All right, nobody asked me, but the college football season launches this weekend and you all want a reason to get charged up, so here goes with some fearless and probably clueless predictions.
I see the Miami Hurricanes going 9-5. Yes, that math includes a trip to the ACC title game. It’s got to happen sometime and Brad Kaaya might be the quarterback to do it.
Figure a symbolically large win over Nebraska in there, a tough loss at Tallahassee, a division title won in some sort of crazy three-way tiebreaker, followed by a loss to Clemson in the ACC championship game. Tack a bowl loss on as a result of the disappointment but Al Golden keeps his job.
FSU fans surely noticed the Miami vs. Clemson ACC title-game forecast in there. I can feel the heat from here.
For me, the Seminoles had too many close calls with Heisman winner Jameis Winston last year to think that they’ll skate through clean with somebody else in charge, and that includes Everett Golson. Call it 10-3, with losses to Louisville, Georgia Tech and Clemson, wins over Miami and Florida and a bowl victory over, well, doesn’t really matter who.
That would be a letdown for Seminoles fans, for sure, but so was the loss to Oregon in the playoffs last year. Doesn’t stop Jimbo Fisher from signing another great class every year, and it doesn’t stop him from popping right back up to the top again. That’s the FSU advantage over other schools in the state.
Now we come to the Florida Gators, who need a great season in the worst way after losing so much momentum under Will Muschamp. I’ll pump them up a little, to 8-5, and that includes a minor bowl win on the order of last year’s defeat of East Carolina.
Just don’t trust Will Grier enough to completely transform the Florida offense in his first season as a starter. A little time spent working under Jim McElwain and we’ll see, but not right away. Treon Harris will get his turns, too, but unless the reworked offensive line can make some room for Kelvin Taylor to run, it’s asking a lot for either quarterback to put serious dents into some of those SEC defenses.
My guess is a season of extremes, something like four straight wins to build excitement and then four straight losses to Ole Miss, Missouri, LSU and Georgia. The only thing that would light a big fire after that would be an upset of FSU, but the Gators probably aren’t quite ready for that yet.
Anybody happy with any of these predictions? The answer is obvious enough. You’re as sick of me as you are of finishing the season anywhere below No. 1.
Sorry about that, but maybe I’ll be wrong. Happens all the time.
Heck, you could be wrong, too, as long as we’re just spitballing here, but it probably won’t be on record.