College football Week 1 picks, predictions for every Top 25 game

College football Week 1 picks for Florida State vs. LSU, Utah vs. Florida, UNC vs. South Carolina and every Top 25 game on the schedule.

Florida State v LSU
Florida State v LSU / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Turn off your phone, make your friends worry about your well-being, fire up the grill and get ready for the fall tradition unlike any other -- college football is fully back as Week 1 of the 2023 season is finally, at long last, upon us.

The Week 1 college football slate is headlined by three or four games, though there is only one ranked-vs-ranked matchup on the schedule to open the season with No. 5 LSU facing No. 8 Florida State in Orlando, a rematch of last season. Beyond that, we have a battle for Carolina between UNC and South Carolina in Charlotte, but the week also gets started on Thursday night with No. 14 Utah hosting Florida.

It's a loaded slate and, as we'll do every week, we're here with college football Week 1 picks for every Top 25 game. We picked all seven games in Week 0 and went 6-1, so let's keep it moving straight-up with our predictions for this week.

College football Week 1 picks for every Top 25 game

  • Florida vs. 14 Utah (Aug. 31, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN) - Winner: Utah
  • East Carolina vs. 2 Michigan (Sept. 2, Noon ET, Peacock) - Winner: Michigan
  • Virginia vs. 12 Tennessee (Sept. 2, Noon ET, ABC) - Winner: Tennessee
  • Colorado vs. 17 TCU (Sept. 2, Noon ET, FOX) - Winner: TCU
  • Arkansas State vs. 20 Oklahoma (Sept. 2, Noon ET, ESPN) - Winner: Oklahoma
  • Utah State vs. 25 Iowa (Sept. 2, Noon ET, FS1) - Winner: Iowa
  • Mercer vs. 22 Ole Miss (Sept. 2, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+/SECN+) - Winner: Ole Miss
  • Portland State vs. 15 Oregon (Sept. 2, 3 p.m. ET, PAC12) - Winner: Oregon
  • 3 Ohio State vs. Indiana (Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) - Winner: Ohio State
  • Boise State vs. 10 Washington (Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) - Winner: Washington
  • Rice vs. 11 Texas (Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) - Winner: Texas
  • Tennessee State vs. 13 Notre Dame (Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC) - Winner: Notre Dame
  • Buffalo vs. 19 Wisconsin (Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET, FS1) - Winner: Wisconsin
  • UT Martin vs. 1 Georgia (Sept. 2, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+/SECN+) - Winner: Georgia
  • Nevada vs. 6 USC (Sept. 2, 6:30 p.m. ET, PAC12) - Winner: USC
  • SE Missouri vs. 16 Kansas Sate (Sept. 2, 7 p.m. ET, BIG12/ESPN+) - Winner: K-State
  • New Mexico vs. 23 Texas A&M (Sept. 2, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN) - Winner: Texas A&M
  • MTSU vs. 4 Alabama (Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m. ET, SECN) - Winner: Alabama
  • 21 North Carolina vs. South Carolina (Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC) - Winner: North Carolina
  • West Virginia vs. 7 Penn State (Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC) - Winner: Penn State
  • South Alabama vs. 24 Tulane (Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU) - Winner: South Alabama
  • 18 Oregon State vs. San Jose State (Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) - Winner: Oregon State
  • 5 LSU vs. 8 Florida State (Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC) - Winner: Florida State
  • 9 Clemson vs. Duke (Sept. 3, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN) - Winner: Clemson

2023 College Football Picks Record (After Week 0): 6-1

Given the level of some of these matchups, it shouldn't be a surprise that we're not calling for a ton of upsets. We do have No. 24 Tulane going down against a South Alabama team that was much closer to the Green Wave last year than people might realize and didn't lose Tyjae Spears this offseason to the NFL.

Beyond that, we of course have the three marquee matchups of the week, starting with Utah and Florida on Thursday night. Frankly, I'm not trusting Graham Mertz until he proves to me he's worthy of such a thing -- even if Cam Rising isn't on the field for the Utes.

Meanwhile, we'll have College GameDay in Charlotte this week for North Carolina and South Carolina, but in terms of a side, I'm trusting the better quarterback in Drake Maye. And frankly, this is a homer pick for a guy who believes there's only ever been one true Carolina and it's blue as can be.

And finally, give me Florida State to beat LSU for the second straight year in the biggest game of Week 1. Jordan Travis is a more trusted playmaker than Jayden Daniels and, in addition to that, the Tigers defense could have some issues in the secondary, a unit build largely in the portal, matched up against the NFL-caliber talent that Mike Norvell is going to throw at them for 60 minutes.

Next. CFB Rankings: FanSided preseason Top 25. College Football Rankings: FanSided preseason Top 25. dark