last 2 season openers. I get the feeling Paul Rhoads thinks he’s just going to make decisions based on whims and his own feelings during the game. Let me know how that works for you, Mr. Rhoads. I’m sure he calls it "adapting." I call it "hippie malarkey." On the other side, Northern Iowa has no idea who they’re calling QB, but their receivers seem strong enough to carry the team for a win.
Scott Boase: Iowa State 18, Northern Iowa 13 - Bless you, Iowa State, but I don't think you'll win very many games this year, either. The Big 12 is really deep this year in solid teams, so take this close win and do what you can with it.
Samantha Calimbahin: Iowa State 38, Northern Iowa 17 - owa State shows some potential in its win against Northern Iowa. The offense starts clicking from the start, scoring touchdown after touchdown. The Cyclones do have a disappointing "almost-touchdown" drive that ends in a field goal, but with the big score, it doesn't really matter. Unlike the Texas-Notre Dame game, however, the final score is more of a coincidence (or so they say).
Mason Jamboogie: Iowa State 31, Northern Iowa 14 - Iowa State has some talent when it comes to the air game. I don't see how Iowa State loses this one (since it's not North Dakota State). Don't expect a Peach Bowl smack down, but the Cyclones will pull away early, leaving Northern Iowa to play a little bit of catch-up, but there won't be enough time for NI to comeback.
selices92: Northern Iowa 14, Iowa State 10 - Northern Iowa is looking to become the third FCS team in a row to beat Iowa State in their season opener. In order to do so, one of the four Panthers’ quarterbacks currently vying for the starting spot will need to rely heavily on their extremely capable wide-receivers in Charles Brown and Braden Lehman. Iowa State on the other hand will need to look to their quarterback Sam Richardson to get the ball moving both through the air as well as on the ground if they hope to be successful this week. Richardson is only one of seven active FBS players to have thrown for 4,000 yards as well as rushed for 1,000 yards in his career.
HToadSwayze: Iowa State 17, Northern Iowa 14 - Iowa State gets revenge on Northern Iowa for getting upset in 2013. They win because, like Kansas, it would be too depressing if they didn't.
No. 2 TCU @ Minnesota (Thursday)
Jamie Plunkett: TCU 38, Minnesota 24 - The questions on defense are legitimate, and the Frogs start off slow against the Gopher's power run. However, Boykin and the offense quickly get their legs under them and help the Frogs pull away. TCU is simply too talented on offense, but that doesn't mean Minnesota won't make it a game for a while, possibly all the way into the 4th quarter.
Marshall Weber: TCU 45, Minnesota 28 - Minnesota scoring this many points is my cross to bear now. They'll probably end up scoring like 17 or something; but this is my prediction if Kill decides to get cheeky. Which, since he's a friend of Gary's, means he probably won't. Again, I just think the TCU offense is too fast for Minnesota, and not unlike the Oklahoma Stat game from 2014; I think the Gophers can and will put together some nice drives, but will simply eat up too much clock by running the ball too often and won't be able to keep up with the Frogs. Then, when it gets to 4th and they're forced to throw, they'll bury themselves.
Melissa Triebwasser: TCU 37, Minnesota 24 - I'm not nervous about this particular game, per se, but have that nervous anticipation for the season in general. The Frogs should win this game easily, but opening against a good team on the road under the lights is never easy. And when you factor in the new faces on defense, there's certainly room to be a little on edge. TCU will score, and can probably outscore the Gophers if that's what it comes down to. And I think the score will be a little closer than the actual game played, as Patterson will take his foot off the gas if he's able, out of respect to his friend and a program he appreciates.
Hawkeyed Frog:TCU 46, Minnesota 17 - Rewatching last year's Minnesota game it could've been so, so much worse if Gary hadn't called a halt. TCU's D-line will make life hell for the Gophers once again.
Andrew Felts: TCU 48, Minnesota 31 - Expectations abound, the Frogs face an underrated Minnesota squad to open the season. With nothing to lose, Gary Patterson’s close friend Jerry Kill goes all in looking for a major upset on college football’s opening night. Trevone Boykin and the TCU offense overpower the Gophers’ defense while the TCU’s own defense shows some holes. Frogs win a game that looks much closer on paper than on the field.
Warrior Horned Frog: TCU 52, Minnesota 14 - Both teams will score a little more than last year, but it will be relative, redundant, and revenge-less.
Rusty Frog: TCU 34, Minnesota 21 - I think Minnesota’s biggest struggle will be on offense. TCU has a strong defense, and Jerry Kill has some rebuilding to do offensively. I think they’re strong enough to score a couple touchdowns, but I think TCU’s strong defense will be too tough to overcome. When TCU’s offense isn’t scoring TDs, Oberkrom will be kicking FGs. 4 TDs for the Frogs + 2 FGs will give them the 34-21 victory.
Scott Boase: TCU 42, Minnesota 28 - TCU strikes early again and never looks back. The Horned Frog defense gives up one long score but buckles down after they start stuffing the run and Minnesota is forced to go to the pass. A turnover early in the fourth quarter seals it for TCU after they go up by two touchdowns.
Samantha Calimbahin: TCU 45, Minnesota 21 - Minnesota strikes first, putting up a tough fight against TCU. Later in the game, however, TCU finds its footing and begins to pull away. The score deficit eventually widens, and the game ends with a blowout win. The game is exciting at the beginning but later gets boring. Oh well.
