Week 1's most important Xs and Os by Ian Boyd @Ian_A_Boyd

Auburn vs. Louisville, Week 1's most interesting game

by Ian Boyd

Bobby Petrino's balance of passing from single-back formations with diverse run games allowed his offenses to run down opponents' throats or spread to throw with traditional pro-style quarterbacks.

Petrino's Louisville opens 2015 in an interesting situation with dual-threat QB Reggie Bonnafon, the current favorite to start. Instead of having a QB who just needs to be taught how to wield the Petrino system, Louisville has a player with the ability to help the offense reach its highest potential.

In Week 1, the Cards face the Auburn Tigers, who are in a similar situation.

It's like Arizona State and Texas A&M were designed to test each other

by Ian Boyd

Todd Graham's defense features little compromise. Although every blitz is designed to keep defenders in positions where they can succeed, they will almost always choose to be aggressive, as is evident in their preference to use the extra safety to jump routes rather than drop deep.

One compromise the Devils will have to make vs. A&M is to use their nickel package. They'll play their "spur" as an outside linebacker while the nickel corner subs in to help cover slot receivers. There is simply no chance that the Devils' aggressive blitz strategies can work if they are matching up linebackers in man coverage on Ricky Seals-Jones.

Michigan's got a lot to prove in Harbaugh's debut vs. Utah

by Ian Boyd

Some of the talent Brady Hoke recruited might finally be experienced enough to find answers against the kinds of teams that have given Michigan fits, teams with perhaps lesser athletes but sounder systems. Utah has been that kind of team.

Alabama vs. Wisconsin, a battle of ... passing?

by Ian Boyd

Against this light Alabama secondary, the Badgers have a cast of skill players in line with what Nick Saban once built big defenses to stop. Wisconsin will again be at its best when using big formations, tight ends and fullbacks, with Corey Clement threatening the edge with jet sweeps.

To contest the Badgers' physicality up front, the Tide will probably rely more on their base 3-4 rather than the 4-2-5 nickel that has become their main defense. Wisconsin will have to try to run against potential top-10 pick A'Shawn Robinson and company, but it'll also need to keep the Tide safeties honest.

Cardale Jones is Ohio State's counter to Virginia Tech's counters

by Ian Boyd

With a dual-threat QB at the helm, the Buckeyes can threaten multiple points along the line of scrimmage. With a big-armed passer, they can threaten to take the top off like they did against Alabama, which lures more defenders from the point of attack than a second ballcarrier can. And Jones can run, anyway.

Rather than trying to out-scheme a veteran eight-man box, Urban Meyer's best bet is to start Jones and force the Hokies to play at least one deep defender or risk getting ripped to pieces with slant and sluggo routes.

How ready is Nebraska's rebuild? Put it to the BYU test.

by Ian Boyd

This BYU defense is the worst kind to try implementing a smashmouth identity against. The Cougars have a host of squatty DLs with years in the system, backed by veteran inside linebackers. BYU will squash any insufficiently trained inside running games.

What's more, the Cougars will not hesitate to drop safeties down near the action to swallow up constraint plays on the perimeter. That means daring Armstrong to make them pay by throwing outside. With Kenny Bell gone and De'Mornay Pierson-El hurt, the Huskers have fewer options for punishing the aggressive Cougars.

Either Notre Dame or Texas will have an 0-1 start

by Jason Kirk