College Football

SportsTalkATL’s 2019 – 2020 College Football Preview

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Last season, I brought all the hot takes. I’m going to point out some high points and low points, not shying away from these:

Hits:

  • LSU beats Georgia in Baton Rouge
  • David Beaty is fired at Kansas
  • Michigan would underachieve (Again)
  • Shea Patterson & Jarrett Stidham would flop
  • Trevor Lawrence would be the best Freshman.
  • Georgia Southern wins ten games under Chad Lunsford
  • Clemson v Alabama in the Natty

 

Misses:

  • FAU beats Oklahoma
  • Florida State beats Clemson (LOL)
  • South Carolina Disappoints
  • Khalil Tate as a Heisman sleeper
  • Jonathan Taylor wins the Heisman
  • Jalen Hurts transfers to Texas (So Close)

 

So how about this season? It’s officially week one. Pretty much everyone is 0-0, but we have already seen one thriller in the form of a 24-20 win for Florida over Miami. If that game was indicitave of how this college football season is going to go; I am here for every second of it. Let’s see what I have on the docket for what should be a memorable 2019-2020 campaign.

This one’s a toss-up for me. Willie Taggart or Clay Helton? Two guys who inspired a lot of hope in historically dominant programs that have been catastrophic failures. I think Taggart will have a better chance of sticking around because he hasn’t been there as long, but Florida State isn’t going to take many more seasons of missing a bowl game and losing to Florida. Clay Helton had an excellent campaign in 2017, but he’s not going to last if they go 5-7 again. A little more of a boring pick, Chris Ash at Rutgers has been putrid in his time there. I also think Jim Harbaugh is relieved of his duties at Michigan if they don’t beat a Ryan Day lead Ohio State team.

Auburn Tigers – Hear me out, Gus Malzahn is on the hot seat, there’s a quarterback controversy, and Auburn is expected to take a step back in the SEC West behind LSU, Texas A&M and maybe someone else. So what does that mean? Naturally, they’ll win ten games and scare the hell out of Alabama. They have a good shot to knock off Georgia in the plains. Don’t sleep on Auburn, that’s when they’re the most dangerous.

Nebraska Cornhuskers – This isn’t me calling for Nebraska to go to the playoffs or even win the Big 10, but they’ll be an improved squad over the 4-8 team they fielded last year. I think they give a top tier B10 team a scare and ruin someone’s season at some point.

Utah Utes – This is becoming a sort of a trendy pick, with Lee Corso even predicting them to play in the National Championship. I’d be lying if I said I watched a ton of Utah football, but in a wide-open Pac-12, anything can happen.

Iowa Hawkeyes– I am a big-time Kirk Ferentz fan. I love what he does with Iowa every year, but losing Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson will sting. I like Iowa to win the Big 10 this season.

Syracuse Orange – Syracuse finished at 10-3 last season – their best year in program history is going to be a tough act to follow. Even though the rest of the ACC hasn’t gotten better, I don’t see this team having success without Eric Dungey

Washington Huskies – Washington is currently ranked 13th in the polls. While I think Jacob Eason is going to have a lot of success in the Pac-12, Oregon and Utah are going to take a step forward. Washington State and Mike Leach are coming off an 11 win campaign. Anything less than a Pac-12 title is going to be disappointing for Washington, and I don’t see them winning it.

Notre Dame – STOP. PUTTING. NOTRE. DAME. IN. BIG. GAMES. They aren’t good. They don’t play in a conference championship. If they just played in the ACC as they did in every other sport, Clemson would have spanked them a week earlier, and another team who deserved it could have made the playoffs like Ohio State or Georgia.

 

Jalen Hurts – Oklahoma QB, easy pick, right? Hurts isn’t much of a dark horse, but I think the improvements he makes as a thrower this season gets him to New York.

Travis Etienne – Don’t count out Lawrence’s battery mate. Etienne ran for 1,658 yards last season and will be running wild in a dynamic Clemson offense once again.

Jerry Jeudy – Wide receivers don’t get a lot of Heisman love, but Jeudy is DIFFERENT. Guys with his combination of size and speed don’t grow on trees. I think even if he doesn’t win the Heisman, he can be the best player in college football this season.

D’Eriq King – King is a bit of a Hail Mary, but he’s an electric player in a QB friendly offense playing in the AAC. He’ll go against some bad defenses; his numbers will be eye-popping.

Justin Fields – Fields currently has the 3rd best odds to win the Heisman. I don’t know how he’ll adjust with first-year coach Ryan Day in a brand new offense, but I don’t see Ohio State having the success required for him to win the Heisman

Jake Fromm – Jake Fromm is a fine quarterback. He isn’t flashy enough to win a Heisman. His numbers are good, but Georgia won’t make enough noise to take home the hardware, or even make it to New York.

Justin Herbert – Herbert will probably go first in the NFL draft (more on that later), but he won’t do anything special enough to land in New York.

Shea Patterson – Once again, not drinking the Michigan Kool-Aid. They will underachieve. Patterson is average on his best day.

QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

This is the pick I hope pans out (I put $250 on Lawrence +600 earlier this year), so I have a little skin in the game. Regardless, the kid is special. He’s pretty much been handed the Heisman already by the media, and that’s half of the battle. Unless he’s injured, or we see one of the most incredible seasons of all-time from another player, Lawrence should take home this award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Clemson v 4 Oklahoma

2 Alabama v 3 Iowa

 

I’m going out on a limb for Iowa here because there’s got to be some parity at some point. Georgia and Ohio State will be there contending, but I like Iowa and Kirk Ferentz. Maybe this is the year they make the leap. Unfortunately, it won’t last long…

2 Alabama v 4 Oklahoma

Every fiber in my being is telling me to pick Clemson. They are so dominant and have a generational talent at QB. But come on… Jalen Hurts revenge game??? How hype would that be? Not only would this be the most entertaining National Championship in history, but it would also be a great storyline with lots of offensive firepower. Nick Saban captures his 7th National Title to pass Bear Bryant.

Alabama – 56

Oklahoma – 42

 

QB Justin Herbert – Oregon

Herbert has all the intangibles an NFL team will fall in love with *cough* Cincinnati *cough* Miami. He’s big, mobile, and has the best arm in the class. If Oakland or the Giants are picking first, we could see Andrew Thomas or Chase Young go first.

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