The USA TODAY Sports college football staff — Paul Myerberg, George Schroeder, Erick Smith, Eddie Timanus and Dan Wolken — weighs in with some bold predictions for Week 1 of the college football season:
UCLA and Josh Rosen will have a coming-out party at Texas A&M’s expense. That would be bad news for Kevin Sumlin. But it would be a long time coming for the Bruins, who are fresh off a humbling 4-8 season, and for Rosen, the phenomenal talent who suffered through injuries in 2016. I have Jim Mora’s bunch as a potential breakout team coming out of the Pac-12. Let’s ignore that they’ve burned me (and others) before.
The hype around Tanner Lee’s debut at Nebraska has been building for a while. The transfer from Tulane brings a reputation as an elite talent, and he now faces the pressure of leading a program desperate for a return to glory. How that unfolds is anyone’s guess. But in the opener against Arkansas State, Lee will look like a star. Heisman watch lists after Week 1 — and yeah, people do those — will feature Lee.
Much has been made this offseason about the job status of Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin. Neither has an easy task in the opening game of their make-or-break campaigns.
Added to that, both teams are playing away from home with inexperience at quarterback. Look for the Volunteers to struggle defending the Georgia Tech option attack and fall to the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. The Aggies will get tripped up by Josh Rosen and UCLA in the Rose Bowl.
The pressure will be on both coaches to turn things around quickly.
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SOURCE: USA Today Sports