It is finally here, the purpose of breathing is officially back today
Granted, we had games this past weekend but I consider that the “soft opening” to college football.
Unless, you are a degenerate gambler like myself, no one really cares about Colorado State vs Oregon State or Rice vs Stanford.
Today is the official kick off to college football and I know all of you can not wait.
With college football starting along comes the College Football Playoff Predictions.
Rarely is anyone ever 100% right when it comes to these. It is all just guessing and you throw in a team or two no one is talking about just to make your prediction different from everyone else.
So, today I will give you my four teams that I believe will be playing in the fourth College Football Playoff and the National Champion.
To be honest I only know a lot about one team, and if you know me you can guess which team that is.
So, today I am going to fake it and bull shit you about how much I know about these teams.
4. Oklahoma State
I have mentioned this team to multiple people and I get a lot of weird looks. I say Oklahoma State for many of reasons but one of the reasons has to do with issues off the field.
The College Football Playoff consists of only four teams, even though we have five major conferences ( Pac 12, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, and ACC).
Out of the first three years the Playoff has existed the Big 12 has been left out of the playoff for two of them.
In the first playoff, the BIG 12 even got jumped by Big 10 champion Ohio State who eventually won the National Title.
It is hard to believe that the BIG 12 will be left out for the third time in four years, and I think this Oklahoma State team is the team to put the Big 12 in the playoffs
Oklahoma State returns its star Quarterback in Mason Rudolph. Rudolph threw for 4091 yards and 28 touchdowns and only 4 ints just a year ago. Rudolph is just 546 yards away from being the all-time school leader in passing yards. Former first round draft pick Brandon Weeden currently holds that record with 9,260 yards.
Along with Rudolph the Cowboys return another star on offense in Wide Receiver James Washington.
Washington is coming off a season where he recorded 71 receptions for 1380 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Cowboys have a run game to compliment their high powered passing attack in Justice Hill, who is returning off a strong freshman campaign with 1142 yards rushing and 6 rushing touchdowns.
What benefits Oklahoma State the most is their schedule. Oklahoma States toughest games are Pittsburgh and Texas, which are both on the road, and in state rival Oklahoma in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State plays in a conference that lacks any threatening defense, you combine that with the Cowboys high powered offense, and mediocre schedule don’t be shocked to see Oklahoma State in the playoffs come New Years Day.
3. Southern California
It seems like for the past five years since USC came off probation we have been waiting for them to jump back on the national scene and compete for a national title.
Well, this year is finally the year we see that from the Trojans.
So, if you hate USC, like myself, I hope you enjoyed the years of USC being mediocre because those days are officially over.
USC returns the nations top quarterback and possibly next years number one draft pick in Sam Darnold.
Darnold, the Orange County native, is looking to return the Trojans to the prominence of the Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush days.
USC arguably finished as the nations hottest team in 2016, winning its final 9 games after starting the season losing three of its first four.
In that nine game win streak USC beat eventual PAC 12 champion Washington on the road, and BIG 10 champion Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
After taking over in the fourth game of the season Darnold jumped on the national scene by throwing for 3086 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 9 interceptions.
Darnold played his best when the lights shined the brightest in last years Rose Bowl, when he threw for 453 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Darnold will have his work cut out for him, with USC losing both starting Offensive Tackles in Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler. Not to mention last years leader in receiving yards in JuJu Smith-Schuster left and is now in the NFL.
Darnold will have the run game to lean on as Ronald Jones II will hope to build off his 1,000 yard rushing campaign to push the Trojans into the playoff.
USCs defense has six returning starters on defense which is headlined by a very experienced Linebacker unit.
Despite losing Adoree Jackson to the NFL draft, the secondary will still be a force to be reckoned with.
USCs defense may not be the best in the country but combine that with Darnold leading a high powered offense, it will be no surprise when watching USC winning the PAC 12 and playing in its first ever College football Playoff.
2. Ohio State
Big shocker here I know. Of course I am picking Ohio State to go to the College Football Playoff.
Ohio State is coming off one of the worst losses in program history, losing 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl vs Clemson.
Despite the embarrassing loss, that happened right in front of my face with me in the stands that night, Ohio State has plans to return to the College Football Playoff and hopefully take a trip to the National Championship.
Ohio State fired both Offensive Coordinators Tim Beck and Ed Warinner. Beck is now the Offensive Coordinator at Texas and Warinner is now the Offensive line Coach at Minnesota.
Meyer hired, arguably the best coordinator available, in former Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson.
While at Indiana, Wilson lead Indiana to two consecutive bowl games for the first time since the 1990 and 91 seasons.
