College football season is finally upon us with a slate of high-quality games this Saturday. Headlining that slate is a huge matchup between #2 Ohio State and #5 Notre Dame. It’ll be a fun season, and here’s how I see it unfolding.
Featured Images from: Alabama Athletics, Cleveland.com
Top Four Teams
1. Alabama (13-0)
Alabama returns perhaps the two best players in the nation in QB Bryce Young and EDGE Will Anderson Jr. Safety Jordan Battle will anchor the Tide’s secondary. They have many newcomers in their receiving core and O-Line, but Jahmyr Gibbs, who transferred in from Georgia Tech, will put up big numbers in the backfield. Overall, ‘Bama is set to meet the expectations that they always do, and I see them bringing home an SEC title.
2. Ohio State (13-0)
Ohio State will narrowly miss the #1 seed in the CFP, but they’ll head into the postseason with a perfect record and a talented squad. QB C.J. Stroud returns after a stellar sophomore campaign, and his favorite target, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, will also run it back. Former #1 overall recruit Julian Fleming should break out at receiver this season. RB TreVeyon Henderson rounds out a star-studded group of skill players. Pass rushers Zach Harrison and J.T. Tuimoloau headline their defense. OSU is loaded this year, and they’re my pick to win the national championship.
3. USC (12-1)
USC is a massive sleeper team for this season. Caleb Williams was brilliant at Oklahoma last season, and I believe he’ll have a Heisman-caliber year. Williams certainly has the supporting cast to do so, as Jordan Addison, Mario Williams, and Travis Dye all transferred in. This should be one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation, and they’ll upset both Notre Dame and Utah this season.
4. Georgia (12-1)
Georgia returns many of the players that helped them win the CFP last year. Stetson Bennett is the signal-caller once again. The Bulldogs quite easily have the best tight end room in the NCAA. Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington are studs, and Arik Gilbert’s ceiling is sky-high. DT Jalen Carter is a top-five NFL Draft prospect, and EDGE Nolan Smith should break out this season. Another top draft prospect, Kelee Ringo, is the top dog for their secondary. I have them losing the SEC championship to Alabama, but they’ll avenge themselves in the CFP semi-finals.
Next two out: (5) Clemson, (6) Texas
College Football Playoff
Heisman: Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Coach of the Year (Home Depot Award): Steve Sarkisian, Texas
Bednarik Award: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
Doak Walker Award: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Biletkinoff Award: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
John Mackey Award: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
Outland Trophy: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
Butkus Award: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
Jim Thorpe Award: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia