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September 4, 2008

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com.
He can be heard on Rivals Radio every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. ET and can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.

Every Thursday, we take a quick look at each game involving a I-A team that week and attempt to predict the final score.

LAST WEEK: 58-13 straight up, 17-22 against the spread. (Games involving I-AA teams don't have point spreads.)

OVERALL: 58-12 straight up, 17-21 against the spread.

FRIDAY'S GAME
Navy (1-0) at Ball State (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN
The buzz: Ball State beat the Midshipmen 34-31 in overtime last season. This one comes down to Navy's rushing attack. If Ball State does a relatively good job defending the run (say, 250 yards or less), it will win.
The line: Ball State by 7. | The pick: Ball State 38-28.
SATURDAY'S GAMES
Georgia Tech (1-0) at Boston College (1-0), noon, ACC syndication/ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Both are rebuilding. So whose construction is further along?
The line: BC by 7. | The pick: Georgia Tech 17-14.
Eastern Illinois (0-1) at Illinois (0-1), noon, Big Ten Network
The buzz: These teams have met once, with Illini winning by 25 in 2006. EIU lost to Central Michigan by 19 last week.
The line: No line. | The pick: Illinois 42-17.
Miami University (0-1) at Michigan (0-1), noon, ESPN2
The buzz: Miami got gashed by Vandy's rushing attack last week. If Michigan can't run against the RedHawks, Rich Rodriguez will be pulling his hair out.
The line: Michigan by 14.5. | The pick: Michigan 28-10.
Eastern Michigan (1-0) at Michigan State (0-1), noon, Big Ten Network
The buzz: The schools are fewer than 60 miles apart, but this is just the eighth meeting. Two of them came in 1898.
The line: Michigan State by 21. | The pick: Michigan State 45-21.
Northern Colorado (0-0) at Purdue (0-0), noon, Big Ten Network
The buzz: This is the first game of Purdue coach Joe Tiller's last season. At least he knows he'll win his final season-opener.
The line: No line. | The pick: Purdue 51-17.
Ohio U. (0-1) at Ohio State (1-0), noon, ESPN
The buzz: This is just the sixth meeting between the teams. Ohio State's main goal this week is that no one else gets hurt. The Buckeyes are trying to become just the fifth college football program to reach the 800-win mark. The others are Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas and Nebraska.
The line: Ohio State by 34. | The pick: Ohio State 38-0.
Marshall (1-0) at Wisconsin (1-0), noon, Big Ten Network
The buzz: The Badgers have a big one next week, playing at Fresno State. First, they need to get past the Thundering Herd. Hmmm Thundering Herd; that would be a good nickname for Wisconsin's beefy offensive line.
The line: Wisconsin by 20.5. | The pick: Wisconsin 28-10.
Connecticut (1-0) at Temple (1-0), noon, ESPNU
The buzz: This one has a bit of intrigue. UConn barely held off Temple last season, and the Owls' defense will make it tough on a one-dimensional Huskies offense. That said, Temple's offense will have trouble moving the ball vs. UConn's defense.
The line: Connecticut by 7. | The pick: Connecticut 23-17.
Florida International (0-1) at Iowa (1-0), noon, Big Ten Network
The buzz: This is the second of three consecutive "Big Six" conference opponents for FIU, which was hammered last week by Kansas and gets USF at home next week.
The line: Iowa by 27. | The pick: Iowa 38-10.
Southern Miss (1-0) at Auburn (1-0), 12:30 p.m., SEC syndication/ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: A Southern Miss looked tremendous on offense last week in coach Larry Fedora's debut. But going against Louisiana-Lafayette is different than going against Auburn.
The line: Auburn by 17.5. | The pick: Auburn 28-14.
San Jose State (1-0) at Nebraska (1-0), 12:30 p.m.
The buzz: San Jose State hasn't started 2-0 since 1987. Don't think there's much chance of that happening this season.
