Every season presents its own story, and storylines, for college football.
And 2015 is no different.
Except I have the answers.
So as we gear up for Thursday night and the hard opening of the season, let’s take on those top 10 storylines and give you the answers.
(In no particular order.)
Will Ohio State repeat?
No. The Buckeyes should get to the College Football Playoff as one of the Final Four, although that comes with a caveat – nobody wants a repeat of last season when TCU and Baylor felt as if they were robbed of the final spot by Ohio State. If it come down to the same scenario this year, you can bet the voters will have that situation in mind. But the Buckeyes should be there. Win it? Not likely. Too much would have to go absolutely perfect again, and I don’t see that happening.
So will TCU or Baylor be there?
Absolutely. The winner of their game is going to the CFP. Bank on it.
Is Michigan back?
Yes. And no. Hiring Jim Harbaugh was the popular move so long as his heart and mind aren’t set on returning to the NFL. But this is not the season to think the Wolverines are suddenly going to be in the Big Ten mix, much less the national picture. Lost in the hoopla of Harbaugh-mania is the simple fact that this is a major rebuilding job that nobody wearing maize-and-blue wants to admit. It will take a year. At least.
What’s wrong with the SEC?
Geez. Um, nothing is wrong. Two years without a national title, mighty Alabama bounced out of the College Football Playoff in the semifinals, and everybody goes nuts. Relax. The SEC is the SEC. If not Alabama in the CFP, then Auburn. If not Auburn, then Georgia.
Who’s the first coach to be fired?
Well you can cross Tim Beckman of Illinois off the list after he was shockingly let go just a week before the season was to begin. Who’s next? Stay in the Big Ten and take a long look at Darrell Hazell of Purdue. Paul Rhoads of Iowa State is up there as well. But the scrutiny on USC’s Steve Sarkisian is going to be enormous now that he is seeking treatment for a potential drinking problem.
So who gets hired?
Well, taking USC out of the equation, it would not surprise at all that if Lane Kiffin is the first coach that a school turns to in the wake of a firing. Yes, I really did just write that.
What happens if Notre Dame makes the College Football Playoff?
Holy cow for college football. The sport is always better when the Irish are relevant and the team no doubt drives ratings. But it could be holy hell for everybody else. You think last year was tough when a Big 12 team was left out? Imagine this season if ND is good enough to make the four-team playoff along with, say, Ohio State, Auburn and TCU, for argument’s sake. You don’t think the Pac-12 and ACC are going to scream the proverbial holy hell?
Is there a sleeper team?
It’s hard to call a major program like Arkansas a sleeper, but if the Razorbacks can navigate the SEC West – remember, they barely lost to Alabama last year – this is good of a sleeper pick as any.
Why aren’t we talking more about Oregon?
Indeed, why aren’t we? The Ducks have major skill position talents at running back and receiver, but obviously replacing a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback is going to be difficult. But in some respects, Oregon has been a ‘system’ style offense and Vernon Adams should fit in.
So who’s winning the whole thing?
Coastal Carolina. In FCS, that is.