Marching Bands and Pageantry. Face Paint. Tradition and Rivalries. Mascots. Last Second Hail Mary Passes and Upsets. Heisman Poses and Future NFL Legends. Yes, it’s that time once again as tomorrow (September 3rd) kicks off another exciting College Football season. Whether you are a die hard fan glued to the television screen every Saturday morning in team colors, or a casual “I’m only here for the SportsCenter Top 10 Plays” type – we have you covered start to finish. The road to Arizona is where we’re headed as the University of Phoenix Stadium plays host to this year’s National Championship.
Let’s get started with a few top teams heading into the 2015-6 Season:
#1 Ohio State – After abusing the Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota’s Oregon Ducks in the National Championship last year 42-20, the Buckeyes come back fully loaded. How many times have you seen four players from one team on the pre-season Heisman Watch List? Not to mention three of them are QBs by nature, Braxton Miller voluntarily moved to WR just to make the offense even more potent. After breaking the BCS Championship Records (246 yards, 4 touchdowns) RB Ezekiel Elliot will have all eyes on him heading into this season. Yeah, these guys are scary good…again.
#2 TCU – One of the most impressive programs hands down in the nation when you look at growth. Since moving to the Big 12, it has improved every year and is well deserving of its Top 5 spot heading into the 2015-6 season – especially after being overlooked for the playoffs last season. Led by the Heisman caliber Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year QB Trevone Boykin, the Horned Frogs and Head Coach Gary Patterson have a chip on the shoulder making them even more dangerous. Their November 27th matchup vs. #4 Baylor may determine which Big 12 team gets a shot at the title, definitely a game to circle on your calendar.
#3 Alabama – It is pretty much impossible to start a College Football season and not see Nick Saban’s crew in the Top 5. The Crimson Tide are as consistent as they come when discussing contenders for a National Championship. You can normally expect a unstoppable force in the backfield (this year Heisman hopeful Derrick Henry has that covered) and a NFL ready wide receiver making jaw dropping plays look routine. Will they own the SEC once again? They have a tough road ahead with a schedule that includes 7 Top 25 ranked teams (All in the SEC except for opening weekend opponent Wisconsin at #20). Battle tested will be an understatement if they survive. Roll Tide.
#4 Baylor – You want excitement? Want to see a football game that could end up with a score resembling that of a basketball game? Watch Baylor and its schoolyard style passing attack on Saturday afternoons. Last year their high octane offense led the nation averaging 46.4 points per game. It wasn’t enough however to be selected for the playoffs much like Top 5/Texas counterpart TCU, which only adds more importance to the November 27th showdown. While neither want to look too far in advance and stumble early as one loss can alter the entire season, it has to be in the back of their minds. Anchored on defense by meme popular Shawn Oakman (6’9, 280lbs) and adding tight end Laquan McGowan (6’8, 400lbs. – yes, you read that right) the Baylor Bears hope to take the “Everything is Bigger in Texas” approach straight to a National Championship.
#5 Michigan State – Honestly, the Spartans may be one of the most dangerous teams this season when you look at leadership top to bottom with their 12-man approach when it comes to selecting their team captain by committee. QB Connor Cook didn’t get the nod which was given to three fifth year seniors but the team still acknowledges him as the leader and driving force. It shows how strong the core is on the senior heavy roster, experience speaks for itself and now we get a chance to see if the talent performs. Still a little confusing as to how they are ranked below Baylor who suffered a loss to the Spartans last year in the Cotton Bowl 42-41. But their focus is probably more so on Big 10 foe sitting at the #1 seed in Ohio State. Both Ohio State and Michigan State better watch out for their shared rival in Michigan who brought in Jim Harbaugh to turn around the program. Circle October 17th (Mich. St vs. Michigan) and November 21st (Mich. St vs. Ohio St.) on your calendars right now.
Complete Top 10:
#10 Florida State
Top 25 Notables:
#11 Notre Dame
Ezekiel Elliot, RB Ohio State
Trevone Boykin, QB TCU
Leonard Fournette, HB LSU
Nick Chubb, RB Georgia
J.T. Barrett, QB Ohio State