Aug 262014

My thoughts alphabetically by team, with non-team-specific thoughts at the end:

  • Akron wins enough to lose Terry Bowden. He’ll have a better job next year.
  • Alabama wins the SEC. I think the quarterback issue settles itself, the o-line jells, and it’s off to the races.
  • Auburn returns to form. That means 8-4 or so, with a solid loss to Alabama. Welcome back.
  • Clemson ends six years of frustration and beats South Carolina. Reserve the Boom Boom Room now, Tigers.
  • Florida wins nine games, and Muschamp saves himself. Lest you think that’s too much of a rebound, go reexamine what happened to the Gators last year. They were annihilated by injuries in a way I’ve never seen.
  • Florida State does not repeat. In some quarters this team is practically anointed for ’14, like why should we bother playing the games? Yes, most of the team is back, but FSU won’t sneak up on anyone this year. I see three games on their schedule they could lose.
  • Georgia slits its own throat and fires Mark Richt. Talk about “getting over the hump” intensifies after a closer-than-it-should-have-been win. Then, Georgia loses a game that can plausibly be blamed on bad coaching, and Georgia sends one of the best coaches in the league packing.
  • Hawaii fires Norm Chow halfway through the season. He seemed a very promising head coach candidate, but he’s been awful. He doesn’t make it to November.
  • Louisville keeps Bobby Petrino all year. Probably next year, too, and then this filthy snake’s contrition is once again overwhelmed by ambition and greed.
  • LSU loses three games for the third year in a row. Grumbling intensifies.
  • Mississippi State wins nine; loses Dan Mullen. It’s a favorable schedule with nearly everyone back from last year. Coach gets an offer he can’t refuse.
  • Ole Miss underachieves. Absolutely everyone is higher on the Rebels than I am, it seems. They’ve lost five conference games in each of Hugh Freeze’s two seasons, and that sounds about right for the third one too.
  • Penn State wins 10 games in James Franklin’s debut season. The schedule is favorable, and Coach Franklin is the real deal. No mere mortal puts up back-to-back nine-win seasons at Vanderbilt.
  • Tennessee goes bowling. Still think running Fulmer off was a good idea? Nevertheless, signs of life in Knoxville.
  • Texas overachieves. Lots of folks are high on Charlie Strong, but there’s a lot of “he’s gonna need time” chatter too. Nonsense. Texas wins 10 games this year.
  • Texas A&M finishes below .500. Yes, Manziel and Evans mattered that much, nearly wholly compensating for a rotten Aggie defense. But they’re gone. The decline is steep.
  • Vanderbilt gets back to a bowl, but not by much. I think 7-6 would be a tremendous year for the ‘Dores.
  • Washington State is the surprise of the Pac-12. I think the Cougars could start as strongly as 5-1, on the way to 8-5 or so.
  • The playoff structure generates substantial controversy. There were holes in the BCS paradigm that aren’t closed nearly enough in this Way Forward. Five undefeated teams? A major strength-of-schedule fracas? I don’t know, but something.
  • Your national champion is: wow, who knows? I see as much potential for Alabama as anyone in the SEC to put it all together and hit overdrive. But, I think this could be a really strong Pac-12 year too. No Big Ten team has the horses for it all the way to the end. The Big 12 eats its own enough to remove itself from contention. From the ACC, it’s the Seminoles or no one, and I think they don’t quite get there. I have to say something definitive, and with Alabama plausibly in the mix, how do I pick against them? I’ll go Alabama 38, Oregon 27.

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 Posted by at 7:53 pm

  7 Responses to “’s 20 fearless predictions for the college football season”

  1. Good stuff Bo, but I have to disagree on a few points. I don’t think BAMA wins the SEC this year and I think the West comes down to the Iron Bowl. Unless BAMA can prove they can stop or even slow down a HUNH offense, I think that game will be a toss up. If alabama can escape Ole Miss and LSU, I think they’ll have a shot. Besides the QB situation is worrisome to me as well as Kiffen. I hope that guy proves me wrong. RTR!!!

    • I think you’ll see that HUNH solution this year. Coach Saban having a whole year to think about how to solve a problem is right in his wheelhouse, man.

      The QB situation doesn’t worry me as long as we get decent line play. There’s an eight-legged monster in the backfield that should be a reasonable four- to five-yard threat on most downs, and that’s all it takes to set up an effective passing game. (There’s an eight- or ten-legged monster at WR, too.) 🙂 Plus, I think O.J. Howard has a breakout year.

  2. I’m with you on Ole Miss. Everyone loves the fact that the “experienced” Bo Wallace is back. Experience doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s a liability.

    I don’t see Clemson beating SCar. Spurrier is in Dabo’s head, and Clemson is great at being a paper tiger.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about Bama. Need to see for myself that the OL is effective, and that whoever the QB turns out to be finds a level of comfort with Kiffin’s playcalling. If that happens, there will be carnage.

    Agree that Auburn regresses to the mean. Their schedule is brutal.

    • I just have a feeling about the Clemson-SC game this year. Spurrier is not incapable of a massive choke. I offer the ’96 Fiesta Bowl as Exhibit A. Dabo has overachieved, and I’m delighted for him, seeing as he’s a member of that magical ’92 squad. I don’t think it’s impossible that he captures a little voodoo this year and adds it to his coaching mosaic.

      Ole Miss sucking is in the water there, mostly. Plus, I work with a bunch of Mississippi State alumni of whom I think a lot. 🙂

      Alabama has a sick backfield. Opposing Ds will start packing the box to stop the run, and the aerial attack shall commence. I’m feeling really good. I see two 50+-yard TD receptions in Saturday’s game.

  3. Ole Miss may not live up to its hype or hopeful aspirations, but that Cody Core was sure fun to watch in the second half last night.

  4. Something you have perhaps overlooked in your predictions…
    I am a fully fledged Alabama fan now. There is actual crimson and houndstooth in my closet. I am going to games. It wasn’t easy getting here…I spent much of last year wailing and gnashing my teeth.
    But I have really, really come to love Tuscaloosa and the U of A campus.
    My child is a part of the Crimson Tide…so I am all in.

    That being said…my fan-ship has never been a good thing for any team. Sadly, I am a liability.

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