Indiana was also second in passing in the Big Ten last year just behind Penn State.
If Wilson can help Indiana be one of the most proficient passing offenses in the conference imagine what he can do with the talent pool at Ohio State.
The man leading Wilson’s offense is 5th year senior JT Barrett. Barrett will be entering his fourth season as the starting QB for the Buckeyes, which in college sports now a days it seems like 20 years.
If you remember Barrett started the 2014 campaign but suffered an injury against Michigan at the end of the year, which lead to backup Cardale Jones taking over and leading the Buckeyes to the National Championship.
Jones started the 2015 season as the starter but Barrett took over and finished the 2015 campaign for the Buckeyes which ended with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame.
Despite winning sharing the Big Tens MVP honors with Saquon Barkley, Barretts 2016 campaign is not looked at very highly by the fans and media.
It is no secret that Ohio State has struggled to move the ball since Tom Herman left the staff two years ago.
With Kevin Wilson and his success as an Offensive Coordinator, you have to believe things will change for the Buckeyes.
If the passing game doesn’t improve they will have a backfield full of athletes to lean on.
Running Back Mike Weber is coming off a 1,000 yard season in just his first year of taking over the workload from Ezekiel Elliot.
Many people are raving about youngsters like Demario McCall and true Freshman J.K. Dobbins. Don’t be shocked to see Meyer roll with a Running Back by committee, especially at the start of the season with Weber recovering from a hamstring injury.
Ohio State is absolutely loaded on the other side of the ball.
Co Defensive Coordinator Luke Fickell is now gone as he took the Head Coaching job at Cincinatti.
Now, former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach, Greg Schiano takes over the defense full time and he believes this Buckeyes defense is something special.
Schiano told Big Ten Network at Big Ten media days that “Probably — not probably — the most talented group I’ve ever been around.”
That is high praise from a guy who has coached a lot of football in his time.
Ohio State lost three key players from their secondary in last years draft. Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley, and Malik Hooker all went inside the first round.
Ohio State is not lacking talent to replace them and people are noticing.
Matt Miller, who covers the NFL draft for Bleacher report, has high expectations for this young secondary.
He’s way up on my CB rankings already. Ohio State has the best CB group in the country with Ward, Arnette and Sheffield
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) August 23, 2017
The secondary will contribute to Ohio State having one of the best defenses in the country this year.
Combine that with their stellar D line play headlined by Nick Bosa and Tyquan Lewis.
Not to mention their Linebacking corps lead by potential first round pick Jerome Baker who Miller also had high praise for.
Jerome Baker. Potential top 15 player and elite WLB prospect https://t.co/7TW0KZHHql
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) August 23, 2017
The defense is not the question that needs to be answered. The question we all are waiting to be answered is if the passing game that has fallen off the past two years can be resurrected with new OC Kevin Wilson.
If Ohio State can not develop a consistent passing game it will make the run through the Big Ten that much harder for the Buckeyes.
As I start talking about Alabama I think it should be mentioned I am a few glasses of Bulleit Whiskey in. So, if I show any bias you know why.
As long as Nick Saban is at running the show for the Crimson Tide it is hard to argue who the favorite is.
Alabama lost a bulk of guys last year, most notably OJ Howard, Reuben Foster, and Jonathon Allen who were all first round draft picks in April.
Alabama returns Jalen Hurts, but has a brand new Offensive Coordinator in Brian Daboll.
The past two years we have seen this weird thing called passing from Alabama or what some football gurus call it “opening up the offense.”
Now that Joey Freshwater is gone, aka Lane Kiffin, to Florida Atlantic hitting on young college girls. You should see Alabama go back to its boring ass offense.
So, when Alabama plays in a big game you will see their Running Back get 50 carries a game as oppose to the 40 when they had when Kiffin was the OC.
On a serious note, I think Alabama is going to be really good again a long with Jalen Hurts.
I don’t think Hurts gets enough credit for what he did last year as a true freshman. The idea that he can’t move the ball through the air is insane.
He threw for 2,780 yards last season, while moving the ball through the air he was able to rush for 954 yards.
I don’t think their is an argument against saying that Hurts is the most dynamic Quarterback Saban has ever had.
I think Hurts is going to be even better this year and lead the Tide to an undefeated season.
My only concern is, last year Alabamas defense scored 15 touchdowns. If you don’t watch a lot of football just know that scoring 15 touchdowns on defense is really fucking good.
You can agree or disagree with me on who is in and who is not.
But, I know we can all agree that it is great to have football back.
Because the preseason predictions won’t be the last thing we argue about, which makes football season so great.