College Football Playoff Predictions

I love college football. I love how the fans are so rabid about their own teams. There is just something about watching football at the collegiate level that excites people and revs their engines. The college football playoffs are one of the most watched events in all sports, and this season will prove to be no different. I’ve taken a hard look at the futures set by Vegas.  There are some teams that are strong favorites, and some are quality sleepers.  I let you know who is who right here.  Here are my college football playoff predictions.

4. Oklahoma

The Sooners know how to reload every single season. Its rare to see Oklahoma down in the dumps when Bob Stoops is the head coach. They won the Big 12 conference last year and will likely do it again this year. They are needing to fix some holes on their starting units, but like I mentioned before, this isn’t anything knew for the Sooners. They will fill in the gaps and they do it better than most. They still have great talent at critical positions, like quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Samaje Perine. They’re a good bet to be in the college football playoffs again.  They’ve played in some of the best bowl games of all-time.

3. Michigan

No, I haven’t lost my mind. This is a team to be reckoned with. Jim Harbaugh came in last year with great fanfare and has changed the culture at Michigan. He has been an incredible recruiter and has even pulled in the #1 player in high school in Rashan Gary who could even start this year. Jabrill Peppers, their outstanding defender and most versatile player, will be moved to linebacker as well this season. That should give any offensive coordinator nightmares since Peppers can run a sub 4.4 40 time. The defensive line may be one of the best in the country and plenty deep. Their only issue is at quarterback, but that should pan out nicely. This will be an exciting college football season with the Wolverines back in the mix.

2. Clemson

Clemson has the most dynamic quarterback in the country with Deshaun Watson who threw for over 4000 yards and rushed for over 1000. He is the threat that all teams want to neutralize. Clemson had a huge season in 2015 and could be the team in the nation to win it all. The Tigers lost a lot of players to the NFL, and they are going to have to retool, and that won’t be an issue since they have talent that’s off the charts. Their offensive weapons are going to hurt opponents, but the defense will lag just a little bit. That means more of Watson on the field, and for the opposing defense, that’s not good.

1. Alabama

What’s a college football playoff without Alabama? Arguably one of the best college football programs in history. They have probably the college football coach that ever lived in Nick Saban, plus a group of assistant coaches that is arguably the best in the nation. They are big, fast, strong, and they are relentless. They have so much depth their second team could start for 99% of the rest of the nation. They are just too good each year.

These four teams make the playoffs, then the title game gets played in Florida at Raymond James Stadium.  Let’s hope it’s one of the best championship games ever.

Best Championship Bowl Games of All-Time

The excitement of a football game builds, like a hill into a mountain. One team will sit on the top when it is finished, and one will fall into defeat. This was the case with the Alabama vs Penn State.

Alabama vs Penn State, finished the game with a 14 to 7 score, Alabama rising as champion. Nevertheless, the game was a battle to the finish. This game ran the gauntlet with only a few points accumulated by either side. In the end, “Barry Krauss” locked Mike Gunn on the one-yard line. Now, that’s tough football. This performance was no surprise for Alabama fans, with the “Bear” (Paul William “Bear” Bryant) at the helm.  I have a strong feeling Alabama is going to be in the playoffs again this year.

Texas 41 vs USC 38 competed during the BCS National Championship on January 4, 2006. Players displayed their talents in this game. Young threw the ball accumulating 267 yards. Trekked down the field for 200 yards and placed three touchdowns, this includes the 19-second winning touchdown.

Notre Dame Vs Alabama, ended up 24-23 in favor of Notre Dame, this was a battle to the finish by two teams with a history of fighting to the end. These teams volleyed back and forth until the third down Tom Clemons spirited a 36-yard pass to Robin Weber sealing the victory for Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl on December 31, 1973.  This was one of my favorite bowl games ever.

The Orange Bowl between Miami vs Nebraska presented a true challenge for these to strong-willed teams. During January 2,1984, the duel between Miami and Nebraska took shape and the gauntlet was laid down. This was a fight to the finish with Miami lifting the trophy in victory, 31-30. Only the strategy and perhaps the lack of overtime in a college game kept the Huskers from making this a tie game. Coming from behind at 17-0, Nebraska made this game, a memorable, clashing of opponents.

January 6, 2014, BCS game between Florida State and Auburn University ended with, Florida State 34, Auburn 31. The Auburn Tigers started off with a nice lead placing Florida State at a disadvantage in the second quarter, but it was quickly chipped down through the playing efforts of quarterback Jameis Winston. Both teams wanted to win, but Florida State decided, they would be the victor.

In the 1981 Sugar Bowl, Georgia Vs Notre Dame was an unforgettable event as Herschel Walker of Georgia took the field. Barreling down the field despite a shoulder injury, Walker gained two touchdowns after carrying the ball 36 times. The “Fighting Irish” were not giving him an easy time. Yet, he took 150 yards helping his team to victory. Georgia won 17-10 against Notre Dame.

The best thing about a bowl game is the fan base. When teams play a bowl game, attending or watching the game is a requirement. Attendance is off the hook, each side rooting for the home team, home or away, no matter, the weather or the cost. The games go on. Even in a recession, money for attendance comes out of the woodwork. During prep for a game trip the question was presented at the airport to Alabama fans,” Do you have enough planes to accommodate”, the answer was, do not worry about the planes, just bring your money, “Roll Tide.

Best Bowl Games of All-Time

College football bowl games offer some of the greatest drama and excitement during the holiday season. Fans have been treated to some of the most exciting action in recent years, but this is a list of some of the best bowl games of all time.  Let’s hope this year’s football playoffs are this good.

