With the amount of arguing that can go on between Utes, Cougars and other fans, I decided it was time to back the talk up. So I’ve instituted a weekly College Football pick ‘em, where TornBySports writers will be picking their local winners and losers and posting them to the site. A written record for when they start arguing who is the best.
Michigan at Utah
Grant: 21-27 Utah. As much as Michigan fans have said their stadium size, basketball arena size, and history will win this game for them, they are wrong. Ask Alabama how that line of thinking worked in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Harbaugh may be a great coach, but his team is still learning everything he wants to implement which will lead to a Utah win!
Todd: 31-14 Utah. It’s the pleats… in the pants… It will take at least a season for crazy ole Jim Harbaugh to make an impact with Michigan. The Utah defense is not a good first test for a team without a set QB and a new coaching staff. Not bad for cupcakes.
Steve: 28-10 Utah. Why not repeat the score from last year? New coach, new system, new quarterback for Blue but same nasty defense for Utah. The loads of hype and national attention will lead to a physical and possibly sloppy game, which favors the Utes who have a punishing RB in Booker and knock-out defense.
Justin: 27-24 Utah. I have seen Utah play too many close games (see last seasons schedule) to be confident that this is an easy win for Utah as many people have said. The defense should be good as always, but what do we get from the Utah offense this year? Utah won 26-10 last season. Michigan will be better this year and anxious to prove that they can be a national power again. Utah sneaks through with a close win at home.
Patrick: 35-13 Utah. Utah’s offense has something to prove, somewhat of a proverbial chip on their shoulder and Michigan’s offense can’t hang with Utah’s defense. Harbaugh and Co won’t be able to handle how loud Rice Eccles is going to be along with the elevation and Coach Whittingham ALWAYS gets his team up for big games. It’s going to be a hard fought game but I think Utah is going to prove to be too much for Michigan to handle.
Aaron: 31-21 Utah. Cupcake game, right? How any publication can think Michigan is anywhere above Utah in terms of where this program stands, is beyond me. Much like Grant mentioned, history doesn’t win games today. BYU fans should take this to heart sometimes. However, as things stand right now, Michigan doesn’t have a good offense, and Utah is just a better team.
Chesh: 27-16 Utah. I see this one being close. No, I don’t think Harbaugh can come in right away and make an immediate impact like he did in San Francisco, but I also don’t think this Utah team is much different than they were last season. They will struggle to throw the football, but will be able to ride the Devontae Booker train. I also see the defense and/or special teams getting a score.
Brett: 22-16 Utah. Michigan has a great defense, especially against the run. While they don’t have plenty of NFL stars (like Bosa at Ohio State) they have a good group what will limit Booker like they did last year (34 yards kids. THIRTY FOUR). Utah has a defense that is a notorious pass rushing defense. With Michigan not knowing who is playing QB, guys like Hunter Dimick should get in the back field and frustrate them. Harbaugh should know better that if you have two QBs, you don’t have one. Tom Hackett and Andy Phillips will be the difference makers. If Hackett can pin down Michigan deep, they will struggle going the entire length of the field.
Dave: 54-17 Utah wins. Lets face it, this is a Brady Hoke team with a different coach. it’ll take a couple of games, if not a full season, for Khakis to get everyone on the same page. Utah QB Travis Wilson will have a great game that will lead him into a great season, Wilson no longer has Dres “No Hands McGee” Anderson to drop easy and important passes and Dave “I’m a Douche” Christensen living between his ears, Travis has confidence again and it will show.. Oh and Wilson has a bad ass running back in Booker. Michigan, allegedly has a good defense… I guess we’ll see on the 3rd.
Devin: 23-17, Utah. I’m still not sold that Harbaugh is the savior for Michigan, and even if he is, it’s not happening in his first season. Expect a defensive battle while teams work out the kinks on offense. The home crowd helps the Utes get it done in a fun season opener.
John: 27-20, Utah. Michigan has some kinks to work out with their new coach.
