College Football 2015: Who Will End Up on Top?

BreakingModern — It’s that time of the year. Fall is in the air — you can see it in the turning leaves, and feel it in your bones. There’s something in those crimson leaves that gives you the feeling — it’s time for college football.

This season will undoubtedly bring us upsets, heartbreak, rivalry games and big-time moments that we will all remember. Who can forget that feeling you get on Saturday mornings?

Let’s take a look at some of the teams, players and coaches that will make 2015 a season to remember.

USC

Who Will Be On Top?

Never before has there been so much uncertainty (and certainty) about who will finish the season on top. Reigning national champion Ohio State was the first-ever unanimous preseason AP No. 1. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

But unpredictability has always been a big part of college football — so expect the unexpected. In the past 11 years, no team ranked first in the preseason has won the championship. For Buckeyes’ head coach Urban Meyer’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t appreciate stats.

College Football Playoff Predictions

Ultimately, the Buckeyes are too talented, especially in such a weak conference, not to have a very good chance to win the playoff. They only have two realistically lose-able games left (Michigan State and Michigan) to close out the season. But I don’t think they can pull off another national championship run. I think this is the year the University of Southern California will finally pull it off. USC, not Ohio State, will hoist the crystal ball when it’s all said and done.

The Trojans’ offense is loaded. It features dark horse Heisman Trophy hopeful Cody Kessler, star receiver Juju Smith, and all five starters from last year on the offensive line. There’s no drop-off on defense, either. The secondary is loaded with talent, which should help compensate for an inexperienced D-line. Another reason to believe in USC: they get to play a very different Stanford team than we expected next week, which was supposed to be one of their biggest tests.

It’ll be enough to get them past the Buckeyes (and eventually the Baylor Bears) to be enshrined among college football’s elite. I was going to pick Texas Christian University in their spot, but they looked very vulnerable in a shaky performance against lowly Minnesota in their opener on Thursday. Maybe it was this that threw them off:

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Baylor won’t be a pushover by any stretch of the imagination. Along with TCU, they narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season. They boasted the nation’s most productive offense last season, and are bringing back all of their key playmakers (Including a 400-pound (!!) tight end) with the exception of quarterback Bryce Petty. Junior signal-caller Seth Russell will assume starting duties, and add an element of speed to the Bears’ spread offense. Their path to the championship won’t be too difficult, with non-conference foes like Lamar, Southern Methodist University and Rice complementing a weak Big-12 schedule.

As much as I hate to say it, Alabama will be one of the final four. Hands down, their front seven is the best in the nation, and a stable of elite running backs like Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake will help ease in quarterback Jake Coker. They’ll win the SEC and march on to the playoff, but won’t have enough to beat the Bears.

Nick Chubb

Way, Way, Way Too Early Heisman Favorites

I’ve talked a lot about teams, but individual achievements make college football what it is. Someone has to win the vaunted Heisman Trophy — but there’s no clear-cut favorite. Despite a lackluster performance against Virginia Tech, Cardale Jones jumped into the conversation on Monday when Urban Meyer announced he won the job at Ohio State. But after that, there’s no one player that has separated himself from the pack. Of course it’s all a little silly because it’s so early — but this is a college football preview, after all.

I’ve never really been all that high on TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin like everyone else is, but he is in the conversation, along with Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot. If Georgia has a good season (sadly, a reality of the voting system), my pick is Bulldogs’ running back Nick Chubb. He’s already starting to put up deserving numbers, and he’s even caught the eye of Herchel Walker. If Georgia fails to win their conference, the voters might choose a different SEC running back — Alabama’s Derrick Henry for example.

This college football season looks to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory — but that makes it all the more fun. Buckle up and enjoy the ride — it’ll be over before we know it.

For BMod, I’m .

All Screenshots: BMod Staff

Ben Leonard

Author: Ben Leonard

Based in San Francisco, Ben Leonard covers sports for BreakingModern. Follow him on Twitter @ben___leonard

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