Okay, time for the good football, the football I truly enjoy, college football. There is almost nothing I enjoy more than watching college football on a Saturday in the fall. It is the best. It is the one time of year where I do not mind not leaving the house at all, and having the TV on all day. I get lost watching all the different teams play on Saturday's, but I most focused when Michigan plays, obviously. I love the fall because it means college football is back.
Like I have done in the past I will pick each power conference winner, and point out a few teams that may be under the radar. Unlike the past though, I will not dwell too much on all the teams in the power 5 conferences. I will mention some, give sentences on a few and explain why I picked each conference winner. I will conclude everything will my playoff picks, my title game, my title game winner and who I think will win the Heisman. Okay, lets get to it.
I am going to start with my conference, instead of saving it for the end, the Big Ten. This is the conference I pay the most attention to. I watch most of the games even if I don't like the team that is playing. The Big Ten should be pretty competitive, as usual, but if Michigan doesn't finally break through and win, I will be upset and angry. They have one of their better offenses in recent memory returning. They have 8 starters back, including Shea Patterson and almost the entire o line. They have a great trio of receivers. The tight ends are utilized properly. And while young, the depth at running back is insane. The defense did lose some key guys, but they had so many players that played meaningful snaps last year that are back. Sure, Devin Bush, Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary will be tough to replace, but they have recruited guys just for this occasion. They have some tough games, Army really stands out to me in the non conference, and they play Notre Dame again. But, most of their toughest games are at home. They get Notre Dame, Army, Michigan State, The University of Ohio State and Iowa all in Ann Arbor. I expect, and all fans should, this team to be very good. They should win the Big Ten. That being said, The university of Ohio State is always there, and they have owned the conference for a bit. They have a bunch of new players, but still, they don't rebuild, they reload. Michigan State should be better than they were last year. and their defense is grimy, gritty and dirty. Northwestern has a new shiny 5 star QB taking over, and they are always an annoying out. Minnesota has gotten better every year under PJ Fleck. Iowa is always tough, can run and now they can pass the ball too. Penn State has to break in a new QB, but they have a solid defense, can run and they play tough at home. Nebraska should be much better, but they need to shore up a porous defense. Wisconsin has a Heisman hopeful in Johnathan Taylor, and they get their toughest games at home. Purdue is better, and that Moore kid they have is a stud. Indiana and Maryland are fine. And Illinois and Rutgers will suffer some more growing pains. Michigan should win the conference this year.
Next I will go to the Big 12. This conference really comes down to Texas and Oklahoma, and I think Oklahoma is better in every facet. No one plays defense in the Big 12, but Oklahoma is better than Texas. All teams air the ball out, or can run like gangbusters, and Oklahoma is better at that. West Virginia is going to regress. Kansas has Les Miles, but that will not amount to many more wins in year one. Baylor should have gotten the death penalty. Iowa State is tough, but they always find a way to blow games. Oklahoma State's run as a contender is well past, and Mike Gundy is a dickhead. Texas Tech has 5-7 written all over them. TCU could be better, but they really fell on their faces last season. I think Oklahoma will win because I think the kid from Alabama is a better QB than the one Texas has.
The Pac 12 has really become a lost conference. They haven't been relevant in the past couple years. That being said, Oregon has a legit top NFL prospect playing QB for them in Justin Herbert. They are super explosive too. Washington has a good transfer QB coming in to take over, and they actually play defense, and play it well. Utah is always tough. They are a better version of Northwestern. USC is in dead man walking territory, especially with former players opining for a new head coach. Washington State is fun, but they play less defense than a Big 12 team, and they always seem to lose steam late in the season. Stanford is tough, but they haven't been able to put together a full season in awhile. I'm done letting them make me look stupid. Colorado had a moment, but they are back to being a 7-5 team at best. And the rest of the conference is very blah. I'm going with Oregon because this is Herbert's last run. I think he could blow up this season.
Now to the SEC. I still think the SEC is very overrated, but Alabama is still in the conference, and they are still awesome. They have so many good players, led by Tua Tigaviola. He's awesome. He is a Heisman front runner, and he will lead that very explosive offense. Alabama's main threats will be LSU and Georgia. Both those teams have great returning QB's and good run games. They also play very solid defense. Georgia is a better team, but LSU plays up to opponents, and they could make some noise. Outside of those three teams it is really jumbled in the middle. Missouri got one of the best transfers in the country in Kelly Bryant, and he alone will make this team an 8 or 9 win team. Missouri fans will soon forget about Drew Lock. Bryant is a much better QB. Auburn will be really good or really bad. No in between. Florida is coming off a huge bowl win over Michigan, and they have a ton of talent back. But, their success depends on Felipe Franks, and he has not been great so far in college. Texas A&M will be very good very soon, but they are still a year or 2 away from really competing. Mississippi State is solid, but no better than an 8 win team. And from there on out, the rest of the conference has too many question marks. It will once again come down to Georgia and Alabama, and, as usual Alabama will prove their dominance. I'm getting sick of picking them.
Speaking of teams that are so easy too predict, does anyone have a shot to beat Clemson in the ACC? I don't think so. In fact, I know so. Clemson is coming off an absolute dismantling of Alabama in the title game last year, and pretty much everyone from that offense, mainly Trevor Lawrence, is back. They could easily average 50 points a game this year. They can walk through their schedule. They are so good on offense, and even with the departures on defense, they will be just fine. Clemson is now in Alabama territory. They are approaching unbeatable status. Sure, teams like Miami should be decent, and Florida State should rebound. Syracuse is becoming good again. And Georgia Tech runs that funky triple option. But I mean come on, Clemson will trounce their way to a division title. They are legit.
Outside of the power 5 teams, Army is a very good, very disciplined football team. They will be tough. Notre Dame has a good QB coming back and they will always be a threat. UCF, while not having Mackenzie Milton and his backup, got Brandon Wimbush, and he is a perfect fit to run their offense. Outside of those teams, no one really jumps off the page. We don't have a UCF from a few years back, or a Western Michigan from even more years back. The power 5 teams are the best of the best this season.
Picking the four team playoff has been tough for me. I have Clemson and Alabama as locks. The next 2 teams I have struggled with. I've waffled between so many variations, but I think I finally have my other 2 teams. I'm not going with a Pac 12 team either because I'm sick of getting burned by that conference. I'm going with Michigan and Georgia. I think Oklahoma will blow some games, that Texas is a little overrated, and I already stated why I will not pick Oregon. My order from 1-4 would be Clemson, Alabama, Michigan and Georgia. That would give us Clemson-Georgia and Alabama-Michigan. And, for what seems like the tenth time in a row, I have Clemson and Alabama in the title game. And, I think it will be a repeat of last year. Clemson is a better football team right now, and Dabo Swinneyis a better coach. There, I said it.
As far as the Heisman, I do not see how Trevor Lawrence from Clemson doesn't win it this year. He would have to fall off the face of the Earth to not win it. He was great last year, and now he has the full reins of that offense.
Okay, there it is, my 2019 college football preview. We only have three more weeks until real games are going to be played. I cannot wait. It is going to rule.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. It seems like the last few years Ty has been hyping a Missouri Quarterback. Come on Ty, stop giving me hope for an 8 win season. Seven wins is where the Tigers have made their home.
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