BYU at Nebraska
Grant: 24-21 BYU. Two teams with unknown suspensions. One team with a new coaching staff. Makes this game a difficult game to pick. However, I think Taysom’s playmaking ability wins the game for BYU in a close one.
Todd: 42-27 BYU. Just like with Harbaugh, Nebraska is going to have an adjustment under new coach Mike Riley. Nebraska lost a lot of key pieces from last year as well. They will miss Amer Abdullah a lot this year.
Steve: 31-24 BYU. This game will be…weird. Both schools will be missing a lot of key players due to suspensions and injuries. The Cornhuskers suspended 5 players for this game due to team rule violations. They also have key injuries at WR, and trying to run against the Cougars is usually no easy task. BYU has their own injuries and suspensions, but guess who will be playing…Taysom Hill. He’ll be the difference as BYU wins in Lincoln.
Justin: 45-35 BYU. There are always so many unknowns with the first game of the season. Will Taysom be as prolific as last season? I think so. Will the defense be as bad as last year? I don’t see why not. I expect the scoring to be high on both sides of the ball. The good things BYU has going for them is their recent success against the running game and that Nebraska no longer has Ameer Abdullah in the backfield. If (big IF) the BYU secondary can limit the big plays then BYU wins, but still gives up 35 points.
Aaron: 34-27 BYU. First game mistakes don’t show BYU’s full potential in this one. While BYU’s defense still isn’t something I’m comfortable relying upon, the offensive side of the ball is a different story. I think BYU is too good offensively, and good enough defensively to outscore an adjusting Nebraska team. The loss of Abdullah is a tough one for the Cornhuskers, as is Williams for BYU. Taysom makes all the difference for BYU. He is just that good
Chesh: 27-23 BYU. This one is difficult for me. The Cougars traditionally don’t play well on the first road game of the season, despite what happened at UConn last season. This is Lincoln. Also, if the offensive line can’t protect Taysom Hill and he has to run wild, I think that will take a toll. Especially if it leads to three and outs. I’m still not sold on the defense. I know Bronco has “taken over”, but Nick Howell is still on staff. So naturally, I still don’t trust the defense. It’ll take the Cougars a while to get rolling but I think they pull it off late.
Brett: 42-38 BYU. I want to say Nebraska. I really do. I have no faith in the defense to contain Tommy Armstrong. Tommy Armstrong is Nebraska’s version of Taysom Hill and he could use a game like this to have a breakout game. Taysom is the game difference, unless he gets injured. Then the “Chosen One” Tanner Magnum will make his debut.
Dave: 34-31 Nebraska wins. I hope I’m wrong but I believe bronco won’t have his team ready for this game… Taysom Hill for BYU will be awesome as usual but will his receivers and defense show up? This game will be close throughout however Nebraska will score a TD late and thus ending BYU’s perfect season.
Devin: 27-24, Nebraska. I think BYU is the smart pick here, but you never know what to expect in the first game of the season. I’m taking a chance on the Huskers in an evenly matched game.
John: 28-21, BYU. This comes down to which quarterback performs better, and while I like Tommy Armstrong, I like Taysom Hill more.
Southern Utah at Utah State
Grant: 42-13 Utah State
Todd: 48-7 Utah State. Talk about cupcakes. Utah State will win going away and we will see if Chuckie Keeton is back to form like they claim
Steve: 38-13 Utah State. No need to play Aggies’ star LB Nick Vigil both ways in this one.
Justin: 42-10 USU. Keeton will enjoy a nice week against SUU in his first game back. He will play the 1st half and maybe a few drives in the 3rd. I would get the backup QB as many game reps as possible… just in case.
Chesh: Uhhh, seriously? Aggies roll. 53-10
Brett: 52-7 USU. Well, I guess we found the Hostess Cupcake Game of the Week
Dave: 64-3 Utah St. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Devin: 48–6, Utah State. Chuckie’s back! Congrats on the win, Aggies!
John: 42-7, Utah State. And that’s because USU decides to show some mercy in the 4th quarter.