The line: Nebraska by 26. | The pick: Nebraska 47-17.
New Hampshire (0-0) at Army (0-1), 1 p.m., ESPN Classic
The buzz: New Hampshire has won three in a row over Division I-A schools. Will Army's new option offense pose a problem?
The line: No line. | The pick: New Hampshire 23-21.
Furman (1-0) at Virginia Tech (0-1), 1:30 p.m.
The buzz: So, Tyrod Taylor will play after all. Furman's a good I-AA program, but if the Hokies struggle in this one, it will take more than Taylor if the Hokies are to win the ACC.
The line: No line. | The pick: Virginia Tech 31-7.
BYU (1-0) at Washington (0-1), 3 p.m., Fox Sports Net
The buzz: This is the first of three consecutive home games for Washington. The bad news for the Huskies is that Oklahoma is next, meaning a 0-3 start is a distinct possibility.
The line: BYU by 9.5. | The pick: BYU 35-24.
Central Michigan (1-0) at Georgia (1-0), 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net South/Sun Sports
The buzz: The Bulldogs' defense should get a bit of a test from CMU QB Dan LeFevour. Two Georgia assistants defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and linebacker coach John Jancek arrived in Athens after stints at CMU.
The line: Georgia by 23.5. | The pick: Georgia 48-21.
Air Force (1-0) at Wyoming (1-0), 3:30 p.m., CBS College Sports
The buzz: This is the 1,000th home game in Wyoming history. The loser of this one is going to have trouble finishing in the top half of the Mountain West Conference.
The line: Wyoming by 3. | The pick: Wyoming 24-20.
Ole Miss (1-0) at Wake Forest (1-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Going by the first week of play, Wake is the best team in the ACC. Ole Miss won last week, but its defense gave up 453 yards to Memphis. Wake's funky offense which features a variety of formations and a lot of motion is going to cause the Rebels some problems.
The line: Wake Forest by 8. | The pick: Wake Forest 34-20.
Oregon State (0-1) at Penn State (1-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN2
The buzz: Oregon State's run defense was non-existent against Stanford last week. The Beavers have to improve that facet of their game, or this could get ugly at Beaver Stadium.
The line: Penn State by 16.5. | The pick: Penn State 31-17.
Eastern Washington (0-1) at Colorado (1-0), 3:30 p.m.
The buzz: This is the second consecutive Big 12 opponent for Eastern Washington, which lost by 25 to Texas Tech last week.
The line: No line. | The pick: Colorado 38-17.
San Diego State (0-1) at Notre Dame (0-0), 3:30 p.m., NBC
The buzz: San Diego State was one of 32 Division I-A teams to play a I-AA opponent last week. SDSU was the only one that lost.
The line: Notre Dame by 22. | The pick: Notre Dame 34-14.
Cincinnati (1-0) at Oklahoma (1-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Cincinnati will be the best secondary that OU goes against this season. The question, though, is whether Cincy will be able to run the ball at all against OU's front four.
The line: Oklahoma by 21.5. | The pick: Oklahoma 35-20.
Utah State (0-1) at Oregon (1-0), 3:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Northwest
The buzz: Utah State is 1-44 all-time against ranked teams. And the Aggies have lost nine in a row in September.
The line: Oregon by 35.5. | The pick: Oregon 54-14.
Tennessee Tech (1-0) at Louisville (0-1), 3:30 p.m., ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: This is the second of four consecutive home games for Louisville to open the season. And lost amid the hand-wringing over Louisville's pitiful offensive performance in its loss to Kentucky was that the Cardinals' defense allowed only 210 yards.
The line: No line. | The pick: Louisville 24-7.
Akron (0-1) at Syracuse (0-1), 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net Ohio
The buzz: The sound of the hounds will echo in what should be a half-empty Carrier Dome. This is the dog of the week.
The line: Syracuse by 4.5. | The pick: Syracuse 24-17.
