It's the most anticipated sports event of the year!!
But unlike the "Fight of the Century" that was more like an interpretive dance, this will be more like a Ronda Rousey fight...
|This is the entire fight. Not kidding. 14 seconds. KO. Don't mess with Rousey.|
COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK BABY!!!!
I love it when a blog comes together!
Week 1 is FINALLY here!!
|Shitty beer will still get you drunk.|
Top 10 Action
#1 Ohio State @ VA Tech
The defending champs open with the only team to beat them last season. The big question is who will be under center to start the season?
The 3 headed QB monster has turned into a 2 man show now that Braxton Miller has been moved to WR.
That leaves last season's savior Cardale Jones ...
And his competition is RS-SO JT Barrett...
... who was just named one of the Captains.
Buckeyes name Captains
No starter has been named as of yet, and I wouldn't expect to know who will start until he trots onto the field for the VA Tech game.
The Buckeyes are loaded this year, but won't be at full strength for this game. The Buckeyes have 4 players suspended for this game, including All American and flat out beast DE Joey Bosa.
Joey Bosa 1 of 4 players suspended for VA Tech
Beamer, entering his 28th season in Blacksburg, is now the elder statesman of college football.
However, his seat has been getting a bit toasty lately. Since back to back 11 win seasons in 2010 and 2011, the Hokies have gone 7-6, 8-5, and 7-6. In an era of "what have you done for me lately"...
...football, that simply isn't good enough. Let's just hope for Beamer's sake his career ends better than the previous two elder statesmen of college football.
Will the Buckeyes get their revenge or will the Hokies hand them an L for the second straight season?
Urban doesn't like to lose.
#2 TCU @ Minnesota
HC Gary Patterson enters his 15th season and has taken the Horned Frogs program from the WAC, to Conference USA, to the Mountain West and finally, the Big XII. The H-Frogs were the surprise of the 2014 season, coming off a dismal 4-8 campaign in 2013, they rebounded in a huge way finishing 12-1 and winning a share of the Big XII title.
BUT! TCU was left out of the College Football Playoffs. Needless to say, their fans were not pleased.
|Read my lips, "I'm going to f*cking kill someone."|
Despite that slight, TCU finished #3 last year and open's #2 this season. They're offense is explosive, led by Sr. QB Trevone Boykin.
Boykin is in the early conversation for the Heisman. If TCU can replicate last season and attone for their 1 loss to rival Baylor, they'll be in the CFP and Boykin could very well end up at the Heisman ceremony in NYC.
Minnesota is a trendy sleeper pick to win the Big Ten West division this season. With Nebraska and Wisconsin having new coaches, Iowa stuck in a corn field, Northwestern perpetually average, Illinois firing their coach a week before the season starts and Purdue being Purdue, the West is wide open.
HC Jerry Kill has the program heading in the right direction. The Gophers have been 8-5 the past 2 seasons but have played tough. Could this be the year they finally break through and get the honor of being spanked by OSU in the Big Ten Championship game?
#20 Wisconsin @ #3 Alabama
After 15 years of stability under former HC Barry Alvarez, the Badgers enter 2015 with their third HC since 2012. Former DC Paul Chryst wisely dumped Pitt after one year for a return to Madison.
|I can't believe I left Wisconsin.|
|I can't believe I'm back at Wisconsin!|
Gone is first round pick RB Melvin Gordon, but who's carrying the rock doesn't seem to matter in Madison, they continually produce 1000 yard rushers. Next in line is JR RB Cory Clement.
For the second year in a row, Wisconsin opens with a tough SEC opponent. Last season, the Badgers lead LSU 24-7 in the 3rd quarter before giving up 15 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to lose 28-24.
This year they open on the road at Alabama.
'Bama is stacked. On offense. On defense. On special teams. And they're especially stacked where it counts most.
Bama's QB situation is about as crystal clear as Bruce, er, Caitlin's transition...
The Tide currently have 3 QB's taking first team reps and 2 more taking 2nd team reps. The rest of the depth chart is littered with true freshman either starting or contributing. That youth and uncertainty at QB could come back to haunt the Tide at some point this season.
HC Nick Saban will have to figure it out in a hurry. After opening with #20 Wisconsin, the Tide have #17 Ole Miss in two weeks, then play at #9 Georgia two weeks after that, then return home against #18 Arkansas a week after that. We'll know if the Tide are rebuilding or contending by early October.
