HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The season is here. Let’s get som predictions going. Not just any predictions, some BOLD predictions. Happy college football everyone.
1. Texas fires Charlie Strong at the end of the year.
Perhaps this one is too bold but the 40 acres is a bit of a disaster these days and there could be some premier talent out there as far as coaches. Athletic Director Steve Patterson is seemingly power drunk and he will only keep his job if the football team starts winning. It might seem like a quick trigger, but Texas isn’t going to be good this year.
2. Les Miles coaches his final year at LSU.
The decline has been there for a few years now and the talent slippage is natural with the entire nation recruiting better. Miles has a quarterback controversy on his hands and that could doom his talented offense. Fans and decision makers at LSU will see an amazing year from Leonard Fournette wasted amongst a lesser LSU squad. This gets Miles fired despite being amazing for the Tigers. Maybe it sets up…
3. Nick Saban coaches his final year at Alabama.
The rumor hit the internet earlier this week about Saban and his level of happiness with Alabama. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that after a disappointing playoff showing, and if he misses this year, Saban hears enough from the Tide faithful and picks up and heads out. He can call his shot if he hits the open market. We can speculate where he will head if Bama falls flat.
4. Texas A&M finally beats a ranked opponent at home, but still lose five games.
Can you believe this? The Aggies, under Kevin Sumlin, have never beat a ranked opponent at Kyle Field. I found that staggering. The Tigers and Tide visit the newly renovated stadium and all will likely be ranked. The Aggies and their high-powered offense trip up one of those teams but I still see five losses on their schedule. If that happens, you will start seeing smoke under the seat of Sumlin. (A previous version of this article stated Arkansas visited Kyle Field. They play TAMU in Dallas.)
5. Georgia Tech loses just one game and finishes fifth in the nation.
Maybe I am falling a little too deep in love with the power offense that nearly toppled the Florida State reign in the ACC last year. Maybe I am putting far too much stock in the bowl game win over Mississippi State. Yes, I know, they lost to Duke and UNC last year but Justin Thomas is a flat-out monster in this system. Call them a gimmick, if you see them on your schedule it isn’t fun to play them. Only Notre Dame hands them a loss this year.
6. Arizona State beats Stanford for the Pac-12 championship.
There is plenty to like about the Sun Devils starting with their loaded offense, featuring returning quarterback and potential Heisman candidate Mike Bercovici, to their amazing schedule. An early test against the Aggies gets them started. USC, Oregon, and Arizona all come to the Sun Devils. Only UCLA on the road and potential landmines at Cal and Utah stand in their way. As for the Cardinal, well I don’t trust Oregon’s new quarterback or their coach and I do trust David Shaw. Kevin Hogan could mess this all up and let the Ducks back into the title game.
7. Oklahoma, Baylor, and TCU all finish with one loss in conference play.
I didn’t think the Big 12 could embarrass itself more than it did last year, but this might do it. I really like the Sooners, but I am not ready to quit on Baylor or TCU. They all play each other in November. Baylor plays Oklahoma with a game between their TCU showdown. The Sooners get Baylor and TCU in back-to-back weeks. TCU gets the Sooners and Bears in consecutive weeks. The way I see it the Sooners stumble against the Bears and rebound against the Frogs. The Frogs bounce back to end the season. Oklahoma shows off in Bedlam to earn the playoff spot. The Big 12 still looks silly.
8. No Power 5 school goes undefeated.
This is the toughest I have seen college football in a long time. Every team has a tough home schedule it seems and every schedule is littered with tough road games. Notice the qualifier of Power 5, as I do think we see two undefeated teams who end up ranked and without blemish. Boise State will be one of those teams. They will finish just outside the top ten.
9. The College Football Playoff will include Ohio State, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.
I feel like this is it for Notre Dame. Now or never really. Their schedule is brutal, but it almost always is that way. In my boldest prediction I think they finish first in the rankings and square off with one-loss Ohio State who sneak in despite a late-season loss to Michigan State. The Tigers beat the Sooners in a track meet.
10. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat the Auburn Tigers for the national championship.
I’m all in on the Irish. Even if they don’t go undefeated I really think they have the makings of a national title team. No suspensions. No distractions. A ton of returning talent. A quarterback, in Malik Zaire, ready to start his own era of football dominance (Zai-era if you will.) It feels like a do-or-die year for Brian Kelly. I say he, and his Fighting Irish, do what they couldn’t do a few years ago. Win it all.
Georgia’s Nick Chubb finishes second in the Heisman running.
BYU’s Taysom Hill stays healthy and finishes in the top ten for Heisman voting.
Trevone Boykin doesn’t finish in the top eight of Heisman voting.
Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson wins the Heisman.
Mark Richt keeps his job, again, despite rumors he is almost out the door.
Clemson, a trendy pick for the playoff, loses four games.
Bobby Petrino’s Louisville Cardinals win ten games.
New Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman leads his team to nine wins.
Miami feels like the old Miami and wins nine games.
UCLA is really good and Josh Rosen looks like the real deal.
USC falls flat this year, just seven Spartan wins.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders find their way back to a winning record and a bowl game. While I’m here let’s get greedy and say they come to Houston for the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl.
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