After the excitement that was the 2014 college football season, which saw the Bowl Championship Series replaced by the first college football playoff and Ohio State coming out as national champions, the 2015 season is upon us.
Last season was so unpredictable – who, for example, would have thought that Ohio State would win championship with Cardale Jones, a third string quarterback who had taken limited snaps at the collegiate level?
The season promises to be just as unpredictable, with a lot of really good non-conference games early on that could easily shake up the playoff race. Week 1 alone has three intriguing games. The Texas Longhorns travel to South Bend, to take on the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish under the lights at Notre Dame Stadium.
Also, the Wisconsin Badgers, who boasted the league’s fourth-best rush offense and pass defense a year ago, will meet at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium to take on the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
The third game has the Arizona State Sun Devils traveling to NRG stadium in Houston to take on the Texas A&M Aggies, who look to improve one of the nation’s worst defenses from a year ago.
Week 2 has the national champion runner-up Oregon Ducks traveling to East Lansing to take on the fifth-ranked Michigan State Spartans in a game that will feature the speed of Oregon against Michigan State’s physical smash mouth defense.
College football is so intriguing week to week because you never know what will happen. A good example is when the outranked Arizona Wildcats traveled to Autzen and upset the Oregon Ducks last year. This year could feature two upsets in the opening weekend of the season.
Michigan State opens up on the road against Western Michigan. This is a Western Michigan team that went 1-11 two years ago, and finished 8-5 last year. This team is on the rise and could easily catch the Spartans looking ahead to their week two match-up against the Ducks, and upset them.
The other possible surprise is Virginia Tech upsetting Ohio State. Ohio State will be missing a couple of key players on the offensive side of the ball, and as of last weekend still have not announced a starting QB.
My final four college football teams are TCU, Auburn, Ohio State, and Baylor. But you should also keep an eye out for Alabama, Wisconsin, and Michigan State, who could definitely make some noise come selection time.
I don’t see Ohio State repeating themselves as national champions, simply because I think they are not as strong a team this year. The national championship game will feature TCU and Auburn, with Auburn winning a close game.