Category Archives: College Football

2020 Big 12 Football Preview

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Projected Record: 12-1 (8-1 Big 12)

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Blue chip QB Spencer Rattler steps into the starting role along with highly rated WRs Theo Wease, Jadon Haselwood, Charleston Rambo, and 1,000 yard UCLA grad transfer Theo Howard.  The established offensive line willl again lead the way for back-to-back 1,000 yard rusher Kennedy Brooks. It’s Lincoln Riley… this offense will be explosive.

The question for the last few years and continues to be the defense. Key DE Ronnie Perkins is suspended for the first five games and all three nose guards Oklahoma used last year have moved on. That puts the pressure on top JUCO DT Perrion Winfrey to step in and boost the defensive line. The linebackers are experienced with DaShaun White, Nik Bonitto and Caleb Kelly. The secondary led by safety Delarrin Turner-Yell must improve. The Sooners have most of their returning corners back including Tre Brown, Jaden Davis, and Tre Norwood, but the unit must improve if the Sooners want to land back in the playoffs.

Final Outlook: The Sooners have a pattern. Lose one easy game, win the Big 12, and get their face kicked into the Playoffs. This is looking like one of those years with questions remaining on the defense and how quick new QB Spencer Rattler will be ready to roll. Oklahoma is the most talented team in the Big 12, but without an improvement to their defense I can’t see them as a National Title Contender. The Sooners better be ready to roll when Tennessee comes into town Week 2.

2. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Projected Record: 10-2 (7-2 Big 12)

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Oklahoma State is poised to be the breakout team in the Big 12 with an offense that is as explosive as any in the conference (including Oklahoma). The Cowboys return Biletnikoff finalist Tylan Wallace and Heisman-hopeful running back Chuba Hubbard. The key is QB Spencer Sanders being more consistent after a decent freshman campaign.

The defense returns just about everyone. The ultimate question is will their average defense become a good defense? Oklahoma State’s defense is led by their linebackers Amen Obongeminga and Malcolm Rodriguez. While Obongemeniga led the team with 5 sacks last year, they need to find someone else who can create pressure. The secondary needs a major improvement after finishing 102nd in the Nation last year in Pass defense. The Cowboys get a boost with talented safety Calvin Bundage returning after missing last year with an injury and also safety Kolby Harvel-Peel returning after his five interception season.

Final Outlook: Oklahoma State could be your surprise Big 12 champions if Spencer Sanders takes a step forward and the defense improves. If not… they will probably be a 8-4 team again. This is one of Mike Gundy’s most talented teams ever and the matchup against Oklahoma October 24th will have Big 12 championship game implications.

3. Texas Longhorns

Projected Record: 9-3 (7-2 Big 12)

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The offense may have lost wide receivers Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson, but Michigan grad transfer Tarik Black should provide a nice replacement along with Brennan Eagles. At running back Keontay Ingram and top recruit true freshman RB Bijan Robinson will lead the group. The offensive line should be solid returning three starters and one of the nations best in OT Samuel Cosmi.

New Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash enters Austin in an attempt to turn the defense around. The biggest issue last year was injuries in the secondary. While safety Caden Sterns is the star, cornerbacks Jalen Green and D’Shawn Jamison must play better in 2020. The best player up front is Joseph Ossai who returns after he had 13.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks last season. With nine returning starters, expect a much better unit.

Final Outlook: Last year I told everyone to pump the breaks with Texas being a National Title contender as they had to replace a lot of starters. This year’s Texas team will be better and challenge for a spot in the Big 12 Championship. With a lot of talent returning on defense and Sam Ehlinger leading the offense, Texas should have a solid season and LSU better be ready in Death Valley in Week 2.

4. Iowa State Cyclones

Projected Record: 8-4 (6-3 Big 12)

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The Cyclones may have finished 7-6, but their five Big 12 losses were by just an average of a little over 4 points per game. Returning is one of the conference’s best quarterbacks in Brock Purdy and almost a 1,000 yard rusher in Breece Hall. Even with one of the top quarterbacks in the nation this offense will face its share of challenges. Particularly on the offensive line after losing four starters and at the skill position where options are limited.

On defense, Iowa State returns the bulk of their starters from last year that finished as one of the best in the Big 12 (not saying much).  The unit is led by DE JaQuon Bailey, LB Mike Rose, and safety Greg Eisworth will be the best in 2020.  

Final Outlook: Matt Campbell transforming Iowa State into a consistent 7 or 8 win team is impressive. The Cyclones have the opportunity to win more, but replacing almost their entire offensive line will be tough.

5. TCU Horned Frogs

Projected Record: 7-5 (4-5 Big 12)

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QB Max Duggan is back after an up-and-down freshman year. He won’t have much help returning after losing four starting offensive linemen, first round pick WR Jalen Reagor, and their top two running backs. TCU did receive some great summer news that five-star RB Zachary Evans would be joining the team. While he does have some issues off the field, Evans has the talent to start right away for the Horned Frogs.

TCU will have to be led by their defense which was ranked the best in the Big 12. TCU has one of the most talented safety tandems in the nation with Ar’Darius Washington and Trevone Moehrig. Leading tackler LB Garrett Wallow (125 tackles) is also back to lead the defense. In order to increase their sack total from just 22 last year, TCU landed Oklahoma grad transfer DE Mark Jackson. TCU has enough returning talent to make up for the players lost to the NFL including DT Ross Blacklock, CB Jeff Gladney, and safety Vernon Scott.

Final Outlook: TCU missed out on a bowl last year and has its challenges replacing the talent they lost to the NFL. However, head coach Gary Patterson will have this defense ready. While I don’t think TCU is a serious contender to compete for the Big 12 championship game, TCU shouldn’t miss a bowl this year.

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Projected Record: 7-5 (4-5 Big 12)

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The first season didn’t go quite as planned for Matt Wells. However, the 2020 Red Raiders are poised for a breakout. Alan Bowman is a talented passer who has unfortunately had his first two seasons cut short. RB SaRodorick Thompson is a workhorse and he will have help in the backfield with Alabama graduate transfer Chadarius Townsend. The Red Raider wide receivers is a deep unit with T.J Vasher along with Erik Ezukanama, Dalton Rigdon, McClane Mannix, and Seth Collins. The offensive line is solid on the interior, but Tech will have to replace both tackles. Expect this offense to be among the Big 12’s best.

As always with Tech, defense will be the issue. The Red Raiders are replacing first round pick Jordyn Brooks and NFL draft pick DT Broderick Washington. There are still some solid players left including DE Eli Howard back as the primary pass rusher and two solid linebackers with Riko Jeffers and JUCO transfer Krishon Merriweather. Defensive backs are a huge issue after finishing 128th last season. They return starters to the secondary, but will have to make an improvement if they want to contend in the Big 12.

Final Outlook: Expect a bounce back year for Texas Tech after a tough 4-8 season with many close loses. The offense will be great and the defense will be not as terrible as last year.

7. Baylor Bears

Projected Record: 6-6 (4-5 Big 12)

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Former Coach Matt Rhule did a fantastic job bringing Baylor back to double digit wins for the first time since 2015. New coach Dave Aranda takes over now with major work to do after losing major talent off last year’s squad. QB Charlie Brewer is back as one of the best in the Big 12. However, the offensive line must improve and they need a replacement for dynamic WR Denzel Mims.

The defense is an even bigger issue as they return just two starters with LB Terrel Bernard and CB Raleigh Texada. The defense was absolutely gutted by graduates and early departures to the NFL. Arkansas State grad transfer DE William Bradley-King will make an immediate needed impact.

