Yeah, it’s that time of the year for us to get our feet wet with some bold NCAA Football picks and predictions for the new season. If you are fainthearted, please keep away because the rodeo below will probably be too much for you to take. For all you bold bettors, let’s get down to NCAAF online betting business, shall we?
A Closer Look At The Bold 2016 Crystal Ball College Football Predictions
Alabama Will Make the Playoffs for a Third Straight Season
Maybe this isn’t that bold, but all the talks about LSU, Tennessee and Ole Miss messing up Bama’s run to the playoffs are getting too much, so I thought I’d remind of us of who we are dealing with here. Look, the Tigers, Vols and every other SEC team will take their shots, but when all is said and done, the Alabama Crimson Tide will stand tallest. Why? Head Coach Nick Saban has led Alabama to four national championships over the last nine years, including last season’s title over the Clemson Tigers who entered the championship game undefeated. Roster-wise, the Crimson Tide are loaded as ever with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, an experienced defense that will absolutely dominate whoever Bama faces ,and a heck of a running game that will take the pressure off the starting QB in the team. Add the fact that the Crimson Tide has dominated the SEC West and SEC conference in nearly equal measure; it won’t be a surprise if Alabama beats the odds–like it did last year–to make the playoffs once again.
Baylor Bears Finish 2016 as top-10 Team
Following the dramatic dismissal of Art Briles from his head coach duties in Baylor, it has been an open season for Baylor haters to take shots, and virtually everyone with a voice has been on their case. Thing is, Briles was a great coach and he will be dearly missed. But surely, the Bears still have one of the most talented teams in the Big 12, if not the nation. QB Seth Russell led the nation with 29 passing touchdowns to go along 2,104 passing yards (for a 189.7 passer rating), 6 rushing TDs for adjusted QBR of 87.8–which ranked best in the Big 12 and No. 3 nationally–in just seven games last season before suffering a season-ending surgery. His return should thus guarantee solid production in the Baylor offense that was scored 45-or-more points through the first six games of the season and was 6-0 in Russell’s injury-free six-game stretch. Meanwhile, 2016 Butkus Award contender in linebacker Taylor Young, who recorded 80 tackles last season, should lead the defense honorably. And after going 10-3 last season in spite of facing plenty of injury woes in the course of the season, I’d expect the Bears to stay in the Big 12 title race and possibly finish as a top-10 team, provided the team finds a way of staying healthy under new head coach Jim Grobe.
Michigan State Spartans Will Win 10-or-more, Clinch the Big Ten East Title
Everyone is either talking about Ohio State or Michigan winning the Big Ten East title, and I have no problem with people belonging in that school of though. In fact, in another forum, I’d be rooting for the Buckeyes or Wolverines. But for the sake of stretching us beyond our comfort zones, let’s take a look at what Michigan State brings to the 2016 betting lines. I know that Connor Cook was a standout QB and replacing him will take a lot of effort, especially now that the team also lost Big Ten’s star receiver Aaron Burbridge and a couple of significant contributors on defense. First, Mark Dantonio has been a major success story since joining Sparty, doing well even in seasons that MSU was written off by critics, so 2016 should equally be a year with such possibilities. Secondly and notably, the Spartans have won at least 11 games in each of the past three years, along with two major bowl wins in the process. Thirdly, MSU still has a deep offensive backfield to support whoever will start at QB and the defense will be among the best in the conference, as always. Add to the fact that the Spartans will get its two biggest competitors, Michigan and Ohio State, in East Lansing, and keeping in mind MSU’s strength when playing at home; hitting the 10-win mark and clinching the Big Ten East title should be very possible.
Washington Huskies Will Win 10-or-more
Okay, this one is me taking a big shot in the dark, considering the Huskies have not had a double-digit winning season since 2000, which is a damn 15 years and counting. Making matters worse, the Huskies have lost six games in each of their past two seasons. But on the positive side, UW showed pretty strongly last year, losing to No. 23 Boise State by just three points, falling to 2016 No. 1 overall NFL pick Jared Goff and Cal by six points, and losing to a good Oregon team by six points. Had they won these three games, the Huskies would have reached the 10-win mark. More importantly, Coach Chris Petersen recruited quite well in his time at Washington over the past two seasons and 15 of those players will be returning this season. Among the most noteworthy returnees are quarterback Jake Browning (2,955 yards, 16 TDs) and star running back Myles Gaskin (1,302 yards, 14 TDs), who will definitely play with better poise after shining as freshmen last year. Meanwhile, Washington’s defense ranked best in the Pac-12 last season, with top names like tackle Elijah Qualls, safety Budda Baker and linebacker Azeem Victor leading the returning defensive stars. Then, of course, UW has a very soft non-conference schedule while the Pac-12 is equally hackable, as the Huskies play Stanford at home before visiting a transitioning Ducks team in Oregon. It won’t be easy, I know, but the talent is there and this is a team that finished the season by blowing out its final three opponents, showing that 2016 could be the big year Washington fans have been waiting for!
Houston Cougars Will Make The Playoff
Dual-threat quarterback Greg Ward Jr. is an All-star talent with the ability to put up video-game numbers, and after impressing in 2015, the ceiling couldn’t be higher for him and his team. Meanwhile, nobody offers much of a challenge to Houston within its conference, so the Cougars will almost definitely run the table in 2016. Combine that perfect conference record with non-conference victories over Oklahoma and Louisville; I dare say that the Cougars–thanks to their flawless regular-season record–will break the Power Five dominance in the playoffs by clinching one of the four coveted spots.
Texas Longhorns Will Finish Below 8 Wins
Talks in Texas are emphatically predicting a big season for the Longhorns, with many of them saying the team could be poised to take a major step forward in 2016. And, on paper, the argument sounds convincing, as Texas is loaded with 15 returning starters, and the Longhorns will be playing both TCU and Baylor at home this season. Unfortunately, this is a team that has posted a measly 11-14 record over their first two years under Charlie Strong and freshman Shane Buechele is a high-risk, high-reward projected starter under the center. Expecting a big leap from this team is therefore a risk, as all the projections about a strong third year could end up amounting to nothing, as has been the case for the last two years.