Mason Jamboogie: TCU 51, Minnesota 13 - *Here we go* The Frogs come out of the gate, scoring on 3 of their first 4 drives. The offense will be playing with that confidence and hopefully the whole team will be playing will the intensity of the post-snubbing peach bowl. The defensive line is going to put pressure on Gophers to make plays through the air, in which we may give up the expected 1 big play per game. With 10 minutes left in the 4th I say Gary does a little rotation and we get to see what the young bloods are capable of. The Gophers get a handful of field goals since they're at home, but the Frogs are out to prove the country right.
selices92: TCU 45, Minnesota 14 - The Frogs’ number two scoring offense in the country heads to Minnesota to kick off the start of the college football season. Having met last season as well, these two teams should be very comfortable with each other and Minnesota will surely be looking for revenge for their 30-7 loss in Fort Worth. Heisman hopeful Trevone Boykin will look to show everyone what he and this offense are capable of in year two of TCU’s new air raid attack. The Gophers however, have one of the country’s best cornerbacks in Eric Murray and will be looking to make the Frogs earn their yards on the ground, and not with their playmakers out wide.
HToadSwayze: TCU 38, Minnesota 24 - Facing an aggressive and talented Minnesota defense, TCU's offensive firepower is too much to overcome. Meacham and Cumbie dial up a trick play for a TD in the 3rd to pull away for a comfortable lead.
Around the Country
South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Thursday)
Jamie Plunkett: South Carolina 28, North Carolina 23
Marshall Weber: South Carolina 34, North Carolina 31
Melissa Triebwasser: South Carolina 31, North Carolina 27
Hawkeyed Frog: South Carolina 37, North Carolina 20
Andrew Felts: South Carolina 24, North Carolina 21
Warrior Horned Frog: South Carolina 21, North Carolina 17
Rusty Frog: South Carolina 28, North Carolina 21
Scott Boase: South Carolina 28, North Carolina 20
Samantha Calimbahin: North Carolina 24, South Carolina 21
Mason Jamboogie: South Carolina 28, North Carolina 17
selices92: South Carolina 28, North Carolina 17
HToadSwayze: South Carolina 28, North Carolina 24
Utah vs. Michigan (Thursday)
Jamie Plunkett: Utah 42, Michigan 31
Marshall Weber: Utah 42, Michigan 20
Melissa Triebwasser: Utah 34, Michigan 21
Hawkeyed Frog: Harbaugh 30, Utah 20
Andrew Felts: Utah 30, Michigan 17
Warrior Horned Frog: Utah 28, Michigan 21
Rusty Frog: Utah 17, Michigan 13
Scott Boase: Utah 27, Michigan 16
Samantha Calimbahin: Michigan 34, Utah 17
Mason Jamboogie: Michigan 23, Utah 21
selices92: Michigan 24, Utah 21
HToadSwayze: Utah 24, Michigan 14
No. 23 Boise State vs. Washington (Friday)
Jamie Plunkett: Boise State 31, Washington 27
Marshall Weber: Boise State 59, Washington 35
Melissa Triebwasser: Boise State 28, Washington 17
Hawkeyed Frog: Washington 28, Boise State 24
Andrew Felts: Boise State 35, Washington 20
Warrior Horned Frog: Washington 35, Boise State 10
Rusty Frog: Boise State 34, Washington 21
Scott Boase: Boise State 28, Washington 24
Samantha Calimbahin: Boise State 41, Washington 27
Mason Jamboogie: Boise State 24, Washington 20
selices92: Boise State 45, Washington 14
HToadSwayze: Boise State 31, Washington 28
Texas A&M vs. No. 15 Arizona State
Jamie Plunkett: Arizona State 45, Texas A&M 28
Marshall Weber: Arizona State 49, Texas A&M 45
Melissa Triebwasser: Arizona State 27, Texas A&M 24
Hawkeyed Frog: Arizona State 48, Texas "They seriously have a t-shirt with overalls printed on" A&M 40
Andrew Felts: Arizona State 35, Texas A&M 34
Warrior Horned Frog: Arizona State 58, Texas A&M 35
Rusty Frog: Texas A&M 21, Arizona State 13
Scott Boase: Arizona State 35, Texas A&M 31
Samantha Calimbahin: Texas A&M 31, Arizona State 30
Mason Jamboogie: Texas A&M 37, Arizona State 24
selices92: Texas A&M 24, Arizona State 20
HToadSwayze: Arizona State 42, Texas A&M 31
No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 20 Wisconsin
Jamie Plunkett: Alabama 23, Wisconsin 17
Marshall Weber: Alabama 28, Wisconsin 24
Melissa Triebwasser: Alabama 31, Wisconsin 21
Hawkeyed Frog: Alabama 42, Wisconsin 27
Andrew Felts: Alabama 31, Wisconsin 21
Warrior Horned Frog: Wisconsin 24, Alabama 21
Rusty Frog: Alabama 31, Wisconsin 24
Scott Boase: Alabama 38, Wisconsin 28
Samantha Calimbahin: Wisconsin 48, Alabama 42
Mason Jamboogie: Alabama 38, Wisconsin 17
selices92: Alabama 31, Wisconsin 28
HToadSwayze: Alabama 35, Wisconsin 17