Today is the best day any sports fan and college football fan, as the season kicks off this weekend with some of the best opening weekend games ever! But before we get to that (and the Sports to Watch article this week) let’s go over some predictions. Who will win the conferences this year? Will Michigan finally win the Big Ten? Can Clemson recapture lightning and win the ACC? Will Alabama win the SEC, with teams like LSU and Ole Miss on their heels? These are my official predictions for the 2016 College Football season.
Now when it comes to the Big 12, or as I like to refer to it as the Big Ten Southwest, the conference has a conundrum on its hands. While it has teams that could easily win the conference each year, it is pushing itself out of the playoff hunt by being the only Power 5 conference that does not have a championship game, instead choosing to let the cards fall where they may. So this puts alot of things in jeopardy. But this season, the conference really comes down to five teams: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU, and Texas? But who wins it all?
While it would be easy to say Oklahoma, it’s the only team I can see winning this division. They have the best quarterback in the conference, and while they did lose some pieces on both offense and defense, they have some great pieces left over and have a schedule that will get them into high gear prior to their conference play with them playing against a Houston Cougars team that needs to win in order to stay in the conversation of a national championship run. They then play against a Ohio State team that needs to win in order to stay up in the Big Ten. And speaking of the Big Ten….
Okay, ill say that im a bit bias when it comes to this conference, but I believe it’s the best conference in the country. We have the best rivalries, some of the best historic programs and also has some of the best coaches. But this conference, like last year, will come down to three teams in one division and Iowa. Who do I think will win this conference and be an automatic bid for Pasedena or even the College Football Playoff?
Prediction: The winner of Michigan v. Ohio State
Now the reason im saying the winner of this game will win the Big Ten is because of the fact that these two teams are on a collision course the weekend of Thanksgiving, which is sort of ironic. Two rivals will break bread and helmets in order to win the Big Ten. I would like to say Michigan State will win the division, but they lost a lot of defense, they don’t have a solid solution at quarterback and on top of this, they play a Michigan and Ohio State that is going to want to repay those buzzer beater losses. I think Michigan is the most dangerous team in this conference, as they return a boatload of starters on offense and defense, and their recruiting this offseason is a major key towards their success. Ohio State has a huge task early in the season with Oklahoma, and they want to use the momentum of beating ACC’s Notre Dame in the bowl season to propel to a conference championship.
This conference is being hailed as the best conference when it comes to the College Football Playoff with Notre Dame, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina and Notre Dame being seen as possible teams to make the playoff. But who wins this division? Can North Carolina wipe off the loss they suffered last year in the ACC Championship to Clemson, and can Clemson win the conference again on the road to winning a national championship? Can Florida State get past Clemson and prove they are a legit powerhouse? And what about Miami and Notre Dame?
I know it sounds easy to say that Clemson will win this conference, but it wont be. All of the teams I mention will give Clemson a hard time in order for them to win the division. None of these games are going to be easy and they are going to need the competition to step up as they are going to want to go into the College Football Playoff as an unstoppable force.
The SouthEastern Conference
I have a bit of disgust for this conference. Not because of what they have done, im more annoyed at the fact that this conference’s best has been beaten by every other conference in bowl games and yet they end up having the most ranked teams to start a season every year, and most of the teams don’t deserve it. But I’ll get off my high horse and talk about the good of this conference. They have some good teams, especially reigning national champion Alabama, but they also have Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU as opponents. But who wins this year?
Prediction: LSU by default
Now the reason I say this is because of the fact that not only do I think that Alabama will not win this conference, I have them losing three game this year. I have them losing against USC, against Tennessee or Ole Miss and finally getting run over my a Heisman type of run by Leonard Fournette. LSU plays Alabama to the wire and every time we see them play Bama, they come off stronger for it. I got the Tigers winning this conference only because while I have Alabama losing a couple of games, the teams that beat them wont be good enough to stop LSU.
The Pac 12
This conference is always tough to decide who will win it all. A couple of years ago, it wasnt. We all knew the conference came down to the winner of Oregon v. Stanford and after that, we shook out who would make the bowl season. But this year, it’s a bit different. Stanford looks like the overall favorite to win it all. Oregon will look to rebound from its demoralizing loss against TCU. USC will look to make a move to a national championship with one of the deepest offensive rosters in the Pac 12. And Stanford will look to have the kind of season that will propel Christian McCaffery to the Heisman Trophy. But who wins it all?
Prediction: The Winner of USC v. Stanford
Yeah, normally I would say that Stanford would run away with this conference, but USC could be the scariest team in the conference. If USC is able to pull off a win or a close loss against Alabama, then expect the Trojans to make big moves in the Pac 12. For Stanford, it’s practically academic, they will make the Pac 12 championship game behind a great defense and an offense that has the best offensive weapon in the country. The winner of this game should be a lock for the College Football Playoff.
Well those are my predictions for this season, what are yours? And also check out my Sports to Watch for the first week of the college football season!!