A triple-header? CFSL after dark? Folks, you are in for a real treat tonight. Lets see what our panel has to say about tonights games.
TOM PENCE predictions
Oregon 31, Michigan 34
This looks to be a classic shootout in a BIG 10 conference opener for both teams. Team with the ball last could be the winner and both teams have to start with a win in what looks to be a tight conference.
Clemson 14, LSU 28
It’s hard to imagine that Clemson is in rebuild mode, but that is what they are in with a new AD this season. LSU is in their first season back but have a lot of talent and an AD with a knack for winning season openers as of late.
FLORIDA STATE 24, ALABAMA 21
Alabama looked very good in their first season in the CFSL last season. Florida State is a new team for this season, but have Veterans in key positions which helps them in key matchups for this one. The loss of Joe Pantoja will be a step back for Alabama and an adjustment they will have to make. To add to that this is a week one SEC matchup.
JIMBO SMITHERS PREDICTIONS
Oregon 41, Michigan 24
Oregon is looking to have one of the most explosive offenses in the country. Tickle will be their main man tonight. He will have 4 touchdowns to propel the offense. On the other side of the ball, Cai Brummer will lead the charge, look out for a kick return touchdown as well as an interception from him.
LSU 38, Clemson 17
The Youngbloods. These two freshmen are sensational. However, one team can only feed so many mouths. The star today will be Colt. Clemson will have no answers, and he will keep pounding the ball more and more all day long. Will Slay is one of the most talented players on the field, so we’ll see if he can make it happen by himself in the backfield.
FLORIDA STATE 27, ALABAMA 30
This is going to be the best matchup of the week. Alabama loses talent on offense with the departure of Joe Pantoja, as well as all their receivers. Balion Siege will be their key guy on offense, and FSU has the team to stop it. The game-changer here is Vidar Lund. A power back similar to Frost Carlson, he will need to lead the Seminole offense and create huge plays.
Oregon 24, Michigan 20
Oregon added a tenacious duo to their WR corps in Bugsy Bates and Dee Frost, put your money on these two to run wild this season. While Michigan still has seasoned WR George Pipino, I still like Oregon’s chances at this one. Michigan just doesn’t impress me right NOW. A lot can happen in a season, but Oregon looks better to me on paper. Michigan keeps this one close.
LSU 42, Clemson 21
The SCE has risen again, LSU, a crowd favorite returns to the CFSL once again. This time under significantly improved management by RussellMania. It was evident in the offseason signings of the Youngblood’s, LSU will be a force. Even though Gage seemed a little off in the Army-Navy game, I fully expect LSU to get the kinks worked out and win this one maybe a little sloppy, but outright. Expect a couple of turnovers by the Youngblood’s that Clemson is unable to capitalize on. Clemson needs some momentum, this one might be a game you look at for nothing else than moral victories and limit them as much as possible.
FLORIDA STATE 24, ALABAMA 34
Alabama has proven they’re instantly contenders in the SEC this season, but the additions of LSU and Florida State, and the move of Texas to the Big Ten this offseason leaves the conference-wide open for grabs. Alabama was too one-dimensional last season and it showed late, which is why I think the scheme change will be just what they need to catapult them forward. Florida State has the obvious feel-good storyline to it, lovable guy Tom Pence makes his debut, the spear is resurrected, and of course, the defense will be ferocious. Needless to say, I’m excited about this one.
CONNOR RUSSELL PREDICTIONS
Oregon 24, Michigan 21
Another close game on the slate here. Both sides are extremely evenly matched, but I give Oregon an edge in this one. Their new QB Axton Richardson deserves way more hype than he is getting right now. Expect him to show out and put his name into the FOTY race right in game one. One big question I have for Michigan is are they going to pass as heavily as in seasons past? Pipino is a star, plain and simple. Getting the ball to him as much as possible is in their best interests. If he has a big game, watch out.
Clemson 0, LSU 1000000
WE WINNING BABY, WE WINNING – Connor Russell, 2020, On an unbiased review of Clemson v. LSU S7
FLORIDA STATE 28, ALABAMA 21
Florida State should be a moderate favorite to win this game, as well as one of the main teams poised for a playoff run out of the SEC. Their defense is spectacular, with All-American talent everywhere. Their only question mark is how much they can get out of a freshman signal-caller with unproven receivers. Alabama has some similar issues, though their quarterback’s play will be stellar all year. In the end, the linebacking corps of FSU will help limit the running game in a closer victory than the score indicates.
Oregon 52, Michigan 24
Oregon has all the offense in the world and their defense is better than it’s been in years past. Michigan has some great offensive talents but rhymes aren’t built to keep up with Oregon’s air attack.
LSU 35, Clemson 13
LSU will play its first game since Season 2 while Clemson will play its first game with a new AD. LSU has the best group of freshmen in the league and those guys will look to do work against Clemson. Expect The Youngblood’s and Tidwell to carve up the offense while FS Odinheim and Co hold QB Will Slay in check.
