Teams are releasing their Week 1 depth charts and making final preparations for the start of the season. As always, there is injury news and other tidbits to talk about that bettors will need to account for when making their lines or making their wagers on these Week 1 games.
The first year in the ACC just got a lot tougher for Louisville with the news that wide receiver Devante Parker would miss 6-to-8 weeks with a broken bone in his foot. With a new quarterback in Will Gardner, this is a big loss for the Cardinals.
The Miami Hurricanes will go with freshman Brad Kaaya under center for their game against Louisville next Monday. Kaaya beat out Jake Heaps and an injury-riddled collection of quarterbacks to claim the honor.
In other ACC quarterback news, Virginia Tech has named Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer the starting quarterback.
Paul Chryst, to the surprise of nobody, named Chad Voytik the starting quarterback at Pitt.
Clemson offensive tackle Shaq Anthony has decided to transfer from the program. That, coupled with the loss of running back Zac Brooks, has hurt the depth of the Clemson offense.
In somewhat of a surprising move, Gary Andersen has named Tanner McEvoy the starting quarterback for Wisconsin when they open the season against LSU on Saturday. McEvoy, who played safety last season, beat out incumbent Joel Stave.
Iowa defensive tackle Darian Cooper underwent season-ending surgery this past week. He was not a starter on the depth chart, but the junior was expected to play a significant role on the Hawkeyes defense.
A volcano in Iceland nearly prevented Saturday’s Penn State-UCF game in Dublin, Ireland, but officials have cleared the game to go on as scheduled.
Brady Hoke, who must not like having job security, will use #1 recruit Jabrill Peppers as his primary punt returner for Michigan. Hopefully good fortune is on Peppers’s side with what seems like an unnecessary risk.
Maryland is facing some tough news as they open the season against James Madison. Returning leading receiver Levern Jacobs and senior linebacker Alex Twine were charged with assault from an incident that happened in April. Nothing has officially been announced by Maryland or head coach Randy Edsall, but expect a suspension.
West Virginia defensive back Ishmael Banks has been suspended for the first three games of the season, including this weekend’s contest against Alabama.
In a rather unsurprising development, Oklahoma officially named former starting quarterback Blake Bell the starting tight end. Anything to get Bell on the field should help the Sooners. Oklahoma did get some bad news as Dorial Green-Beckham’s suspension for the season was upheld upon appeal by the NCAA.
Starting USC Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw is out indefinitely after sustaining high ankle sprains on both ankles. The story has taken many twists and turns and nobody is quite sure what happened. Supplemental discipline is possible depending on the findings of numerous investigations.
Rich Rodriguez has named Anu Solomon the starting quarterback at Arizona, however he didn’t give many specifics on how secure the job was. Solomon, a redshirt freshman, beat out three other candidates, though he may not be the only guy to take snaps against UNLV.
Jeff Lindquist will start in place of Cyler Miles when Washingtontakes on Hawaii this week. Miles was suspended earlier this offseason, so this is not a big surprise.
Ever the gamesman, Nick Saban has not declared a starting quarterback for Alabama’s Week 1 game against West Virginia. Blake Sims and Florida State transfer Jake Coker have been battling for the position. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both play in a game that Alabama should win comfortably.
It shouldn’t matter against UT-Martin, but Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops suspended starting left tackle Darrian Miller for this week’s game for a violation of team rules.
After some gamesmanship from Steve Spurrier, South Carolinarunning back Mike Davis is expected to be fine for Thursday night’s game against Texas A&M.
Patton Robinette is the starting quarterback for Vanderbilt. They take on Temple this week in the first game for new head coach Derek Mason.
Cody Sokol, a transfer from Iowa, has been named the starting quarterback for Louisiana Tech. After the QB play the Bulldogs got last season, this should be a significant upgrade for Skip Holtz’s team.
In other quarterback news, Toledo has tabbed former Alabama quarterback Philip Ely as their starter for this season. With the losses at Northern Illinois, Toledo has a great chance to win the MAC West Division.
In case anybody wants to rush to back USF against Western Carolina, five players were ruled out for the Catamounts due to suspensions. This should be an added game at some sportsbooks on Saturday.
Jarrod Lawson was suspended for the first two games by San Jose State head coach Ron Caragher. San Jose State plays at Auburn in Week 2.
Neal Burcham will be the starter for SMU when they get blown out by Baylor this week.
Finally, some very sad news to report as two players were tragically lost too soon this past week. Kent State offensive lineman Jason Bitsko and Morgan State defensive end Marquese Meadow both passed away. Bitsko was just 21 and Meadow was just 18. Condolences to both families, both programs, and their friends and teammates.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.