CF’s Expert Pick’em: Week 1

The Cyclone Fanatic experts are back for another year of disappointing and inaccurate picks. The winner will startup a 1-900 betting service for next season. This year’s goal: Hassel must not, cannot win.

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Cyclone Fanatic Publisher, Chris Williams

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Navy slows the game down enough to hang. Buckeyes by 13. 

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – The beginning of the end for Dana Holgerson. Bama by 35. 

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – I’ll take the SEC, please. 

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Tough opening weekend for the Big 12. Noles by three touchdowns. 

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – This is basically like a Big Ten/SEC bowl game, only in August. I’ll take the SEC every day of the week and 45 timeson Sunday. 

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Cyclones 27, NDSU 20

Cyclone Fanatic Senior Writer, Rob Gray

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – No Braxton Miller (all season) means no cover this week for the Buckeyes against the solid Midshipmen. Ohio State 27, Navy 17

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – I’ll be the contrarian: Dana Holgorsen will get a spirited effort from his Mountaineers against the Tide. Still will be rolled, though. Alabama 45, West Virginia 17

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) –  Wonder why ‘Dawgs coach Mark Richt’s always on "the hot seat?" Losing three of past four season openers doesn’t help. Won’t cover. Georgia 27, Clemson 24.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State –  Jerry’s World? It’s going to be Jimbo’s and Jameis’s world Saturday night in Arlington. Easy cover for the Seminoles. Florida State 48, Oklahoma State 20 

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin –  Paging Bobby Hebert … Les Miles will have lots of explaining to do after Badgers deal blow to playoff hopes (and Vegas). Wisconsin 28, LSU 24

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) –  Bison feature a receiver (Zach Vraa) who caught 15 touchdown passes last season. 15! Nigel Tribune is on it. ISU 34, NDSU 27

Former Cyclone WR, Jack Whitver

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Even without Braxton miller, OSU too talented…wins by 3 TDs.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Alabama breaks in a new QB by running right over WV. Bama by 28.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Georgia between the hedges is too much for Tigers, UGA by 10.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – FSU starts title defense with a big win on prime time, FSU covers and wins by 21.

LSU (-4.5) @ Wisconsin – Close game in a rocking atmosphere in Madison, WI wins straight up.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – ISU explosive on offense, wins a high scoring game 34-27.

WOI-TV Sports Director, Dave Zawilinski

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – The Millerless Bucks will roll Navy 41-17

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Geno Smith isn’t walking through that door but 26 is too many.  Bama 38 WV 14

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Georgia gets revenge for last years opening night loss to Clemson. Clemson covers but Dogs win 31-28

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – No idea. OSU covers. FSU 35 OSU 21.

LSU (-4.5) @ Wisconsin – My LSU buddy says Tigers will win.  He’s using phrases like all-world and blowout city to describe his team. He also hasn’t been wrong picking a Big Ten game since Iowa beat LSU in the Cap One bowl. I think he’s full of it.  Badgers win outright.  24-20

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Lazard will score a TD on a 30+ yard reception on the opening drive.  ISU never looks back.  38-28

Cyclone Fanatic Sales Director, Adam Gray

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – I think people are overestimating the loss of Braxton Miller.  OSU by 30.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – I like West Virginia to cover.  Bama wins 38-17

Georgia (-7.5) vs Clemson – Clemson never seems to start the season well.  Georgia by 10.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Call me crazy but I think OSU fights until the end.  FSU 35-31

LSU (-4.5) vs Wisconsin – LSU stops the run and runs away with it 28-10

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Sam plays solid and leads ISU to a 31-21 win

Former Cyclone WR, Lane Danielsen

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Ohio State – Urban Meyer loves making statements and winning big.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – West Virginia – 26 is a lot of points to cover in an opener.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Clemson – I love their head coach, and it seems like Clemson typically starts the season hot.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State –  Oklahoma State – Home game atmosphere for OSU, and I feel a rusty start for Florida State.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – LSU – When in doubt, pick the SEC to handle the Big Ten.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Iowa State – Absolute MUST win for the Paul Rhoads era.

