The College Football season begins tonight with a decent slate of games on television. And then there is the first football Saturday where fans have awaited the annual day of celebration. That said, here are one mans thoughts and predictions going into kickoff.----
-- There will be two teams from one conference in the College Football Playoff. Those two teams will come from either the ACC or the SEC. Clemson and Florida State would be the two representatives from the ACC if they can get past opening day games against SEC foes Auburn and Ole Miss. Or they do not stumble in the league against fellow division mate, Louisville which has spoiler potential. In the SEC, I like Western Division teams Alabama and LSU. Bama, like Clemson seems most likely due to scheduling and LSU has to get past their opener in Wisconsin and then avoid SEC upset which will not be easy.
-- The Pac 12 will be shut out of the playoff picture again. The reason being is that there are actually a lot of good teams in this league but no great ones. Everybody in their brother is picking Washington but they are in my opinion one of the most overrated teams in the nation this pre season. By years end, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Utah, Oregon, Washington and Washington State will all have made some noise and be solid bowl teams. Picking a conference champ in this league is a difficult task and whomever it ends up being will have at least two losses.
-- So, Michigan is the popular pick in the Big Ten and Ohio State was gutted a year ago. Beware those who thinks this points to the Wolverines for this year they are not sneaking up on anybody. There are some other good teams in this league but few great ones and for that reason the Big Ten will miss out on the CFB Playoff this season. However, if there is a team that breaks through it will likely be Michigan with their paltry non conference schedule.
-- I like Oklahoma as a playoff team but in no way is that a sure thought. They play Ohio State at home in a key early game not to mention Houston on the road in the opener. Wait... maybe this is a silly pick. I do think Texas improves in the Big 12 that is really ten teams. I also think Oklahoma State will make some noise and that Baylor and TCU will still be pretty good.
Here are my picks for the top 7 teams with playoff hopes by seasons end.
4- Florida State
Heisman Trophy Winner - Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Most overrated teams in the preseason - Washington, Ole Miss, Houston
Most underrated teams preseason - Oklahoma State, North Carolina
Opening week picks -
Louisville over UNCC by 44
Wake Forest over Tulane by 20
South Carolina over Vanderbilt by 1
Minnesota over Oregon State by 11
Tennessee over App. State by 19
Temple over Army by 16
Colorado over Colorado State by 11
Stanford over Kansas State by 17
Georgia Tech over Boston College by 6
Michigan over Hawaii by 45
Penn State over Kent State by 24
Iowa over Miami, Ohio by 27
West Virginia over Missouri by 7
Arkansas over La, Tech by 31
Northwestern over Western Michigan by 13
Clemson over Auburn by 8
TAM over UCLA by 1
Washington over Rutgers by 22
LSU over Wisconsin by 14
Georgia over North Carolina by 1
Oklahoma over Houston by 17
Alabama over USC by 14
BYU over Arizona by 1
Notre Dame over Texas by 4
Florida State over Ole Miss by 10
Duke over NCCU by 42