FLORIDA STATE 20, ALABAMA 24
Florida State comes into its first game in the league as the favorite but they still have a lot to prove. This Alabama team is not one to be doubted. They gave their offense a more balanced look this off-season and are ready to once again prove that the Tide should not be overlooked.
Oregon 41, Michigan 34
Both of these teams have a shot to be in the playoffs this season and these are two of the teams with the most question marks. Both teams have young, unheralded defenses and both teams bring in freshman Quarterbacks after the departure of Devonta Cribbs and Dewey Ainge to the NFL. Last season, these were two of the higher scoring teams in the league and both featured deadly passing attacks. I don’t see that changing now. Expect both offenses to be explosive in a shootout. I think Oregon RB Jimmy Tickle makes a difference in this game and exposes a young Wolverine defense.
Clemson 28, LSU 35
What to make of this one, new AD Clutch takes over at Clemson and AD Russell leads the revival of the LSU program. No doubt the Tigers have some talented players coming back, but with a new AD brings new challenges, including having a walk on RB to start the season after failing to sign one in recruiting. The Tigers will lean heavily on Will Slay, which may not be a good thing to be that predictable. The other Tigers from the Bayou, are young but have arguably the best young core in the league, with the offensive trio of Gage and Colt Youngblood in the backfield in addition to wide receiver JoJo Tidwell out wide. Martavis Marriott is the perfect captain for this young defense. Expect a lot of firepower out of LSU in this one as they try to prove that they are young but contenders and that LSU is in fact back in business.
FLORIDA STATE 31, ALABAMA 24
Florida State makes its return with AD Grin at the helm, who had a lot of success as a coordinator at Ohio State. The Seminole offense is untested but they get a boost from transfers in halfback Vidar Lund and tight end Monte Jones. The Crimson Tide offense is unknown as well, only returning signal-caller Balion Siege and tight end Houston Freeman from a good team last year. This game will be a battle of the defenses as both are very talented and both have a player of the year candidates in Tom Pence (Florida State) and Lamar Fant (Alabama). Whoever makes the plays on defense will win. I like Florida State in their first game back in the CFSL.
OREGON 44, MICHIGAN 24
New faces highlight this Big10 battle. Gone are players like Dewey Ainge and DeVonta Cribbs. Enter in Tanner Jones and Axton Richardson. Both of these new QBs are making their debuts tonight without much fanfare. Which new QB can help build the foundation for a playoff run? The Ducks look the part with Richardson and Jimmy Tickle returning in the backfield. Bugsy Bates and Dee Frost should find space against a 4-3 defense that Michigan runs. The Wolverines, on the other hand, look to get on track after a couple of down seasons. I take the Ducks tonight in a blowout.
LSU 55, Clemson 17
The Tiger bowl starts tonight with the LSU Tigers returning to the CFSL against the perennial power of Clemson. Clemson, the season four champions, look to their new AD in Clutch and face a monster of an opponent. LSU enters tonight with the twins, Colt and Gage, running the show out of the backfield. The LSU Tigers have enough ammo on offense and defense and should win easily. Will Slay returns for Clemson with a walkon running back and one corner. Can the Clemson Tigers make this game respectful? Or will LSU win their first game in four seasons?
FSU 37, Alabama 34
This is going to be the best game of tonight and maybe this week. FSU returns to the CFSL under the helm of Grin, who helped lead OSU to the playoffs the past two seasons. He is going up against an Alabama team that needs some confidence after last season’s meltdown. Balion Siege will be the Tides offense this season as the Colorado playbook could present some difficulties if not ran correctly. FSU will lean on Vidar Lund and his rushing attack as the Seminoles look to capture the Frost Carlson magic of last season. I see FSU winning this game in overtime.
David Roy’s Predictions:
oregon 34, michigan 31
While the Wolverines have been able to upgrade their talent, the replacement of Dewey Ainge isn’t easy and freshman signal-caller Tanner Jones will have to do just that. Unfortunately, so will Oregon’s quarterback in Axton Richardson, but he’s got a veteran arsenal in tailback Jimmy Tickle with good young weapons and I think that will play a pivotal role in a mistake-filled game.
CLEMSON 20, LSU 42
The lack of a true running game for the Clemson Tigers, and some of their vacancies on defense tell me that LSU will have a really big game. It also tells me that freshman halfback Colt Youngblood, who made a quick exit in the Army-Navy All-American game, will be rushing recklessly through the Clemson defense and should have a big game tonight.
Florida State 35, alabama 21
I know there’s love for Alabama, I know that they made the playoffs last season. But they struggled down the stretch last season but, the offense has added to their arsenal. However, the Florida State defense is no joke, and so I anticipate Alabama will struggle to score at moments and they may need their defense to score on occasion. Overall, I feel the advantage is in the favor of the Seminoles.