Here's the real key: if LSU can be consistent with the quarterback play(re: no turnovers), they have the size to wear out Oregon even though they may give up something in the speed department. However, QB play at LSU is anything but consistent. Couple that with all the distractions (yes, Oregon has their own but not nearly as pressing) and the advantage goes to Oregon. Some will call it an upset but that's not giving the Ducks enough credit. They are as solid a national title contender as exists in college football this season.
Oregon 24, LSU 21
Utah State @ #23 Auburn
The 2010 National Champions will be sporting a new look with over 30 players gone from last year's team. They'll use this game against the Utah State Aggies to tune up the band for Mississippi State next week. The Aggies are no pushover but they are also no match for SEC speed - or blistering heat.
Auburn 44, Utah State 20
#20 Mississippi State @ Memphis (Thursday)
MSU gets a tune up before facing Auburn next week.
Mississippi State 33, Memphis 10
Western Kentucky @ Kentucky (Thursday)
Western Kentucky hasn't had much to brag about on the football field. Everything that Kentucky had to brag about graduated last year. Joker Phillips and company get off to a good start in 2011 with this easy opener.
Kentucky 35, Western Kentucky 16
Kent State @ #2 Alabama
Expectations are high again for Alabama. Too bad there's zero buzz for this game. The Tide get a test next week. This week's is open book and virtually optional.
Alabama 38, Kent State 7
Brigham Young @ Ole Miss
Ole Miss is going to have their hands full with the newly independent BYU Cougars. Houston Nutt needs a big win to start the season, lower the flames on the hot seat, and he's known for pulling out one of those when he needs it most. BYU is probably a better team but I like Ole Miss' chances at home with Nutt's aforementioned luck.
Ole Miss 26, BYU 24