Story by Jimmy Calhoun
A running back will win the Heisman
Since the year 2000, only two Heisman winners have not played quarterback. Alabama has had two running backs, Mark Ingram in 2009 and Derrick Henry in 2015, win the award. With a loaded position group heading into the 2017 season, the trend of the Heisman Trophy being a quarterback award comes to an end.Embed from Getty Images
1) Bo Scarbrough: Alabama (Junior)
In his final three games last season, Scarbrough rushed for 364 yards (7.9 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.
2) Saquon Barkley: Penn State (Junior)
Last season, Barkley led the Big Ten in yards from scrimmage (1,898), total touchdowns (22) and rushing touchdowns (18) while finishing second in rushing yards (1,496).
3) Derrius Guice: LSU (Junior)
Despite beginning last year as a backup to Leonard Fournette, Guice took full advantage when Fournette was out finishing the year with 1,387 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns. Interesting stat: Guice has more career 100-yard games (7) than he does games started (6).
4) Nick Chubb: Georgia (Senior)
Chubb ran for 1,130 yards and scored eight touchdowns last year in his first season back from a major knee injury.
5) Kamryn Pettway: Auburn (Junior)
Pettway rushed for 1224 yards and scored seven touchdowns last season in only nine games.
Alabama will finish the year as undefeated national championsEmbed from Getty Images
Since the start of the college football playoff format in 2014, no team has finished the season with an undefeated record and a national championship. This season Alabama will do just that. Alabama will face four teams in the preseason Associated Press Top-25 poll, which includes No. 3 Florida State on opening weekend. Alabama in season openers under head coach Nick Saban is 10-0 with five AP Top-25 wins. In the SEC, there is an argument that Alabama has more talent at every position group than any other team in the conference. With No. 25 Tennessee and No. 13 LSU coming to Tuscaloosa, where Nick Saban is 112-13 along with simply having the better team, the Tide will be undefeated going into the Iron Bowl. Unless No. 12 Auburn gets another “kick-six”, the Tide will go into the playoffs undefeated like they did last season. Only this time, Alabama doesn’t blow its 15-0 national championship season with one second left in the championship game.
Jim Harbaugh finally beats Urban MeyerEmbed from Getty Images
On Nov. 25, 2017, Jim Harbaugh and the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines will finally get its revenge against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes and Urban Meyer. In 2016, Ohio State rallied from a 17-7 in the second half to win 30-27 in double overtime. The Wolverines have lost 12 of their last 13 against the Buckeyes including 0-2 under Harbaugh. This year the Buckeyes come to Ann Arbor and Harbaugh will have his young group ready for the moment. Ohio State is the favorite to win the Big Ten this year and will make a return to the College Football Playoff while Michigan is being overlooked due to returning the fewest starters in all the FBS. The Wolverines would like nothing more than to ruin a hopeful undefeated season for the Buckeyes. Harbaugh also knows he needs to be able to beat the Buckeyes at some point if the team is going to truly contend to win the Big Ten and a national title. In some people’s opinions, it should have happened last year with a controversial fourth down call last year in Columbus.Embed from Getty Images
The ACC misses the college football playoff, BIG 12 gets in due to championship game
After being left out of the college football playoff in two of the three seasons under this system, the Big 12 Conference decided to bring back its conference championship game after a seven-year absence. With the opportunity now to crown a true conference champion, the Big 12 will take advantage. The conference has two teams in the top-10 of the AP preseason top-25 with No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 10 Oklahoma State. Both teams will meet in the Big 12 championship game with the winner getting into the CFP. The reason the ACC will miss the CFB is No. 3 Florida State, No. 6 Clemson, No. 16 Louisville and No. 19 Miami will take turns knocking each other off. With improved teams at the bottom of the ACC North like Carolina State, Syracuse and Pittsburgh there are opportunities for upsets. Just ask last year’s Clemson team.Embed from Getty Images
13 Georgia will live up to AP preseason ranking and win the SEC east
Georgia hasn’t won the SEC East since 2012 despite being in the preseason AP top-25 every season since 2012, which includes two years where the Bulldogs began the year in the top-10. The Bulldogs ended last year with a Liberty Bowl win against TCU which gave them eight wins and momentum heading into this season. Georgia has the best quarterback, running back and coach combo in the SEC east and that will lead them to the SEC championship game. No. 17 Florida and No. 25 Tennessee lost a lot of pieces in addition to having harder schedules in comparison to Georgia. Florida plays No. 11 Michigan to open the season and No. 3 FSU to end the season. Tennessee travels to Georgia and Alabama while also hosting No. 13 LSU. Georgia avoids Alabama and will only have to get through No. 12 Auburn on the road at the end of the year. The Bulldogs also come into the year with the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to ESPN.Embed from Getty Images
Featured image for this post courtesy of Sporting News