WHO-TV Meteorologist, Brett McIntyre

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Navy. Ohio State usually has a head scratcher early where they let someone keep it close.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Bama. I think this one gets out of hand fast.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Clemson. This is an evil game to pick. Two teams you can never completely trust.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Florida state. I think FSU starts a little rusty, but they get it going in the end.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – LSU. This one hovers around the line the whole game, late LSU score covers though.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Iowa State. Ready to get a first taste of the new offense. Exciting.

Former Cyclone LB, Adam Carper

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – The loss of Braxton Miller means nothing in this game.  Buckeyes roll.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Hard to bet against Saban…even with a 26 point spread!  Roll Tide.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – You just don’t storm into Sanford Stadium and get an easy W.  Georgia.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – FSU covers.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – Wisconsin’s running attack will keep this one close and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull the minor upset!  Wisky.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Only way to silence the naysayers is proving it on the field!  CycloneNation.

Former Cyclone K, Bret Culbertson

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Long snapper Joe Cardona of Navy can toss a ball between his legs at 42 mph. Now you know as much about the Navy squad as I do. OSU 45 Navy 21.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – I believe it. Bama 47 WVU 14.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Down to the wire I like Clemson. Clemson 28 Georgia 21.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Get your crab legs ready. OSU loses, but beats the spread. FSU 35 OSU 20.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – So I found out this summer that Louisiana has drive-thru daiquiri shops. A game in Tiger Stadium has always been on my bucket list. Now I may have to grab a daiquiri on the way. LSU 27 Wisconsin 21.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – It’s going to be a little tougher than people think, but ISU beats the spread. ISU 24 NDSU 14.

Former Cyclone QB, Austen Arnaud

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Ohio State covers here. No Braxton won’t be a problem yet… This will be a low scoring game. Tom Herman and the offense will still be hitting on all cylinders, lot of talent still here.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Alabama is so good in openers, doesn’t matter who’s their QB. There backfield and OL will get the job done. I am excited to see what WVU has this year, but I know they won’t have enough to keep this one close. Roll Tide, big time 

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Clemson losing their starting RB for the year really hurts, especially in the opener. Todd Gurley is a Heisman candidate and rightfully so and Clemson won’t be able to slow him down. Dawgs get off to a good start and cover.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Mike Gundy is one of the greatest offensive minds in all of football. Florida State comes out with a little BCS Champion hangover and this one is tight into the 3rd quarter. I’ll take Okie State and the hook, Pokes cover. 

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – Both teams have dueling QBs after leaving camp on Saturday. LSUs team speed will be the difference here, Wisconsin lost their best receiver and top RB. LSU reloads unlike Wisconsin and the Badgers won’t be able to exert their will running the football against an athletic LSU defense. Bayou Bengals cover 

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Cyclones win by at least a TD. Sam Richardson will be the guy all year long and he has earned that spot. NDSU is obviously not just another FCS team, they have been the champs. However, I believe the Cyclones have more talent and better athletes. I especially like the match-ups that present themselves on offense for the Cyclones… Bibbs, West, Bundrage and the running game will be too much. Cyclones 30-21 

Cyclone Fanatic Columnist, Brent Blum

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Urban Meyer is a big enough stooge, he would run up the score on one of service academies. Regardless, no blowout here, but Buckeyes still cover.. Ohio State 27 Navy 10.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Holgorsen and crew keep it within the number and Dana heads out to party with the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Alabama 37 West Virginia 13.

Clemson @ Georgia ( -7.5) – That half point is killing me. Clemson covers. Georgia 27 Clemson 21. 

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – This year is going to make Mike Gundy feel like an old man. Woof. Florida State 38 Oklahoma State 10.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin –  LSU has a true freshman RB in Leonard Fournette who some consider a Heisman contender. Could become the most famous Leonard of all time. LSU 21 Wisconsin 13.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – NDSU has a lot of Bill Snyder vampire in them. They try to suck the life out of you with ball control. Low scoring affair, but Cyclones get a much needed win. Iowa State 24 NDSU 17. 

