Our long national nightmare is over. In just three days, two major division college football games will kick off. It’s a light weekend, but a weekend with two college football games is better than a weekend with no college football games.
Since there’s just this pair, we’ll pick both of them for you. You’re welcome (all times Eastern, and lines from Caesar’s in Las Vegas)
Hawaii at Colorado State (-14, 58.0)
Sure, Hawaii has a tendency to not play very well on the mainland. But, with Mike Bobo’s health up in the air, an entire Warriors’ offseason to prepare for the opener, and the substantial losses the Rams endured in the passing game, two-plus touchdowns seems a bit high. But, this is also the time of year where offenses are generally in better form than their defensive counterparts, not that either team has a defense that will scare you. I don’t like the number much, but I do like CSU’s talent, the altitude in Fort Collins, and, ultimately, the over. Let’s call it a push and take the points. If you must pick one, go over: 41-27 Rams
Wyoming at New Mexico State (+3.5, 46.0)
Wyoming should win. The Aggies can easily win. The Aggies made just their fourth bowl appearance ever last season, but also lost their entire backfield and their best receiver to graduation. They do return a veteran OL, so that will ease the pain a bit. The defense is probably going to be the strength of the team early, where the Aggies finished second in the nation last season in sacks (44). The road Cowboys are their mirror image: they lost their best RB to ineligibility, have to replace Josh Allen at QB, and also have a decent veteran OL to balm the offensive losses. Like the Aggies, Wyoming’s defense has taken great steps towards respectability, but is an all-around better unit than their counterparts in Las Cruces. Although Martin and Bohl run two of the most well-honed passing offenses you’ll see, you get the feeling this one will be won by the slight edge in talent by the Cowboys’ secondary and maybe a late punt return touchdown. A very competitive game that’ll be better than the score (and a helluva lot better than the offenses). Let’s call it a backdoor-ish 24-20 cover by Wyoming. I’m only 50% certain here. You could flip a coin and convince me otherwise.