27-14 Roll Tide
#4 Baylor @ SMU
The Bears opened up their McLane stadium last season with a 45-0 romp over SMU...
.. en route to an 11-1 regular season and a share of the Big XII title. The Bears were one inexplicable loss to WVU away from a birth in the CFP. Instead, they ended up in the Cotton Bowl where they blew a huge lead and allowed Sparty to score 3 TD's in the 4th quarter for a 42-41 MSU win.
The Bear want nothing more than to play some football. It's been a tumultuous off season in Waco.
Scandal will define Baylor’s season to those outside program
QB Bryce Petty is now playing on Sundays so Jr. Seth Russell takes over under center for the Bears. Russell could be even better than what's turned out to be a QB factory at Baylor that started with Heisman winner RGIII. Simply put, if you play QB for Baylor, you're going to put up some ridiculous numbers.
Unlike the pass happy teams of yore, Baylor has not forsaken the defensive side of the ball. Check out DE Shawn Oakman doing a box jump... a 40 inch box jump.... while holding 2 70lb dumbbells....
SMU had a miserable 2014. They lost their coach just before the season started and reeled off 11 losses in a row before salvaging a single win against UConn in the last game of the season.
The Mustangs hired Clemson OC/QB Coach and Texas native Chad Morris to right their floundering program. At the very least Morris will have the Mustangs playing better on offense. The bar is low at SMU. Anything better than avoiding NCAA sanctions, which is not as easy as you'd think at SMU, and winning more than one game will be an improvement.
#5 Michigan State @ Western Michigan
HC Mark Dantonio has Michigan State at the high water mark of their program. In the last 5 years, Sparty has gone 11-2, 11-3, 7-6, 13-1, and 11-2. And yet, Michigan State Head Coach MARK DANTONIO still gets no respect.
|What's wrong with this picture?|
Gone is DC Pat Narduzzi, who left for a 1 year internship as HC of Pitt. Also gone are RB Jeremy Langhford (4th round pick), and WR's Tony Lippett (5th) and Keith Mumphery (5th) as well as CB Trae Waynes (1st). Taking their place are RS-FR RB Madre London, SR WR's Aaron Burbridge and Macgarrett Kings Jr.
MSU Sr. QB Connor Cook is one of the best in college football and a potential first round pick. With Cook at the controls, the offense should be above average this season.
On the defensive side, Sparty has built a reputation as being fielding a top D every season, however, the better the competition, the worse their D has fared...
Sparty's only two losses last season were to the teams that played for the National Championship, Oregon & Ohio State. This season, Sparty gets Oregon at home in week 2 and plays in Columbus in late November.
Before Sparty can go duck hunting...
they'll have to get by Western Michigan and their young up & coming HC PJ Fleck.
Fleck is a 34 year old wunderkind who is amongst the hottest names not currently coaching in a power 5 conference. In Fleck's first season, WMU won exactly 1 game, which was a 1 point victory over FBS doormat UMass. One win? WTF? So why is he a hot name you may ask?
In season 2, the Broncos went 8-5, including a 6 game winning streak and a bowl bid. That's the kind of 1 year turn around that gets you noticed by the Power 5 conferences. If Fleck can knock off in state big brother MSU it will only add to his legend. Look for Fleck to be roaming the sidelines somewhere in a Power 5 conference next season. Given the precarious position of HC Kyle Flood at Rutgers and Fleck's connection to the school, don't be surprised to see him in northern Jersey.
As for this game...
42-24 Michigan State
#6 Auburn v. Louisville
Auburn opens in the Georgia Dome against the Cardinals. HC Gus Malzahn is known as an offensive wizard with his super fast go, go, GO offensive philosophy...
...and he'll need to work his magic as he must replace his starting QB Nick Marshall, SEC's leading rusher and 5th round draft pick Cameron Artis-Payne, and third round pick WR Sammie Coates. The offense shouldn't miss a beat with new starters QB Jeremy Johnson, RB's Roc Thomas and Jovon Robinson.
Auburn started 2014 7-1 but dropped 4 of their last 5 as their D disappeared. To rectify their defensive struggles, Auburn hired former Gators HC Will Muschamp, who is known as a defensive wizard. Auburn's D surrendered at least 34 points in all 4 of those losses, including 55 in the Iron Bowl. If Auburn hopes to get back into the National Championship picture, Muschamp will have to work his magic too.
Louisville HC Bobby Petrino... aka The Mistress on the Motorcycle Maniac...
