Red Flags: 5 college football teams on upset alert in Week 1

The Red Flags are already waving for these five college football teams in Week 1 of the 2023 season as they're firmly being put on upset alert.
LSU Tigers
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College football fans got their appetizer in Week 0 with a seven-game slate, but now we're kicking it into full gear with Week 1 of the 2023 season. Not only does that mean we get a full Saturday from noon until the middle of the night on Labor Day weekend, but there are also games on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday. Rejoice!

There will be teams in Week 1, however, who aren't rejoicing. There's nothing worse than coming into a season with high hopes for the program and with a spot in the preseason Top 25 rankings only to suffer an upset loss to begin the season. That's not something any of these teams are bracing for, of course, but it's the reality of every college football season.

And once again, the Red Flags are waving around the country, and these five teams earn the dubious honor of being on upset alert and part of our college football upset picks for Week 1 of the 2023 season.

Note: All lines are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook. For more college football odds, picks and predictions, visit BetSided.

College football upset picks for Week 1: 5 teams already on upset alert

5. Tulane Green Wave

Opponent: South Alabama | Time: Saturday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET (ESPNU) | Spread: TULN -6.5

There is every reason to give Willie Fritz and the Tulane Green Wave their flowers for last season. Ending the year with a comeback New Year's Six win over vaunted USC, the Green Wave ultimately finished 12-2 as AAC champions. Now they have to follow it up -- and they actually have every chance to do so in convincing fashion.

Quarterback Michael Pratt, who returned to Tulane after entering the transfer portal briefly amid a myriad of interested parties, is arguably the best Group of 5 quarterback in the country. He returns behind four returning starters on the offensive line and we know that Fritz will have the defense working in high order.

The problem is that the hype from Tulane's 2023 campaign is making them a bit overvalued, especially against a South Alabama Jaguars team that is no slouch in its own right.

Even with a disheartening bowl loss to Western Kentucky, the Jags finished last season 10-3 and now return their leading passer in Carter Bradley, leading rusher in La'Damian Webb and two 800-yard receivers from a year ago as well. This team is better suited on offense with the returning production to challenge Tulane than people are giving them credit for, probably because the Green Wave have a 24 next to them and South Alabama doesn't.

I'm pretty comfortably taking the +6.5 points this week, as is Josh Yourish of BetSided. But if we also see Tulane stumble to find offense early as it copes with the loss of the dynamic Tyjae Spears, the Jaguars are good enough to also pull off the upset.