Players around the nation will start reporting to fall camp soon in preparations of the 2016 college football season. It’s always risky to make any bold predictions before camps begin on the coming season because there could be a key injury or suspension that affects a team’s futures college football odds. But here are a few I feel comfortable about.
Brief Analyis on the Bold Predictions for the 2016 College Football Betting Season
A Heisman hopeful playing ‘Piano Man’ on the harmonica? Yep.
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) June 19, 2016
A Running Back Wins the Heisman Again
This century, only three running backs have won the Heisman Trophy and it’s technically only two because the 2005 award was vacated for USC’s Reggie Bush because he took money while in school. Last year, Alabama’s Derrick Henry won the award, the first tailback to do it since the Crimson Tide’s Mark Ingram in 2009. Henry finished with 1,832 points in the voting, followed by Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (1,539), making it four second-place finishes for Cardinal players in seven seasons. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (1,165) finished third. Henry won five of six voting regions, with McCaffrey winning the Far West. That continued an odd trend. Since the award was first given out in 1935, a running back has won every 10 seasons if you include Bush’s. Henry was the first junior running back to win the award since Rashaan Salaam in 1994. Alabama joined Georgia as the only SEC schools with multiple Heisman Trophy-winning running backs (Frank Sinkwich in 1942 and Herschel Walker in 1982). Well, Henry won’t be repeating because he’s in the NFL. But I believe a tailback will win it again because there are so many good ones, led by LSU’s Leonard Fournette (+500 on betting lines to win it), Stanford’s McCaffrey (+550), Florida State’s Dalvin Cook (+1400) and Georgia’s Nick Chubb (+2000).
Washington Will Win the Pac-12 Title
The University of Washington football team hasn’t been a major player on the national scene in years. The program hasn’t won double-digit games since 2000 but that could all change this season under third-year coach Chris Petersen. UW was only 7-6 last year but was a very young team. UW matched its Pac-12 record from the previous season (4-5) and lost four games by 10 points or less. Petersen went with a youth movement on offense last season, with quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin emerging as two of the Pac-12’s rising stars. Gaskin’s per-carry metrics were notable, as he ranked 11th among Power 5 running backs with 200 or more carries in yards after contact per rush (2.3) and 12th in yards per rush (5.7). The Huskies return nine offensive starters and seven on defense, which should be the best unit in the Pac-12 if not perhaps the country. The Huskies led the conference in scoring defense (18.8 ppg) and limited opponents to 4.9 yards per play last season.
The Pac-12 is Left Out of the College Football Playoff Again
While I think Washington will win the Pac-12 title, I also believe UW probably loses two regular-season games: Oct. 8 at Oregon and one of Sept. 30 vs. Stanford, Nov. 12 vs. USC or Nov. 19 vs. Arizona State. But the two conference losses will still be enough for UW to win the Pac-12 North and then beat USC or UCLA, most likely, in the conference title game. But the Pac-12 will become the first Power 5 Conference to miss the playoff two years in a row. Lot of pretty good teams out west but no great ones. Washington is +600 on betting lines to win the conference.