By RantSports Staff on August 28, 2014
It seems like it was just yesterday when Auburn and Florida State were battling it out for a national championship. Actually, it doesn’t at all. The offseason — as usual — dragged on and on, but now the 2014-15 college football season is finally here. Before the season goes into full effect, let’s take a look at 25 bold predictions for the year.
The Charlie Strong era has begun in Texas. As much as I would like to say that would lead to a national championship this year, that is not going to happen. In fact, the Longhorns won’t even come close to making the College Football Playoff. After all, the team does play UCLA, Baylor and Oklahoma this season, who are all entering the year by being ranked in the top 10.
Marshall’s schedule is set up perfectly for it to go undefeated. The Thundering Herd don’t have any ranked teams on the schedule, which is good and bad. Good because the team could easily go undefeated. Bad because other playoff contenders will play tougher competition.
UCF has two tough tests right off the bat. The Knights take on Penn State to open up the season, and then get Missouri in the following game. QB Blake Bortles is no longer on the team, but UCF will still win one of the two games mentioned above, and then will go on to win the rest of its games.
Jameis Winston was the best player in college football last season and he will be one of the best players this season. Florida State will enter the season ranked No. 1 for the simple fact that it won the title game last year, and a stacked roster is coming back. Whether the case, Winston will be a Heisman finalist once again.
As usual, the Oregon Ducks should have a lethal offense in 2014, and Marcus Mariota will be a big reason for that. Expect him and the rest of the Ducks to score at will, which will lead to Mariota being a Heisman finalist.
An undefeated team will be left out of the College Football Playoff. Who knows, it could be Marshall. It is a matter of opinion on who the top four teams in the country are at the end of the season, and I would be willing to bet that four powerhouse teams, with one loss or less, would make it over an undefeated mid-major.
Arizona State certainly has some questions with its defense, but I have a lot of faith in the team’s offense. Expect ASU to be in many high-scoring affairs, and end up taking the Pac-12 South. For all of the doubters out there, just remember that the Sun Devils made the Pac-12 title game last season.
QB Braxton Miller was without a doubt a key piece to the Buckeyes’ offense, but don’t expect the team to just fall over and give up. As it stands, Ohio State only has to play one ranked opponent on the year. Urban Meyer will have his troops ready for every matchup, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the team ends up winning the Big 10.
You mean to tell me a team that finished 4-8 in 2013 will bounce back and win 10 games in 2014? Sure, why not. The Gators dealt with many injuries last year. Also, they have a new offensive coordinator and are expected to have one of the best defenses in the country.
The Seminoles will be losing some talent, but they will still have arguably the best roster in college football in 2014. Florida State will have some worthy opponents throughout the year, but it will still be the favorite heading into every game during the regular season.
Bryce Petty threw for a beastly 4,200 yards, 32 touchdowns and just three interceptions last season. He also had 14 TDs on the ground. Expect the QB to have an even bigger year, which will result in him winning the Heisman.
Plain and simple, this will be the year of the quarterbacks. That tends to happen when players like Bryce Petty, Nick Marshall, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Taysom Hill, Rakeem Cato, Christian Hackenberg and many other talented QBs take the field.
QB Everett Golson will lead the Fighting Irish to 10 wins this season. It will not be easy since the team will have a brutal schedule, but Notre Dame has the talent to pull off that feat.
Auburn and Alabama have the talent to make the playoff this year. The two teams met up in the best game of the season last year, and will do the same this year.
For what it’s worth, Florida vs. Alabama will be a close second. Yes, Florida vs. Alabama. The Gators will have a great defense, which seems to always be the case, the offense will be improved and Alabama could be dealing with some QB issues early on in the season.
Taking for what it’s worth a step further, the Baylor vs. Oklahoma matchup will not be too far behind the two games listed before this one. Unless if you love high-scoring affairs. Then it could be the most exciting game of 2014.
The bold part of that statement is saying Wisconsin will beat LSU in the first game of the season. If the Badgers do come away with that victory, they have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way.
Louisville could realistically challenge for an ACC title, but I am going the other way with that one. The Cardinals lost Teddy Bridgewater, Charlie Strong and will be playing in a new conference. Their losses will come against Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame. Heck, Louisville could lose the first game of the season against an underrated Miami team.
You could say that this one is a little bold. For one, Florida has many capable backs and Kelvin Taylor only ran for 508 yards and four TDs last year. For two, Todd Gurley, T.J. Yeldon and many others play in the SEC.
The talent is there for LSU to win a title this year. However, the team has some questions entering the season, and will finally finish with less than 10 wins. Sorry, Les Miles.
Georgia won eight games last season. The Dawgs enter the season with a good ranking, but will face quality opponent after quality opponent. Plus, I’m not quite yet sold on QB Hutson Mason.
Two SEC teams will make the playoff. My guess is Alabama and Auburn.
Rakeem Cato threw for 3,916 yards and 39 TDs last season. It will not be easy, but he will be even better in 2014.
Oregon will have to play the likes of Michigan State, UCLA, Washington and Stanford, but it will prevail and make the playoff.
The SEC is the best conference in America, but Alabama will still run the table during the regular season, make the playoff and win the national championship. Who knows what will happen at QB, but the Crimson Tide will still have one of the best running games, and that defense will be too good once again.
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