CFB Predictions

College Football Hierarchy Begins to take Shape


Ben Kaplan

Photoshop: Ben Kaplan

By Harry Billings, Reporter

As many of you may know, the College Football season started two weeks ago, and last season was one for the ages. Obviously, when you start with predictions for the 2015 season, you have to start with the reigning champs.

The Buckeyes have finally found an outlet for Braxton Miller’s freak athleticism, and that opens the door for the insane depth at quarterback. JT Barrett and Cardale Jones, however, will not win a championship if they are splitting time like they were last year. Ezekiel Elliott represents a legitimate showstopper and Heisman candidate at running back, and the outlook is good for The Buckeyes. Michigan has been hyping Harbaugh all offseason, but the only real threat in the Big Ten is Michigan State. Even so, Michigan State did not look very dominant in the win versus Western Michigan on opening day, giving up 24 points to the less than impressive Western Michigan. But, they did rebound well to beat U of O, last week. The rest of the conference looks shaky, and I think that JT Barrett, with over 2000 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, will carry the team to an easy conference championship.

Now for the ACC, the flashy conference with the most players drafted in the first round last year. I may have some bias here, as I have always been a Clemson fan. Florida State lost more players to the draft than any other team in this conference, and Clemson and Louisville have so much energy and drive that the hype here is deserved. With the loss of Vic Beasley, the Clemson defense was thought to be less dominant this season, but it showed otherwise, allowing just 10 points in their opening game, and 0 in the first half. Deshaun Watson came back with a bang throwing for 2 touchdowns and 194 yards. Louisville has a spark, and with Mike Williams gone from the Clemson receiving core, I think that Clemson has a good chance to blow past the competition this year.

After the first two weeks, all of the confusion in the PAC-12 is just as confusing. Oregon obviously is not going to be as good as they were last year, especially after the hard loss to Michigan St. The consensus ranking of Oregon after the first two weeks is behind Baylor, Clemson, and a good five ranks behind conference rival USC. Five star QB Cody Kessler has his opening to lead the very talented Trojans to victory.

My prediction: Oregon vs. USC final, USC comes out on top.

The SEC isn’t exactly the first conference you think of when you think of big, talented teams, but they may be the most heated conference in all of college football. Big football schools like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Ole Miss, highlight this talented conference. Nick Chubb, easily the best player in this conference and maybe all of college football, and Georgia look steadier through the first two weeks than ever before. Alabama and Auburn have been powerhouses for years, but they look considerably less in charge. Auburn was almost upset in week 2, but Alabama has not been putting up the flashy numbers . Another legit powerhouse Texas A&M looks good, but not good enough to really make a run for the title. Ole Miss has been oddly the most exciting team to watch in this conference. Special teams and defense have been getting it done in flashy fashion so far, and I am going to go bold and say they finish on top in the SEC West. On the other side of things, I think that the tough defense and flashy star power combination in Georgia leads them to the top in the East. Overall, I think that the solidity and depth of Georgia will prevail against the flashy play of Ole Miss.

Prediction: Nick Chubb runs away with the conference.

Top 5 Heisman Candidates- The Year of the Running Back

  1. Nick Chubb-RB Georgia: A perfect mixture of power and break-away potential, Chubb

is my top pick this year

  1. Trevone Boykin-QB TCU: A physical freak, Boykin destroyed the mediocre defense of

Stephen A. Austin, and did quite well against the somewhat formidable Minnesota. It will

come down to conference play for him to take home the trophy.

  1. Ezekiel Elliott-RB Ohio State: Easily number one on this list two weeks ago, Elliott has

not shown enough to keep him there, but he has still been quite good. The Buckeyes

offense will have to steady the ship for him to win.

  1. Derrick Henry-RB Alabama: This Alabama junior has been a workhorse through the

first two weeks, and he has looked like he is up it the challenge. He would be higher, but

if Nick Saban finds stability at quarterback his workload may take a hit.

  1. Deshaun Watson- QB,Clemson: The hyped freshman last year, Watson is back from

his injury and ready to go. With one of the most heralded receiving corps in the country,

Watson looks like the real deal for Clemson.