Final Outlook: This Baylor team is nothing like last year’s 11-3 team. While Charlie Brewer is a fine quarterback, the defensive exodus is too big to overlook. Baylor will compete in the middle of the Big 12 and will have a challenge right away with Ole Miss in Week 1.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers

Projected Record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)

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Last year was an expected down year for West Virginia, but they were still competitive down the stretch. Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege will be the QB battle to watch going into the Fall. Kendall started most of the games last year, but the Mountaineers had more success in the three games Doege started. The Mountaineers additionally lost most of its offensive line. The receivers are actually pretty solid with Sophomore Sam James coming off a 69 catch season and established former Alabama receiver T.J. Simmons.

Defensively, the Mountaineers should make an improvement to an average defense last year getting most of their starters back. Another Alabama transfer Vandarius Cowan will look to impact the defense along with DL Darius Stills and safety Tykee Smith. The corner position is young and questionable after losing both starters from last year.

Final Outlook: I think Jarret Doege holds onto the starting quarterback role and the Mountaineers continue to be competitive in head coach Neal Brown’s second season. A bowl game should be looked at as a succesfull progression for this program.

9. Kansas State Wildcats

Projected Record: 5-7 (2-7 Big 12)

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Head Coach Chris Kleiman overachieved in his first season with the Wildcats finishing 8-5 and even upsetting Oklahoma. 2020 will be tougher. The offensive line is the issue as they replace everyone. Yes, the Wildcats have to replace the center, the two guards, and the two tackles. This is a team that relies on the offensive line. QB Skylar Thompson is a capable, but Kansas State only has one other returning starter. This offense may have a rough year.

On defense, Kansas State has DE Wyatt Hubert Jr. leading the unit following his 7-sack season. LB Justin Hughes also returns after missing the year due to a torn ACL. The secondary was solid finishing 33rd in the nation in pass defense and returns most of their starters. Overall the defense will lead this 2020 team.

Final Outlook: Chris Kleiman is a fantastic coach. But with how many starters the Wildcats lost on offense… 2020 might be a challenge to just make a bowl game.

10. Kansas Jayhawks

Projected Record: 2-10 (0-9 Big 12)

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Les Miles needed all the magic to be 3-9 in 2019. The problem in 2020 is they don’t have a clear-cut starting QB. That is kind of important. What they do have is one of the best players in the Big 12 with RB Pooka Williams. The issue remains Pooka will be stuck behind a bad offensive line that also lost three starters.

The defense was terrible last year and after losing a ton of starters, they will most likely be terrible again. Young sophomore LB Gavin Potter is one of the few bright spots if you want to be impressed with something. But that is about all you can be impressed with… this defensive unit will finish close to last in the Big 12.

Final Outlook: Kansas is picking up their recruiting efforts, but it will take another year before they escape being the doormat of the Big 12. Bad offense… Bad Defense… The Mad Hatter has his work cut out for him.

2020 SEC FOOTBALL Preview

SEC Championship: Alabama over Georgia

SEC East

1. Georgia Bulldogs

Projected Record: 11-2 (7-1 SEC)

Georgia Logo

The Bulldogs face an interesting decision going into 2020… will JT Daniels be granted a transfer waiver? If so, it sets up one of the most intriguing quarterback battles between JT Daniels and Jamie Newman to see who takes over as the starting quarterback. Outside of the quarterback position, Georgia has talent with RB Zamir White, RB James Cook, WR George Pickens, and Florida State graduate transfer TE Tre McKitty. Where I am concerned with the offense is replacing four starters including both tackles. Another major concern is will someone other than George Pickens step up at wide receiver? New Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken has his hands full.

The Bulldogs strength continues to be their defense as they are absolutely loaded and will most likely be a top three defense in the nation. Georgia returns almost all of their linebackers from last season including Monty Rice and Nakobe Dean. Additionally, they have a talented edge rushing tandem of Azeez Ojulari and Nolan Smith and a great defensive line that includes senior DE Malik Herring. The secondary is also filled with studs including Safety Richard LeCounte, CB Eric Stokes, and CB Tyson Campbell.

Final Outlook: Georgia might have the top defense in the nation, but the question remains can they improve offensively. The addition of Jamie Newman helps, but he has his share of accuracy issues. Georgia is the top contender in the SEC East and has a realistic shot at the playoffs.

2. Florida Gators

Projected Record: 10-2 (6-2 SEC)

Kyle Trask is the best starting quarterback the Gators have had since Tim Tebow (Will Grier is debatable). While Florida finally found a competent quarterback, the skill positions took a hit from losing three starting wide receivers and starting RB. The main questions about this group is can new starting RB Dameon Pierce handle taking over the full load? Will new talented WRs Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney be able to step in Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain’s shoes? What isn’t a question is their best receiving target is back in TE Kyle Pitts. The offensive line is also experienced returning four starters from last year. The offense should be above average again, but don’t expect them to be Steve Spurrier’s Gator offenses from the 1990s.

Just like the year prior, this team will be lead by their defense again. Defensive Ends Zachary Carter and Georgia transfer Brenton Cox are tasked to replace last years dangerous NFL duo of Zuniga/Greenard. In the secondary, corners Marco Wilson and Kaiir Elam make for a strong duo. Although Florida lost their leading tackler from last season, Ventrell Miller has shown to be capable of taking over. Even with the losses of some key pieces to the 2019 Gator defense, this unit is still talented.

Final Outlook: Florida is Georgia’s biggest competition in the East as they are good on both sides of the ball, but you have to give the edge to Georgia right now.

3. Tennessee Volunteers

Projected Record: 9-3 (6-2 SEC)

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The main question is who will start at quarterback after both Jarrett Guarantano and Brian Maurer received playing time last year. Freshman Harrison Bailey was a wildcard to start, but with no spring practice it looks like he will have to wait his turn. The offensive unit is led by its experienced offensive line. With incoming Georgia transfer Cade Mays and dominant guard Trey Smith, this unit is one of the best in the country. The Vols have to find a receiver to step up after losing Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway to graduation.

Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt has this defense heading in the right direction. LB Henry Too-To’o is one of the best in the conference and the defensive line is stout also with Darel Middleton, Aubrey Solomon, and Emmit Gooden. Add in a secondary who finished 16th in the nation in passing yards allowed led by CB Bryce Thompson and this defense should be looked at as a legitimate unit.

Final Outlook: A veteran defense and great offensive line makes the Vols a wildcard contender in the SEC East. However, it will probably be another year until we talk about them as true contenders. Their Week 2 game against Oklahoma in Norman will be a true test.

4. Kentucky Wildcats

Projected Record: 9-3 (5-3 SEC)

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QB Terry Wilson is back after his season ending injury which forced Kentucky to use a receiver at quarterback last year. Kentucky has a stable of running backs returning led by Asim Rose and returns one of the best offensive lines in the conference. Nobody knows how good this receiving unit is because… well… they never threw the ball last year.

The defense returns most of their starters after finishing 21st in the nation last year. The unit is led by OLB Jamar Watson who returns after a 6.5 sack season.

Final Outlook: People will overlook Kentucky, but this is a legitimate top 25 team. It may not be sexy, but they’ll win a lot of games by running the ball and playing good defense.

5. Missouri Tigers

Projected Record: 6-6 (3-5 SEC)

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It will be a major test for new Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz. The offense has a new starting quarterback with Shawn Robinson, transfer at TCU. While Robinson displayed a talented arm during his time at TCU, he was often inconsistent. Add in an inconsistent offensive line and this offense might struggle. At the skill positions Missouri has only a few legitimate options including RB Larry Roundtree and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Damon Hazelton (All-ACC recognition the past two years).

Missouri’s defense was actually good last year ranking in the top 20. Drinkwitz was impressed enough to keep the entire defensive coaching staff. The defense returns most of its starters including LB Nick Bolton, a potential first round pick and SEC leader in tackles. Safeties Tyree Gillespie and Joshuah Bledsoe are a strong safety combination and 310-pounder DT Kobie Whiteside (6.5 sacks) is a disrupter.

