College Football preview
The college football season is upon us which always marks an exciting time of the year. Tailgates, pregame predictions, hail mary passes, and come from behind wins make fall Saturdays a truly special time of the year.
Several years ago college football became much more exciting with the implementation of a new playoff system. Teams are now ranked by a committee of selectors much like basketball rankings during March Madness. Under this new system, instead of just one bowl game that determines the number one team in the country, there are play-off games and semi-finals, which allow the third and fourth ranked teams to have a chance at winning the Championship. In fact, Ohio State, the fourth ranked team, won the championship during the first year of implementation.
Last year the Blue Wave Football team was lucky enough to have two players go to Division I schools for football: Andrew Stueber (Michigan), and Brian Keating (Connecticut). Stueber was a two year full time starter at offensive tackle, and played some defense. Brian Keating was also a two year full time starter at center and also excelled as a long snapper (which is what he was recruited for by U Conn).
Keating has already received playing time which is incredibly unusual for a freshman player. Many Darienites watched Keating snap to the punter in a game against the University of Virginia. The snap was successful and the ball was downed at the 11 yard line. While this reporter hopes to speak with Keating about this play shortly, Keating’s academic and athletic obligations have left him with little time to respond to questions.
Good luck to both players and their teams this season!
The most exciting part of the college football season is the bowl games, which start just before Christmas Day, and end with the National Championship Game on January 8. The final weeks and moments of the season are exhilarating for the fan base who are all hoping that their team makes it to the play-offs.
I predict that Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson and Ohio State will finish the season in the top four.
Coming in at number one is no surprise, it’s the Alabama Crimson Tide. They have been close to a dynasty for the past several years, always seeming to be in the championship, or at least a major bowl game. In fact, the last time they were outside the BCS games was during the 2010-11 season. Senior Tyler Russo, an Alabama fan, thinks that they can rebound from last year’s disappointment. “They have a great team this year and Jalen Hurts is starting to take over the team,” Russo said. Look for Alabama and the Crimson Tide to have another great year.
After last year’s disappointing season in Norman, Oklahoma – the team went 10 and 2 – fans were upset that there was no playoff appearance. Initially it seemed that Oklahoma was a sure bet as they had a veteran Heisman hopeful quarterback who had playoff experience, and a great coach in Bob Stoops. After losing two of the first three games of the season and falling short of the playoffs, expect to see a team filled with anger and talent to make up for last year’s upsetting experience.
The defending champions, the Clemson Tigers are looking to retain the title. They will have to make up for the loss of star quarterback Deshaun Watson who decided to forgo his senior year of eligibility for the NFL draft. Senior Connor Percarpio thinks the Tigers have what it takes. “I think their defense, especially the line are going to be Bananas,” Percarpio said. They have plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball to possibly be the first back -to -back champions.
Finally, coming in at number four and the last team in, it’s the Ohio State Buckeyes. Led by fifth year senior, J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes lost a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, almost all of their secondary. However, freshman Jackson Walsh still believes that senior quarterback J.T. Barrett is “an animal, he is a super talented guy and a great leader.” We will see if the Buckeyes have what it takes to win their second playoff championship.