August 9, 2014

College Football Preview

Y'all, 18 days. Only 18 days until the much awaited return of college football. There is not much that beats the beautiful season of fall, which is always accompanied by college football. Now that Julie and I live in Alabama, these next few months are centered around who plays who on Saturday. Believe me, my college-football-obsessed self is not complaining. While we won't be adorning our "ADPi loves the Heels" pins and bopping on over to Sigma Chi for Bojangles and tailgating, we do get to spend this fall in a state that eats, sleeps and breathes college football. With no professional teams to steal the thunder, the people in this state lean one way or the other - Alabama or Auburn. However, no matter which way on may lean, the top-notch tailgating, trash talking and undeniable passion for the sport is enough to get in anyone's blood and make them live for Saturday's on the gridiron.

So, in the spirit of the season, I pulled my college-football partner in crime, Tom Moore, to talk a little about what to expect for this season. This year's college football season will conclude with the first ever College Football Playoff where the final two will play at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015. There is much to be excited about across the country the next few months in the world of college football, and you will NOT want to miss it. Here's everything you need to know to talk shop with the best of them:

Hi, everyone. To start, I always peruse Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine. There is not a better college football magazine in the business. So if you’re looking for a last minute gift for your dad or boyfriend, you can pick up this fact-filled 352-page preview for only $12.99 at bookstores. Phil also releases an NFL preview for those who are interested. There are also ebook versions for tablets.

In the debut year for the College Football Playoff, all eyes are on Florida State and Alabama. Florida State is the consensus number ones across the board, with returning Heisman quarterback Jameis Winston. Alabama will have first-year quarterback Jake Coker (FSU transfer) at the helm. As Phil writes in his mag, Coker was in a legitimate battle with Winston for FSU’s starting QB spot, coming up just short. An inexperienced QB may worry tide fans, but two of Alabama’s last three national titles were won with first year quarterbacks.

Auburn comes in at #5 in the USA Today Poll. Malzahn and co head into the season with 14 returning starters and some definite signs for optimism. Unfortunately, they also have the 5th toughest schedule according to Phil. Alabama has it a little easier at 61.

The top 5 teams I would watch out for this year are FSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Auburn. Everyone is different, but I believe these 5 have the highest probability of reaching the new 4-team playoff. Although we don’t see much of UCLA on the east coast, they return 17 starters and have a veteran QB in Brett Hundley. The Bruins are ready to show the nation what they’re made of this year.

The 2014-2015 College Football Playoff is a welcome change to almost all fans of the game. This year, there will be a 4-team playoff to decide the national champion. The playoff committee is made up of 13 carefully selected members. After the toughest regular season in sports, this committee will meet to decide who makes it to the 4 coveted playoff positions.

Some of the top Heisman candidates to watch out for this year are Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Jameis Winston (FSU), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), Bryce Petty (Baylor), Todd Gurley (UGA), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Nick Marshall (Auburn), TJ Yeldon (Alabama), and Trevor Knight (Oklahoma).

So there you have it. A little background for the season. I am extremely jealous of all of the readers in SEC country that will be experiencing some of the best game days in college football. Cheers to you, enjoy!

Please check out my blog if you have a moment. I primarily write about sports news, my personal experiences at sporting events, and betting information. Thanks for reading. Go Tar Heels!


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