Final Outlook: This is where the bottom of the SEC East starts. While Missouri should have a solid defense, their offense is filled with questions. The questions are amplified as Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz didn’t have the opportunity to install his offense during spring practice. A bowl game for Missouri in his first season will be a success.

6. South Carolina Gamecocks

Projected Record: 5-7 (2-6 SEC)

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The offense is filled with more questions than answers. It starts at quarterback where sophomore Ryan Hillinski must make an improvement after only completing 58.1% last year. He will have to find help as the receivers are unproven and the offensive line average. The lone bright spot is freshman MarShawn Lloyd, who was a top fifty recruit, will most likely start right away at running back.

A defense that was average last year loses a few key starters including first round pick Javon Kinlaw, DJ Wonnum, and TJ Brunson. The loss of these key Gamecocks leaves the defense with holes they may not be able to fill, However, South Carolina returns its sack leader from last year DE Aaron Sterling (6 sacks), the leading tackler Ernest Jones (97 tackles), and a talented cornerback duo of Jaycee Horn (son of Joe Horn) and Israel Mukuamu. There is also five-star true freshman DE Jordan Burch who should receive action right away.

Final Outlook: South Carolina will finish in the bottom of the SEC East. With an offense full of questions, a defense who lost several key starters from last year, a schedule that includes playing LSU and Texas A&M from the SEC West, and a non-conference game against Clemson… South Carolina will be fighting just to go to a bowl game.

7. Vanderbilt Commodores

Projected Record: 3-9 (0-8 SEC)

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Vanderbilt doesn’t have a legitimate quarterback option as the competition is between freshman Ken Seals and JUCO transfer Jeremy Moussa. Vanderbilt also replaces a trio of key players on offense with RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, WR Kalija Lipscomb, and TE Jared Pinkney. Not to mention the offensive line is also bad. All signs point to this being a historically bad offense

Vanderbilt returns basically their entire defense… that finished 101st in the nation. Defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo is a legitimate player, but there aren’t many other bright spots on defense.

Final Outlook: Not only do I not think Vanderbilt will not win a SEC game, I don’t see them being competitive. The Vanderbilt offense could be historically bad and the defense is nothing to rely on. Vanderbilt is in for another rough season.

SEC West

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Projected Record: 13-0 (8-0 SEC)

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Although Alabama does not have Tua returning, the offense should continue to be explosive. Wide receivers Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie will be one of the most dangerous trios in the nation, Alabama returns the best offensive line in the nation, and RB Najee Harris is a top five running back in the nation. The major question will be if Mac Jones holds onto the starting job over the top recruit in the country Bryce Young.

Last year Alabama’s defense was different as they weren’t dominant. However, expect a major improvement especially with LB Dylan Moses returning after missing last season with a torn ACL. The defensive line is deep and talented after the Crimson Tide was forced to play young players last year due to injuries. A key for the Tide is finding who will step up as the edge pass rushers following Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings heading to the NFL. In the secondary, safety Jordan Battle is a breakout candidate after a tremendous freshman season and CB Patrick Surtain Jr. is one of the greatest in the country.

Final Outlook: Alabama has the roster to be National Champions, but without an elite quarterback and a tough schedule makes it a tough road. Alabama will have to figure it out quick with games against USC and Georgia in the first three weeks.

2. LSU Tigers

Projected Record: 9-3 (5-3 SEC)

Coming off a dream season as the 2019 LSU Tigers were one of the best of all-time. But now they must replace an elite quarterback Joe Burrow along with Myles Brennan. Not only the quarterback, but 16 players from that team went to the NFL Combine. On offense alone they must replace four starters on the offensive line, two starting tight ends, their starting running back and a wide receiver. LSU does return one of the best wide receiving duos in the country with Jamarr Chase and Terrance Marshall. RB Chris Curry has proved to be an effective replacement as well.

The defense was also hit hard by departures to the linebacking group which saw Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips leave for the NFL Draft and Marcel Brooks hit the transfer portal. The replacements will include Damone Clark and North Dakota State transfer Jabril Cox (FCS All-American). The defensive line should be fine as they return Tyler Shelvin, Siaka Ika, and Glen Logan. Even with the loss of Kristian Fulton and Grant Delpit, safety JaCoby Stevens and CB Derek Stingley are back to lead the secondary.

Final Outlook: LSU is still a talented team, but losing that many talented players to the NFL will not be easy to overcome. Add in a quarterback who hasn’t seen much action and it is practical to expect LSU to take a step back. The real test will come in Week 2 against Texas.

3. Texas A&M Aggies

Projected Record: 9-3 (5-3 SEC)

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The Aggies return a ton of starters to an 8-5 team that beat everyone they were supposed to beat and lost to everyone they were supposed to lose to. Kellen Mond is back for his senior year and so is their leading rusher Isaiah Spiller, leading receiver Jhamon Ausbon, talented tight ends Jalen Wydermyer/Baylor Cupp, and a veteran offensive line. Depth at running back and wide receiver are a concern, but the Aggies offense will go as far as Kellen Mond takes them.

The Aggies return 8 starters to a pretty good defense from 2019. The defensive line is talented up front with Demarvin Leal and Bobby Brown III. The Aggies also return their top two tacklers LBs Anthony Hines and Buddy Johnson. The secondary was suspect at times last year, but returns most of the starters and has depth with 5-star cornerback Jaylon Jones and top JUCO cornerback Brian George.

Final Outlook: The Aggies do not have a difficult schedule like last year and have the talent to make an early run. The question remains, is Kellen Mond ready to take a step forward? This is a team that will have CFP buzz going into their final two weeks against Alabama and LSU.

4. Auburn Tigers

Projected Record: 8-4 (4-4 SEC)

Can you trust Bo Nix? He had his moments, but completed just 57.5% of his passes as Auburn mostly won with the ground game. Now Auburn must replace the entire offensive line and has no clear starter at running back. The receiver room is one experienced unit with Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz, and Eli Stove all returning. However, unless Bo Nix takes a step forward this offense might be in trouble.

The defense also is replacing a lot from last year including four of five secondary starters, and two key defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson. DE Big Kat Bryant, DT Tyrone Truesdell, LB KJ Britt and OLB Owen Pappoe are solid returning starters, but there isn’t much else. Auburn has work to do on this end of the ball.

Final Outlook: A questionable offense with major replacements needed on defense, Auburn will most likely not be competing for a SEC West title in 2020.

5. Ole Miss Rebels

Projected Record: 6-6 (2-6 SEC)

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What new Head Coach Lane Kiffin does with this offense will be interesting. Ole Miss finished as a top three SEC offense and top ten national rushing offense. Ole Miss returns both QBs John Rhys Plumlee and Matt Corral along with thalented sophomore rusher Jerrion Ealy. WR Elijah Moore is also talented finishing with 850 yards last season, but they will need another receiving option to step up. The offensive line should also be a decent unit for the Rebels.

On defense, Ole Miss was absolutely burned through the air finishing 120th nationally. The secondary and interior defensive line are the areas of concern. However, Ole Miss has a talented linebacker unit with Lakia Henry, Jacquez Jones, and MoMo Sanogo. The sack leader DE Sam Williams also returns. With the added experience Ole Miss should make an improvement.

Final Outlook: Ole Miss is an extremely intriguing team going into 2020. Ole Miss is talented enough to surprise a few teams with their offense under Lane Kiffin.

6. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Projected Record: 6-6 (2-6 SEC)

Mike Leach had his biggest victory getting KJ Costello as a grad transfer quarterback from Stanford. Costello and returning RB Kylin Hill should be the best at their respective positions in the SEC. The questions remain how Mike Leach can install his air raid offense with Mississippi State’s lack of top end receivers and an adequate offensive line. Alabama grad transfer WR Tyrell Shavers should play right away alongside Osirus Mitchell.

