Josh Kendall

Great slate of games this weekend

Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers host Clemson on Saturday night at Jordan Hare Stadium.
Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers host Clemson on Saturday night at Jordan Hare Stadium. USA TODAY Sports

The best opening weekend in college football history? Maybe. Either way, we’ve got you covered with the point spreads guaranteed to be right some of the time. Once again this year, I’ll keep track of how I do straight up and against the spread.

Enjoy the weekend.

South Alabama at Mississippi State (minus-28.5)

Why is this game on the list when there are so many awesome games on the slate? Because not only are the Bulldogs the next opponent for South Carolina, but South Alabama backup quarterback Evan Orth is the brother of Gamecocks starter Perry Orth and is sure to be passing along whatever he might learn about the Mississippi State defense.

Straight: Mississippi State

Against the spread: South Alabama

UMass at Florida (minus-36)

There’s no real need for anybody to watch this game other than Florida and South Carolina fans, and the only reason Gamecocks fans should be interested is because they’ll play both teams later this season. Still, it might be hard to watch. UMass is terrible. If the Gators’ new starting quarterback (Luke Del Rio) plays well, they’ll cover easy.

Straight: Florida

ATS: Florida

Clemson (minus-7.5) at Auburn

The upstate Tigers don’t have to wait long to see how they’re going to bounce back from last year’s tough title game loss. Auburn’s defense, which is under its third coordinator in three years, still is struggling, but the bigger problem for Auburn is its offense is no longer good enough to make up for it. Auburn quarterback Sean White isn’t going to scare any opponents, or encourage any of his team’s fans.

Straight: Clemson

ATS: Clemson

Southern Cal vs. Alabama (minus-11.5)

The Crimson Tide’s dominance is starting to get boring for everyone other than Alabama fans. The Crimson Tide is breaking in a new starting quarterback for the third consecutive season. We’re just not sure who it will be. Cooper Bateman or Blake Barnett will start, Nick Saban has said, but Jalen Hurts is the guy everyone wants to see get in the game at some point this year.

Straight: Alabama

ATS: Alabama

North Carolina vs. Georgia (minus-3)

This is a “neutral site” game in the Georgia Dome. The Bulldogs will start incumbent Greyson Lambert, and might play true freshman Jacob Eason. They could play you or me at quarterback if Nick Chubb is back to his old self. Chubb is healthy after last year’s season-ending knee injury, but will he be the same player? If he is, he’ll roll through a Tar Heels rushing defense that finished No. 122 in the nation last year.

Straight: Georgia

ATS: Georgia

UCLA at Texas A&M (minus-3)

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, as talented a talker as he is a thrower (and he’s a good thrower), almost slighted Kyle Field by saying he didn’t believe the volume produced by Aggie fans would be a problem. Texas A&M fans, of course, were terribly offended and have promised to rupture the dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate’s ear drums Saturday. The Bruins are pretty good, and the Aggies are still a question mark.

Straight: Texas A&M


LSU (minus-10.5) vs. Wisconsin

The city of Green Bay, Wis., which is hosting this game in Lambeau Field is a little worried about hauling in enough booze to satiate Tiger and Badger fans and what carnage might ensue if two of college football’s most notorious fan bases drink the town dry. If the city can survive that, it should be a pretty good game as we’ll start to find out if the Tigers are for real this year.

Straight: LSU

ATS: Wisconsin

Oklahoma (minus-11) vs. Houston

This game will be played in Houston at the Texans’ NRG Stadium, but it’s still likely to feel like a Sooners home game. If the Cougars can win this game, they could make a run at the College Football Playoff. This is a big game for Houston coach Tom Herman to prove his team wasn’t a one-year wonder.

Straight: Oklahoma

ATS: Houston

Notre Dame (minus-3.5) at Texas

Last year, Notre Dame embarrassed the Longhorns in South Bend, Ind. If it happens again in Austin, Texas, this year, Charlie Strong can start shopping around for defensive coordinator jobs at the end of the season. Strong is 11-14 at Texas, and the only thing that has endeared him to Longhorn fans so far is thumping Oklahoma last year. That’s not going to last long if he has another sub-.500 year.

Straight: Notre Dame

ATS: Notre Dame

Mississippi vs. Florida State (minus-4.5)

Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook is one of the best offensive players in the country, and Ole Miss feels like a team on the brink of collapse with an ongoing NCAA investigation and the loss of lots of talent from last year’s team.

Straight: Florida State

ATS: Florida State