It’s prediction time as the college football season is here. Here are a few big picture forecasts for season, or ammo for you guys to make fun of me for in December. Take your pick.
Florida State is guaranteed to win the ACC
Simply put, the ACC is a disaster and Florida State is the only team with firepower. Clemson and North Carolina are good but don’t have the horses for FSU. The toughest conference game for Florida State will probably be at AAC import Louisville on a Thursday night. Maybe Miami can do something but FSU has everyone else outclassed on paper.
PAC-12 is more likely to have two teams in the playoff than the SEC.
The PAC-12 plays nine conference games a year while the SEC still does eight. Last season, that trait alone boosted the PAC-12’s rankings and they’ll be right there with the SEC this year. All 14 SEC schools play a FCS opponent compared with eight of the PAC-12 schools. If the selection committee values non-conference schedules then the PAC-12 has the inside edge.
SEC champ will come out of the East division
The East division has been pushed around by the West lately and I’m calling that to change this year. Georgia was banged up last season and look for them to be deeper this season as a result. South Carolina is waiting to break through after three-straight 11-2 seasons. Luck should come to one of these schools and upset Auburn or Alabama in the SEC championship. I give the edge to Georgia.
Everyone in the Big Ten will have at least two losses.
With Ohio State losing quarterback Braxton Miller the Big Ten is lacking a power team. Look at this candidate for the most depressing tweet of the year.
Official Statement: Braxton Miller will miss 2014 season Sr/QB re-injured right shoulder Monday throwing short pass http://t.co/JSrMNpCn2a
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) August 19, 2014
If Michigan State loses to Oregon (Sept. 6) and Wisconsin loses to LSU this Saturday in Houston then the conference is out of options. Will the committee select a Big Ten team with two losses? Highly unlikely. Maybe the Spartans can run the table in conference play and get in with just the Oregon loss. Hard to see that happening though.
Oklahoma is a lock to be in the playoff.
Oklahoma is coming off a huge win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and should be favored in every game this season. OU gets Baylor at home, the team in the league with the most explosive offense. With Texas rebuilding and Oklahoma State having to replace most of its team this has to be Oklahoma’s year.
The mid-majors will struggle for attention
The “Group of Five” has little chance of breaching the playoffs and that’s a problem. The top mid-major will get into a BCS level bowl but that’s not part of the playoff. Schools like Boise State, Central Florida and Louisiana have loaded up on their non-conference schedules but that will only help them if they go undefeated. Marshall is the favorite to win Conference USA but plays nobody. The MAC is the most unpredictable conference as its schools will beat each other up. These five conferences are going to have to reevaluate things soon.
The playoff format will work… for the most part.
Four is better than two but someone is going to be upset when the selections are announced. I predict that will be Big Ten fans as the odds are shaky for them in getting a spot. The mid-majors might have to make their own subdivision soon as the power conference schools are taking things over. Still, this will be better than last decade of postseasons. New Year’s Day matters again without compromising the regular season.
As for the championship I’m picking Oregon to beat Georgia. Hey, the more things you guys have to make fun of me for the better.