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Rock Chalk Pick'em: Week 1

We get the crew together to put on their "Expert Prognosticator" caps and decide who is going to win select games of the week, highlighted by the defending national champs.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I'm sure you've seen them everywhere else. You know what I'm talking about, the panels of "experts" who get together to tell you who is going to win various football games each week.  Here at Rock Chalk Talk, we decided that we couldn't let the other guys have all the fun, so we rounded up everyone we could find to give us their predictions for the weekend, starting with the Baylor/SMU game tonight.

All these picks are straight up, not against the spread.  Like my predictions threads from last year, that information is provided to give you the reader an indication of just how big an upset would be if it went down as predicted.  First, we have the picks of the panel, then I'll break down each game itself and give you my usual score prediction.  Look for guest commentors in future editions.

Game Time TV Away Team Home Team Spread (Home) misterbrain mikeville Winmore David "Brad" Grad Fizzle
Fri. 6:00pm ESPN 4 Baylor SMU +36.5 Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor
Sat. 11:00am ESPN 21 Stanford Northwestern +12.0 Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford
Sat. 2:30pm CBSSports Louisville 6 Auburn -10.5 Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn
Sat. 2:30pm ABC Brigham Young Nebraska -6.5 BYU BYU BYU Nebraska Nebraska BYU BYU
Sat. 2:30pm Sam Houston State Texas Tech None Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech Sam Houston
Sat. 2:30pm FOX Virginia 13 UCLA -19.5 UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA
Sat. 3:00pm SECN SE Missouri State 24 Missouri None Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri
Sat. 6:00pm Akron 19 Oklahoma -31.5 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
Sat. 6:00pm ESPN 15 Arizona State Texas A&M -3.5 Texas A&M Arizona State Texas A&M Texas A&M Arizona State Arizona State Arizona state
Sat. 6:10pm South Dakota Kansas State None Kansas State Kansas State Kansas State Kansas State Kansas State South Dakota Kansas State
Sat. 6:30pm NBC Texas 11 Notre Dame -10.0 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Texas
Sat. 6:30pm Georgia Southern West Virginia -19.5 West Virginia West Virginia West Virginia Georgia Southern West Virginia West Virginia West Virginia
Sat. 7:00pm ABC 20 Wisconsin 3 Alabama -10.5 Wisconsin Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama Wisconsin Alabama
Sat. 7:00pm Northern Iowa Iowa State None Iowa State Northern Iowa Iowa State Iowa State Northern Iowa Northern Iowa Iowa State
Mon. 7:00pm ESPN 1 Ohio State Virginia Tech +14.0 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio state

#4 Baylor @ Southern Methodist

Do I really need to get too far into this one?  I'm confident in saying that SMU is improved from last year, but that isn't really that difficult, and Baylor is still going to be one of the best teams in the nation.  Baylor 64, SMU 17

#21 Stanford @ Northwestern

In the early slot to open the season, Stanford struggles with the time difference, but settles in after a rocky first half.  There just isn't enough talent on the Wildcat squad to capitalize on some early momentum.  Stanford 27, Northwestern 17

Louisville @ #6 Auburn

Auburn is ranked highly for many reasons, and not all of them have to do with the fact they are in the SEC. Despite the fact that Auburn never seems to be able to handle lofty pre-season expectations, I don't expect them to come close to falling apart this early in the year.  Auburn 24, Louisville 13.

Brigham Young @ Nebraska

I'm looking forward to this game a whole lot, and not just because I'm LDS and a fan of BYU.  This looks to be one of the more evenly matched games of the day, and while Nebraska is looking to build on a solid campaign from last year, BYU has even more to look forward to this year.  BYU steals one on the road. BYU 28, Nebraska 27.

Sam Houston State @ Texas Tech

Not much to say about this one.  An overmatched opponent comes in to play a mid tier power conference team.  Said power conference team notches a fairly easy victory. Texas Tech 35, Sam Houston State 9.

Virginia @ #13 UCLA

Despite just now getting a full-size practice field - temporarily - the Bruins should have no problem running up and down the field on Virginia.  UCLA 42, Virginia 17.

SE Missouri State @ #24 Missouri

I can't bring myself to say anything good about the Tigers, so all I will say is that there will NOT be a freak tornado that demolishes the football stadium, trapping the team inside the locker room for two weeks and causing them to forfeit their first two games.  Missouri 48, SEMO 3

Akron @ #19 Oklahoma

Oklahoma gets a nice tune-up to get them ready for Tennessee next week. Oklahoma 52, Akron 13.

#15 Arizona State @ Texas A&M

I'm not really sold on either of these teams coming into the year, but someone has to win this game.  My guess is that the home team does just enough to get the victory, failing to cover the spread when they break a late tie with a last second field goal. Texas A&M 27, Arizona State 24.

South Dakota @ Kansas State

See Texas Tech. Kansas State 38, South Dakota 3.

Texas @ #11 Notre Dame

The Irish look to actually be pretty good this year, and while Texas is going to be improved, I don't think they added quite enough to pull this game out.  If they were playing at home, then I might be tempted to pick them in the upset, but I think they wear out in the 4th quarter and the Notre Dame pulls away in a game that looks more lopsided than it actually was. Notre Dame 34, Texas 17.

Georgia Southern @ West Virginia

West Virginia looks to stay on the scene after their coming-out party last year, and a cupcake game is a good way to build some early confidence.  West Virginia 31, Georgia Southern 14

#20 Wisconsin @ #3 Alabama.

The only game between two ranked teams all weekend long, and this one appears to be a doozy.  Wisconsin will have another strong team this year, and while Alabama will be fighting tooth and nail in a stacked SEC West this year, they have the talent to turn this one into a laugher if they are hitting on all cylinders.  That being said, Wisconsin pulls a stunner and gets a huge resume-building win. Wisconsin 31, Alabama 27.

Northern Iowa @ Iowa State

Can Iowa State get the year started right after a dismal campaign last year?  Northern Iowa seems to be good at pushing them, but I think they get it done. Iowa State 20, Northern Iowa 17 (OT)

#1 Ohio State @ Virginia Tech

Tech will be looking to start another season with a win against the Buckeyes, but this Ohio State team is just too deep and talented.  Ohio State lets them hang around a little too long for comfort, but ultimately puts them away.  Ohio State 27, Virigina Tech 14

Feel like you can do better picking the games than our "experts"?  It's not too late to join us for next week.  Shoot me an email and you can see your name up here for the rest of the season.