...has held 18 different positions in his 31 year coaching career. Including different positions at the same school/team 5 different times. The guy likes to move more than Van Damme in a unitard...
But he also wins games. Petrino is in his second season in his second stint at Louisville. The Cardinals went 9-4 last season, including a huge win against then #2 Florida State. This season Petrino has 4 different kids listed at the top of his QB depth chart. No matter who takes the snaps, the offense should be pretty good.
Petrino is no stranger to the Georgia Dome...
This is my upset specials of the week.
#7 Oregon vs. Eastern Washington
The Ducks played for a national title last season and again came up short. The Ducks offense was on fire in the post season, putting up 51 against Arizona in the PAC 12 Championship and 59 against Florida State in the Rose Bowl, but that offense ran into a defensive juggernaut in the National Championship game, putting up only 20 against the Buckeyes.
This HC Mark Helfrich must replace Heisman winner Marcus Mariota and looked outside their roster to do so.
Eastern Washington is known for it's colorful field...
... and it's wide open, record setting offense at the FCS level. Last season, QB Vernon Adams set records for the Eagles.
Adams threw for 10,438 yards, 110 TD's and added 1,232 yards and 11 TD's on the ground during his 3 year FCS career. Those totals would be even more impressive if he didn't miss 4 games last season with a broken foot. He lead his team to 3 consecutive Big Sky Championships, was named Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year and was a first team All American.
This season, Vernon is taking his talents to....
... Eugene, Oregon. Adams has been named the Ducks starting QB and will be under center for their season opener against his former school, Eastern Washington. With WAY more talent at the skills positions look for Adams to light up his former teammates.
#8 USC vs. Arkansas State
The big news out of Troy this summer was not potential Heisman candidate QB Cody Kessler..
... or the new talent arriving on campus...
... or the Trojans incoming freshman class, ranked #2 overall in the nation.
... No, this big story this off season was HC Steve Sarkisian getting wasted & dropping F bombs in front of boosters and players.
You just know Bobby Petrino is laughing at this. Sarkisian is reportedly seeking help in the wake of the incident.
As punishment for his indiscretion, his players made him do some burpees...
USC's players are helping Sark weather life's ups and downs. His #Pac12ftc interview: http://t.co/VxNdf72ppk pic.twitter.com/IXnZwVB2Kp— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) August 27, 2015
So now we now what the punishment is for players that get loaded and drop F Bombs at a pep rally.
Which makes you wonder what kind of punishment OJ would receive from this coaching staff.
|Read that again, he said "IF" he did it. "IF".|
As for Arkansas State, they'll throw it around a lot but they don't have the talent to compete with USC. Coach Sark's post game speech should be pretty straight forward after this one.
#9 Georgia vs. Lousiana - Monroe
With the departure of RB Todd Gurley to the NFL, via a top 10 pick at that, the Bulldog backfield now belongs to Sophomore RB Nick Chubb. When Gurley went down with a torn ACL last season, it was Chubb who stepped in and more than made up for his loss...
|#61 out for a nice stroll with a front row seat to the action|
Chubb logged 219 carries for 1,547 yards and 14 TD's. He averaged 7.1 YPC and also caught 18 passes for 213 yards and 2 more TD's. This kid is the real deal and will be playing on Sundays. The way the Bulldogs churn out RB's watch out for this kid in Athens in the next few years...
Handing off to Chubb will be UVA transfer Greyson Lambert, who won the QB competition in a 4 way a battle.
The Dogs went 10-3 last season, are are consistently ranked in the top 15 but just can't break into the National Championship picture. And in the SEC, let's face it, if you're not competing for national titles on the field then you're Kentucky and you only care about basketball, or Vanderbilt and you only care about academics.
LA-Monroe hasn't beaten an SEC team since their thrilling 34-31 OT win against #8 Arkansas in 2012. That streak includes a 48-14 loss to aforementioned SEC bottom feeder Kentucky last season. Don't expect the Warhawks to break that streak against Georgia.
#10 Florida State vs. Texas State
The Seminoles 29 game winning streak was snapped in the CFP semi-final game last season. The 'Noles are now on a 1 game losing streak, which shouldn't last longer than this game. The 'Noles lost Heisman winner & #1 overall pick QB Jameis Winston to the NFL.
|"Yo Dawg! I'm going to the NFL, you can have my job next season."|
So who will replace Famous Jameis?
Continuing the 2015 trend of old faces in new places, FSU brought in the guy Winston beat 31-27 last season...
