We are a bit more than halfway through the college football season and I wanted to take time today to see what I got right, wrong and what I want to correct in regards to my college football 2015 season preview.
I feel like I've done a pretty good job with my picks and predictions, but there's things I definitely got wrong or need change. I'll go through each conference that I previewed and I'll pick the four playoff teams and who I have for the Heisman. On with the mid season preview.
Let's start with the SEC. I had Alabama winning the SEC, and I still believe they have a good chance to win, but I didn't think that LSU would be their biggest challenger. I thought a team like Georgia or Ole Miss or even Texas A&M would challenge them. But LSU and Florida have been their biggest competition, and I think LSU will beat Alabama in their big game this weekend. Georgia has been plagued with injuries and poor QB play. Ole Miss, who beat Alabama this year, played their best football in my opinion already. And A&M, who was supposed to have a good defense this year, has been inept on offense lately, and Alabama and Ole Miss ran rough shot on their defense, they're not at their level yet. Florida has been surprisingly good this year. Sure, their QB is now suspended for the rest of this season for PEDs, but this team wins with defense and running, and they're doing those things very well. I don't think they'll finish the season as strong as they've started, but had you told me at the beginning of the year they'd be a 9 or 10 win team, I would've called you crazy. But, they're on their way to that number easily. LSU, in my opinion, is the team to beat in the SEC. They need to beat Alabama this weekend, which I already said I think they will, but they've been stout on defense and their running game, behind the new Heisman front runner, Leonard Fournette, makes them the favorite. They don't have a QB that's really division one caliber, but neither does Alabama and while Alabama does have Derrick Henry running the ball, he's no Leonard Fournette and LSU's defense is better. LSU is my new pick to win the SEC.
On to the Pac 12. I was completely wrong about this conference. I assumed that Oregon would continue to dominate as they have for the past couple of years, but then they ran into Utah. Utah destroyed them in Oregon and they haven't been the same team since, switching QB's weekly it seems and opposing teams torching their defense. Oregon took a big step back. Utah, after throttling Oregon, looked like the team to beat, but they got pounded at USC. Utah is still good and a team with one loss, can still win this conference. USC has beaten Utah and California, but lost to Notre Dame and still have to play UCLA. They also fired their coach for being drunk on the sideline, so this team is still a mess. UCLA is good, but they lost Myles Jack for the year, and they are led by a freshman QB, who looks like he's hitting the freshman wall. Then we have Stanford. They shit the bed in their first game at Northwestern, but since then, they've looked completely dominant. This conference is going to come down to Utah and Stanford and I'm going to pick Stanford to win. They just look so good right now.
The Big 12 looks just how I thought it would look. Sure, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma look good, but they aren't on Baylor or TCU's level. Oklahoma State is undefeated, but they just gave up 53 points to Texas Tech and that doesn't bode well for the rest of their season. Oklahoma is okay, but they've blown one game already and given their history under Bob Stoops, they'll do it again. Baylor looked like they were going to give TCU a run for the conference until their QB went down with a broken bone on his neck. Their offense was running like a well oiled machine, but I don't think that will happen with a back up QB. That's unfortunate for them. TCU is winning games with Boykin running their offense to perfection. He's putting up video game numbers and will continue to do that the rest of the year. Baylor was going to challenge, but TCU will win the Big 12.
The Big 10 has been pretty predictable except for one team. Ohio State is still number one, but they've looked unimpressive and now their starting QB has been arrested for drunk driving. Their new back up QB, when he's not busy complaining about losing the starting spot, should have went pro last year because he's looked pretty blah this year. Their coach is also a piece of garbage. He goes on TV and bad mouths the way other teams handle their punishment and then gives a lame punishment to JT Barrett and he also recruited and stood by a convicted murderer while head coach at Florida. Michigan State is undefeated, but had Michigan been able to punt the ball, they wouldn't be a top ten team anymore. Their early season home win over Oregon doesn't look so impressive anymore. Iowa has been the biggest surprise to me. They're undefeated and the rest of their schedule is a cake walk. But, even if they win the Big 10 championship game, they won't, the committee would be hard pressed to put them in the playoff. They're not that impressive and neither is their schedule. Northwestern looked like they may have surprised after a 5-0 start, then Michigan shut them out and Iowa hammered them in Northwestern. They're not that good. Michigan has looked very good on defense, with the Minnesota game being a lone exception, but they are very unimpressive on offense. They'll win 8 or 9 games. Penn State plays good defense, but they can't protect their QB. And Wisconsin has disappointed. The rest of the Big Ten is not good. Unfortunately, the Michigan State-Ohio State game will decide this conference, and I have to begrudgingly pick Ohio State. I hate them so much, but they will win the Big 10 this year.
The ACC is between two teams. Clemson and Florida State are the only teams worth talking about. Duke got screwed, Miami is light years behind, NC State and Georgia Tech are completely disappointing and the rest of the conference doesn't bear mentioning. Clemson is a much better team than Florida State and should win this conference with ease.
The AAC, the conference I gave very little mention to will get the same. Memphis has an impressive win over Ole Miss and are undefeated. Houston has an explosive QB and are also undefeated, and Temple is 7-1 with a pretty stout defense. They all have yet to play each other, but I think Temple will win. They've played the toughest schedule and they have the players on defense to stop both Houston and Memphis.
The two independents I mentioned in my preview, Notre Dame and BYU have had decent seasons. Notre Dame has looked good despite losing Malik Zaire in the first game, but their wins aren't very impressive and the toughest team they played, Clemson, pretty much shut them down. Their coach is also an insane person. BYU started with two very dramatic wins, but when they play upper level division one teams, they don't look so impressive. Boise State suffered an early season loss to BYU, but looked good after that, climbing back into the top 25, then Utah State hammered them. This version of Boise State is not as good as previous Boise State teams.
So, where do we stand today? I think I did a decent job. My original four playoff teams were Ohio State, Alabama, TCU and Michigan State. Today, my final four is, Ohio State, TCU, Clemson and LSU. Two changes, that's it. I think the title game will feature TCU and Clemson, and I still have TCU winning. They're outside the top four right now and they got screwed last season, so I think they will play with a fury unmatched and prove the committee wrong from last season. They're still the best team, in my opinion. As for the Heisman, I'm going to stick with Tevoyne Boykin, but Leonard Fournette has been extremely impressive. If he can do to Alabama what he's done to every other team this year, he will probably win, but Boykin is putting up humongous numbers and he will lead TCU to a title. How do you not award him the Heisman if he does that.
So, there's my corrections from the midway point of the college football season. Tell me why I'm wrong in the comment section, and give me your picks.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. This is his 100th post on SeedSing. Congratulate him by following Ty on twitter @tykulik.