Sacramento State (1-0) at Colorado State (0-1), 3:30 p.m.
The buzz: Unless Colorado State implodes, new Rams coach Steve Fairchild will get his first victory.
The line: No line. | The pick: Colorado State 38-14.
The Citadel (1-0) at Clemson (0-1), 3:30 p.m.
The buzz: This is the 36th meeting between the two South Carolina schools. Clemson, which plays each of its next four at home, hasn't lost to The Citadel since 1931.
The line: No line. | The pick: Clemson 52-14.
Richmond (1-0) at Virginia (0-1), 3:45 p.m., ESPNU
The buzz: Virginia was hammered by USC last Saturday. This week should be a bit easier on the Cavs. Richmond, though, is ranked No. 3 in Division I-AA, and the Spiders' first-year coach is former Virginia defensive coordinator Mike London.
The line: No line. | The pick: Virginia 24-17.
UAB (0-1) at Florida Atlantic (0-1), 4 p.m.
The buzz: FAU plays just two games in its first eight games of the season. FAU quarterback Rusty Smith threw for 253 yards against Texas last week and should have success against a mediocre UAB defense.
The line: Florida Atlantic by 13.5. | The pick: Florida Atlantic 38-20.
West Virginia (1-0) at East Carolina (1-0), 4:30 p.m., ESPN
The buzz: WVU beat the Pirates by 41 last season. ECU is coming off an upset of Virginia Tech, and ECU's strong defensive front offers hope the Pirates can pull a second major upset.
The line: West Virginia by 8. | The pick: West Virginia 28-23.
Texas A&M (0-1) at New Mexico (0-1), 5 p.m., Versus
The buzz: Neither looked good in losing their openers last week. The rush defenses for both are big-time questions.
The line: Texas A&M by 2.5. | The pick: New Mexico 21-17.
Idaho State (0-1) at Idaho (0-1), 5 p.m., Altitude/ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Idaho State lost by 42 last week to Boise State. This week, the Broncos get the state of Idaho's other I-A team you know, the bad one.
The line: No line. | The pick: Idaho 24-20.
Buffalo (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-1), 6 p.m., ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Pitt shockingly fell at home to Bowling Green last week. That makes this vital for the Panthers. Buffalo has improved steadily under coach Turner Gill, and quarterback Drew Willy and running back James Starks will give Pitt a test.
The line: Pitt by 13. | The pick: Pitt 24-14.
William & Mary (0-0) at N.C. State (0-1), 6 p.m.
The buzz: N.C. State was blanked last week by South Carolina, and truth be told, the Wolfpack could have been going against air and found it tough to score.
The line: No line. | The pick: NC State 24-10.
Western Carolina (1-0) at Florida State (0-0), 6 p.m., ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Florida State opens the season with two weak Division I-AA teams (it plays Chattanooga next week). That's one way to make sure Bobby Bowden piles up those wins.
The line: No line. | The pick: Florida State 52-9.
California (1-0) at Washington State (0-1), 6:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net Northwest
The buzz: Washington State's new offense looked well, it looked pitiful last week against Oklahoma State. Cal, on the other hand, looked good in beating Michigan State.
The line: California by 13.5. | The pick: California 41-24.
Northern Illinois (0-1) at Western Michigan (0-1), 7 p.m.
The buzz: A nice measuring-stick game in the MAC. Western Michigan hopes to contend for the West Division title, while NIU is out to prove it's not the bottom-feeder it was last season.
The line: Western Michigan by 6. | The pick: Western Michigan 34-21.
Tulane (0-0) at Alabama (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: It's been a tumultuous week for Tulane, whose players had to evacuate New Orleans last Saturday in advance of Hurricane Gustav. The Green Wave spent the week in Birmingham preparing for the Tide. Too bad Tulane couldn't stay in Birmingham and play UAB.
The line: Alabama by 30. | The pick: Alabama 42-10.
