Hazarding college football predictions in August is a folly at best all but guaranteed to leave the predictor eating crow by season’s end if not sooner.
It’s also lots of fun and, if nothing else, fills our need for spirited debate as we impatiently await the opening weekend downpour as those agonizing months of football-free weekends creep too slowly toward blissful bygones.
And what an opening weekend, arguably the best ever, the college football powers that be lined up this year. Among 22-plus games scheduled Sept. 1-5 pit match-ups between Alabama and USC, Oklahoma and Houston, Clemson and Auburn, Notre Dame and Texas, and LSU and Wisconsin.
Yep, every year just about a number of summer’s highly touted teams sputter into also ran mediocrity status well before Halloween while teams no one is talking about right now surge to Cinderella seasons. At least momentarily. Which is great though. It’s that give-and-take weekly disruption of the topography that makes college football the greatest sport ever.
It’s also fun to compare and contrast preseason polls and predictions against the post bowl season’s end and marvel at how things shook out. If nothing else, it gives football fans something to savor before the long drought before next season sets in.
That in mind, and for the second year running, we’ve asked several local football enthusiasts to fetch their crystal balls and offer their best guesses on several pressing questions about the — ‘bout time! — season just around the corner.
The group of prognosticators include: Times-Review Sports Editor A.J. Crisp, Times-Review Managing Editor Dale Gosser, Cleburne Head Football Coach Jeff Merket, Times-Review Reporter Matt Smith, Cleburne Running Backs Coach/Assistant Baseball Coach Ryan Stepp, Grandview Head Football Coach Casey Walraven and Cleburne Offensive Line/Track Coach Marlon Winn.
Feel free to log your predictions on the Times-Review’s Facebook page.
Which four teams make it to the college football playoffs?
Crisp: Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma and Michigan.
Gosser: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
Merket: Stanford, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Alabama.
Smith: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma.
Stepp: Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and Clemson.
Walraven: Alabama, Baylor, Clemson and Michigan.
Winn: Oklahoma, Stanford, Clemson and Michigan State.
Who wins the national championship?
Who wins the Heisman Trophy?
Crisp: Clemson QB DeShaun Watson.
Gosser: Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.
Stepp: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes.
Who is your dark horse team?
Winn: Texas Tech.
Who wins the Big 12 and the SEC?
Crisp: Oklahoma and LSU.
Gosser: Oklahoma and Alabama.
Merket: Oklahoma and Alabama.
Smith: Oklahoma and Alabama.
Stepp: Oklahoma and Alabama.
Walraven: Baylor and Alabama.
Winn: Oklahoma and Alabama.