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It’s here. College football is back. I’ve always liked it starting one weekend before the NFL. It’s less stress on me and the media. Anyways, we have a new playoff system. Four teams, three games. A committee picks the top four teams in the country, seeds them, and they play in two semi-final games. The winners play in championship game. In addition, four bowl games will also be played for teams who missed the Playoff, in a two span called the New Years Six. The New Years Six included the two Playoff Semi-Finals. Those teams will be picked by the committee too. As well as our beloved bowl season, that gives smaller school teams a chance at a bowl win. I will preview the Power Five now, and do my Playoff Prediction later.
SEC: It the most decorated conference in football. They have been dominate since I’ve been born. It’s incredible what they’eve put together. The Western division has been dominate in the past seasons. With a lot of great quarterbacks in NFL now, it may weaken. However, last year’s runner-up, Auburn, is still very skilled. They are my pick to win the SEC West.
Who wins the East? Well, there are three real contenders, and anyone of those three could win it. It may come down to who is injured on each squad, or division play. My pick is Missouri. They have Maty Mauk, their breakout star last season. They lost many key defensive guys, but if Mauk plays well, it should be enough.
It’s Auburn and Missouri in the SEC Championship. I’m taking Auburn. Nick Marshall is a very clutch player, and he will lead them here.
PAC-12: Another great conference, and honestly could have three teams in the Playoff. The North and South both have two great teams. I’m taking UCLA in the South. Brett Hundley is back and is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. It’s hard to bet against this team. Arizona State has a great team too, and they could threaten UCLA for the South.
In the North, it’s really a tough choice, as it was last year. Oregon is most likely to make the playoff, so that’s who I’m going with. Marcus Mariota is another one of the best QB’s in the nation, and has a amazing surrounding cast. Again, there is a team that could upset Oregon, and that’s Stanford. Another team hard to write off. This is a more likely upset than ASU over UCLA.
Oregon wins the PAC-12. It’s hard to believe them not. This will probably put them in the Playoffs.
Big Ten: The reigning Rose Bowl Champions are in this conference. Michigan State would have made the Playoff this year with last year’s team. They will win the Legends division again this year. The Leaders division is a lot tougher. Ohio State and Wisconsin are two very good teams, and they will butt heads all season. I’m taking Wisconsin in the Leaders over Ohio State, though the Buckeyes could very well overlap them. Michigan State will win the Big Ten again.
Big 12: I hate how they don’t have a championship game. It takes the fun away from a great conference. Baylor and Oklahoma are the favorites. This is another nail-biter. It’s so tough picking this one. Baylor put up 52 points a game on average last season, and still have Bryce Petty. Oklahoma is a great team too. They are ranked No.3 in the Preseason poll. I think they will slip, and Baylor will rise. Baylor wins the conference, and possibly could make their way into the Playoff.
ACC: The ACC is a really great conference. Both divisions have great teams. The reigning National Champions are in the conference, the Florida State Seminoles. This team will be great again, and honestly, will win the conference, and will easily make the Playoff. That’s about it. In the other division, the Coastal, Duke rose among the best teams in the nation, and will continue that, but not at a higher standard. Duke may make the Championship game, but Miami is very good program with lots of talent. I may be crazy, but Pittsburgh is my sleeper in this conference. I’m not going to further comment on that matter.
Again, Florida State will win this conference, no matter what.
If you lost me, my predictions are….
BIG-10: Michigan State
ACC: Florida State
I will have a Playoff Prediction column that includes: Playoff, Committee Bowl Games, and other bowl games.