Louisiana-Monroe (0-1) at Arkansas (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: The Bobby Petrino era almost got off to an embarrassing start last week, as the Hogs had to score in the final two minutes to get past Division I-AA Western Illinois. Louisiana-Monroe was shut out last week by Auburn.
The line: Arkansas by 12.5. | The pick: Arkansas 28-13.
Maryland (1-0) at Middle Tennessee (0-1), 7 p.m., Comcast Sports Southeast/GamePlan
The buzz: Maryland's "offense" that's the Terps' word, not ours was horrible against Division I-AA Delaware last week. The question is whether MTSU can muster enough offense against a stingy Terps defense.
The line: Maryland by 13.5. | The pick: Maryland 20-10.
Northwestern (1-0) at Duke (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: If the game is tied at the end of regulation, there's no OT. Instead, the captains of each team will be asked to speak extemporaneously on how Kierkegaard's broken engagement to Regine Olsen affected his work.
The line: Northwestern by 6.5. | The pick: Northwestern 30-20.
Northwestern State (La.) (1-0) at Baylor (0-1), 7 p.m.
The buzz: This is an important game for Baylor and not just because the church-affiliated school is hosting a team nicknamed the Demons. If Baylor doesn't win this, finishing 0-12 becomes a legitimate possibility.
The line: No line. | The pick: Baylor 38-17.
Southeastern Louisiana (1-0) at Mississippi State (0-1), 7 p.m.
The buzz: Mississippi State plays its second consecutive opponent from Louisiana. Luckily for the Bulldogs, the Lions aren't nearly as good as Louisiana Tech.
The line: No line. | The pick: Mississippi State 38-10.
Kent State (0-1) at Iowa State (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: Iowa State had five interceptions in last week's victory over Division I-AA South Dakota State; the Cyclones had 10 picks all of last season. Kent State, shut out last week by Boston College, has lost eight games in a row.
The line: Iowa State by 7. | The pick: Iowa State 27-16.
Louisiana Tech (1-0) at Kansas (1-0), 7 p.m., Fox Sports Net
The buzz: Louisiana Tech upset Mississippi State last week. Can the Bulldogs pull off a second consecutive upset of a bowl team from last season? Uh, no.
The line: Kansas by 20.5. | The pick: Kansas 48-20.
USF (1-0) at UCF (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN2
The buzz: This is the final scheduled game in this burgeoning rivalry. Essentially, USF figures it has too much to lose and not enough to gain to keep playing the Knights.
The line: USF by 14. | The pick: USF 24-7.
Tulsa (1-0) at North Texas (0-1), 7 p.m.
The buzz: Both teams love to toss it around. The big difference: Tulsa is going to hit a lot of big plays, North Texas isn't.
The line: Tulsa by 21.5. | The pick: Tulsa 57-28.
Norfolk State (1-0) at Kentucky (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: Kentucky has won 11 consecutive non-conference games. Norfolk's quarterback is Dennis Brown, who transferred from Connecticut.
The line: No line. | The pick: Kentucky 34-10.
Texas Southern (0-1) at Arkansas State (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: Texas Southern has lost 15 in a row and is one of the worst programs in Division I-AA. TSU's quarterback is former Oklahoma State starter Bobby Reid.
The line: No line. | The pick: Arkansas State 51-10.
Western Kentucky (0-1) at Eastern Kentucky (0-1), 7 p.m.
The buzz: This was a big-time I-AA rivalry. Eastern Kentucky, by the way, has had 30 consecutive winning seasons; that's the second-longest current streak in Division I, behind Florida State's 31.
The line: No line. | The pick: Western Kentucky 27-16.
Stephen F. Austin (1-0) at TCU (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: Stephen F. Austin well, let's just say the Lumberjacks aren't that good. They won last week over Langston (Okla.), an NAIA school to snap an 11-game losing streak.
The line: No line. | The pick: TCU 55-13.