The defense took a step back last year from a unit in 2018 that was one of the nations best. Mississippi State may make another regression after losing some key starters. The defensive line will be the strength with Nathan Pickering and Kobe Jones leading. LB Erroll Thompson is also extremely talented and the leader of the defense.

Final Outlook: Mississippi State has a talented quarterback and running back, but installing Leach’s offense in year one may be difficult. Add in an average defense and a .500 season seems likely.

7. Arkansas Razorbacks

Projected Record: 5-7 (2-6 SEC)

The offense and defense were abysmal in their 2-10 season last year. However, this 2020 Arkansas team could surprise some people with a great staff put together by head coach Sam Pittman which includes offensive coordinator Kendall Briles and defensive coordinator Barry Odom. The offense returns eight starters and adds Florida grad transfer QB Feleipe Franks. This is a decent enough offense, especially with 1100 yard rusher Rakeem Boyd, to take a step forward from last season.

The defense landed quite a few graduate transfers including Clemson DE Xavier Kelly, Oklahoma LB Levi Draper, and Arkansas State CB Jerry Jacobs. The group should help the six returning starters to the defensive unit. The defense is led by second leading tackler from last season LB Bumper Pool. The Razorbacks will improve from their 110th ranked defense last year.

Final Outlook: While a bowl game might be a reach, this team’s outlook looks much better than last year. Look for Arkansas to win their first SEC game since 2017.

2020 College Football Way-Too-Early Top Teams

1. Clemsonorange

Clemson will have to replace most of the offensive line, Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, and Travis Etienne. But with Trevor Lawrence, Justyn Ross, and a deep WR core they should be fine. The defense was semi-young this year and return a lot of starters. Clemson will be dangerous again in 2020.

2. Ohio Stateohio state

The offense should be the best in the Big Ten again with Justin Fields and most of the offensive line back. WR Garrett Wilson is coming off a great freshman season and will be the number 1 target. The question will be on defense where they replace many talented starters including Chase Young and Jeffrey Okudah.

3. AlabamaAlabama logo

Tua is gone, but the combination of Mac Jones and Bryce Young keeps the quarterback position a strength. The offense will stay a strength, but can the 2019 defense improve? The youth last year will have an extra year of maturity and their defensive MVP Dylan Moses will actually play in 2020. The dynasty isn’t over…

4. LSULSU Tigers

The champions return most of their defense including star CB Derek Stingley. The offense also has plenty of weapons with Biletnikoff winner WR Ja’Marr Chase and Terrance Marshall. However, Myles Brennan is not Joe Burrow and a run like 2019 is not likely.

5. Oregon1238px-Oregon_Ducks_logo.svg

They lose Justin Herbert and most of their offensive line. However,  rumors are going around Eugene that there won’t be much of a drop off to new starting QB Tyler Shough. The defense will continue to be solid especially with how Oregon has been recruiting. They’ll compete for the Pac-12 and the defense will keep them in the playoff conversation again.

6. Georgia

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A boatload of defensive returning talented players come back next year for Georgia. But Georgia has to replace four offensive lineman to a struggling offense. The offense may be getting an upgrade with Wake Forest graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman as the probable starter. The defense is talented, but without the offense improving playoffs are out of the question.

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7. Florida

QB Kyle Trask and almost the entire defensive secondary returns after two straight 10+ win seasons. Dan Mullen has something going on there and should compete with Georgia for the SEC East.

8. Penn Statepenn_state_nittany_lions_2005-pres

The entire offense comes back and the defense returns their MVP LB Micah Parsons. If the Nittany Lions plug and play some new quality starters on defense, the playoffs is not out of the question. QB Sean Clifford will need to step up his play in order to achieve this top ten ranking.

9. Wisconsin2000px-Wisconsin_Badgers_logo.svg

The Badgers return several quality starters on each side of the ball, but lose their MVP in RB Jonathan Taylor. If they can find a substitute to the impact of Taylor a Big Ten Championship isn’t out of the question.

10. Oklahoma

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The Oklahoma defense went from terrible to average in 2019. The defense was actually pretty young so a jump to an above average defense is possible. No LB Kenneth Murray, NT Neville Gallimore, or CB Parnell Motley will make an impact. The offense is also a question mark. The entire offensive line is back, but they lose their two playmakers Jalen Hurns and CeeDee Lamb. It’ll be the start of the QB Spencer Rattler era, but many questions remain with the 2020 Sooners.

11. Texas A&MTexas A&M Logo

Year 3 of the Jimbo Fisher era at Texas A&M and this team looks promising. Sure the team returns their starting QB Kellen Mond and four out of the five starters on the offensive line. But where the promise lies is in the young, talented defense that returns nine starters. A&M will be a tough opponent in the SEC in 2020.

12. Oklahoma StateOSU Logo

QB Spencer Sanders, WR Tylan Wallace, and RB Chuba Hubbard are all back on offense. The 82nd ranked defense only loses one starter and will most certainly improve. The Cowboys are a sleeper for the Big 12 Championship in 2020.

13. AuburnAuburn Tigers Logo

The offensive line and defensive line will be hit hard by graduating senior departures. Add in the question of does Bo Nix take a leap in performance from his average Freshman year. The offense does have skill position weapons, but the defense declining has Auburn outside the top ten.

14. Michigan1280px-Michigan_Wolverines_logo.svg

Michigan loses their quarterback and four offensive lineman to an offense that mostly struggled in 2019. WR Nico Collins and WR Ronnie Bell are the few bright spots to the start of the QB Dylan McCaffrey era. The defense gets a few key pieces back including DE Kwity Paye and S Dax Hill… but lose other key starters mostly in the secondary. Overall, the team isn’t as strong as 2019.

15. Notre DameNotre Dame

QB Trevor Book and the top two linebackers back is a major plus for the Fighting Irish. The negatives? They lose their entire secondary and their top skill position player returning is Braden Lenzy… who had a total of 254 yards.

Why Tua Could Return to Alabama

Tua Tagovailoa could actually be coming back? Many have scoffed at the idea including Joseph Goodman from AL.com. Goodman asks the question, why would Tua come back? He even admits he is having a hard time thinking of any reasons he should come back and alleges that if you hope he comes back to Alabama you are SELFISH.

So let’s help Goodman out with why it makes sense for Tua to comeback:

  1. Financial Gain

“Tua will make millions if he goes to the NFL next year.” Yes, that is true. But to really understand what is to gain, it has to start with analyzing the projected earnings of the total contract for first round picks (Forbes.com):

#1 Pick: $35.2 Million ($21 Million Signing Bonus)
#2 Pick: $33.6 Million
#3 Pick: $32.6 Million
#4 Pick: $31.4 Million
#5 Pick: $29.3 Million

#10 Pick: $18.9 Million ($10 Million Signing Bonus)
#15 Pick: $14.9 Million
#20 Pick: $12.6 Million
#25 Pick: $11.8 Million
#30 Pick: $10.5 Million

The difference  between being a top five pick and falling out of the top ten is about double the contract value. Right now with Tua’s hip injury he isn’t guaranteed to be in the top five. Rather, if he came back for his senior season and proved he was healthy, he would solidify top five contract status. The difference? At least $15 million dollars including $10 million just in signing bonus. Going back to school to be a top five pick is worth it especially considering the NFL first round contract is for four years with a fifth year option.

But what about his injury status?

