With kickoff less than a week away, the action is finally here. The only people who are probably wishing the season was further away — or even over – would be Ohio State. With the new playoff system upon us, more pressure will be put on teams to win and win big. Teams must leave no doubt in voters’ minds since there will be only four spots with about 50 teams thinking they deserve to be there.
The news of Ohio State’s Braxton Miller being out for the season probably has them counting the days until 2015. Even without Miller leading the team, fans can still expect Urban Meyer to lead them through to at least 9-10 wins, as he has shown he can make adjustments on the fly and come out a winner. While a playoff spot is probably out of the question, the Bucks can still play spoiler in the B1G, possibly against Wisconsin or Michigan State.
Looking forward to kickoff will be a certain fan base in Tallahassee. Expectations are sky high for the Florida State Seminoles even if their star quarterback, Jameis Winston, was not chosen for the All-American team. The real reason fans should pay attention to this is because it shows the voters have not forgotten about the “rough” off season. Despite what you may be able to do on the field, you still need to watch what you do off the field. Even though Winston is being snubbed by voters, fans can expect him to still have another big season and possibly repeat as the Heisman winner.
On to Michigan where Brady Hoke is feeling the heat. After giving Wolverine fans an 11-2 season along with a BCS win in 2011, things have taken a downward spiral. Hoke then went 8-5 followed by a 7-6 season. The fans are hungry for him to return Michigan to the glory days and will be scrutinizing every move. He will have a chance to prove to fans that he is the man for the job right away by avenging their “unforgivable” loss to Appalachian State and then traveling to Notre Dame for a must win.
Michigan fans will also want to go out on a winning note vs Notre Dame since it will be their last time playing them for awhile. If the chips fall right, then Michigan should win at least nine games. The schedule is set up in their favor this season and their main rival — OSU — has received some bad news which goes in their favor. If Hoke can’t win now, then look for fans to ask the AD to find someone who can.
With kickoff upon us, there were two more major match-ups that fans should be excited to see —
West Virginia @ Alabama. This game will be at a neutral site and will be a statement game for both teams. West Virginia will want to prove they are back and a win over Alabama will put everyone on notice. Alabama will be looking to break in a new QB and hope he is the answer to lead them into the playoffs. Saban knows how to win when he has a lot of time to prepare. Alabama gets the “W” in this one.
Clemson @ Georgia — Both teams will be looking at a new face under center for the first time in more than three years. Clemson has lost a lot of identity on the offensive side of the ball and their defense is an unknown to most fans outside the program. Georgia has a Heisman hopeful — Todd Gyrley – in the backfield that will make the new QB transition a lot easier. I imagine this will be a low scoring affair as both offenses look to establish their new identity, but Georgia gets the victory in this one due to home field advantage.
1. Ohio State wants to go fast
2. SEC running deep
3. Urban Meyer the football guru
4. Who is the best in the Big 12?
5. Georgia needs to get it done