It’s the latter part of July and that faint “Not so fast, my friend!” you hear in the distance means only one thing: College football is almost here!
With that in mind, we decided to channel our inner Carnac the Magnificent to inform you exactly how the 2015 college football season will play out. From Heisman predictions to coaches riding off into the sunset, it’s all here. We promise reading about our bold predictions will be more worthwhile than reading about journalists complaining about the accommodations at Media Days.
Three The Hard Way – Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones and JT Barrett Will All Score Touchdowns In The Same Game
The stable of proven gunslingers at Urban Meyer’s disposal is well-documented. The first two backups to whoever Meyer tabs as the starter for the Buckeyes next season could probably start for every other B1G team, save Michigan State. So how does a coach keep all these guys happy? Get them on the field by any means necessary.
The Buckeyes will undoubtedly have their share of blowouts, so there will be ample opportunities for each QB to log enough playing time to score in the same game, but it wouldn’t shock anyone if Meyer had two or even three QBs on the field at the same time. This is the same guy that had pre-murderer Aaron Hernandez running the ball as a tight-end and morphed speedster Percy Harvin into a hybrid running back/wide receiver in his days at Florida. Urban Meyer WILL get the most of his talented signal-callers. (Derek)
So long, Sunshine Scooter – Lee Corso Will Announce His Retirement
SEC admiration aside, College GameDay is a well-beloved institution that college football die-hards start their day with each fall Saturday. A big reason for that has been the onscreen chemistry of the long-tenured broadcast team. However – now that Chris Fowler has been replaced by the consummate pro Rece Davis and ESPN is giving more air-time to the likes of David Pollack, Sam Ponder, Paul Finebaum, and Tom Rinaldi – the writing is on the wall for a cast refresh.
Kirk Herbstreit has already modified his GameDay role by taking up the booth on ABC Saturday Night Football so that leaves the remaining original cast member, Lee Corso, to make a move. And, unfortunately for college football fans, that move will probably be retiring his headgear for good. (Derek)
Tallahassee Turnstile – Everett Golson Will Win And Then Lose The Starting Job
Despite Jimbo Fisher being true to his word by not anointing Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson his starting quarterback as soon as he arrived on campus, there’s little doubt that Golson will have the leg up come fall. And this was even before the dismissal of talented freshman QB De’Andre Johnson.
With the depth chart muddled at Florida State, expect Fisher to give Golson the slight edge over Jameis Winston’s former backup Sean Maguire due to his big game experience and athleticism. However, the season will be anything but smooth sailing for Fisher’s offense. Although the talented Golson proved to be a vital cog in Notre Dame’s run to the 2013 BCS National Championship game, his tenure was marred by his troubles in the classroom and penchant for an inordinate amount of turnovers. The turnovers specifically will be the cause of Golson’s downfall as evidenced by his 14 interceptions and 12 fumbles a season ago. (Derek)
Run The Jewels – A Running Back Will Steal The Heisman
Since the year 2000, 13 of 15 of the last Heisman Trophy winners have been quarterbacks, with the last non-QB winner coming in 2009. However – with gaudy numbers from QBs now being the norm, the recent struggles of high-profile Heisman-winning QBs in the NFL, and the fact there are four running backs in the top 10 players with the best odds to take home the Stiff Arm Trophy – the time is ripe for a ball carrier to take the title as college football’s best player.
Ezekiel Elliot will carry a ton of hype into his junior year based on his phenomenal finish a season ago, Nick Chubb will be the premier player for the SEC East favorite Georgia Bulldogs, Leonard Fournette is already a household name at LSU despite not even scratching the surface of his potential, and Derrick Henry plays for Alabama (that’s all you need). Between that elite group and the likes of record-breaking Samaje Perine of Oklahoma, electrifying Royce Freeman at Oregon, and bulldozer James Connor at Pittsburgh, a running back will surely take home college football’s most coveted individual prize. (Derek)
Bowled Over – The SEC Will Send 13 Teams To Bowls
Although I was thisclose to including a bold prediction that the SEC will get shut out of the College Football Playoff, I still think the league as a whole will be as competitive as any when it comes to fielding bowl teams. In fact, coming off a season where the conference sent 12 teams to bowls, I predict the SEC will send all but one league member to the postseason. Sorry, Vandy.
