This year, I am going to be posting my picks for each week in college football. I’ll pick every Top 25 game, plus a few others that I think mean something. My goal for the year is to be better than 78% correct with these predictions. Here we go!
#9 South Carolina 27, #21 Texas A&M 17.
In the first game of the SEC Network, South Carolina will host a Texas A&M team that will try to move on from the Johnny Manziel era. The Aggie defense is supposed to be better this year, but have they improved enough to where they can shut down Gamecock runner Mike Davis? I doubt it. Kenny Hill will have some flashes of brilliance, but in the end Spurrier will prove to be too much.
#18 Ole Miss 34, Boise State 21.
This is supposed to be the year where Ole Miss finally breaks through into the upper-tier of the SEC. Of course, to get that campaign going, they must open the year with a big win against the Broncos. I think that Boise will give the Rebels a very good game; however, there just isn’t enough firepower for Boise to keep up with Bo Wallace and Hugh Freeze.
#19 Arizona State 59, Weber State 14.
An easy game to kick off the year for the Sun Devils. Tyler Kelly posts unbelievable numbers in this route.
#8 Michigan State 30, Jacksonville State 10.
The Gamecocks from Jacksonville, Alabama, are a very solid team. However, I don’t think there offense will have nearly enough to put a dent in the Spartans’ defensive armor. Connor Cook will ease in to his role as full-time starter, and Michigan State wins going away.
#1 Florida State 41, Oklahoma State 27.
The Seminoles kick off their campaign to repeat as national champions against a middle of the pack Big 12 team. I doubt we see much from Oklahoma State this year (I have them 7-5), and while I do think they will score some points, the Cowboys won’t really scare Famous Jameis and the ‘Noles.
#2 Alabama 38, West Virginia 10.
The question is not whether West Virginia will give Alabama a tough game, but instead who the starting quarterback will be for the Crimson Tide. Either way, expect to see a heavy dose of T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry. I would assume Jacob Coker and Blake Sims will split time, so it’ll be interesting to see if either can separate himself in the quarterback race.
#3 Oregon 66, South Dakota 7.
This one won’t be close. Marcus Mariota will begin his Heisman campaign with a HUGE game against lesser competition.
#4 Oklahoma 40, Louisiana Tech 17.
Most years, Louisiana Tech might provide stiff competition. However, this is not the same Bulldogs team we usually see. Plus, this is one of the best Oklahoma teams that Bob Stoops has fielded in years. Watch for the Sooners to pull away early.
#5 Ohio State 26, Navy 24.
Life without Braxton Miller begins. How will Ohio State respond? This game will be a huge test for them. Navy is much improved; Keenan Reynolds is a wonderful duel-threat quarterback who will give the Buckeyes’ defense a huge test. This one will be fun, but I think a late field goal gives Ohio State the win.
#6 Auburn 37, Arkansas 17.
Arkansas is not terrible. Even last year, Arkansas had two of the best running backs in the SEC. The Razorbacks can move the football; the question mark is the defense. Can they stop Auburn? The Tigers return basically everyone on offense. They will score like crazy, just like last year. Arkansas may make it interesting early, but look for Nick Marshall to explode in the second half.
#7 UCLA 34, Virginia 7.
UCLA is the popular pick right now among media members to win the national championship. I’m not jumping on the bandwagon quite yet. However, Brett Hundley is a wonderful quarterback who will have a fantastic season. Virginia simply isn’t good enough to stay with the Bruins.
#11 Stanford 36, UC Davis 7.
Another Pac-12 easy victory. Stanford should not be challenged in this one.
#12 Georgia 38, #16 Clemson 31.
I am sold on Georgia. I think Hutson Mason is going to be a great quarterback for Georgia this year, and Todd Gurley will rekindle the magic he had in the freshman year running the football. This should be another fantastic game, but I just don’t think Clemson’s young offense can hang with the Bulldogs. They simply lost too many weapons.
#13 LSU 27, #14 Wisconsin 23.
I think this will be Wisconsin’s only loss this year. LSU lost a lot of talent, but that seems to be the story every year. Les Miles always finds a way to reload. It’ll be interesting to see which of the two LSU quarterbacks pulls ahead in the QB race. This game should be a classic.
#15 USC 50, Fresno State 31.
Fresno State comes in to the season without its leading passer (Derek Carr) and leading receiver (Devante Adams) from a year ago. USC comes in with a new coach and lots of new enthusiasm. This one will be high scoring, but I anticipate the Trojans to jump out to a big lead early and to never take their foot off the gas.
#17 Notre Dame 31, Rice 13.
Rice is decent, but a Notre Dame team led by Everett Golson will be looking to kick the season off on the right foot. Shout-out to Woodberry alum C.J. Prosise for the Irish.
#20 Kansas State 41, Stephen F. Austin 13.
The Wildcats should have this one in hand. Bill Snyder’s team has a lot of talent, and maybe it’s time they make a move in the Big 12 race.
#22 Nebraska 27, Florida Atlantic 3.
Tommy Armstrong Jr. will lead a Huskers attack against the Owls of Florida Atlantic. This one won’t be close.
#23 North Carolina 40, Liberty 23.
Liberty can actually score some points. They might give the Tar Heels some trouble early, but I anticipate the Larry Fedora-led squad to pull away.
#24 Missouri 49, South Dakota State 13.
An easy win for M-I-Z Z-O-U in the era of Maty Mauk. The development of the defense is key in this game.
#25 Washington 38, Hawaii 16.
