My 2017 College Football Preview: Part 3

The 2017 Coaching Hot Board

Ranking the top 65 coaches in the sport (power five + Notre Dame) based on a combination of overall achievement and current trajectory of the program.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

The closest thing to Bear Bryant since Bear Bryant.

2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Maybe the only man to at one point have been the greatest coach in both the Big Ten and SEC during his career.

3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Only four active coaches have won national championships, and he’s the only one of the bunch to have beaten the other three.

4. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Poised to lead the Seminoles to their seventh straight major bowl game this season.

5. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Has already restored the Michigan brand. Now he needs to win championships.

6. David Shaw, Stanford

Has taken the foundation left him by Jim Harbaugh to the next level.

7. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

One of the great coaching witches of all time finally approaches the twilight of an outstanding career.

8. Chris Petersen, Washington

Second time he’s turned a good program into a national power.

9. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Has three 10-win seasons the past four years.

10. Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Maybe the most underrated coach in the country and is practically unbeatable in bowls.

11. Mark Richt, Miami

Off to an excellent start on and off the field at his alma mater.

12. Gary Patterson, TCU

Facing a pivotal year to prove his program has staying power in the Big 12.

13. Bobby Petrino, Louisville

His record, on the field and off, speaks for itself.

 14. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

Now the longest-tenured coach at one school in college football.

15. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

Northwestern has posted only three 10-win seasons since 1901, and he either played or coached on all of them.

16. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Probably the best coach the school has ever had.

17. Mike Leach, Washington State

Who has 9-win seasons at both Washington State and Texas Tech on their resume?

18. James Franklin, Penn State

Shocked the college football world last year by winning the Big Ten.

19. Gus Malzahn, Auburn

This could be his best team yet.

20. Jim McElwain, Florida

Off to a solid start in Gainesville, but the folks down there prefer spectacular.

21. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

Trending in the wrong direction.

22. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Would’ve been considered a top 10 or even top 5 coach only a year ago.

23. Tom Herman, Texas

Walks into the perfect situation in Austin and will have an instant impact.

24. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

When he’s good, like last year, he’s really good. And when he’s not, well, he’s really not.

25. Larry Fedora, North Carolina

Has quietly produced the best era of Tar Heel football in about 20 years.

 26. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin

The coaching equivalent of a steady, game manager quarterback.

27. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Year one in Blacksburg produced the rare seamless transition taking over for a legend.

28. David Cutcliffe, Duke

Starting to look like his run of making the Blue Devils relevant is winding down.

29. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh

Year two was even better than year one – but faces some rebuilding in year three.

30. Butch Jones, Tennessee

Despite the cheesy/grating clichés, he’s one of only 12 Power Five coaches to win at least nine games or more past two seasons.

31. Brett Bielema, Arkansas

Is he ever gonna make the Razorbacks more than a middling SEC program?

32. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Never a good sign when the AD puts you publicly on the hot seat.

33. Dana Holgersen, West Virginia

Went from on the hot seat to a 10-win season in 2016.

 34. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss

First time in four years he didn’t improve the Rebels’ win total, and is now facing a potentially devastating NCAA investigation.

35. Dave Doeren, N.C. State

Could be poised for a breakout 2017.

36. Clay Helton, USC

If not for Sam Darnold bursting on the scene down the stretch last year, he could very well be unemployed right now.

37. Jim Mora, UCLA

Facing a make-or-break season in Westwood.

38. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota

With his persona he will either flame out or blow up in his new job.

39. Matt Rhule, Baylor

Digging out from the crater that is Waco may be even tougher than turning Temple into a nationally-ranked program.

40. Kirby Smart, Georgia

Year one was okay, but okay doesn’t cut it in Athens. His predecessor got fired for averaging “only” nine wins a year.

41. Lovie Smith, Illinois

His resume is much better than this, but not sure he has the fire in the belly for college football based on what we saw last season.

42. Mike Riley, Nebraska

Quieted the natives somewhat with a 9-win 2016, but expectations are low this fall.

43. Ed Orgeron, LSU

A place-holder hire to keep the recruiting pipeline going until Saban’s run ends, when the administration will open up the checkbook to get an elite coach.

44. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

Went from fired to national coach of the year, but can he sustain it?

45, D.J. Durkin, Maryland

The way he’s recruiting, doesn’t look like last year’s bowl appearance will turn out to be a flash in the pan.

46. Willie Taggart, Oregon

I’m expecting the Ducks to rebound strong in his first year.

