Topic: Kirk Herbstreit picks LSU to win SEC & make 2015 CFP
Big Ten: Ohio State Buckeyes over Wisconsin Badgers
Big 12: Oklahoma Sooners
SEC: LSU Tigers over Tennessee Volunteers
ACC: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets over Florida State Seminoles
Pac-12: Arizona State Sun Devils over Stanford Cardinal
College Football Playoff Teams
Ohio State Buckeyes
Arizona State Sun Devils
Don't play with my emotions again Herbie.
Concerning Herbie's picks, OSU is a no brainer. That team is loaded & only faces serious competition in the Big 10 twice in the regular season with their games against Penn State & Michigan State. Even though their opener is at Virginia Tech, these are not the Hokies we have become accustomed to seeing under Frank Beamer. I didn't include Michigan either because it's going to take Harbaugh a recruiting class or two to catch up with Urban Meyer.
I'm not sure about the Oklahoma pick. I think TCU is still the best team in the Big XII & they return a Heisman Trophy candidate at QB in Trevone Boykin. That Horned Frog demolition of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl was no fluke. On the other hand, Oklahoma has decided to bench Trevor Knight in favor of transfer Baker Mayfield. This is the same Trevor Knight who sliced & diced Alabama in the Sugar Bowl two years ago & received comparisons to Drew Brees while doing so.
I love the Georgia Tech pick to win the ACC. (Sorry Bonck) That team was red hot to end last season plus the triple option they run is extremely difficult to prepare for in this day & age. The Ramblin Wreck also return RS Junior Justin Thomas who runs that triple option offense almost to perfection. I'm not sure why Tech isn't getting more national attention heading into this season. It seems FSU & Clemson have all but been handed the ACC. I know the Yellow Jackets offense isn't sexy but it shouldn't numerous shots of alcohol to notice that they are a legit contender. They must be better defensively than a year ago to have a real shot though.
I won't discuss LSU here being that there are numerous threads already on here so I'll jump to ASU. The good thing about this Sun Devil pick is that we will find out right off the bat if it's legit since ASU plays Texas A&M in Houston next Saturday. They follow that up with USC & UCLA back to back to end September & to begin October. It will also be our first opportunity to see if Kevin Sumlin's air raid attack offense meshes with John Chavis' bend but don't break style of defense.
One team you don't notice in Herbie's picks is Alabama. What Nick Saban has managed to do at Alabama the last several years has simply been remarkable. The Tide have seemingly found ways to blend incoming freshman in around talented upperclassmen year after year which has consistently made their offense one of the more efficient offenses in the country in this time frame. Well that isn't the case going into this season. Amari Cooper isn't walking through that door & they have huge questions at QB that will probably last all season long. Their front 7 will be very strong but it may not be enough this year. They still also have huge question marks in their secondary. Back to their offense. Let's look at Blake Sims numbers from a year ago.
Com. 252 Att. 391 Com% 64.5 3487 Yds 28 TDs
Ok, now let's look at Amari Cooper's stats.
Rec. 124 1727 Yds 13.9 YPC 16 TDs
Do you see what I see here? Cooper accounted for basically half of the total passing production for the Tide. This just goes to show how truly special he was last season but Cooper is with the Raiders now. There isn't a receiver on Alabama's current roster with combination of skill, talent & experience as Amari had last season. RB Kenyon Drake is probably the closest player of that caliber. He's explosive & versatile being that he can line up at WR too but there's no way the Alabama coaches can expect Drake to carry a Cooper type work load after the gruesome knee injury he suffered against Ole Miss last season.
I'll go even deeper. The next top receivers for Alabama last season were Deandrew White (Rec. 40 504 Yds 12.6 YPC 4 TDs) & Christion Jones ( Rec. 19 264 Yds 13.1 YPC 1 TD). Both were UDFAs. White is fighting for a roster spot with the 49ers & Jones is fighting for a spot with the Dolphins. Do you smell what I'm cooking? If you want to know what Alabama will look like this, look no further than the 2014 version of the LSU Tigers. The Tide will try to lean on their ground game with Derrick Henry, Kenyon Drake & incoming freshman Damian Harris. If teams want to get Bama they better do it this year because they won't have the chance in 2016.
The season kicks off a week from tonight with South Carolina @ North Carolina.
College football fans.......Are you ready?
Tiger fans.......are you ready?