Who Wins the Big 12 Football Conference?

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Big 12 Football Predictions

The Big 12 is stronger and more talented college football conferences in the country and this year is no exception. There can always be a few surprises when it comes to choosing a Big 12 champion. Here is my list of 5 Big 12 teams that could possibly win the conference in 2016.  It’s no surprise that these teams are favored by the Vegas odds too.

1. Oklahoma

12 starters return for Oklahoma and Baker Mayfield is in the conversation for the Heisman trophy. The Sooners won the Big 12 last year and are the odds on favorite to repeat. The offensive line lost two starters and the defense lost a few players but Oklahoma has the ability to reload like every other powerhouse program in the country. They are my favorite to win the conference.

2. TCU

This is an interesting call. TCU returns four starters on defense and will have to get their quarterback position taken care of. They have a transfer from Texas A&M in Kenny Hill, who more than likely will get the nod to start. They also have to revamp their offensive line. However, they still have core skill players and that can help Hill get into the flow of things at quarterback. If he does play well, they can give Oklahoma a run for their money, but Oklahoma is still much more talented.

3. Oklahoma State

I had a hard time deciding between Oklahoma State or TCU at #2, but it makes sense to me to put Oklahoma State at #3. One of the main factors for putting State at #3 was the schedule. It seems that State has tougher road games compared to TCU, and the Horned Frogs are a very good home team. Oklahoma State still has a good defense, and they could prove to be one of the better ones in 2016, but they will have to get their running game going to take some pressure off the quarterback.

4. Texas

This is my surprise team at #4. The Longhorns have not had much luck of late, and Charlie Strong is going to have to kick them in gear this year if he wants to have a shot at keeping his job. But Texas has had some very good recruiting classes and they are due to break out this year. Keep an eye on this group since it still is Texas.  Campus Insiders thinks Texas will surprise people.

5. Baylor

The scandal at Baylor has put the program in turmoil. They have lost their head coach Briles who really is the one who has built the program, and they have lost a number of recruits due to the scandal as well. The upside, they still have great players at the skill positions and quarterback.

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Pac-12 Football Predictions

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Pac 12 Football Predictions

This season is going to be an interesting one for the PAC-12. In my view, there is no clear cut team to take the title. The storylines for the PAC-12 are interesting, and some certain things will have to happen if the stronger teams from recent years will still compete for the title in the conference.

1. Stanford

Head coach David Shaw is a great coach, but I’ll see how great he is since many players from last year are not on the roster. He still has Christian McCaffrey at running back this year, and he is in the running for the Heisman, but the question is what kind of talent does he have around him? The Cardinals are rebuilding the O-line, and it may take time for them to gel if McCaffrey wants to have another stellar season. Defense may be a little shaky, but, they should be able to get the job done well enough to win the PAC-12.  ESPN’s FPI rankings think this is a long shot, but I like the Cardinal.

2. Washington

It is time for Washington to take a shot at the title. I believe this is the season. The Huskies finished the 2015 season with 7 wins and a victory over Southern Miss in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and they should be relatively steady on offense with quarterback Jake Browning. The defense should be the heart and soul for the Huskies in 2016, and they will get better this season after allowing only 18.8 points per game in 2015.

3. UCLA

Head Coach Jim Mora has an excellent quarterback in Josh Rosen. Rosen may even be mentioned as a candidate for the Heisman if things go well for him this year. The schedule for UCLA is not a tough as USC’s, so the nod for the third spot in the PAC-12 goes to them.

4. USC

It’s been a while since USC has been mentioned in conference title hopes, but this season should be different with the talent level they have on the roster. That talent does not always translate to victories on the field, and their schedule in 2016 is tougher than most. But, they could break out and turn some heads.

5. Oregon

Not as strong as they once were, and their defense has been struggling recently. They added former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke to the staff to help get the defense back to dominating levels, and that should prove interesting. On the offensive side of the ball, the Ducks will be “showtime” once again, and will be fun to watch. But until some of the defensive questions are answered, they will be my pick for 5th in the conference.

