College Football: 60 Days To 2001!!!

College FootballFinally, the countdown can begin! It’s officially 60 days until Steve Superior and the South Carolina Gamecocks host the Johnny Manziel less Texas A&M Aggies at the rocking Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina!

It will be an electric atmosphere with “Cocky” getting the Gamecock faithful jacked up and 2001 blaring – the greatest opening in all of college football. ESPN will be there, a national audience will be watching, and the greatest game in the land will start another season. And what a season it shapes up to be! Many of the Talking Heads have penciled in Oklahoma as the pre-season #1. Some have FSU repeating while many others see the Tide in the top spot. And then there is Auburn, loaded and ready for year 2 under Gus Malzahn. What about the high flying Ducks out west? Baylor should be right behind Oregon averaging 52 points per game!

This truly could be one of the most unpredictable years in recent memory. Our national champion could have ( and probably will have ) 2 losses. The only certainty this year is that it will be decided on the field of play, not by a biased vote or some computer ranking. Even though only 4 teams get to be in the playoff, that is a starting point for an eventual 8-12 team playoff structure.

Scheduling is the biggest factor in having a chance to win a national championship. The reason why I say this years champion may have 2 losses is so many of the top programs have tough schedules this year. In years past, a soft Ohio State like schedule got you in prime position to hang around the top of the polls week after week. Win and hope someone at the top losses. Keep winning with some style points along the way and you can back door your way to the title game. Not in 2014! Let’s look at some of the top programs and their schedules for 2014.

OKLAHOMA – Home games with La Tech, Tennessee, Texas, K St., Baylor, Kansas, OK St. Road games at Tulsa, W Va., TCU, Iowa St., Texas Tech. This is a schedule set up to win a national championship. All of their tough games are at home. Can “Big Game Bob” get it done? The Sooners are set up to be in the 4 team playoff with this schedule!

ALABAMA – With a Neutral Site game with W Va., Home games with Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Florida, Texas A&M, Western Carolina, Mississippi St., Auburn , and road games at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU, the Crimson Tide should be in a good place to be in the top 4. Even though there are question marks at QB, there is a ton of talent there and Nick Saban will have them ready to compete for another SEC West title.

OREGON – The Ducks annually have had one of the easier schedules in the land but the 2014 schedule is a lot more competitive. Sure, they will average 57 point per game but, are more teams like Stanford finally figuring them out? This year, they are Home vs. Michigan State, Arizona, and Stanford. The Road games are at UCLA, UTAH, and Oregon St. A little bit tougher in 2014!!

FSU – The defending champs have their work cut out for them this year. They may have snuck up on some people last year, but it is not going to happen this time around! Can Mr. Winston stay out of trouble? With Road games at OK State, Louisville, and Miami, the Seminoles host Clemson, Notre Dame, and Florida. For sure, every team will circle the FSU game on their calendar!

AUBURN – @ K State, @ Georgia, @ Alabama. Home with Arkansas, LSU, South Carolina, and Texas A&M. That’s the type of schedule if you win them all, you should be #1! OUCH!!

BAYLOR – Their offense will be explosive this year, just a notch behind the Ducks. Although they have 2 tough road games, at Texas and at Oklahoma, their last 3 games of the year are at home with OK State, Texas Tech, and K State. They have a soft Non Conference schedule with SMU, Northwestern State, and Buffalo.

STANFORD – @ Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon, and UCLA. Home vs. USC, Oregon State, and UTAH. A brutal schedule, but, win them all and the Cardinal will be hanging around the top of the polls waiting for others to fall.

MICHIGAN STATE – They too may have snuck up on teams last year but it is not going to happen this time around! Their much heralded defense graduated several key people but their offense should be vastly improved in’14. They are at Oregon, and Penn State with Homes games versus Nebraska, Michigan, and Ohio State. Sparty is set up nicely to be near the top of the polls should they take care of business.

SOUTH CAROLINA – The Gamecocks kick it all off this year hosting Texas A&M. Other key Home games include Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee. They go on the road to Auburn, Florida, and Clemson. Like so many schools this time around, Carolina has question marks at the QB position.

College Football Week Two News and Notes

UCLA – The Bruins are @ Virginia, Texas, ASU, and Home with UTAH, Oregon, Arizona, USC, and Stanford. Some of the luster may be off of USC and the Jim Mora led Bruins may be the best show in LA!

NOTRE DAME – As always, the Irish have another brutal schedule. Home games include Michigan, Stanford, and Louisville. The Irish hit the road at FSU, Arizona State, and USC. Coach Kelly has his work cut out for him this year!

How about the worst schedule in America? That belongs to the Wisconsin Badgers. They open with a tough Neutral site game with LSU. Their home schedule includes: Western Illinois, Bowling Green, South Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Their Road games are at Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue, and Iowa. Shame on you Barry Alveraz!! That schedule is embarrassing. I guess they will go 11-1 and be screaming for respect. SORRY Badger fan, even if you go 12-0, you should not even be in the top 5.

So as you can see, the top schools all have tough schedule. That’s why I think it is highly unlikely we will have an unbeaten team sitting at the top of the polls when it is all said and done.

My Sports Wish List

A TO Z Pre-Season Top 25:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Alabama
  3. Oregon
  4. FSU
  5. Baylor
  6. Michigan State
  7. Auburn
  8. Ohio State
  9. Stanford
  10. UCLA
  11. South Carolina
  12. LSU
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Arizona State
  15. Wisconsin
  16. USC
  17. Texas
  18. Georgia
  19. Texas A&M
  20. Mississippi
  21. Washington
  22. UNC
  23. UCF
  24. Nebraska
  25. Clemson

 

So when the playoffs begin we will have ( #1 Oklahoma vs. #4 FSU ) and ( #2 Alabama vs. #3 Oregon ). Oklahoma knocks off FSU and ‘Bama beats the Ducks setting up the title game between The Tide and The Sooners. The winner is…….

WEEK #1 GAMES

Week one always offers both ends of the spectrum. You have some great early season nail biting games and then you have the total yawners – schools getting beat by 56 points but collecting a nice paycheck to build up their new weight room. So, which games would you rather watch?

Texas A&M @ South Carolina OR Idaho @ Florida

Clemson @ Georgia OR Stephen A. Austin @ K State

Alabama vs. W Va. OR Appalachian State @ Michigan

Arkansas @ Auburn OR Jacksonville State @ Michigan State

FSU vs. OK State OR Florida Atlantic @ Nebraska

Miami @ Louisville OR Ohio State vs. Navy

LSU vs. Wisconsin OR La Tech @ Oklahoma

UCLA @ Virginia OR South Dakota @ Oregon

Boise State @ Ole Miss OR UC Davis @ Stanford

I am ready! This is going to be one heck of a fall. The rivalries, the pageantry, night games in Baton Rouge, tailgating, ESPN from 10 AM to midnight every Saturday, Gameday, Lee Corso, fans begging for their team to get more respect, The “Hat” doing stupid things, recruiting news, the quest for the Heisman……folks, it does not get any better than college football….the greatest sport in the land!!

Posted By A To Z On Sports

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

unique visitors counter