Murray State (1-0) at Indiana (1-0), 7 p.m., Big Ten Network
The buzz: Murray State used to be a solid I-AA program. "Used to be" is the operative phrase here.
The line: No line. | The pick: Indiana 56-17.
Southeast Missouri State (1-0) at Missouri (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: This is the second meeting in history. SEMO rallied to win in OT last week against a Division II school.
The line: No line. | The pick: Missouri 63-13.
Houston (1-0) at Oklahoma State (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: The last time these teams met, Houston won in 2006. Oklahoma State's defense did a great job against Washington State last week, holding the Cougars to less than 10 yards on nine of their 12 possessions.
The line: Oklahoma State by 16.5. | The pick: Oklahoma State 41-27.
Montana State (1-0) at Kansas State (1-0), 7 p.m.
The buzz: K-State bought its way out of a game with Fresno State, then signed to play the I-AA Bobcats. Smart move by K-State.
The line: No line. | The pick: Kansas State 45-17.
Minnesota (1-0) at Bowling Green (1-0), 7:30 p.m., ESPNU
The buzz: Bowling Green beat the Gophers in Minneapolis last season. Minnesota was 0-5 on the road last season.
The line: Bowling Green by 6. | The pick: Bowling Green 38-30.
Rice (1-0) at Memphis (0-1), 8 p.m., CBS College Sports
The buzz: Given that Conference USA has six bowl bids, getting to six wins in that league almost guarantees a bowl slot. That makes this game extra important for Memphis, which lost to Ole Miss last week.
The line: Memphis by 3.5. | The pick: Memphis 42-34.
Miami (1-0) at Florida (1-0), 8 p.m., ESPN
The buzz: Florida hasn't beaten Miami since 1985. But the Gators clearly have a talent advantage in this matchup.
The line: Florida by 21.5. | The pick: Florida 35-17.
Texas State (1-0) at SMU (0-1), 8 p.m.
The buzz: SMU looked good in the first quarter last week against Rice. Unfortunately, the game of course lasted four quarters.
The line: No line. | The pick: SMU 42-19.
UNLV (1-0) at Utah (1-0), 8 p.m., The mtn.
The buzz: Last season, Utah followed up an impressive win over UCLA with a pitiful performance in a loss to UNLV. Last week, Utah turned in an impressive win over Michigan. Will history repeat?
The line: Utah by 21.5. | The pick: Utah 38-14.
Texas Tech (1-0) at Nevada (1-0), 9 p.m.
The buzz: Tech is the first Big 12 team to play at Nevada. Last week, Tech scored seven touchdowns and five came on runs.
The line: Texas Tech by 10.5. | The pick: Texas Tech 56-35.
Toledo (0-0) at Arizona (1-0), 10 p.m.
The buzz: Toledo had problems on defense last season, and Arizona's offense behind QB Willie Tuitama is a good one. This might be a make-or-break season for Toledo coach Tom Amstutz.
The line: Arizona by 22.5. | The pick: Arizona 48-24.
Stanford (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0), 10 p.m., Fox Sports Net Arizona/FSN West
The buzz: An interesting early season game in the Pac-10. Stanford's offense showed some life in last week's win over Oregon State. This is the second game in a four-game homestand to open the season for the Sun Devils.
The line: Arizona State by 14. | The pick: Arizona State 31-21.
Texas (1-0) at UTEP (0-1), 10:15 p.m., ESPN2
The buzz: This is the first time Texas ever has played at UTEP. Actually, this is the first time these teams have met since 1933.
The line: Texas by 26. | The pick: Texas 56-24.
Weber State (1-0) at Hawaii (0-1), 11:55 p.m., ESPN GamePlan
The buzz: Hawaii has won eight in a row at home. Inoke Funaki is the new starting quarterback; he was the fourth-stringer about three weeks ago.
The line: No line. | The pick: Hawaii 49-21.

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Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.



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