NCAA College Football hath returned for yet another season of every other team statistically doomed to being dispatched by the University of Alabama. The Badger Herald Sports section is happy to return its weekly double feature that highlights the biggest games outside of Madison each Saturday.
For any fellow College Football junkies or sarcastic pessimists out there, feel free to chime in and tweet any questions, comments or requests to @BHeraldSports for the column going forward.
FAU (0-1) at No.9 Wisconsin (1-0)
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
When: 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9
Line: Wisconsin (-32.0)
Hayes: Notoriously sneaky FAU head coach Lane Kiffin returns to college football with his fifth team in nine years in a battle with the No. 9 Badgers in Madison this Saturday. If the Badgers play to their second-half potential from last weekend it shouldn’t be much of a race, but the tables could turn at any moment if one of offensive genius Joey Freshwater’s signature trick plays surfaces anywhere in Madison. It should also be noted that our nation’s Naval Academy defeated the Owls 42-19 on land last Saturday.
Wisconsin 34, FAU 3
Geistlinger: It might not feel like an away game for Florida Atlantic when the hurricane that is the University of Wisconsin football team hits the gridiron Saturday. Look for another lopsided game and a Pick 6 or two for the Big Red as they go 2-0.
Wisconsin 55, FAU 11
No. 5 Oklahoma (1-0) at No.2 Ohio State (1-0)
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9
TV: ABC & WatchESPN (Streaming)
Line: Ohio State (-7.0)
Hayes: In part two of a home-and-home series between two of college football’s signature, brand name programs, No. 5 Oklahoma takes on No. 2 Ohio State as the visitor, looking to avenge last season’s 45-24 embarrassment in Norman … good luck.
Ohio State 52, Oklahoma 35
Geistlinger: Ohio State 38, Oklahoma 21
No. 13 Auburn (1-0) at No.3 Clemson (1-0)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9
TV: ESPN & WatchESPN (Streaming)
Line: Clemson (-5.0)
Hayes: Despite the parents of every Clemson football player persisting as the only people in the country who believed the Tigers could actually defeat Alabama in last year’s College Football Playoff title game, they were right. But defeating two ranked teams from the state of Alabama in consecutive games is almost as likely as a 2017 Clemson team missing QB Deshaun Watson, WR Mike Williams, RB Wayne Gallman repeating as national champs.
Auburn 27, Clemson 24
Geistlinger: Although Clemson defeated Alabama last season, this was statistical anomaly unaccounted for by the engineer Nick Saban in his pre-game preparation. However, any win against the best program in college football demands respect, so Clemson will cover this week.
Clemson 35, Auburn 26
No. 14 Stanford (1-0) at No.6 USC (1-0)
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, LA, California
When: 7:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 9
Line: USC (-6.0)
Geistlinger: This throwdown pits the Stanford Cardinal against the Trojans of Southern California as both teams look to rebound after disappointing 2016 seasons. With lineups full of the west coast’s top football specimens and student bodies stocked with the country’s richest nerds, this matchup will set the tone in the Pac 12, and go a long way toward determining which team will be quashed senseless by Alabama in the Playoff Semifinal. Look for a low scoring game and a cover for Stanford.
USC 25, Stanford 23
Hayes: USC 38, Stanford 28
No. 15 Georgia (1-0) at No. 24 Notre Dame (1-0)
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
When: 6:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 9
Line: Notre Dame (-4.0)
Hayes: Unlike Saturday’s matchup in Columbus, the 6:30 p.m. battle in South Bend features two of the most overrated programs in college football, at least per SEC Country. While the Georgia Bulldogs hold the title of most overrated team over the past decade, the No. 15 team in the nation four-point underdog heading into Saturday returning a healthy RB Nick Chubb alongside the second-best recruiting class in the nation could considered an insult. Meanwhile, Notre Dame returns a 4-8 team from a season ago without star QB DeShone Kizer.
Georgia 24, Notre Dame 20
Geistlinger: Georgia 30, Notre Dame 9