The SEC West will be loaded, as usual, with Alabama being Alabama, Mississippi State being led by Dak Prescott, Ole Miss continuing to reap the benefits of Hugh Freeze’s recruiting prowess, LSU being too talented to not win at least six or seven games, Texas A&M settling in with QB prodigy Kyle Allen, and Arkansas finally looking like a Bret Bielema coached team. The division may beat up on each other, but they’ll all be bowling.
The SEC East may not be as top-heavy as their division counterpart, but the lack of a truly dominant team will help all but Vanderbilt from qualifying for the postseason. Georgia is the favorite to win the division and is lead by all-world running back Nick Chubb, Florida should be better under new head coach Jim McElwain, Missouri seems to have acclimated to the SEC just fine, Steve Spurrier is too good to allow the Gamecocks to have another mediocre season, everybody thinks Butch Jones and the Vols are on the rise, and Kentucky has to start living up to the hype of Mark Stoops (right?).
The league may send a recording-setting number of teams to bowl games, but whether or not they outperform their 7-5 bowl record from a year ago is a different story. (Derek)
Time To Play The Game – 2K Sports Will Announce An Officially Licensed College Football Game
Despite a federal court approving a settlement in the NCAA/EA Sports lawsuit earlier this month, industry experts say a new licensed football game should not be expected anytime soon.
Told rumors of EA returning with a licensed college football game in the very near future are not accurate.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 21, 2015
However, with the news of 2K Sports getting creative with the use of team licenses to include college basketball teams in their upcoming NBA 2K game, expect the studio to make a major power move by using the same method to bring a college football video game to the masses. (Derek)
Bye, Bye, Bob – 2015 Will Be Bob Stoops’ Last Season At Oklahoma
Eight Big XII Titles. One National Title.
With a resume like that, why would anyone think the 2015-16 season be Stoops’ last in Norman? The answer is as simple as one word: Underachieving.
Think about this: since upsetting Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma is 8-5. Not so bad, right? Well, when you consider an embarrassing 34-point-loss, at home, to Baylor (yes, the same Baylor that OU used to demolish year-after-year), a loss, also at home, to Oklahoma State, and a another 34-point-loss, this one to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl (the what? no Orange? Sugar? Fiesta? not even Holiday Bowl?) on the national stage there is definite cause for concern.
Stoops’ team started the preseason ranked #4 and then finished unranked. Sound familiar, Sooner fans? Other than the surprising end to the 2013 season (which, let’s call it like it is…is an outlier), here are some other underachieving years for the Sooners under Stoops:
- 2012 – Preseason #4, Big XII favorite, finish the year ranked #15, 2nd in the Big XII.
- 2011 – Preseason #1, Big XII favorite, finish the year ranked #16, 4th in the Big XII.
- 2009 – Preseason #3, Big XII South (aww, I miss the old Big 12) favorite, finish the year unranked, 4th in the Big XII South.
- 2005 – Preseason #7, picked to finish 2nd in the Big XII South, finish the year ranked #22 and 3rd in the Big XII South.
Get the picture? When has Stoops (again, other than the outlier year) overachieved? So, think of this…after winning eight (seriously, eight? signed, Sooner fans) games last season, Oklahoma will enter the 2015-16 season most likely ranked in the 20s. After losing their first road game of the year at Tennessee, the Sooners win their next two and enter the big game against Texas at 3-1. Charlie Strong gets his first win over Oklahoma and puts them at 3-2. Bill Snyder then takes down his former assistant, moving OU to 3-3. Stoops regroups, winning the next three against poor competition…then loses against TCU, Baylor and at Oklahoma State to finish the regular season. Oklahoma is invited to the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (the huh?) and loses to Rice, finishing the season 6-7. I’m not sure how much Oklahoma fans would enjoy going a combined 14-12 in two years. Get ready to put on a crimson polo and sign a new contract in about seven months, Dabo Swinney. (Tate)
Featured Image: reignmag.com