 

 47. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia

When a coach with his resume has such a disastrous debut, you have to wonder if the fit just isn’t there.

48. Will Muschamp, South Carolina

Gamecocks were surprisingly respectable in his first season.

49. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

Looks like he’s about to flame out as a Power Five coach, again.

50. Todd Graham, Arizona State

Another Pac-12 coach who is coaching for his job this fall.

51. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Finally led the Wildcats to the postseason, but can he do it again?

52. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma

He’s just 33-years old, never been a head coach before, and is taking over for a mythical figure in Norman. Good luck.

53. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

Got an extension after qualifying for a bowl game last year.

54. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

We’re about to find out if last year’s success, by Wake Forest standards, was him or his celebrated – and departed – defensive coordinator.

55. Gary Andersen, Oregon State

Look for him to lead the Beavers back to respectability as soon as this fall.

56. Matt Campbell, Iowa State

Cyclones return most of their key offensive personnel, so Campbell could take a big step in year two.

57. Jeff Brohm, Purdue

Last time Boilermakers brought in a pass-happy, mid-major coach his name was Joe Tiller and that seemed to work out pretty well.

58. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

Probably bowl game or bust for this Red Raider favorite son.

59. Tom Allen, Indiana

Showed last year he knows how to coordinate a defense, but now we need to see if he can coordinate a program.

60. Steve Addazio, Boston College

Definitely on the hot seat in Chestnut Hill.

61. Dino Babers, Syracuse

Other than a nice upset of Virginia Tech, a forgettable first season.

62. Justin Wilcox, California

Has an excellent defensive pedigree, but now he’s in a conference known for offense.

63. Barry Odom, Missouri

The Gary Pinkel era seems like it was so long ago now.

 64. David Beaty, Kansas

Avoids the basement because Jayhawks finally won a conference game.

65. Chris Ash, Rutgers

Here’s hoping Jerry Kill is just what the program needed.

2017 POSITION RANKINGS

The top players in the country at each position. 

 Quarterbacks

  1. Lamar Jackson, Louisville (Jr.)
  2. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (Sr.)
  3. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (Sr.)
  4. Jake Browning, Washington (Jr.)
  5. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State (Sr.)
  6. Sam Darnold, USC (So.)
  7. Luke Falk, Washington State (Sr.)
  8. Quinton Flowers, South Florida (Sr.)
  9. Jalen Hurts, Alabama (So.)
  10. Logan Whiteside, Toledo (Sr.)

Breakout star: Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (So.)

Running backs

  1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State (Jr.)
  2. Derrius Gice, LSU (Jr.)
  3. Nick Chubb, Georgia (Sr.)
  4. Royce Freeman, Oregon (Sr.)
  5. Bo Scarborough, Alabama (Jr.)
  6. Myles Gaskin, Washington (Jr.)
  7. Akrum Wadley, Iowa (Sr.)
  8. Kamryn Pettway, Auburn (Jr.)
  9. Justin Jackson, Northwestern (Sr.)
  10. Ronald Jones, USC (Jr.)

Breakout star: Chris Warren, Texas (Jr.)

Wide receivers

  1. James Washington, Oklahoma State (Sr.)
  2. Dante Pettis, Washington (Sr.)
  3. Richie James, Middle Tennessee State (Jr.)
  4. Courtland Sutton, SMU (Jr.)
  5. Allen Lazard, Iowa State (Sr.)
  6. Calvin Ridley, Alabama (Jr.)
  7. Anthony Miller, Memphis (Sr.)
  8. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M (Jr.)
  9. Antonio Callaway, Florida (Jr.)
  10. Michael Gallup, Colorado State (Sr.)

Breakout star: Ahmmon Richards, Miami (So.)

Tight Ends

  1. Troy Fumagali, Wisconsin (Sr.)
  2. Jaylen Samuels, N.C. State (Sr.)
  3. Mike Gesicki, Penn State (Sr.)
  4. Adam Brenneman, Massachusetts (Sr.)
  5. Cam Serigne, Wake Forest (Sr.)

Breakout star: Alize Mack, Notre Dame (Jr.)

Offensive tackles

  1. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma (Jr.)
  2. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame (Sr.)
  3. Connor Williams, Texas (Jr.)
  4. Mitch Hyatt, Clemson (Jr.)
  5. Braden Smith, Auburn (Sr.)
  6. Trey Adams, Washington (Jr.)
  7. Mason Cole, Michigan (Sr.)
  8. Dalton Risner, Kansas State (Jr.)
  9. Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State (Sr.)
  10. Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh (Jr.)