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2016 ACC Football Predictions

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ACC Football

Our question before us today is, “Who has the best shot of winning the ACC title in 2016?”  Without a doubt the Atlantic Division has several good teams.  The Coastal is down a little bit, but when it comes down to one championship game anyone has a shot.  Let’s dive in.

Atlantic

1. Clemson
2. Florida State
3. Louisville
4. North Carolina State
5. Syracuse
6. Wake Forest
7. Boston College

Coastal

1. North Carolina
2. Pittsburgh
3. Miami
4. Duke
5. Virginia Tech
6. Virginia
7. Georgia Tech

All together, these are the 14 teams competing for the coveted ACC championship. Therefore, the question now is, “What team is the biggest contender to go ‘all the way’?”  Athlon Sports agrees with us that it’s between Clemson and North Carolina.

The ACC Top Picks

Starting over with the Coastal I think the team to beat is North Carolina. North Carolina has had some roster eligibility issues, but still stands to repeat or improve on their 11-3 record.

Meanwhile, Clemson only missed winning the National Championship by one game (14-1), and this team will now have increased chemistry, and experience; they will now be the team in the ACC to be reckoned with.  That is why BoydsBets.com has them listed as the favorites.

Therefore, we now have it down to two, and we need to know what sets these two teams apart?

Deciding Factors

Factors that are going to be against the Tar Heels is their starting quarterback Marquise Williams with no further eligibility to play. In addition, their upcoming schedule for the next season has a combined last season in conference record of, 47-42. Finally, to make matters worse, North Carolina has an away game at Florida State University (October 1), and with the adjustments made on the offensive and defensive lines, could spell trouble for the Tar Heels.

Meanwhile, the tale of the tape factors for Clemson is an in-conference opponent combined record of, 46-54; the team still has all of its offensive stars controlling the rushing lanes, and will even have their receivers back to help Deshaun Watson dominate the air. As a matter of worry for the Clemson in the upcoming year, is the October 29 battle at Florida State University. For Clemson my worry is that with a little bit of a softer schedule going in to a team with the caliber of FSU may soften them just enough to allow FSU to dominate. If this happened, the chances for a renewed National Championship bid could become problematic.

My favorite

With everything that has been said, I still have to side with the Clemson Tigers. Compared to either the Seminoles or Tar Heels, who have suffered a setback with their quarterback from last year with no further eligibility.  FSU is always a threat and they play extremely well at home.  They have some solid recruits on both offense and defense, but I still must side with the Tigers. The reason is they fell one game shy of the National Championship, and I foresee this as their driving force to capture this year. I do not see them letting the National Championship slip away from them again, so I see the Clemson Tigers as National Champs.

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Big Ten Football Predictions for 2016

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Big Ten Football Predictions

There are fourteen teams that make up the Big Ten in college football. This is the 121st season for this league. When considering facility, head coach, staff, returning players, budget, community support, several teams stand out to win the title in theory. The Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes are anticipated to be strong competitors. Penn State and Wisconsin are likely to be right there in contention too.  Big Ten Network likes Iowa in the West and Ohio State in the East.

Head Coaches

An article that ranks the Big Ten school coaches considered many of the factors mentioned to propose preseason school rankings. Also resumes by head coaches and their previous win/loss record at other football programs.

1. Urban Meyer of Ohio State, and Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan, stand out as two coaches with excellent past win/loss records. Statistically, Meyer had twelve wins in 2015, and one losing season in 2001.

2. Harbaugh completed his first season in 2015 with the Wolverines; they went 10-3. Previously, Harbaugh is credited to have transformed Standford’s football program, and led the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers to 44 wins in four seasons.