  1. Recovery Time from his Injury

Tua right now is on crutches and can’t stand for an extended period of time due to his hip injury. His timeline for his injury recovery looks like this:

Late February 2020: Resumes athletic activity
Spring 2020: Can start throwing again
April 23, 2020: NFL Draft
May-July 2020: Fully Healthy

There is a possibility Tua will not be cleared to throw before the NFL Draft requiring teams to chance a draft pick that he will be 100% back to normal. A risky move for an NFL team especially at the top of the first round. Tua will also not be fully healthy while NFL teams do their extensive physicals and examinations of him. Wouldn’t it be prudent to fully recover a hip injury without having countless examinations on you? But again he could get hurt playing College Football in 2020.

So what happens if he gets hurt?

  1. Protected by Insurance

Part of the reason Alabama LB Dylan Moses came back was due to insurance coverage if he drops in value. Tua could do something similar so he is further protected if his stock drops due to injury or loss of value. A max of $10 million insurance policy is allowed by the NCAA and will offer a safety net due to the unexpected. Given his top fifteen NFL draft projection by the NFL Advisory Committee, the payout will be large. Plus Nick Saban is an insurance expert.

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  1. National Championship and Legacy of an All-Time great

Peyton Manning came back for his senior season. The entire Clemson defensive line came back for their senior seasons despite being projected first round picks. Sometimes guys just love playing for their school and finishing out on a high note.

Not only that… Tua hasn’t won a Heisman despite being one of the all-time great college quarterbacks. He would have a chance to break the SEC passing touchdowns record and the NCAA Career Passer Rating Record. But most importantly… he’d have the chance to win another National Championship. After a 10-2, injury plagued year and Coach Orgeron saying “Roll Tide, What? F**K YOU!” Tua and Alabama could be heading for a 2020 revenge tour.

Tua’s Decision

Tua will decide what is best for Tua. But saying there is “no reason to comeback” is flat out wrong. There are risks to coming back and risks to declaring. No matter what he chooses, it is clear Alabama nation will support him despite how selfish Goodman thinks the Crimson Tide fan base is. Until then, we will wait and get teased by Tua’s Instagram.

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TGIS Bowl Picks

2019 SEASON RECORD: 91-75-1 (54.8%)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS – December 28th

Peach Bowl
Orlando, FL
#1 LSU (-13.5) vs. #4 Oklahoma UNDER 76- 3:00pm

Game Preview: LSU’s offense is rolling with Joe Burrow (Bureaux). While the Oklahoma’s defense is improved it is nowhere near ready for LSU. LSU’s defense has also been much better giving up on average 12.3 points in their last three games. The Oklahoma offense will not be able to keep up. LSU to the Championship

Pick: LSU 45-24

Fiesta Bowl
Orlando, FL
#2 Ohio State vs. #3 Clemson (-2)- 7:00pm

Game Preview: The best game of bowl season. Ever since Clemson had their scare against North Carolina, they have been unstoppable. Ohio State will be by far their toughest opponent though. Both defenses are good, but not elite. This will come down to the offenses. Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Justyn Ross, and Tee Higgins are too dangerous and will lead Clemson to the championship.

Pick: Clemson 34-20

BOWL PICKS (All Times CST)

December 20

Bahamas Bowl
Nassau, Bahamas
Buffalo (-6.5) vs. Charlotte – 1:00pm

Buffalo is one of the most up and down teams. However, when they are on they put up a ton of points. They’ll turn it up for the Bahamas.

Frisco Bowl
Frisco, TX
Kent State vs. Utah State (-7.5)- 6:30pm

The last game for Utah State QB Jordan Love. He’ll put on a show despite being cited for marijuana possession earlier this week.

December 21

New Mexico Bowl
Albuquerque, NM
Central Michigan vs. San Diego (-3.5)- 1:00pm

San Diego State is a very good Mountain West team finishing the year at 9-3. Central Michigan on the other hand played well in MACtion, but the MAC isn’t a strong conference. Aztecs win by double digits.

Cure Bowl
Orlando, FL
Liberty vs. Georgia Southern (-5)- 1:30pm

Liberty may be the worst bowl team out there. They played a weak schedule including New Mexico State twice. Georgia Southern wins.

Boca Raton Bowl
Boca Raton, FL
FAU vs. SMU (-3) OVER 69.5- 2:30pm

No Lane Kiffin will have an impact. SMU has slumped down the stretch, but they’re still a good team. Expect a high scoring game.

Camellia Bowl
Montgomery, AL
Arkansas State vs. Florida International (+2.5)- 4:30pm

Butch Davis got his team pumped up enough to beat Miami, he is good enough to get them motivated to beat Arkansas State in a bowl game

Las Vegas Bowl
Las Vegas, NV
#19 Boise State vs. Washington (-3.5)- 6:30pm

Chris Petersen’s last game as a coach for the Huskies against his former team. Boise State has played some close games with below average opponents. Washington wins with their talent.

New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans, LA
#20 Appalachian State (-16) vs. UAB- 8:00pm

UAB played a weak non-conference and got destroyed by FAU. Appalachian State wins big.

December 23

Gasparilla Bowl
Tampa, FL
Marshall (+18) vs. UCF- 1:30pm

From a New Years Six bowl to the Gasparilla Bowl. UCF wins, but doesn’t blow out a decent Marshall team.

December 24

Hawaii Bowl
Honolulu, HI
BYU (-1.5) vs. Hawaii- 7:00pm

The Hawaii bowl is back on Christmas Eve! BYU is the better team and wins on the island.

December 26

Independence Bowl
Shreveport, LA
Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (-6.5)- 3:00pm

Miami already has some players sitting out and ended the season terribly. But less than a touchdown favorite against Louisiana Tech? I’m not going that far.

Quick Lane Bowl
Detroit, MI
Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh (-11)- 7:00pm

Eastern Michigan finished last in the MAC West and is somehow faced against one of the better ACC teams… Pitt wins big.

December 27

Millitary Bowl
Annapolis, MD
North Carolina (-4.5) vs. Temple – 11:00am

North Carolina will be excited to be there in Mack Brown’s first year. They seem to be going the right direction following their 41-10 win over NC State. Tar Heels by a touchdown

Pinstripe Bowl
New York, NY
Michigan State vs. Wake Forest (+4.5)- 2:20pm

Two very average football teams who didn’t finish the season great. I’d take Wake Forest and the points.

Texas Bowl
Houston, TX
#25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M (-7)- 5:45pm

Oklahoma State is not the same without Spencer Sanders. A&M can minimize Chuba Hubbard and finally get their quality win.

Holiday Bowl
San Diego, CA
#16 Iowa vs. #22 USC (+2)- 7:00pm

Iowa finished the season struggling against Nebraska and Illinois. USC meanwhile posted an average of 46.5 points in their last two games. I’m going with the hot team and emerging USC QB Kedon Slovis.

Cheez-It Bowl
Phoenix, AZ
Air Force vs. Washington State (+3)- 9:15pm

Air Force lost twice this year to Boise State and Navy. They haven’t seen an offense like the Cougars yet though. Washington State QB Anthony Gordon plays great in his last game as a Coug.

December 28

Camping World Bowl
Orlando, FL
#15 Notre Dame (-3) vs. Iowa State- 11:00am

Notre Dame’s offense has been rolling, but they face a tougher Iowa State defense. I don’t trust Iowa State’s offense against the Notre Dame defense though. Fighting Irish win by double digits.

Cotton Bowl Classic
Arlington, TX
#10 Penn State vs. #17 Memphis (+6.5)- 11:00am

There’s a lot going on in this game. Memphis coach Mike Norvell isn’t coaching and they face a tough Penn State defense. But I don’t really trust the Penn State offense or Memphis defense. I have no idea what will happen so I’m just going to take the points and the team more motivated to play in this game. At least I’m honest with you guys.

December 30

First Responder Bowl
Dallas, TX
Western Kentucky (-2.5) vs. Western Michigan- 11:30am

Western Kentucky have played good football down the stretch including beating Arkansas 45-19. Western Kentucky also has played the better schedule. Really like the Hilltoppers here.