Breakout star: Jonah Williams, Alabama (So.)

Guards/Centers

  1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame (Jr.)
  2. Cody O’Connell, Washington State (Sr.)
  3. Frank Ragnow, Arkansas (Sr.)
  4. Billy Price, Ohio State (Sr.)
  5. Tyrone Crowder, Clemson (Sr.)
  6. Sean Welsh, Iowa (Sr.)
  7. Will Clapp, LSU (Jr.)
  8. Will Hernandez, UTEP (Sr.)
  9. Scott Quessenberry, UCLA (Sr.)
  10. Tony Adams, N.C. State (Sr.)

Breakout star: Ryan Bates, Penn State (So.)

Defensive tackles

  1. Christian Wilkins, Clemson (Jr.)
  2. Maurice Hurst, Michigan (Sr.)
  3. Ed Oliver, Houston (So.)
  4. Vita Vea, Washington (Jr.)
  5. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (So.)
  6. Steven Richardson, Minnesota (Sr.)
  7. Derrick Nnadi, Florida State (Jr.)
  8. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama (Jr.)
  9. Trent Thompson, Georgia (Jr.)
  10. Greg Gaines, Washington (Jr.)

Breakout star: Rasheem Green, USC (Jr.)

Defensive Ends

  1. Bradley Chubb, N.C. State (Sr.)
  2. Harold Landry, Boston College (Sr.)
  3. Arden Key, LSU (Jr.)
  4. Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State (Sr.)
  5. Rashan Gary, Michigan (So)
  6. Dorance Armstrong, Kansas (Jr.)
  7. Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State (Sr.)
  8. Marques Haynes, Ole Miss (Sr.)
  9. Nick Bosa, Ohio State (So.)
  10. Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest (Sr.)

Breakout star: Josh Sweat, Florida State (Jr.)

Linebackers

  1. Tegray Scales, Indiana (Sr.)
  2. Josey Jewell, Iowa (Sr.)
  3. Malik Jefferson, Texas (Jr.)
  4. Micah Kiser, Virginia (Sr.)
  5. Jordan Jones, Kentucky (So.)
  6. Azeem Victor, Washington (Sr.)
  7. Cameron Smith, USC (Jr.)
  8. Jack Cichy, Wisconsin (Sr.)
  9. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech (Jr.)
  10. Travin Howard, TCU (Sr.)

Breakout star: Khaleke Hudson, Michigan (So.)

Cornerbacks

  1. Jaire Alexander, Louisville (Jr.)
  2. Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State (Jr.)
  3. Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma (Sr.)
  4. Rashard Fant, Indiana (Sr.)
  5. D.J. Reed, Kansas State (Jr.)
  6. Duke Dawson, Florida (Sr.)
  7. Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech (Sr.)
  8. Iman Marshall, USC (Jr.)
  9. Quenton Meeks, Stanford (Jr.)
  10. Blace Brown, Troy

Breakout star: Donte Jackson, LSU (Jr.)

Safeties

  1. Derwin James, Florida State (Jr.)
  2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (Jr.)
  3. Quin Blanding, Virginia (Sr.)
  4. Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh (Jr.)
  5. Marcus Allen, Penn State (Sr.)
  6. Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern (Sr.)
  7. Chase Hansen, Utah (Jr.)
  8. Armani Watts, Texas A&M (Sr.)
  9. Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State (Sr.)
  10. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama (Jr.)

Breakout star: Taylor Rapp, Washington (So.)

2017 College Football Preseason News & Notes

Unit Ratings

The top schools at each position group.

Offensive backfield—1. Alabama, 2. Auburn, 3. Washington, 4. USC, 5. Oklahoma State, 6. Penn State, 7. Georgia, 8. West Virginia, 9. Ohio State, 10. Northwestern.

Receivers/tight ends—1. Oklahoma State, 2. Alabama, 3. Clemson, 4. Memphis, 5. Oklahoma, 6. Colorado, 7. Middle Tennessee, 8. Indiana, 9. Notre Dame, 10. Penn State.

Offensive line—1. Oklahoma, 2. Iowa, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Clemson, 5. Washington, 6. Alabama, 7. Texas, 8. Ohio State, 9. Florida, 10. Washington State.

Defensive line—1. Clemson, 2. Ohio State, 3. Michigan, 4. Alabama, 5. Washington, 6. N.C. State, 7. USC, 8. Florida State, 9. Miami, 10. Auburn.

