The season is quickly approaching and it’s time to take a look ahead at what we might be in store for. As usual we enter the season with Alabama and everyone else as the general consensus across the country. Some experts here and there may throw in a Clemson, Ohio State, Washington or Georgia but if you don’t have The Tide at the top of your rankings going into the season you’re in denial. Nick Saban has shown no signs of slowing down and they have little if any question marks as we sit right now. This is football and injuries and surprises are obviously going to play a big part in the year and who really knows how it will all shake out.
As a whole every conference has some really interesting battles that are bound to develop as the year unfolds. Let’s break down some teams that I believe to be contenders and tell you one big thing that will decide their legitimacy.
- Clemson – A huge contender that just needs to not make a mess of the QB position and avoid losing to lesser competition.
- Florida State – The schedule sets up nice for them with some of their biggest games coming at home. Can the defense get back to creating turnovers and complimenting the offense.
- Ohio State – Working in a new QB will certainly be a challenge but I trust in Urban Meyer to figure that out. The schedule is brutal as it is for anyone in the Big Ten East.
- Penn State – The loss of a top receiver and generational running back along with the OC will definitely slow them down. Mcsorley will need to prove he is a top QB in the country for them to finally break into the playoff.
- Michigan – Unlike last year this team is extremely experienced and on defense may be one of the best in the country. The addition of Shea Patterson has the potential to be the biggest transfer since Baker Mayfield.
- Wisconsin – The offense needs to be more consistent or they will struggle against the three teams above. They have the best RB in the conference and can lean on him for most of the year but can they convert on 3rd downs in the big moments.
- Washington – We will learn a lot about this experienced and deep team week one against Auburn. Offensive line needs to be better and if that is the case then they will be the favorites in the conference.
- Stanford – Love will continue to set records all season and he will be complimented by an effective passing attack. For the first time in what seems like forever I question if they can hold up on defense all season.
- Alabama – Just don’t mess it up. That seems simple but the schedule has few challenges and most of those are at home.
- Georgia – Can they sustain the success? With a lot of key losses on both sides of the ball will Kirby be able to plug and play with those highly talented recruits? If so then they are on a collision course with Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
- Auburn – Talent wise they may be better than they have been since 2010 or even 2004 but that schedule is brutal. I haven’t seen official rankings of schedules but Auburn has to have the hardest path even more so than the Big Ten teams.
I know some of those teams will not end up being contenders at the end of the season and that some others will jump into the mix but I’m fairly confident your final four will consist of at least 3 of these teams. If you’re anything like me you can’t wait for week one and we have some good games to enjoy along with a holiday weekend. I will be breaking down some of the bigger games in the coming weeks. FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!!