Music City Bowl
Nashville, TN
Louisville vs. Mississippi State (-4.5)- 3:00pm

Louisville couldn’t handle Kentucky’s run game… no idea how they are going to stop Mississippi State. Bulldogs win without the Cowbells.

Redbox Bowl
Santa Clara, CA
California vs. Illinois (+6.5)- 3:00pm

I have no idea what to expect from Illinois. They are good enough to beat Wisconsin, but can be bad enough to lose to Northwestern. It will be a low scoring affair though so take Illinois with the points and just hold on.

Orange Bowl
Miami Gardens, FL
#9 Florida (-14.5) vs. #24 Virginia- 7:00pm

Virginia’s offensive line is bad. Florida’s defensive line is really good. Expect a blow out in the Orange Bowl.

December 31

Belk Bowl
Charlotte, NC
Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech (-3)- 11:00am

Kentucky’s offense the second half of the season has been to run the ball with Lynn Bowden. Virginia Tech’s Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster coaches his last game and should be able to figure out a plan to stop him. Hokies win a close one.

Sun Bowl
El Paso, TX
Arizona State (-5.5) vs. Florida State – 1:00pm

All season we’ve trusted Herm Edwards… why stop now. QB Jayden Daniels is a special freshman and RB Eno Benjamin plays in his last game. Florida State’s best player RB Cam Akers is also skipping. Sun Devils win big.

Liberty Bowl
Memphis, TN
Kansas State vs. Navy (+1) UNDER 52- 2:45pm

If you love QBs throwing it all over the field… this game is not for you. Expect Run, run, run, and more run plays. Navy runs the ball better and wins.

Arizona Bowl
Tuscon, AZ
Georgia State vs. Wyoming (-7)- 3:30pm

Trust a good team in the Mountain West over an average Sun Belt team.

Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, TX
#11 Utah (-7) vs. Texas – 6:30pm

Utah’s run game is going to give the Texas defense trouble. Their defensive line should also not make it easy on Sam Ehlinger. Texas may be able to keep it close, but I don’t see them winning. Utah by 9.

January 1

Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL
#13 Alabama (-7) vs. #14 Michigan OVER 59- Noon

Alabama has basically their entire team playing. Mac Jones and the Bama offense should outscore Michigan by a decent margin and try to make a statement. Alabama 41-24.

Outback Bowl
Tampa, FL
#12 Auburn (-7) vs. #18 Minnesota- Noon

Minnesota’s top linebacker is sitting out the bowl game. The Tigers will be by far the toughest defense the Golden Gophers face. Auburn wins by double digits.

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA
#6 Oregon (+3) vs. #8 Wisconsin – 4:00pm

Oregon’s the better football team and can minimize RB Johnathan Taylor’s impact on the game. It should be close, but Oregon wins.

Sugar Bowl
Pasadena, CA
#5 Georgia (-6.5) vs. #7 Baylor UNDER 41 – 7:45pm

Expect very little scoring. Georgia’s left tackle is sitting out the game and their right tackle might be also. Their offense has not been great and Baylor’s defense isn’t bad. Still the Georgia defense will give Baylor more problems. 24-10 Georgia.

January 2

Birmingham Bowl
Birmingham, AL
#21 Cincinnati (-7) vs. Boston College UNDER 55 – 4:00pm

With no AJ Dillon and an interim coach I don’t see Boston College being able to do much. Like the UNDER.

Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, FL
Indiana vs. Tennessee (-1.5)- 6:00pm

Tennessee have won it’s last five… Indiana has lost two of its last three. Tennessee wins and this line is too easy.

January 3

Famous Idaho Bowl
Boise, ID
Nevada (+7.5) vs. Ohio – 2:30pm

I’m taking Nevada that beat a good San Diego State team. Ohio has been blowing out MAC teams, but Nevada should at least cover.

January 4

Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, TX
Southern Miss (+7) vs. Tulane – 11:30am

Tulane has QB Justin McMillan who is up and down. Southern Miss is talented enough to keep this game close.

January 6

Lending Tree Bowl
Mobile, AL
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio) (+14)- 6:30pm

The MAC Champs can keep it within 14.

Week 14 College Football Preview

2019 SEASON RECORD: 87-67-1 (56.5%)

Week 14 Games of the Week

#10 Michigan (+8.5) at #1 Ohio State – Saturday 11:00am

Game Preview: THE GAME. Michigan hasn’t beat Ohio State since 2011. Michigan comes into this game hot winning their last four games by over 24 points. Ohio State had their first challenge last week against Penn State. They get challenged again against Michigan and win a close one.

Pick: Ohio State 31-24

#5 Alabama (-3.5) at #16 Auburn – Saturday 2:30pm

Game Preview: I trust Mac Jones over Bo Nix. Auburn will be much tougher than Arkansas and Western Carolina however. If Alabama keeps the Auburn offense in check they should win by double digits.

Pick: Alabama 34-20

Top Picks of the Week (All Times CST)

Texas Tech (+10) at Texas UNDER 65– Friday 11:00am

Texas Tech hasn’t lost a game by more than 3 points since Mid-October. Texas hasn’t beat a team by more than 3 points since October 5th. This game will be close and low scoring.

Virginia Tech (-2.5) at Virginia– Friday 11:00am

Virginia Tech has played great down the stretch. They’ll win and head to the ACC Championship to play Clemson.

Cincinnati (+11.5) at Memphis – Friday 2:30pm

The spread is too big for two similar AAC teams. This should be a great game.

South Florida (+23.5) at UCF – Saturday 8:00pm

All year UCF has proven to be an adequate team that doesn’t blow anybody out. South Florida covers.

Wake Forest (-3.5) at Syracuse – Saturday 11:30am

Reading the ACC is tough, but I know this much… Syracuse is awful. Take Wake.

#12 Wisconsin (-2.5) at #8 Minnesota UNDER 48.5 – Saturday 2:30pm

The battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. The weather in this game will be cold with cross winds so don’t expect a lot of points. Wisconsin hasn’t been great the last few weeks, but neither has Minnesota. Wisconsin wins.

Texas A&M (+17) at #2 LSU – Saturday 6:00pm

LSU’s defense has not been great. Kellen Mond will be able to put up points and keep the game close.

#7 Oklahoma at #21 Oklahoma State (+12) – Saturday 7:00pm

Oklahoma hasn’t beat a team by double digits the last four games. I don’t expect them to do it in an away rivalry game. Oklahoma State may pull the upset so definitely a money line sprinkle opportunity.

 

 

Final Playoff Contenders – Week 13

ELIMINATED AFTER WEEK 13: Oregon and Penn State

1. LSU Tigers

LSU Tigers

Resume

Record: 11-0

Best Wins: #5 Alabama, #10 Florida, #16 Auburn

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule: Texas A&M, SEC Championship (#4 Georgia)

LSU has the best resume with wins over #5 Alabama, #10 Florida, and #16 Auburn. They have also looked dominant against inferior opponents except for their lackluster defense. If LSU finishes the year undefeated they will have the #1 or #2 spot on lock. LSU has also built their resume enough where they can afford one loss and still be firmly in the playoffs. However, don’t be surprised even if LSU finishes undefeated Ohio State jumps LSU.

Path to the Playoff: Don’t Lose Twice.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

780px-Ohio_State_Buckeyes_logo.svg

Resume

Record: 11-0

Best Wins: #12 Penn State, #13 Wisconsin, #17 Cincinnati

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule:  @ #14 Michigan, Big Ten Championship

Ohio State has dominated everyone on their schedule. Their resume is slowly improving with the win over Penn State. The Buckeyes best quality opponents will happen over the next few weeks to end the year  Even with a loss to Michigan, Ohio State has done enough to get in as a one loss Big Ten champion as long as they win the Big Ten.

