Welcome to another season of Choosing C-USA! If it isn’t obvious from the title, this is where I (or another member of the UDD staff) give our picks for the winners of each of the week’s games with a short explanation.
Of course, this also means that if I don’t pick your team to win a game, I clearly hate everything about that program and we probably have to fight IRL.
It’s finally week one boys and girls! Leggo!
Thursday, August 29th
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Central Arkansas Bears - 7:30 PM ET
This opening game should be a decent little wake up for the Hilltoppers in their first game under Tyson Helton. WKU made the mistake of underestimating their FCS opponent last year, so it’s hard to imagine that they make the same mistake twice. WKU is the pick.
Charlotte 49ers vs Gardner-Webb Bulldogs - 7:30 PM ET
We’re all waiting to see how Will Healy does in his first FBS game as well as how Benny LeMay follows up last season. Plus, Gardner-Webb are coming off of a year where they won only three games in FCS and gave up an awful lot of points, including 72 to App State. 49ers with relative ease.
Tulane Green Wave vs FIU Panthers - 8:00 PM ET
This should be a relatively close game, but the expectations are simply too high for Butch Davis, James Morgan and company to stub their toe this early. FIU should win this one.
UAB Blazers vs Alabama State Hornets - 8:00 PM ET
In short, this an Alabama State team that struggled against many bottom-of-the-barrel FCS teams in 2018. While UAB have a couple questions of their own, this should be a nice opportunity for the Blazers to get some of those figured out with room for error. UAB wins.
Friday, August 30th
Army Black Knights vs Rice Owls - 6:00 PM ET
I’m picking Army. For one, based on how the offseason went for Rice with all the injuries, suspensions, and transfers, it’s unlikely their offense is going to be ready for a big performance. Second, this is an Army team that pays exceptionally at home and has double digit wins in each of the last few years.
Saturday, August 31st
#5 Ohio State Buckeyes vs Florida Atlantic Owls - 12 PM ET
Ohio State is a no-brainer here. This won’t be indicative of how the rest of FAU’s season will go, but the Owls simply aren’t ready to run against a top five team.
UTSA Roadrunners vs Incarnate Word Cardinals - 6 PM ET
UTSA will win because they have to. Not to reiterate what I said on the Underdog Pawdcast, but there’s enough doubt surrounding Frank Wilson right now that he can’t afford a loss to an FCS team. It could be easier said than done, however, against an Incarnate Word team that surprised a lot of people winning six games last season.
Marshall Thundering Herd vs Virginia Military Institute - 6:30 PM ET
Putting Marshall down in pen. Between guys like Isaiah Green and Brendan Knox on offense for Marshall and the fact that VMI have won one total game in the last two years, the Herd have got this.
Old Dominion Monarchs vs Norfolk State - 7 PM ET
This season doesn’t hold a lot of promise for ODU. However the Monarchs should get it done against an FCS team in their new stadium.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Alcorn State - 7 PM ET
USM is the pick. They have some good talent on offense this year, but there isn’t a lot of room for error against a pretty good Alcorn State program. Keep an eye on this one.
#7 Michigan Wolverines vs Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders - 7:30 PM ET
MTSU will likely have some issues following up their surprisingly solid season in 2018. Unfortunately for them, they don’t get to start the season with an easy tune up game and instead start against a team like Michigan, who should run away with this.
North Texas Mean Green vs Abilene Christian - 7:30 PM ET
The Mean Green will win. Mason Fine shouldn’t have an issue taking down this team in their opener.
#10 Texas Longhorns vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs - 8 PM ET
Texas wins. There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about Tech’s squad this season, but it’s just not going to come together week one against a top ten team on the road.
UTEP Miners vs Houston Baptist - 8 PM ET
Cautiously, I’m picking UTEP. This year is likely to not go well for UTEP, but they need to start off the year with a shred of hope against a team that gave up 40 or more points in seven different games last season.