Picks for the first weekend 

September, 2, 2010

Welcome to another season of Thursday picks.

This week, expect a lot of blowouts for Top 25 teams because they face many FCS teams and programs from the Sun Belt, MAC and WAC. It was hard to find any upsets, no doubt, but Pitt versus Utah and Oregon State versus TCU should be interesting games.

One other note: All the games I'm picking this week are off the Top 25 board. Starting in Week 2, I'll also include the unranked games that are on national TV on Thursdays and Fridays.

Thursday games

Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
(7:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)

Coach Doc Holliday's first game at Marshall could get ugly fast if his new team can't fight through adversity early. The Herd's offensive scheme will give people problems this fall, but I just don't think they'll be able to block OSU up front. Another problem for Marshall is big defensive mismatches that figure to be exploited for long runs as Terrelle Pryor puts the Thundering Herd back on their heels. Ohio State, 38-7.

Florida A&M Rattlers vs. Miami Hurricanes
(7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

This is strictly a tuneup game for UM, which preps for a brutal, three-game road swing. FAMU is a very good FCS team after having gone 8-3 in 2009, but it has to replace QB Curtis Pulley, who was the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the year. The Rattlers' speed on D supposedly has improved since last season's 48-16 Miami romp, but expect the Hurricanes' array of skill talent to blow this game open before halftime. Miami, 45-13.