The Team That Needs a Win In Week 1 the Most Is…

It’s almost time for the games to start! Pull up a chair and let’s talk college football as TSS associate editors Bart Doan and Terry Johnson join staff writer Kevin Causey and special rotating guests in our weekly roundtable discussing all things college football.

On Thursday, we discussed the biggest games of week one. On Friday, we talked about neutral site games. Today, we discuss teams that are in need of getting off to a good start. Joining us is TSS writer and the man behind The Next Wave Football, Ryan Palencer….

Question: Which teams are in biggest need of a week one victory?

Ryan Palencer:
On Twitter @RyanPalencer

It’s Auburn.

After falling apart at the end of last season, the Tigers enter 2015 with a lot of hype and a top-10 national ranking. The path does not start easily with Louisville. Though the Cardinals are having some questions at quarterback, don’t be fooled. They are a strong and talented team Bobby Petrino has reloaded with some strong transfers.

Additionally, the SEC West will not have any guaranteed wins this season. Each team needs to pick up victories where it can to build some momentum going into conference play. Outside of Alabama, which opens with Wisconsin, Auburn has the toughest draw with Louisville.

Bart Doan:
On Twitter @TheCoachBart

I don’t think Virginia has made an appearance in the roundtables this year, so what the hell, let’s go. The Cavaliers play at UCLA, which is ranked by most in the top 20, but certainly faces questions that will come out in Game 1.

For the Hoos, you’re looking at the first game on an out-of-conference schedule that’s just plain hateful, with Boise State and Notre Dame also appearing in betwixt a contest against a fairly game William & Mary program. The reality is that with another sour season, a regime change might end up happening there.

I think we can all agree that on the hierarchy of important stuff, making enough money and being employed are fairly high up there. Of those three gauntlet games, UCLA feels like the most win-able mostly because you never know what you’re getting in game one, and UCLA probably has the least daunting offense of the three. A win in that game could be a massive springboard for a surprise season for Virginia. A loss could mean more of the same, which would ultimately mean more of the different by next season.

Kevin Causey:
On Twitter @CFBZ

Even though they have a really tough matchup, I think it’s Texas. The Longhorns have to go on the road and play Notre Dame. This will be a huge challenge for Charlie Strong and his crew.

Last year, the Longhorns were run off the field multiple times. This year is not just about winning, but about showing they are making significant improvements. If the Horns can’t beat the Irish, they need to at least show that they are in the same ballpark.

After losing five games by 20 or more points in 2014, it’s time for Texas to show some signs of life. Strong isn’t on the hot seat, but we live in a “win now” society. Even though it’s just his second year, if he doesn’t start showing that his team is buying into his concept and competing… he may not be in Texas for very long.

Terry Johnson:
On Twitter @SectionTPJ 

At the risk of stating the obvious, I’ll say that Illinois needs a week one win more than any other team in college football.

Make no mistake about it: Tim Beckman’s firing is going to dominate the news cycle for the next couple of weeks. Sure, there are still some details to sort out with that story, but the bottom line is that the ugliness of the situation has just begun.

What’s the best way to cure this problem?

By having a solid season on the gridiron, of course. That starts with a win over Kent State. Sure, the Flashes went 2-9 last year, but they should be much better this fall with 16 starters returning. If the Illini plan to make it back to the postseason – which would cause most of the media to talk about the program’s future rather than its past – it must take care of business against Kent on Friday night.

It’ll be interesting to watch everything unfold.

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