Linebackers—1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Miami, 4. USC, 5. Virginia Tech, 6. Washington, 7. Wisconsin, 8. TCU, 9. BYU, 10. Kentucky.

Secondary—1. Florida State, 2. Alabama, 3. Georgia, 4. Virginia Tech, 5. Louisville, 6. Stanford, 7. Ohio State, 8. Indiana, 9. Troy, 10. Appalachian State.

Freshman Flashes

Look for these prep newcomers to be instant impact players this fall.

Cam Akers (RB-Florida State)

Jack Anderson (OL-Texas Tech)

Markquese Ball (S-Maryland)

Tarik Black (WR-Michigan)

Lynn Bowden (ATH-Kentucky)

Larry Boyd (OL-Illinois)

Justin Broiles (CB-Oklahoma)

Stephen Carr (RB-USC)

Amari Carter (S-Miami)

Micah Clark (OL-Rutgers)

Wyatt Davis (OL-Ohio State)

Grant Delpit (S-LSU)

Navaughn Donaldson (OL-Miami)

A.J. Epenesa (DE-Iowa)

Willie Gay (LB-Mississippi State)

Tee Higgins (WR-Clemson)

Anthony Hines (LB-Texas A&M)
Darnay Holmes (CB-UCLA)

Donovan Hunter (DB-Virginia Tech)

Jerry Jeudy (WR-Alabama)

Hunter Johnson (QB-Clemson)

Jaylon Johnson (CB-Utah)

Ty Jones (WR-Washington)

Jake Lawler (DE-North Carolina)

Alex Leatherwood (OL-Alabama)

Reese Leitao (TE-Texas)

Deommodore Lenoir (CB-Oregon)

Walker Little (OL-Stanford)

Michael Miranda (OL-Penn State)

Kellen Mond (QB-Texas A&M)

Jeffrey Okudah (DB-Ohio State)

Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR-Michigan)

N’Kosi Perry (QB-Miami)

Jacob Phillips (LB-LSU)

Jaelan Phillips (DE-UCLA)

Brandon Ruiz (K-Arizona State)

Trey Sermon (RB-Oklahoma)

Trey Smith (OL-Tennessee)

Aubrey Solomon (DT-Michigan)

JaCoby Stevens (S-LSU)

Tua Tagovailoa (QB-Alabama)

C.J. Thorp (OL-Penn State)

Marlon Tuipulotu (DT-USC)

Lamont Wade (CB-Penn State)

Colin Wilson (RB-Louisville)

Isaiah Wilson (OL-Georgia)

Marvin Wilson (DL-Florida State)

Brock Wright (TE-Notre Dame)

JUCO Jolts

These junior college transfers will see immediate playing time.

Corrion Ballard (DB-Utah)

Blake Barnett (QB-Arizona State)

Peyton Bender (QB-Kansas)

Marquise Brown (WR-Oklahoma)

Isaiah Buggs (DL-Alabama)

Michael Clemons (DE-Texas A&M)

Jhavonte Dean (DB-Miami)

Matt Eaton (WR-Iowa State)

D’Marcus Hayes (OL-Georgia)

Kai Higgins (DL-Purdue)

De’Andre Johnson (QB-Florida Atlantic)

Gary Johnson (LB-Texas)

Javon Kinlaw (DL-South Carolina)

Jake Luton (QB-Oregon State)

Brandon Martin (WR-Arkansas)

Neil McLaurin (QB-Minnesota)

Chauncey Rivers (DE-Mississippi State)

Kendall Sheffield (CB-Ohio State)

Jarrett Stidham (QB-Auburn)

Marcelias Sutton (RB-Oklahoma)

Adonis Thomas (LB-Florida State)

Andrew Van Ginkel (LB-Wisconsin)

Dante Wigley (CB-Colorado)

Now Ready for Primetime

These redshirt freshmen will emerge after sitting out last season.

