By John Michaels
Ohio St is a huge favorite to repeat in 2015 as National Champions in college football. Urban Meyer has a loaded club once again, with weapons on both sides of the ball. They should be even better than last year, which is scary if you watched the college football playoffs.
5. Michigan St - They might have to beat the Buckeyes twice to do so, but the Spartans are more than capable. 2 years ago they knocked off OSU 34-24 to win the Big 10 championship, and this year's team returns 14 starters. Connor Cook is back at the QB position after throwing for 3214 and 24 TDs, and he will pace Michigan St who averaged 43 ppg in 2014. Over on the defensive side Shilique Calhoun is an absolute stud who can help slow the Buckeyes attack. Play @OSU on November 21st.
4. USC – The Trojans are coming off a 9-4 campaign in 2014 in which 3 of their 4 losses were decided by 6 points or less. Cody Kessler is back to stir the USC drink on the offensive side of the ball. He is a true Heisman candidate after going for almost 4000 yards in the air, while throwing only 5 picks. They must be statistically better on defense if they want to be in the playoff, but Adoree' Jackson is a star in the making at the CB position.
3. Alabama – If you think Nick Saban sat at home in the offseason and enjoyed the fact that the Tide were in the inaugural college football playoff, you are sadly mistaken. Up 21-6 over the Buckeyes in the Semis, the wheels fell off defensively for Bama. Kirby Smart's task this offseason was to figure out why Alabama had trouble with the deep ball a year ago. Cyrus Jones and Eddie Jackson return in the secondary and beast Derrick Henry is back to run the ball.
2. TCU – They should have been in a year ago INSTEAD of Ohio ST, but their defense blew a 21 point 4th quarter lead at Baylor, their conference doesn't have a championship game, and their name is TCU(not Ohio St). Either way the Horned Frogs are loaded with 15 starters back, including Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin at the QB position. TCU demolished Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl and wants to prove they are good enough to win it all. Season will come down to the last 2 weeks @ Oklahoma and home vs Baylor. Navigate that, and TCU will be one of the 4.
1. Ohio St – The only way Ohio St doesn't repeat is if Ohio St loses focus. The schedule is a breeze….open @Virginia Tech, coast for 9 weeks finish at home vs Michigan St, then @Michigan. The Buckeyes could sleepwalk until November and still be undefeated. The concern for Meyer has to be, what if the QB situation gets contentious, what if more players get suspended ala Joey Bosa and others for the opener, what if the shine from a championship ring is too bright. My thought is they will play a few closer than expected games, beat Michigan St by a couple of scores and be seeded #1 in the playoffs, and ultimately repeat as National Champions.
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