The Washington Times - August 28, 2008, 07:29PM

Yes, this is cutting it close.

But (a) there’s a season’s worth of selections from a post earlier this morning and (b) was I really going to go against Georgia Tech or Miami in the opener?


* Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets 24-6. The triple-option often started slow at Navy. But the Tech defense should roll.

* Charleston Southern at Miami: Hurricanes 31-3. Jacory Harris will do just fine as a fill-in starting quarterback, even if he is a freshman.

* N.C. State at South Carolina: Gamecocks 28-16. Beware the Ol’ Ball Coach after an offseason to brood about a year without a bowl. Russell Wilson‘s introduction as a starting quarterback might not be much fun.

* Wake Forest at Baylor: Demon Deacons 27-14. Art Briles’ time in Waco won’t start with a win. The Wake defense —- led by Alphonso Smith and Aaron Curry —- will have a lot to do with that.

* Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina: Hokies 20-13. Should be pretty similar to last year’s opener in Blacksburg, actually, except this time people expect it to be close.

* Southern California at Virginia: Trojans 45-10. Virginia’s defense will be stronger than this for much of the season. But Pete Carroll will do his usual number on a so-so intersectional opponent.

* Delaware at Maryland: Terrapins 28-17. Maryland typically scores against lower-division visitors. The Blue Hens might put up a few points, themselves.

* McNeese State at North Carolina: Tar Heels 31-17. Another really good visitor from the former Division I-AA. Here’s betting T.J. Yates find Hakeem Nicks for at least one touchdown.

* James Madison at Duke: Blue Devils 20-17 (OT). That difference will come on a touchdown, not a field goal. A close game decided by a kicker would be new coach David Cutcliffe‘s worst nightmare.

* Boston College at Kent State: Eagles 34-10. Sure, it’s a road game, but the Golden Flashes just aren’t very good. BC fans will feel good about Chris Crane by the night’s end.

* Clemson vs. Alabama: Tigers 27-21. The neutral site and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban’s mechanations make this interesting. Oh, and Clemson’s history of falling short of expectations, too.

—- Patrick Stevens