... Everett Golson. Who has gone from a redshirt, to starting the National Championship game to out of football for a year due to academic suspension, to starting again, to benched, to again starting, but this time in Tallahassee.
Golson beat out QB Sean Maguire, who was part of the same recruiting class as Jameis Winston. So while Winston is now a millionaire starting for the Buccaneers, Maguire is still holding a clip board in Tallahassee. Fortunately the kid should get his shot next season.
HC Jimbo Fisher has heard the criticism about his players and all the incidents that have plagued his program the past few years and has responded in kind.
FSU won't have to do much growing to dispose of the Texas State Bobcats.
Another old face in a new place is Texas State HC Dennis Franchione. The former HC at Alabama and Texas A&M was out of football for 3 years before the Bobcats came calling to lead their program from FCS to FBS. Their first year at the FBS level Texas State played in the WAC and went 4-8. Since moving to the Sun Belt in 2013, the Bobcats have been 6-6 and 7-5. Not exactly world beaters, but not bad considering they've only been at the FBS level for 3 years.
While a W against the 'Noles is not going to happen, Texas State is a contender for the Sun Belt Championship and a possible bowl bid.
52-3 Florida State
Games of NoteMichigan @ Utah
That sound you heard was every Michigan fan getting on their knees and praising god for the return of their lord and savior to Ann Arbor...
No, not that savior. This one!!
This guy is now the savior of Michigan...
Wolverine fans are going nuts over this guy.
In his time with Stanford from 2007-2010, Harbaugh went 29-21, but started at 4-8 and finished at 12-1. He then took over the 49ers franchise that hasn't won shit since Steve Young was behind center and took them to 2 NFC Championship games, 1 super bowl, and 1 dismal 8-8 season. So in his 4 years at Stanford he created a top notch program and left at it's crescendo. In his 4 years at San Francisco he produced 3 playoff teams and left after his players and the owners had tired of his intense personality.
Now back at his alma mater, Harbaugh has a rebuilding job to do after the Hoke years yielded consistently worse results every season. Unlike when he took over Stanford, there is talent on the Michigan roster. His first priority is to find a QB, and it looks like it's still a 4 way race...
... including Iowa graduate transfer Jake Rudock. Sensing a theme here with the transfer QB's?
The Wolverines might not have the talent to beat OSU or Sparty just yet, but they'll definitely be tougher than they were under Hoke.
As for Utah, the Harbaugh hype might be getting to them.
The Utes are no slouch. This will not be an easy game for Michigan. They're coming off a 9-4 season and beat Michigan 26-10 in Ann Arbor last season. This is a tossup.
Penn State @ Temple
HC James Franklin has reinvigorated a program that was quite literally on it's death bed just a few seasons ago. His haters call him a used car salesman...
... but the recruits have a different opinion. Penn State currently has the #2 recruiting class in the nation. And that is after a lackluster 7-6 inaugural season in Happy Valley that featured one of the worst offensive lines in college football.
Playing behind that swinging gate of the OL was future NFL QB Christian Hackenberg.
Hack was sacked a record 44 times last season and was under pressure even more. After a successful freshman season under QB whisperer HC Bill O'Brien, Hack took a huge step back last season but showed glimpses of his old self. The kid has an NFL arm and can make throws other QB's wouldn't even attempt.
PSU is collecting a wealth of talent at the skill positions, so Hack will have no lack of targets. If he can get some protection from his OL, he should have a nice rebound season.
On the defensive side, DC Bob Shoop was courted heavily by LSU this off season, but PSU stepped up and paid the man. He was perhaps Franklin's biggest recruiting coup yet as keeping him in Happy Valley provides a level of consistency that has been absent recently. He's also a damn good DC. Penn State ranked #2 in the nation in total defense last season, #3 in rushing defense and #6 in third down defense.
If the offense can be even average, PSU should be able to win 9 games go bowling again.
Temple will be a tougher than you think first test. The Owls have a good, young HC in Matt Rhule, who was ironically born in State College, PA. Rhule will have the Owls ready to play. They return a stout D that has a few kids that will be playing on Sundays. Most notably LB Tyler Matakevich...
... the kid is a stud at LB and will make some plays.
If Temple can keep it close and get some turnovers they will make this a game. But the Owls offense sucks, so if Penn State can avoid turnovers they should be able to shut down the Owls offense and come away with an ugly win.
17-10 Penn State