5. 1987 Fiesta Bowl

Penn State and Miami took the field in this epic game that featured two coaches at both ends of the coaching spectrum. Joe Paterno for Penn State, was seen as the good guy, and Jimmy Johnson for Miami, was seen as the bad guy from Florida. It was also the game when the Heisman trophy winner Vinny Testaverde threw 5 interceptions. The Miami Hurricanes were #1 in the polls with the Nittany Lions ranked #2. Penn State beat Miami 14-10 in one of the most exciting bowl games ever.

4. 2007 Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl sure seems to get its fair share of thrilling games. This was a showdown between Boise State and Oklahoma with the Sooner squad being heavily favored to win. However, the Broncos led Oklahoma most of the game when they eventually gave up the lead allowing the Sooners to score 25 points in the fourth quarter to take the lead 35-28. Boise State recovered possession on an interception and scored to tie the game on a rarely used hook and ladder play. Oklahoma scored first in OT and the Boise scored. Boise secured the win with a two point Statue of Liberty play. One of the greatest games in CFB history. Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42.

3. 1984 Orange Bowl

Miami 31, Nebraska 30 was the final score. Miami was ranked #5 while Nebraska was ranked #1. The hardest part of this game for me was Tom Osborne had a choice, to either play for the win or play for a tie and leave the fate of the national title in the hands of the voters. Coach Osborne decided to go for two and the pass from quarterback Turner Gill was knocked down in the end zone, giving Miami the win. Miami ended with the #1 ranking in the country.  Great finish for one of the best Florida bowl games.

2. 2003 Fiesta Bowl

Another Fiesta Bowl going into overtime, in fact, two overtimes. This game featured the second ranked Buckeyes and the top ranked Miami Hurricanes. The Buckeyes were the underdogs going into this game but the Buckeyes were able to compete and keep the score close all game long. The Buckeyes were leading by three at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Miami made a field goal to put the game into the first overtime. The game went into the second overtime and Ohio State wins the game on a controversial interference call and it goes down as one of the best title games ever.

1. 2006 Rose Bowl

The game of Texas vs USC would be one for the ages. The Trojans were shooting for a third straight national championship led by Pete Carroll. Great players from each team took the field from Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush for USC and Vince Young for Texas. The second ranked Texas Longhorns took down the top ranked Trojans with a final drive by Young that gave Mack Brown his only college football championship. This game made Vince Young a college football legend.

Bowl Games in Florida

College football bowl games are always fun to watch because of the exciting changes between the competitors that happen over and over. For 2016 – 2017 all teams are prepared to smash each other to winning the titles. Football schedules has the entire list of games being played this postseason.  The list of bowls being played in Florida, includes:

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
The Citrus Bowl has a history of being played for decades now. Its name is now Buffalo Wild Wings. For years the games have continued to feature Pac 12 teams taking on teams from the Big 12.  Also, it has played in a variety of venues like the Arizona Stadium and Sun Devil Stadium.  Its 2006 history of Texas Tech against Minnesota where Texas had a deficit of 38-7 in the third quarter but ended up winning with 40-41 was known as one of the best bowl games of all-time. The last game was Michigan against Florida on the New Year day. The 2016-2017 Citrus Bowl is expected to be on 31st December 2016 where SEC will take on Notre Dame at 11.00am.  It won’t ever host a championship game, but it’s a good bowl nonetheless.

Capital One Orange Bowl
Previously identified as Florida Citrus Bowl and the Tangerine Bowl, The Orange Bowl was initiated back in 1947. The game secured a position and popularity in 1952 and fans have loved it ever since. The last game was on December 31, 2015 when Clemson and Oklahoma fought in the college football playoff semifinals. This season’s Capital One Bowl games will happen on December 30th.  One of the best bowl games of all time was played here.

Outback Bowl
The Outback Bowl marked its 30th anniversary on 27th December 2015. January 2, 2017, is the date for this season’s match. The game will kick off at 1 pm.  This is different from usual as it’s almost always played on New Year’s Day, but the NCAA doesn’t compete with the NFL on Sundays.  However, the team hopes to gain back the dates come to the 2018 competition.

Tax Slayer Bowl
December 31st, 2016 marks the date for this event taking place in Jacksonville.  This bowl game started back in the 1940s on Thanksgiving Day when two teams volunteered to play at Jacksonville that is Wake Forest and South Carolina. Since then it has developed to be more than football but a community.

St Petersburg Bowl
The last game was back in December 2015 where the Marshall Thundering Herd won over UConn at Tropicana Field. St Petersburg is however not an old game considering that the first bowl took place in 2008.  This year’s game is to be on December 26th of 2016 at 11.00am.

Boca Raton Bowl
December 20, 2016, marks the date for the annual Boca Raton Bowl.  This is one of the newest bowl games, starting back in 2014.

Miami Beach Bowl
Miami Beach Bowl gets it start this year.  It will kick off on Monday, December 19 at 2:30 pm.

Auto Nation Cure Bowl
A game that its got it’s start back in 2007 with the purpose of helping to beat cancer.  The major focus of the game has been to help cancer patients through the benefits that come from the football game. This year’s game will be held on Saturday, December 2017 at 7:30 pm. However before the kickoff, more events are planned for the fans.

Russell Athletic Bowl
Russel Athletic Bowl is one the Orlando finest games. Its game is scheduled on 28th of December 2016 5:30 pm. The teams lasted years games as on the New Year’s Eve and marked a great milestone in the history of the match.  A 49-38 Baylor win over North Carolina was an amazing one.

And don’t forget, this year’s national championship will be played at Raymond James.