And now for something no one has ever thought of before: an entire article devoted to nothing but predictions on the upcoming football season!
I know, right? Why haven’t more people done this before? Sure, going out on a limb publicly with my preseason prognostications can be riskier than buying sex toys from a Detroit pawn shop, but I like to write columns that are outside the box, real cutting edge crap, you know?
Wait, what do you mean there are articles like this all of the time? And that predictions are standard fare for columnists? And that I actually did a predictions article last year around this date?
Well, screw it—I am doing it anyway. The fact is, with this new baby of mine coming soon, I have more balls in the air than the Chippendale’s Skydiving Team. I just don’t have the time to be super creative this month.
Prediction 1: Notre Dame makes the College Football Playoff. Yeesh, I hate typing that, but I am afraid it’s true. The Irish have plenty of talent and a schedule that is the right mix of challenging enough to harden the squad while not so arduous as to make it unnavigable. The slate sandwiches eight homes games between an opening test at Texas and the last contest at Southern Cal. Otherwise, the Irish play at home more than a juvenile delinquent on house arrest. Hold your vomit and pencil ND in the playoff.
Prediction 2: Arkansas finishes fifth in the West, but beats either Ole Miss or LSU (and maybe both). Why not? They did last year. They also did in 2014. Outside of Alabama, Arkansas has the most solidified personality of any team in the conference. You may find the Hawgs plodding and boring, but they do what they do every game and stay true to themselves. The problem is talent—almost every team on their schedule has more of it than they do.
Prediction 3: A running back will win the Heisman. I just don’t know which one. For the first time since 1999, a non-Alabama RB will hoist the Heisman (I am excluding Reggie Bush at USC since his was vacated). Leonard Fournette at LSU is the easy answer, but Christian McAffrey at Stanford, Oregon’s Royce Freeman, and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook are all serious threats. I love Clemson QB DeShaun Watson (and he certainly put on a show versus Alabama in last year’s title game), but he may be competing against his own great standards.
Prediction 4: Ohio State will knock Michigan out of the playoffs. UM Coach Jim Harbaugh takes his Wolverines into the last game of the regular season undefeated and enters Ohio Stadium with his khaki pants full of confidence. (Hmm, there might be a better way to say that.) Unfortunately for Harbaugh, a young, two-loss Ohio State squad will have grown up in a big way by next November, and the Buckeyes defeat Michigan, which keeps the Wolverines out of the conference title game (and out of the playoffs).
Prediction 5: My new baby girl will decide she wants to be born in the middle of a college football Saturday. Ever since I learned my latest child’s due date of Tuesday, Sept. 13, I have had a feeling that she will make an appearance a few days earlier or later—just in time to make me miss a game-winning field goal somewhere. I guess I will call that particular Saturday “3 Dilated Centimeters and a Cloud of Dust.” Quick question: Does Buffalo Wild Wings have a maternity ward? •