Path to the Playoff: Either 1. Finish regular season undefeated; or 2. One loss and Big Ten Champs

3. Clemson Tigers

orange

Resume

Record: 11-0

Best Wins: None

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule: @ South Carolina, ACC Championship

Clemson has killed everyone on their schedule… except for a one point win against North Carolina. Since the Tar Heel game, Clemson hasn’t had a scare by any of their opponents. Clemson will finish the season without playing a Top 25 team except maybe Virginia Tech (that’s how bad the ACC is). As long as Clemson wins out they’re in.

Path to the Playoff: If they don’t win-out, they’re out.

4. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Logo

Resume

Record: 10-1

Best Wins: #10 Florida, #15 Notre Dame, #16 Auburn

Losses: South Carolina 20-17 OT

Remaining Schedule: @ Georgia Tech, SEC Championship (LSU)

The South Carolina loss is looking worse. However, it won’t matter if they beat LSU in the SEC Championship. The wins against Florida, Notre Dame, and Auburn have them currently as the best 1-loss team.

Path to the Playoff: If they win-out they are in

5. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama logo

Resume

Record: 10-1

Best Wins: None

Losses: #1 LSU 45-40

Remaining Schedule: @ #16 Auburn

They’ve won big against everyone except #1 LSU. Alabama will need to win out to have a chance. In that case, their best win will be against Auburn. What may trip up Alabama is a 1-loss Conference Champion. Some will say Bama doesn’t have a great win, but their Auburn win may be better than any of the other 1-loss conference champions. If Alabama wins out, you have to like their chances of getting in.

Path to the Playoff: Win out with Mac Jones looking dominant, Georgia loses once, and get ranked above the other 1-loss conference champion(s).

OR

Win out with Mac Jones looking above average, Georgia loses once, two loss Big 12 Champion, and a two loss Pac 12 Champion.

6. Utah Utes

2000px-Utah_Utes_logo.svg

Resume

Record: 10-1

Best Wins: None

Losses: USC 30-23

Remaining Schedule: Colorado, Pac 12 Championship

The Utes have a cake walk to end the regular season. A seven point loss to USC remains a dagger in the resume and their only chance at a quality win is in the PAC 12 championship against Oregon. The Oregon loss to Arizona State makes the quality win less impressive. Utah will be in the discussion if they win out, especially with their string of blow out wins. I believe a one loss Utah with a win over Oregon beats out a one loss Big 12 champion.

Path to the Playoff: Win out and Georgia loses.

7. Oklahoma Sooners

OU

Resume

Record: 10-1

Best Wins: #13 Baylor, #23 Iowa State

Losses: Kansas State 48-41

Remaining Schedule: @ #22 Oklahoma State, Big 12 Championship (Baylor)

Oklahoma may finish the year with a bad loss and not many impressive wins. The Big 12 has eaten itself alive. Oklahoma did have an impressive comeback win over Baylor, but their playoff chances have taken a major hit if with their four straight average showings. Oklahoma is in a position where they are behind a one loss Utah right now.

Path to the Playoff: Win Out, Georgia loses, Alabama loses, two loss Pac 12 Champion

8. Minnesota Golden Gophers

1280px-Minnesota_Golden_Gophers_logo.svg

Resume

Record: 10-1

Best Wins: #10 Penn State

Losses: #20 Iowa

Remaining Schedule: #13 Wisconsin, Big Ten Championship

Yes they are undefeated and have looked impressive the past few weeks, but what hangs over the Golden Gophers is winning 3 terrible non-conference games by a total of 13 points. They now have a loss to an average Iowa team as well. However, winning out with wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State would probably put them in.

Path to the Playoff: Win out (this would create some chaos for the committee)

9. Baylor Bears

Baylor Logo

Resume

Record: 10-1

Best Wins: #22 Oklahoma State, #24 Iowa State

Losses: #7 Oklahoma 34-31

Remaining Schedule: Kansas, Big 12 Championship (Oklahoma)

Baylor blew it against Oklahoma. What Baylor needs is Oklahoma to win out and beat them in the Big 12 championship. Even after this I still think they need some help mostly because of their bad non-conference schedule and close games with bad teams (Texas Tech, West Virginia, TCU). Baylor doesn’t pass the eye test so they have to win out and receive some help.

Path to the Playoff: Win out and need a lot of help

Conference Championship Paths

ACC Championship

ACC Atlantic

Clemson- Clinched

ACC Coastal 

Virginia- Clinches with win over Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech- Clinches with wins over Pittsburgh and Virginia.

Pittsburgh- Clinches with wins over Virginia Tech and Boston College, and a Virginia loss to Virginia Tech.

Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma- Clinches with a win against TCU or Oklahoma State.

Baylor- Clinches with a win against Texas or Kansas.

If Baylor or Oklahoma lose out these teams are still in contention: 

Oklahoma State, Texas, and Iowa State

Big 10 Championship

Big 10 West

Minnesota- Clinches with win over Wisconsin.

Wisconsin- Clinches with win over Purdue and Minnesota.

Big 10 East

Ohio State- Clinches with win over Penn State or Penn State loss to Rutgers.

Penn State- Clinches with win over Ohio State and Rutgers.

Pac 12 Championship

Pac 12 North

Oregon- Clinched

Pac 12 South

Utah- Clinches with wins over Arizona and Colorado; or a USC loss to UCLA.

USC- Clinches with win over UCLA and a Utah loss.

SEC Championship

SEC West

LSU- Clinches with win against Arkansas or Texas A&M.

Alabama- Clinches with win against Auburn and LSU losing to Arkansas and Texas A&M.

SEC East 

Georgia- Clinched

Week 13 College Football Preview

2019 SEASON RECORD: 77-66-1

Week 13 Game of the Week

#8 Penn State (+18.5) at #2 Ohio State – Saturday 2:30pm

Game Preview: Ohio State is a week out from facing Michigan. However, this game is the biggest on Ohio State’s schedule and will determine who wins the Big Ten East. Penn State will be locked in, but does Ohio State get caught looking forward to its rival Michigan? Penn State has a good enough defense to keep Justin Fields from going wild. If Penn State wants a chance at winning they need a major improvement on offense from QB Sean Clifford. Ohio State wins, but Penn State keeps it interesting.

Pick: Ohio State 34-21

Top Picks of the Week (All Times CST)

#21 Oklahoma State (-6.5) at West Virginia– Saturday 11:00am

The Cowboys in the last three weeks have beat Iowa State, TCU, and Kansas by a touchdown or more. I like Oklahoma State’s offense to continue that trend and put it on West Virginia (4-6).

Illinois (+15.5) at #17 Iowa– Saturday 11:00am

The most points Iowa has scored over the past six games? 26. Iowa does not have a high scoring offense. Illinois has turned it around and is actually bowl bound. Illinois keeps it within two touchdowns.

Kansas (+24.5) at #22 Iowa State – Saturday 11:00am

Another big spread in the Big 12 that I think will end up a close game. Iowa State is off a big win against Texas and a let down maybe coming. 24.5 is too many points for the Mad Hatter and Kansas.

#13 Michigan (-9) at Indiana – Saturday 2:30pm

Michigan is different team than the one that was blown out against Wisconsin.  Meanwhile, I still have not bought into Indiana as a top Big Ten team. Michigan should win by double digits even with Ohio State on the horizon next week.

Texas A&M (+14) at #4 Georgia – Saturday 2:30pm

Georgia’s offense has not improved. They’ve averaged 22 ppg in their last five games. A&M’s offense is good enough to put up points against the Dawgs and cover the spread.

Texas (+5.5) at #14 Baylor – Saturday 2:30pm

All Texas does is play close games and Vegas keeps putting them as the underdog. I actually like them to win this one in Waco. Baylor suffered a devastating comeback defeat against Oklahoma and I’m not sure how they will bounce back. Texas moneyline.

