- Phil Steele, ESPN Insider
Each week during the 2013 college football season I will offer up my picks and scores for the five biggest games, in addition to predicting a handful of other key matchups.
Week 1 is finally here and there are several games that will have an impact on the race for the BCS championship. Here are my picks for the first week of the 2013 season.
No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs at No. 8 Clemson Tigers
Saturday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m. ET, ABC
The marquee game of the week showcases two top-10 teams equipped with high-powered offenses. Georgia returns nine starters from an offense that averaged nearly 38 points per game, including All-SEC performers at quarterback (Aaron Murray) and running back (Todd Gurley). On the other side, Clemson has quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins back from a unit that averaged 41 points per game (PPG) a year ago.
The Tigers do have the experience edge on the defensive side with six returning starters compared to just three for Georgia, but I rate the Bulldogs just as talented. The teams last met in 2003, which was a 30-0 Georgia win and marked the last time the Tigers were shut out in a game, a span of 128 contests.
Phil Steele kicks off the 2013 college football campaign with the season debut of his weekly picks column. He predicts the scores for the biggest games of Week 1, including Clemson-Georgia.