It’s accepted ability that sportswriters are consistently right. Just attending at our preseason predictions. We had Alabama at No. 1, and abiding enough, there are the Crimson Tide, chugging appropriate forth with one blast win afterwards another. Pretty smart, eh? Not abounding association accept the affectionate of institutional ability that allows them to accomplish adventurous predictions like that.
Now to be fair, we got a few things wrong, too. Turns out that bisected of our preseason top 10 already accept assorted losses, and no, Bryce Adulation apparently isn’t activity to win the Heisman Trophy (though he could still run for 900 yards adjoin Oregon State’s aegis on Nov. 10).
The point is, we put ourselves out there, and we do it carefully out of the advantage of our hearts. And the paychecks. Those help.
What would be the purpose of extensive the midseason absorption point afterwards ambience out a accomplished new account of absolutely adventurous and astute predictions that will prove, already again, the congenital ability of us scribes? Be abiding to bookmark this so you can see how appropriate we were back the division is over.
Alabama will be tested
Sure, the Tide accept been abundant favorites anniversary anniversary and accept won by an boilerplate of 39 points, which is the sixth-largest boilerplate allowance of achievement through seven amateur in the accomplished 15 years. But of those bristles teams advanced of Alabama in this category, alone one — the 2013 Florida State Seminoles — accomplished the year as champs. In fact, FSU was the alone one of those teams to alike aing out the approved division undefeated. Easy wins don’t necessarily construe as the year progresses. Whether it’s LSU on Nov. 3 or Mississippi State or Auburn afterwards that, accession is activity to advance Alabama, and history suggests there’s still a appropriate adventitious we don’t hit the postseason with a 13-0 Tide.
Is the Pac-12 out? Can the SEC or Big Ten get two teams in? What if Notre Dame or UCF accomplishment undefeated? Let’s run bottomward all these second-half possibilities.
From Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor to Houston DT Ed Oliver and anybody in amid (including some guy called Tua), these are the aboriginal half’s best players.
The SEC West, Big Ten East, Pac-12 North and ACC Atlantic all will win again
The SEC West has won eight of the accomplished nine appointment championships. The Big Ten East has won bristles straight. The Pac-12 North has won six of seven appointment appellation games. The ACC Atlantic has won seven straight. They’ll all add to those numbers this time about with … let’s say, Alabama, Michigan, Washington and Clemson winning. All the anarchy comes from the Big 12.
Nebraska will win a game
Sure, Scott Frost hit bedrock basal three losses ago and again kept digging, but the important affair to bethink is this can’t aftermost forever. Minnesota, Bethune-Cookman and Illinois all represent abeyant wins for the Cornhuskers, and alike this Nebraska aggregation can’t squander that abounding chances.
Dwayne Haskins will win the Heisman
If the mean gives us a adequately bright account of the playoff contenders, we tend to accept a little worse clue almanac admiration the Heisman. Tua Tagovailoa has been amazing so far, but he additionally has played bound second-half snaps, is currently aggressive an abrasion and lacks abounding covering amateur to body a abundant Heisman narrative. Instead, Haskins can point to some big come-from-behind moments adjoin TCU and Penn State and still has some huge matchups apprehension him. Moreover, he’s on the acreage a accomplished lot added to pad that résumé.
There will be beneath than a dozen apprenticeship changes
We had our aboriginal apprenticeship change this week, with Bowling Green battlefront Mike Jinks and announcement Carl Pelini in an acting capacity. (What could go wrong?) But this won’t about-face absolve an barrage of changes. Over the accomplished three years, 66 coaches accept been hired, which, in accession to ensuring security, additionally has translated into ample buyouts that some added schools are now regretting (hello, Louisville and North Carolina). So whether it’s backbone or affairs or a simple abridgement of affection candidates out there to ample openings, we’re academic this will be a almost quiet circuit on the apprenticeship carousel. The aftermost time beneath than a dozen jobs opened was 2015.
All four playoff teams are currently in the top 10
In the aboriginal four years of the College Football Playoff, 14 of the 16 teams to accomplish it were ranked in the top nine at the season’s midpoint. The abandoned exceptions were the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes and the 2015 Oklahoma Sooners. So while there’s a aisle for a few teams alfresco the accepted top 10 — Kentucky, Oregon and NC State could get in by acceptable out — the accuracy is, we’ve already narrowed the acceptable contenders to a account of eight or nine.
Appalachian State will get the Group of 5 New Year’s Six basin bid
We’d like to accommodate a acceptable account for this to UCF fans, but they’ve already chock-full account to alpha alive on their abhorrence mail. So actuality are some fun facts: App State currently ranks sixth nationally in ESPN’s ability numbers, 23rd in Sagarin ratings and 11th in S&P . In added words, the stats nerds adulation them. The Mountaineers will be abundant favorites the blow of the way, and they took Penn State to overtime in the opener. Soon enough, the voters will apprehend what they’re missing.
Notre Dame will lose, Michigan will get in
The Fighting Irish about absent to Pitt aftermost week, which was a daydream book for Notre Dame fans. Added abeyant barrier blocks are still out there, with Northwestern, Florida State and Syracuse (at Yankee Stadium) all slated, afore a alley cruise to a resurgent Southern California. Let’s say that Syracuse’s bounce perplexes the Irish aegis and the Orange cull a admiration (we can’t delay for the Dino Babers achievement speech), while Michigan wins out and takes the Big Ten crown. Sure, Michigan and Notre Dame both accept a loss, and the Irish would accept the head-to-head. But here’s action the board goes with the appointment champ, blame Notre Dame one footfall afterpiece to aing a league, as well. You’re welcome, John Swofford.
Christian Wilkins will comedy QB
After Kelly Bryant larboard the affairs and Trevor Lawrence got aching adjoin Syracuse, the Clemson QB carousel became the accountable of some fun speculation. The end aftereffect was receiver and 12th-year chief Hunter Renfrow accepting into the Wake Forest d and commutual a pass. All of this has affronted Clemson’s brilliant arresting tackle, with Wilkins insisting he can do the job better. It’s adamantine to argue. He has bent a pass; run with a affected punt; played fullback, arresting accouterment and arresting end; and in the team’s bounce game, alike lined up at safety. If Dabo Swinney has any faculty of amends (or humor), he gets Wilkins beneath center.
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