#25 SMU at Navy (-3.5) – Saturday 2:30pm

SMU will struggle to stop Navy’s offense. SMU gave up over 50 points the last two games. On the other hand, Navy has scored on average around 44 points in their last two AAC games. SMU loses a tough away game. 3.5 points won’t mean much in this high scoring affair. The over is also a possible play here.

Purdue (+24.5) at #12 Wisconsin – Saturday 3:00pm

Wisconsin hasn’t won a game by this spread since October 12. Purdue’s third string QB, Aidan O’Connor, came in and didn’t do bad against Northwestern and actually won the game by two points. Purdue covers.

#6 Oregon at Arizona State (+14.5) – Saturday 6:30pm

Believe in Herm Edwards. Oregon comes to town looking forward to their Pac-12 championship battle with Utah. Freshman QB Jayden Daniels has really developed and will be a key in keeping it close. I believe this will be a crazy one in Tempe with a potential upset. Never trust Pac-12 favorites down the stretch.

TCU (+18) at #9 Oklahoma – Saturday 7:00pm

TGIS will be there live.Oklahoma has lost to Kansas State and barely escaped Iowa State and Baylor in their last three games. 18 points is way too many against a decent TCU team. TCU’s defense will keep Oklahoma from running up the score. I would also not rule out a possible upset.

 

Final Playoff Contenders- Week 12

1. LSU Tigers

LSU Tigers

Resume

Record: 10-0

Best Wins: #5 Alabama, #10 Florida, #16 Auburn

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule: Arkansas, #24 Texas A&M, SEC Championship (#4 Georgia)

LSU has by far the best resume with wins over #5 Alabama, #10 Florida, and #16 Auburn. They have also looked dominant against inferior opponents except for their lackluster defense. If LSU finishes the year undefeated they will have the #1 or #2 spot on lock. LSU has also built their resume enough where they can afford one loss and still be firmly in the playoffs.

Path to the Playoff: Don’t Lose Twice.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

780px-Ohio_State_Buckeyes_logo.svg

Resume

Record: 10-0

Best Wins: #14 Wisconsin, #17 Cincinnati

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule: #9 Penn State, @ #14 Michigan, Big Ten Championship

Ohio State has dominated everyone on their schedule. Their best quality opponents will happen at the end of the year (no Cincinnati and Indiana are not quality wins). Ohio State has done enough to get in as a one loss Big Ten champion as long as they win the Big Ten.

Path to the Playoff: Either 1. Finish regular season undefeated; or 2. One loss and Big Ten Champs

3. Clemson Tigers

orange

Resume

Record: 11-0

Best Wins: #24 Texas A&M

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule: @ South Carolina, ACC Championship

Clemson has killed everyone on their schedule… except for a one point win against North Carolina. Since the Tar Heel game, Clemson hasn’t had a scare by any of their opponents. Clemson will finish the season without playing a Top 25 team (that’s how bad the ACC is). As long as Clemson wins out they’re in.

Path to the Playoff: If they don’t win-out, they’re out.

4. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Logo

Resume

Record: 9-1

Best Wins: #10 Florida, #15 Notre Dame, #16 Auburn

Losses: South Carolina 20-17 OT

Remaining Schedule: #24 Texas A&M, @ Georgia Tech, SEC Championship

The South Carolina loss is looking worse every week especially after the loss to Appalachian State. The wins against Florida and Notre Dame have them currently as the best 1-loss team. A second loss will knock them out of the playoffs and that second loss is likely with Texas A&M and LSU still left.

Path to the Playoff: If they win-out they are in

5. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama logo

Resume

Record: 9-1

Best Wins: #24 Texas A&M

Losses: #1 LSU 45-40

Remaining Schedule: Western Carolina, @ #16 Auburn

They’ve won big against everyone except #1 LSU. Alabama will need to win out to have a chance. In that case, their best win will be against Auburn. What may trip up Alabama is a 1-loss Conference Champion. Some will say Bama doesn’t have a great win, but their Auburn win may be better than any of the other 1-loss conference champions. If Alabama wins out, you have to like their chances of getting in.

Path to the Playoff: Win out with Mac Jones looking dominant, Georgia loses once, and get ranked above the other 1-loss conference champion(s).

OR

Win out with Mac Jones looking above average, Georgia loses once, two loss Big 12 Champion, and a two loss Pac 12 Champion.

6. Oregon Ducks

1238px-Oregon_Ducks_logo.svg

Resume

Record: 9-1

Best Wins: None

Losses: #16 Auburn 27-21

Remaining Schedule: @ Arizona State, Oregon State, Pac 12 Championship

Oregon’s only chance at a good win is against Utah in the PAC 12 Championship. The resume isn’t great as they played some average teams really close including Washington and Washington State. A loss to Auburn may end up being the tie breaker between Alabama and Oregon depending on what happens in the Iron Bowl with Mac Jones. Still, I think Oregon is in a position where if they win out they are in.

Path to the Playoff: Win Out and Georgia loses.

7. Utah Utes

2000px-Utah_Utes_logo.svg

Resume

Record: 9-1

Best Wins: None

Losses: USC 30-23

Remaining Schedule: @ Arizona, Colorado, Pac 12 Championship

The Utes have a cake walk to end the regular season. A seven point loss to USC remains a dagger in the resume and their only chance at a quality win is in the PAC 12 championship against Oregon. Utah will be in the discussion if they win out, especially with their recent blow out wins. I believe a one loss Utah with a win over Oregon beats out a one loss Big 12 champion.

Path to the Playoff: Win out and Georgia loses.

8. Oklahoma Sooners

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Record: 9-1

Best Wins: #13 Baylor

Losses: Kansas State 48-41

Remaining Schedule: TCU, @ #22 Oklahoma State, Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma may finish the year with a bad loss and not many impressive wins. The Big 12 has eaten itself alive. Oklahoma did have an impressive comeback win over Baylor, but their playoff chances would take a major hit if Texas beats Baylor next week. Oklahoma is in a position where they are behind a one loss Pac 12 champion right now.

Path to the Playoff: Win Out, Georgia loses, two loss Pac 12 Champion

9. Minnesota Golden Gophers

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Record: 9-1

Best Wins: #10 Penn State

Losses: #20 Iowa

Remaining Schedule: @ Northwestern, #15 Wisconsin, Big Ten Championship

Yes they are undefeated and have looked impressive the past few weeks, but what hangs over the Golden Gophers is winning 3 terrible non-conference games by a total of 13 points. They now have a loss to an average Iowa team as well. However, winning out with wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State would probably put them in.

Path to the Playoff: Win out (this would create some chaos for the committee)

10. Penn State Nittany Lions

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Record: 9-1

Best Wins: #9 Penn State

Losses: None

Remaining Schedule: @ #2 Ohio State, Rutgers, Big Ten Championship

The loss against Minnesota wasn’t really that tough of a blow. The fact remains Penn State still has to beat the Buckeyes for a chance. They would also get a chance to revenge their Minnesota loss in the Big Ten Championship. The close game against Indiana won’t do them any favors for the eye test though.

Path to the Playoff: Win out (Creates Chaos)

11. Baylor Bears

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Record: 9-1

Best Wins: #22 Oklahoma State

Losses: #10 Oklahoma 34-31

Remaining Schedule: Texas, Kansas, Big 12 Championship

Baylor blew it against Oklahoma. What Baylor needs is Oklahoma to win out and beat them in the Big 12 championship. Even after this I still think they need some help mostly because of their bad non-conference schedule and close games with bad teams (Texas Tech, West Virginia, TCU). Baylor doesn’t pass the eye test so they have to win out and receive some help.

Path to the Playoff: Win out and need a lot of help