1) Who are the sleeper teams this season :
– Tennessee : The Vols are the flavor of the season and I might add it’s delicious. This team finished in the top 25 last year. The Vols took lumps as they lost to Oklahoma , Florida , Alabama and Arkansas last year. Vols fans can find solace that they remained competitive in those games. Another year of experience will help the Vols reach to the SEC Championship vs Alabama! Watch out SEC!!
– North Carolina: The Tarheels was an onside kick away from shaking the CFP playoffs way off the axis. The Tarheels ( 11-3, 8-0 ACC in 2015) enter 2o16 with Mitch Trubiski at QB who patiently waited for this opportunity . RB Elijah Hood returns to give the Tarheels a home run hitting back who had 1,463 yards in 2015. The Tarheels return a talented Defensive backfield with two dynamic CB’s in M.J Stewart & Des Lawrence. The Tarheels must win vs Georgia in the opener & on the road vs Florida State on October 1st in order to earn a berth in the CFP.
– Houston: The Cougars finished last year 13-1 including a head turning win over Florida State in the Peach Bowl. The Cougars return 11 starters including QB Greg Ward. Transfers RB Duke Catalon and WR Ra’shadd Samples are huge additions to an already potent offense. The Cougars D allowed less than 21 points per game and had a plus 21 turnover margin. What will hurt the Cougars will be their strength of schedule and not being in a power 5 conference . The only way the Cougars to make the CFP is a win over Oklahoma and if Louisville can be a top 10 team prior to their Nov 17th matchup.
2) Who are the teams that will overachieve :
– LSU: Sound crazy right? Well LSU was 9-3 and Les Miles was one foot out the door..remember? In normal universities this would have been a landmark year…hell even a good season, but at LSU it’s like being 7-6. LSU has arguably the best overall talent coming back . Bringing back RB Leonard Fournette , and WR’s Malachi Dupree and Travis Dural should help QB Brandon Harris immensely . The biggest question mark is the defense , in which gave up 24.8 points per game ( very pedestrian in the SEC) , can new defensive coordinator Dave Aranda make a quick fix. The Tigers will be better than 9-3 but remember Alabama is real!
– Washington : Expectations are sky high for the Huskies. The Huskies are slowly becoming a Pac-12 contender. Last year the Huskies finished 7-6 and return 17 starters including QB Jake Browning. The Defense averaged 18.8 points per game.The Huskies have an emerging secondary with CB Sidney Jones and FS Bubba Baker. The biggest test will be on October 8th as the Huskies travel to play Oregon. This team will make strides and hover around the lower end of the top 25.
-Louisville : The Cardinals was one of the hottest teams in college football as they won 6 of their last 7 games. Texas A&M was the only winning team the cardinals beat during their run last season. The Cardinals was 2-4 vs bowl eligible teams & 0-3 vs top 25. The success of the Cardinals falls on the arm of QB Lamar Jackson who is a rising star in college football . Louisville will have huge test vs Florida State on Sept 17th and a trip to Death Valley as they take on Clemson on Oct 1st. The Cardinals are the flavor of the month that will sizzle fast.
3) Who are your 3 Heisman favorites and 3 Dark Horses :
1) Deshawn Watson QB Clemson: (2015: 4,104 passing yards, 1,105 rushing yards 47 TDS) Watson is on a mission to bring Clemson a CFP championship.
2) Leonard Fournette RB LSU: ( 2015: 1,953 rushing yards , 191.4 yards per game , 7.34 yards per carry) Nov 5th vs Alabama will define his Heisman fate.
3) Christian McCaffery RB Stanford: (2015: 3,864 all purpose yards) The straw that sirs the drink for Stanford . The most versatile player in college football.
1) Dalvin Cook RB Florida State : (2015: 1,691 rushing yards)The success of FSU is contingent on a successful year for Cook.
2) Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma: (2015: 3,700 passing yards and 36 TDS) If he duplicates last years stats he has to be at least invited to New York .
3) Chad Kelly QB Ole Miss ( 2015: 4,042 yards 31 TDS) The most talented QB in the SEC.
4) Predict the 4 In & 4 Out for the College Football Playoff:
4 In :
Alabama, Michigan, Clemson , Oklahoma
Ohio State, Tennessee,Stanford, North Carolina
5) Who will win the College Football Playoff Championship?
The Michigan Wolverines !!!!!!