College football rundown

October 18, 2017

I live for Saturdays and college football. The pinnacle for every top program is the same; make the playoff or the season is a complete disappointment. I predict that Alabama, USC, Oklahoma and Ohio State will be the four playoff teams.

Alabama has won four of the last seven national championships and they are once again miles ahead of everyone. The Crimson Tide are led again by sophomore QB Jalen Hurts, who almost took down Clemson last year in the National Championship game. Alabama lost a lot of key defenders from last year but as always they reloaded with one of the top recruiting classes.

Alabama continuously uses power running backs to wear out defenses and it also has one of the best vertical threats in the country in WR Calvin Ridley. Ridley can stretch defenses out and opposing corners cannot keep up with his speed. Alabama is by far the best team and it will take a Herculean effort to take them down.

It is apparent that Ohio State’s erratic offense misses former Offensive Coordinator and now Texas Head Coach Tom Herman. The Buckeyes were stunned at home by the Sooners but Head Coach Urban Meyer always responds perfectly to adversity. A common theme in Ohio State’s losses the past few years has been the horrific play calling and way too many quarterback runs. If OSU wants to win it all, they will need several offensive players to break out of their slumps. Their pass defense has also been among the worst in the country through a few games but you can never count out a team coached by Urban Meyer.

Baker Mayfield has thrown himself into the Heisman race and pulled off the upset at the Horseshoe. Mayfield has established himself as a top tier college quarterback and is expected to lead Oklahoma to its second playoff appearance in three years. The return of the Big 12 conference championship game will only bolster Oklahoma’s strong playoff resume.

Clemson has the same receiving core as last year, but it will be impossible to match former QB Deshaun Watson’s production on the field. The team will rely heavily on their relentless pass rush and stout defense. It will be a big challenge for the Tigers to even win the tough ACC.

USC is blessed to have the future No. 1 overall pick in QB Sam Darnold. The Trojans offense is almost unstoppable but they do not have a bye week until after their last regular season game vs. UCLA. They will be short rested but I believe that Darnold will finish top five in the Heisman race and lead USC to the playoff.

The seedings of the playoff race will look a little different towards the end of the year. Unforeseen upsets will certainly shake up the college football landscape. Penn State, Michigan, Auburn, Clemson, and Washington will be left out of the playoff. 

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