Former Cyclone QB, Bret Meyer

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Closer than expected, Ohio State pulls away late.  Buckeyes 34-24

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Roll Tide, Bama starts slow but wins another opener. 31-20

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Too much gone from last years offense for Clemson.  Like Georgia 21-10

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Returning Heisman trophy winner, experienced offensive line.  Believe FSU is still hungry after last year. Noles win big 45-21

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – Sloppy, grind it out type of a football game.  Like LSU to prevail 17-13

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – ISU must dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and showcase the playmakers on offense.  Defense struggles early but ISU wins 24-20

1460 KXNO’s Andrew Downs

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Ohio State fans say, "Braxton who?" OSU 42, Navy 14

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – Bama dominates but doesn’t cover the spread. Alabama 52, West Virginia 28.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Georgia asserts SEC dominance at home. Georgia 24, Clemson 14.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Jameis quieted any doubters with the winning drive in the last BCS Title Game, and he picks up where he left off. FSU 48, OK State 21. 

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – Maybe the best team in the Big 10 West shows that it can’t compete with maybe the third best team in the SEC West. LSU 35, Wisconsin 14.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Scary early for the Cyclones, but they find their groove in Mangino’s offense and pull away late. ISU 28, NDSU 17. 

Former Cyclone RB, Jeff Woody

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Ohio State looks shaky on offense, but the Midshipmen run into trouble (pun intended, get it? Because they never throw the ball) against the OSU defense. Buckeyes-24, Midshipmen-10

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – The question is not who will win or by how much, but how many Waterboy moments the Tide have against the ‘Eers. I’m calling Trickett gets Insano Bombed by Halftime. Roll Tide, 55-6

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Calling a game that’s not very well played, but the Tigers beat the remaining Bulldog players who are still eligible. Clemson 31-24

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – The OSU defense lost all but 4 starters, and facing the defending Heisman Trophy winner without a first-rounder at corner is going to prove rough for OSU. OSU should be able to score though, so high scoring but not close. FSU 49-37.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – In a game for people who love punting, Wisconsin 17-10.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – The Cyclones’ defense looks exhausted after the NDSU running game takes it’s toll, a la Collin Klein’s Wildcats. But the Cyclones’ offense shows the explosion that they’re capable of and run away late after forcing the Bison to throw. Cyclones 35-23. Go State.

ESPN’s Chris Hassel

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Braxton Miller? Shmaxton Miller. Navy has a great QB but OSU has Urban Meyer. And depth. 

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – I’d like to think WVU could stay within 3 scores but Bama always seems to cover the huge spreads. 

Clemson  @ Georgia (-7.5) – On the week of National Dog Day, how can I pick against the Dawgs? 

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – FSU should win but the Gundy’s will be firing early. 

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – Toss up. Going Big Ten since it’s superior to SEC. Wisky. 

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – Love What’s Buggin’ Andy this past Sunday. NDSU has no business beating ISU. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Bye-ZUN to cover. 

The enCYCLONEpedia Guy, Kirk Haaland

Ohio State (-14) vs. Navy – Buckeyes struggle a bit early on but get the late cover over the Midshipmen.

Alabama (-26) vs. West Virginia – The Sabans crush the Mountaineers but Holgo pulls a late backdoor cover.

Clemson @ Georgia (-7.5) – Bulldogs.

Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State – Same old Jameis and Jimbo but the Cowboys get the late cover.

LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin – I never believe Wisconsin at the end of the year when they’re 8-2, no way can I do that early on. Bayou Bengals cover.

North Dakota State @ Iowa State (-3.5) – All of the murmurs out of camp have me so optimistic that I’m trying to temper things down. I’m a believer in the OL, I’ve always been on Team Sam, and I like what I’m hearing about the young defense that has options (just hope they’re viable!). I think ISU can win enough battles on the line on both offense and defense and make some plays with their receivers. Mangino will deliver. Cyclones cover.



Kirk Haaland


Kirk has been a contributor at Cyclone Fanatic since the fall of 2009 and is a lifelong Cyclone fan. He eventually started his own website,, where he cultivated an interest in statistical analysis and historical Iowa State football and basketball data. In 2014, Kirk came to Fanatic and housed his works here. In 2015 he launched a new website,, as the co-founder. There you can find in depth analysis of all things involving advanced statistical analysis in college football for every FBS program. Kirk graduated from Iowa State University in 2006 with a degree in Industrial Technology and has worked as a Manufacturing/Quality Engineer ever since. He's married to his wife, Kelley, and has three daughters, Hannah, Hayley, and Kinley (plus his Golden Retriever, Clyde).

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