Time to forecast next college football season
If you recall my column from Aug. 27, I made three bold, and stupid, predictions for the upcoming college football season. I said that Oregon would be a disappointment, which if you think about it was kind of true; Florida would go back to greatness, but going 7-5 didn’t help my case there; and I said Florida State would repeat as national champs, I was so, so close on this one.
But like the Oregon Ducks, I have to brush myself off and start again. After watching Ohio State win the national championship Monday night (which if you follow me on twitter I said would happen), I started to think of what would happen in the 2015 season and I decided to try my luck again and try and make some bold predictions.
Here are three things that I believe will happen in the 2015 college football season.
The SEC will be without a team in the College Football Playoff
If you know anything about me you know that I’m a huge SEC homer. I love the SEC. I am a huge Florida fan and I constantly defend the SEC, but looking at how mediocre the SEC, especially the SEC West, did this bowl season I don’t have too much faith in the conference down south. Now don’t think that I’m calling the SEC a weak conference or that they are going to be awful this year, I just think that there are much better teams out there from different conferences that are not afraid of the big bad SEC. Just look at teams such as TCU, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin that all had victories over SEC teams (all from the West) in their bowl games. The best team is still going to be the Alabama Crimson Tide, with LSU not far behind, which I believe will fall just short of the CFP.
Ohio State will repeat as national champs
Watching the national championship I reminded myself that Ohio State was dismantling Oregon with a third-string quarterback and the Buckeyes are a very young team. They return seven starters on both offense and defense. That includes all three of their QBs, who each have a case for the Heisman, and running back Ezekiel Elliot who will be entering his junior year. Not to mention they bring back four starting offensive linemen and three of the top four receivers. And one more thing, they return head coach Urban Meyer, who is just the second coach in history to win a national championship at multiple schools. The other? Alabama’s Nick Saban, who also won at LSU.
Clemson will find a way in the CFP
I was lucky enough to cover Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl this past bowl season and watched them manhandle Oklahoma 40-6 in a game that was pretty much over after Clemson’s first offensive play. They also did this with a QB who every Clemson fan hated due to star Deshaun Watson going down with injury. Clemson loses a lot of talent on defense but they are led by defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who lead the Tigers to the top ranked defense, in the country this season. FSU is no longer the bad boy in the ACC, which should give the Tigers the edge to win the conference. Not to mention they get FSU, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech all at home. Expect the Tigers to sneak their way into that final four.