Ronnie Blackmon (DB-Colorado)

Luke Campbell (OL-Michigan State)

T.J. Chase (WR-Clemson)

Jameel Cook (DT-USC)

Zerrick Cooper (QB-Clemson)

K.J. Costello (QB-Stanford)

Cameron Dantzler (DB-Mississippi State)

Ben Davis (LB-Alabama)

Feleipe Frakes (QB-Florida)

Isaiah Gilchrist (DB-Washington)

Jarrett Guarantano (QB-Tennessee)

Josh Jackson (QB-Virginia Tech)

Mique Juarez (LB-UCLA)

Tommy Kraemer (OL-Notre Dame)

Justin Madubuike (DE-Texas A&M)

Michael Menet (OL-Penn State)

Byron Murphy (DB-Washington)

Quinn Nordin (PK-Michigan)

Kaden Smith (TE-Stanford)

Shaq Smith (LB-Clemson)

Trevor Speights (RB-Stanford)

Maxs Tupai (DL-Utah)

Trey Udoffia (DB-Colorado)

Tyler Vaughns (WR-USC)

Christian Wallace (DB-Oregon State)

Jamar Watson (LB-Kentucky)

The New Kids in Town

These transfers are being counted on by their new schools.

Kyle Allen (QB-Houston from Texas A&M)

Jeff Badet (WR-Oklahoma from Kentucky)

Jalen Brown (WR-Northwestern from Oregon)

Max Browne (QB-Pittsburgh from USC)

Dee Delaney (DB-Miami from The Citadel)

Brandon Harris (QB-North Carolina from LSU)

Caleb Henderson (QB-Maryland from North Carolina)

Will Grier (QB-West Virginia from Florida)

Chris James (RB-Wisconsin from Pittsburgh)

Tanner Lee (QB-Nebraska from Tulane)

T.J. McCollum (LB-Purdue from Western Kentucky)

Derek Mitchell (RB-Texas Tech from Iowa)

Thomas Sirk (QB-East Carolina from Duke)

Anu Solomon (QB-Baylor from Arizona)

Thomas Tyner (RB-Oregon State from Oregon)

Shaq Wiggins (LB-Tennessee from Louisville)

David Williams (RB-Arkansas from South Carolina)

Ty’Son Williams (RB-South Carolina from North Carolina)

Malik Zaire (QB-Florida from Notre Dame)

Big Shoes to Fill

These players are replacing some of the biggest names from last season.

Rodney Anderson (RB-Oklahoma, Samaje Perine/Joe Mixon)

Mark Andrews (WR-Oklahoma, DeDe Westbrook)

John Battle (S-LSU, Jamal Adams)

Ian Bunting (TE-Michigan, Jake Butt)

Michael Clemons (DE-Texas A&M, Myles Garrett)

Da’Shawn Hand (DT-Alabama, Jonathan Allen)

Khaleke Hudson (S-Michigan, Jabril Peppers)

Dylan Jackson (DE-Stanford, Solomon Thomas)

John Kelly (RB-Tennessee, Alvin Kamara)

Jonathan Kongbo (DE-Tennessee, Derek Barnett)

Isaiah Langley (CB-USC, Adoree Jackson)

Bryce Love (RB-Stanford, Christian McCaffrey)

Jordan Miller (CB-Washington, Sidney Jones)

Michael Ojemudia (CB-Iowa, Desmond King)

Jacques Patrick (RB-Florida State, Dalvin Cook)

Michael Pittman (WR-USC, JuJu Smith-Schuster)

Nic Shimonek (QB-Texas Tech, Pat Mahomes)

Erick Smith (S-Ohio State, Malik Hooker)

Rick Wade (DE-UCLA, Takkarist McKinley)

Denzel Ward (CB-Ohio State, Marshon Lattimore)

Chris Warren (RB-Texas, D’Onta Foreman)

Mack Wilson (LB-Alabama, Reuben Foster)

Brandon Wimbush (QB-Notre Dame, DeShone Kizer)

Whoever plays quarterback for Clemson (DeShaun Watson)

All Underrated Team

Players you don’t know now but by the end of the season you will.

Dante Booker (LB-Ohio State)

Deon Cain (WR-Clemson)

Justin Crawford (RB-West Virginia)

Kamari Cotton-Moya (DB-Iowa State)

Nick Fitzgerald (QB-Mississippi State)

Janarioan Grant (WR-Rutgers)

N’Keal Harry (WR-Arizona State)

Khaleke Hudson (LB-Michigan)

Christian LaCouture (DL-LSU)

Alize Mack (TE-Notre Dame)

Skai Moore (LB-South Carolina)

Jacques Patrick (RB-Florida State)

Taylor Rapp (S-Washington)

Ahmmon Richards (WR-Miami)

Ervin Phillips (WR-Syracuse)

Josh Sweat (DE-Florida State)

Mark Walton (RB-Miami)

Chris Warren (RB-Texas)

The Honor Roll

Predicting the winners of college football’s most prestigious awards.