3. In terms of record, Mark Dantonio of Michigan State University has 87 wins to 33 losses over the past eight years.

4. Based on achieving bowl bids, Northwestern University under Coach Pat Fitzgerald has six previous bids. One common denominator shared in the above listing is consistency.

Returning Starters

It is noted by Athlon.com that Rutgers, Penn State and Michigan have the highest number of returning players on offense. Experience may translate into moving the ball down field and putting points on the scoreboard.

* Ohio State University has the fewest number of returning players on offense, but three all-Americans in Elflein, Barrett, and McMillan.

* Michigan State is anticipated to have a strong line backer corp with three returning linebackers. This includes Ed Davis, who is returning after injury forced him to sit out the 2015 season.  Plus Malik McDowell is a dominant defensive tackle.

* The Indiana Hoosiers will have strength in the back end. They have seven returning starters and new starters up front. Thus, if players can build team confidence and unity based on experience, it could be a great season for Indiana.

* Penn State has nine returning starters. This is noted to be the highest number for the offensive squad in the Big Ten East division. They too have the experience that may translate into several wins in the 2016 season.

* In the Western division, Iowa has 13 players returning. They lost one game in the 2015 season, and lost their bowl game. Iowa is noted for being resilient, and they could match or surpass their previous season record in 2016.

*Nebraska has 12 players returning. The team could improve and alter its past by learning from its mistakes.

Building A Program

It takes a rich blend of coaching ability, recruiting ability, community and corporate backing to build a solid football program. Recently, Bleacher Report featured a detailed article as to how this was accomplished at Georgia’s Kennesaw University near Atlanta, Georgia.

-Feasibility Study: A detailed study that takes time will assess the strengths and weaknesses facing a potential football program.

-Corporate Backing: A major player needs to fund stadium construction or revision and other major necessities.

-Community Support: The Board of Regents examine finances and other factors to determine a football program has a solid foundation.

Good football programs require ongoing commitment by all participants. Quarter breaks and half-times are unheard of behind the scenes.

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SEC Football Predictions 2016

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SEC predictions

There are five teams that are likely to win the SEC this season.  They have the coaching and enough returning talent.  It doesn’t hurt that they have top-notch recruiting classes waiting to fill the shoes of the players that each team lost.  The predictions below are made by the use of the past games that the teams have taken part in which show that they have the highest chances of winning this year’s title. The teams include the following;

1. Georgia
This is one of the teams that have shown they can contend year in and year out.   The team has good players who have the ability to win this conference easily because they have the experience and the skills needed to compete favorably in a SEC that will involve some of the toughest teams in the game. Another advantage that the team has is the change of head coach.  It seems like this has been one of the challenges facing it for a very long period of time making it not to perform well. With the current coach doesn’t have a lot of experience, he is coming from Alabama’s strong pedigree.  It is likely that this is one of the teams that have high chances of winning the title.

2. LSU
The team has not had the best performance for a long period of time, and it is likely that they will use this chance to turn around the club and win the SEC. It’s been a bit of a slow stretch for Les Miles and company, but whenever he has a quarterback the team contends for a national title.  I don’t see this year being any different.

3. Ole Miss
This team has a unique style of play that can enable them beat any opponent in the league and win it. Though they don’t have as strong of a history as LSU, Georgia, or Alabama, they have come on strong recently.  This will be a team that plays with a chip on their shoulder this season.  Saturday Down South thinks this is clearly the team to beat in the West.

4. Tennessee
One of the most talented teams in the SEC, but the last few years they didn’t have the experience.  I think this is the season that they get over the hump.  Butch Jones has put together some solid recruiting classes and now has coached them up.  This team will be ready and will surprise anyone not paying attention.

5. Alabama
The team has the best coach who has been able to win many titles and trophies and is, therefore, the team that is most likely to win the trophy. It’s hard to argue with the success that Nick Saban has had since coming back to the college game.  With the recruiting classes that he brings in it’s hard to argue that any team will beat the Tide. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are right there in the playoffs yet again this season.

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