I love college football. Full stop.
Thursday night marks the start of the season, so I figured I might as well wedge in a few predictions:
*The South Carolina opener will feature my pick as the Heisman winner -- Jadeveon Clowney, the first one-way defensive player to win the award of the modern era.
The question isn't whether he is the best player in college football -- I would argue he is probably the best defensive player in the history of college football. The question is whether voters will reward that. I'm betting they want to make history as much as they recognize they are watching history.
*Alabama will win the national title -- again (again) (again again).
*That said, the perfect way to cap off the ridiculous BCS era would be if a one-loss SEC champ was shut out of the national-title game because two unbeaten teams (say, Ohio State and the Pac-12 champ) went unbeaten facing inferior schedules.
*Because starting next year, the national title game will perennially be between the two SEC teams that make the playoff foursome -- and there will be two SEC teams in the playoff foursome, perennially -- and that'll be that (until they change the system to force the two SEC teams to play each other in the semifinal, probably for the second time in a season.)
*The Tide will obliterate unbeaten Ohio State in the national title game, because (1) that's what the SEC does to Ohio State in national title games, and (2) that's what Nick Saban does to Urban Meyer. I loathe Ohio State as much as any team in the country, so I hope I'm pleasantly surprised and Alabama plays, say, unbeaten Stanford.
*Louisville will go unbeaten -- sublime QB Teddy Bridgewater will finish as runner-up in Heisman voting -- but merely return to a lower-tier BCS bowl, before Charlie Strong leaves to become the new head coach at Nebraska.
*In the opening week, I know I should be taking Georgia over Clemson, but I'm a sucker for Boyd, so I'll take Clemson over Georgia in the Game of the Week. Clemson's typical collapse will come later in the season against a seemingly overmatched foe, as usual.
*What I read last night, college football edition: Warren St. John's profile of Nick Saban in GQ.