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5 teams on upset alert in Week 1

5 teams on upset alert in Week 1

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college football upset picks

Hudson Card, Texas Longhorns. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

We don’t need to be deep in the year for college football upsets to happen and these five ranked teams are getting put on upset alert in Week 1. 

College football upsets are part of the essence of the sport. So, naturally, fans don’t want to wait to have to see them. It’s only Week 1 of the 2021 season but, as the top-25 ranked teams in the country take the field for the first time, who wouldn’t want to see an upset?

We got a taste of that early last season when Louisiana knocked off Iowa State. Interestingly enough, that lit a fire under the Cyclones that propelled them to the Big 12 Championship Game. Maybe we’ll see something like that again this season.

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However, any potential college football upset picks won’t include the two biggest games of Week 1, Alabama-Miami or Georgia-Clemson. In the case of the latter, the teams are too evenly matched to consider any kind of upset. With the former, there just isn’t a world in my view where the Crimson Tide don’t dominate, even with inexperienced Bryce Young at quarterback.

So which teams are getting put on upset alert in Week 1? We start with a team that might not be back just yet facing a program that pulled off a big upset just last year.

College Football Upset Pick No. 5: Texas Longhorns

Rank: 21 | Opponent: 23 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns | Time: Saturday, Sept. 4, 4:30 p.m. ET

Texas is no stranger as a program to being put on upset alert, largely because the Longhorns have consistently come into seasons ranked perhaps higher than they should be based on the history in Austin only to led a rabid fanbase down by dropping a game that, ostensibly, they should’ve won.

Of course, fans are hoping that new head coach Steve Sarkisian is going to change that. No matter who’s helming the sidelines, though, anxiety is likely high in Austin coming into Week 1 as they welcomed a ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns team to town after Billy Napier’s team knocked off Iowa State in early September a year ago.

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On paper, there is a clear path to Texas dominating this game. If the offensive line can play to its talent level in front of Bijan Robinson, they should run all over the Ragin’ Cajuns and have the defensive speed and athleticism to slow down this opponent. But there are very few matchups in which the Longhorns don’t have similar advantages.

Truth be told, we don’t have a ton of knowledge about what Sarkisian will look like as a head coach in this era, nor do we fully know what newly-named starting quarterback Hudson Card will offer at the helm of this offense. For that reason, up against a well-coached and veteran-laden team, Texas going 1-0 to start the year is far from a lock.

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