Washington is not starting the quarterback they want, but it shouldn’t make much of a difference against a poor Hawaii team. The Rainbow Warriors don’t have the offense to keep up, and they don’t have the defense to stop the Huskies. The Chris Peterson era kicks off with a win.
#10 Baylor 51, SMU 26.
Baylor will pick up exactly where they left off last year scoring-wise, getting at least four touchdowns from Bryce Petty. SMU can score, but they can’t keep up with the Bears.
Louisville 23, Miami (FL) 13.
The Bobby Petrino era kicks off with a Monday night game at home. If Louisville wants to be the team they can be, they need this win. Quarterback Will Gardner will be the player to watch. Will he be as successful as the man he is replacing (Teddy Bridgewater)? I think yes.
Tennessee 36, Utah State 31.
Many think that the Aggies can pull off the upset. They certainly have the talent; Chuckie Keeton is one of the brightest stars in the game. Butch Jones needs this game to get the season going in the right direction. Justin Worley needs this game to prove himself as a reliable starter for the Vols.
Well there it is. What do you think?
With everybody posting their bold predictions for the 2014 college football season today, I realized maybe it’s time for me to get my picks out there. These were all made a few weeks ago, but I’m sticking with them. Here we go!
1. Florida State–11-1 (7-1)
2. Clemson–10-2 (7-1)
3. Louisville–9-3 (6-2)
4. Syracuse–6-6 (4-4)
5. NC State–6-6 (3-5)
6. Boston College–5-7 (2-6)
7. Wake Forest–3-9 (0-8)
1. Virginia Tech–9-3 (6-2)
2. Miami (FL)–8-4 (6-2)
3. Duke–9-3 (5-3)
4. North Carolina–8-4 (5-3)
5. Pittsburgh–7-5 (4-4)
6. Georgia Tech–5-7 (2-6)
7. Virginia–2-10 (0-8)
ACC Championship Game: Florida State over Virginia Tech
Three Bold Predictions
1. Louisville will upset Florida State on October 30th.
2. Jameis Winston won’t win the Heisman
3. Clemson finally beats South Carolina.
1. Michigan State–11-1 (7-1)
2. Ohio State–11-1 (7-1)
3. Michigan–9-3 (6-2)
4. Penn State–10-2 (6-2)
5. Indiana–6-6 (3-5)
6. Maryland–6-6 (2-6)
7. Rutgers–3-9 (0-8)
1. Wisconsin–11-1 (8-0)
2. Nebraska–9-3 (5-3)
3. Iowa–9-3 (5-3)
4. Northwestern–7-5 (4-4)
5. Illinois–5-5 (2-6)
6. Minnesota–4-8 (1-7)
7. Purdue–3-9 (0-8)
Big Ten Championship Game: Michigan State over Wisconsin
Three Bold Predictions
1. Michigan State beats Oregon in Eugene.
2. Wisconsin runs the table in conference play.
3. James Franklin wins Big Ten Coach of the Year.
1. Oklahoma–11-1 (8-1)
2. Baylor–10-2 (7-2)
3. Texas–10-2 (7-2)
4. TCU–9-3 (6-3)
5. Kansas State–7-5 (5-4)
6. Oklahoma State–7-5 (5-4)
7. Texas Tech–6-6 (3-6)
8. Iowa State–4-8 (2-7)
9. West Virginia–2-10 (1-8)
10. Kansas–2-10 (0-9)
Three Bold Predictions
1. Texas beats Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry.
2. Texas beats UCLA to shock all of the media members picking the Bruins to win it all.
3. Charlie Weis gets fired after Kansas loses at home to Iowa State.
1. Oregon–10-2 (8-1)
2. Stanford–9-3 (6-3)
3. Washington–9-4 (5-4)
4. Oregon State–8-4 (5-4)
5. Washington State–6-6 (3-6)
6. California–2-10 (0-9)
1. UCLA–10-2 (8-1)
2. Arizona–8-4 (5-4)
3. USC–8-4 (5-4)
4. Arizona State–8-4 (5-4)
5. Utah–5-7 (3-6)
6. Colorado–3-9 (1-8)
Pac-12 Championship Game: Oregon over UCLA
Three Bold Predictions
1. A Pac-12 team misses the College Football Playoff.
2. Washington pulls off at least one huge upset.
3. USC is the league’s biggest disappointment.
1. Georgia–11-1 (7-1)
2. Florida–8-4 (5-3)
3. South Carolina–8-4 (5-3)
4. Tennessee–7-5 (4-4)
5. Missouri 8-4 (4-4)
6. Vanderbilt–5-7 (1-7)
7. Kentucky–3-9 (0-8)
1. Alabama–12-0 (8-0)
2. Auburn–10-2 (6-2)
3. LSU–9-3 (5-3)
4. Mississippi State 9-3 (5-3)
5. Texas A&M–7-5 (3-5)
6. Ole Miss–7-5 (3-5)
7. Arkansas–3-9 (0-8)
SEC Championship Game: Alabama over Georgia
Three Bold Predictions
1. Alabama and Georgia get revenge on Auburn…but those two games are the only ones Auburn loses.
2. Kentucky will scare some people this year.
3. Dak Prescott is voted 1st Team All-SEC Quarterback.
College Football Playoff Predictions
Sugar Bowl: 1 Alabama over 4 Oklahoma
Rose Bowl: 3 Michigan State over 2 Florida State
CFP National Championship: 1 Alabama over 3 Michigan State
Heisman Trophy Winner
Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
Well, there you have it. All of my predictions. What do you think? Let me know!