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Frogs O’ War Staff Picks: College Football Week 1

Our staff predicts the winners for the top games of the week.

Houston V UTSA
Frank Harris and the Roadrunners look to take down the Cougars in Houston
Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Week One is finally here, with big games nationally and in the Big 12 beginning TONIGHT! The Frogs O’ War staff has picks for all the Big 12 contests (minus the FCS games) and the top national games.

Let us know your thoughts and picks in the comments and reminder that there’s still time to join our Pick ‘Em contest!

Big 12

UCF Knights vs. Kent State Golden Flashes - Thurs. Aug. 31, 6:00 PM, FS1

  • Miles: UCF
  • Russ: UCF
  • Anthony: With losses to the roster and coaching staff, Kent St. may be the worst team in FBS. UCF cruises. Everyone stay safe with the severe weather rolling through.
  • Drew: UCF rolls with John Rhys Plumlee going for multiple scores through the air and a touchdown on the ground.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Colorado Buffaloes - Sat. Sept. 2, 11:00 AM, FOX

  • ALL: Stay tuned, full game projection breakdown tomorrow.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Arkansas St. Red Wolves - Sat. Sept. 2, 11:00 AM, ESPN

  • Miles: OU
  • Russ: Oklahoma
  • Anthony: Sooners. Hope you got your Dillon Gabriel Heisman pick locked in, his stats will be gaudy
  • Drew: OU by a very comfortable margin.

Texas Longhorns vs. Rice Owls - Sat. Sept. 2, 2:30 PM, FOX

  • Miles: Texas
  • Russ: Texas
  • Anthony: Do the Owls have the best QB in this game?? No, but maybe. UT rolls.
  • Drew: UT by a bunch.

Baylor Bears vs. Texas State Bobcats - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:00 PM, ESPN+

  • Miles: Baylor
  • Russ: Baylor
  • Anthony: Careful here, Baylor is a huge favorite, but don’t be surprised if the ‘Cats put a scare in them with some big P5 transfers. Bears win, but it’s closer than you think it should be.
  • Drew: Baylor, should be fun to watch how Dave Aranda defends the Veer and Shoot.

Houston Cougars vs. UTSA Roadrunners - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:00 PM, FS1

  • Miles: Houston. UTSA losing Zhakari Franklin is a much bigger deal than people think.
  • Russ: Houston
  • Anthony: UTSA. The WR room looks thin with Franklin gone and Clark & Cephus both questionable. Don’t care, Frank Harris is HIM. Meep Meep.
  • Drew: Give me the Road Runners in a very high-scoring game. Losing Tank Dell and Clayton Tune hurts Houston more than people realize.

West Virginia Mountaineers at Penn State Nittany Lions - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:30 PM, NBC

  • Miles: Penn State wins big in this one.
  • Russ: Penn State
  • Anthony: Does Neal Brown save his job in Week 1?? No, but maybe. PSU rolls
  • Drew: West Virginia keeps it relatively close in the first half thanks to a few lucky breaks on broken plays but the Nittany Lions pull away in the second half.

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Wyoming Cowboys - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:30 PM, CBS

  • Miles: Texas Tech
  • Russ: Texas Tech
  • Anthony: The heavy hype for TTU has the Raiders as a national contender, but this one will be closer and lower scoring than expectation. Texas Tech escapes Laramie with the two-score win, but shows some cracks.
  • Drew: I think Joey McGuire has this Tech team very ready for the start of the season and everyone’s favorite Big 12 dark horse pick wins big on the road.

BYU Cougars vs. Sam Houston St. Bearkats - Sat. Sept. 2, 9:15 PM, FS1

  • Miles: BYU
  • Russ: BYU
  • Anthony: Look at that late night Big 12 television window! Jacksonville State won its first game as a newly FBS program....SHSU will not see the same fate in Provo. BYU gets an easy win.
  • Drew: Night game in Provo against a team that just recently joined the FBS? BYU in a blowout.

Big 12 vs. FCS:
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Missouri St. Bears - Fri. Sept. 1, 7:00 PM, ESPN+
Iowa State Cyclones vs. Northern Iowa Panthers - Sat. Sept. 2, 1:00 PM, ESPN+
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Eastern Kentucky Colonels - Sat. Sept. 2, 2:30 PM, ESPN+
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Central Arkansas Bears - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:00 PM, ESPN+
Kansas State Wildcats vs. SEMO Redhawks - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:00 PM, ESPN+

Top National Games

Florida Gators at Utah Utes, Thurs. Aug. 31, 7:00 PM, ESPN

  • Miles: I think Florida keeps this one close, but the Utes pull away late and win.
  • Russ: Utah
  • Anthony: The Salt Lake faithful have talked a big game, but don’t think Graham Mertz is the one to shove it back in their face. Even if Rising isn’t 100%, Utah rolls.
  • Drew: Even with the announcement that Rising will not play, Utah has been thinking about this game for a year since the loss in Gainesville last year. It is going to be a bonkers environment and Utah wins in a close one.

Boise State Broncos at Washington Huskies, Sat. Sept 2, 2:30 PM, CBS

  • Miles: Give me the Huskies in a big win to start the year.
  • Russ: Washington
  • Anthony: Wish this one was on the Blue Turf. I love Washington WR Rome Odunze and the Husky offense, but ranking this team in the Top Ten is a bit rich for me. Boise QB Taylen Green keeps it close, but can’t close the deal’
  • Drew: Huskies win big at home behind a big game from Michael Penix Jr.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. South Carolina Gamecocks, Sat. Sept. 2, 6:30 PM, ABC

  • Miles: This one is a complete toss up to me. I’ll take Drake Maye and the Tar Heels.
  • Russ: North Carolina
  • Anthony: Spencer Rattler has shown he can go hero-mode when called upon; even if UNC’s Maye is the more consistent prospect, Rattler balls out in Charlotte for a Gamecocks win.
  • Drew: Drake Maye starts his campaign to be the first player off the board in the NFL draft strong with a win over the Gamecocks.

LSU Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles, Sun. Sept. 3, 6:30 PM, ABC

  • Miles: I think this will be a great game again this year. I’ll take the Noles.
  • Russ: LSU
  • Anthony: Expectations are sky high for both these squads, not sure either can live up to the hype. Tigers take it.
  • Drew: I think LSU has a very strong chance to win the SEC West again this year and starts off strong with a top-ten win behind a big game from Harold Perkins.