Heisman Trophy—Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)

Bear Bryant Award—Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State)

Doak Walker Award—Saquon Barkley (Penn State)

Davey O’Brien Award—Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)

Fred Biletnikoff Award—James Washington (Oklahoma State)

John Mackey Award—Troy Fumagali (Wisconsin)

Outland Trophy—Christian Wilkins (Clemson)

Bronco Nagurski Award—Derwin James (Florida State)

Dick Butkus Award—Malik Jefferson (Texas)

Jim Thorpe Award—Derwin James (Florida State)

The Ultimate College Football Road Trip

If you can only be at only one stadium each week this fall, these are the places to be.

September 2nd—Florida State vs. Alabama (Arlington)…Maybe the first of two meetings this season, and it might be #1 vs. #2.

September 9th—Oklahoma at Ohio State…Welcome to the show, Lincoln Riley, now go take on Urban Meyer in your second game over.

September 16th—Texas at USC…A chance for Tom Herman to post a statement win early on in year one.

September 23rd—N.C. State at Florida State…Here’s the Wolfpack’s chance to prove they’re worthy of the preseason buzz.

September 30th—Georgia at Tennessee…A rematch of last year’s classic that ended on a buzzer-beating Hail Mary.

October 7th—Penn State at Northwestern…The first true test to see if the Nittany Lions can live up to the hype.

October 14th—Oklahoma vs. Texas (Cotton Bowl)…One of the sport’s great rivalries ushers in the Herman vs. Riley era.

October 21st—Michigan at Penn State…James Franklin attempts to get his first win over the Wolverines in a “white out” under the lights.

October 28th—Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville)…This will be the de facto championship game of the SEC East.

November 4th—Oklahoma at Oklahoma State…This Bedlam could be for a spot in both the Big 12 title game as well as the college football playoff.

November 11th—Florida State at Clemson…The defending national champs try to kill the Seminoles’ national title hopes in Death Valley.

November 18th—Michigan at Wisconsin…Wolverines visit perhaps the Big Ten’s loudest stadium for the first time since 2009.

November 25th—Alabama at Auburn…This Iron Bowl could be for a divisional and conference title, as well as a spot in the college football playoff.

December 2nd—My couch…The SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12 championship games are scheduled to go off consecutively like we used to roll on New Year’s Day.

Fast Forward

Previewing the 2018 NFL Draft. Draft order is determined by preseason win totals posted by Las Vegas oddsmakers.

  1. Browns—Sam Darnold (QB-USC)*
  2. Jets—Josh Rosen (QB-UCLA)*
  3. 49ers—Saquon Barkley (RB-Penn State)*
  4. Bears—Arden Key (DE-LSU)*
  5. Rams—Derwin James (S-Florida State)*
  6. Jaguars—Josh Allen (QB-Wyoming)
  7. Bills—Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB-Alabama)*
  8. Chargers—Mike McGlinchey (OT-Notre Dame)
  9. Dolphins—Connor Williams (OT-Texas)*
  10. Redskins—Jake Browning (QB-Washington)*
  11. Lions—James Washington (WR-Oklahoma State)
  12. Vikings—Malik Jefferson (LB-Texas)*
  13. Eagles—Bradley Chubb (DE-N.C. State)
  14. Bengals—Christian Wilkins (DT-Clemson)
  15. Buccaneers—Tyquan Lewis (DE-Ohio State)*
  16. Colts—Harold Landry (DE-Boston College)
  17. Saints—Tarvarus McFadden (CB-Florida State)*
  18. Cardinals—Mason Rudolph (QB-Oklahoma State)
  19. Broncos—Cameron Smith (LB-USC)*
  20. Texans—Courtland Sutton (WR-SMU)
  21. Ravens—Vita Vea (DT-Washington)
  22. Bills (from Chiefs)—Ronnie Harrison (S-Alabama)*
  23. Panthers—Maurice Hurst (DT-Michigan)
  24. Titans—Orlando Brown (OT-Oklahoma)
  25. Giants—Akrum Wadley (RB-Iowa)
  26. Falcons—Da’Ron Payne (DT-Alabama)*
  27. Cowboys—Calvin Ridley (WR-Alabama)*
  28. Raiders—Bo Scarborough (RB-Alabama)*
  29. Steelers—Jarrett Stidham (QB-Auburn)*
  30. Packers—Quenton Nelson (OL-Notre Dame)
  31. Seahawks—Martinas Rankin (OT-Mississippi State)
  32. Patriots—Josh Sweat (OLB-Florida State)*

*=underclassman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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