Heisman Trophy Predictions

Heisman Trophy Predictions

It’s that time of the year again where we get to enjoy college football. Not only is it entertaining, but we also get a chance to win the much coveted Heisman Trophy. We all know that the Heisman Trophy race has never been easy to predict but the candidates for this year’s college football season seem easier. The question on everyone’s mouth now is who will win the 2016 Heisman Trophy? No worries, here are some players you should keep tabs on.  Many are also on Bruce Feldman’s piece for Fox Sports.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Watson, a Heisman finalist last year, attracted attention in last season’s game with his brilliant display of mobility while quarterbacking for a Clemson team. He’s a favorite of all American football fans since he was the first college QB to throw for 4,104 yards and run for 1000+ yards in the same season. All signs point on Deshaun since he has nothing against him. And with all that talent in him, expect him to be in the award discussion throughout the season.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
McCaffrey is an exceptional pure running back, among the best kick returners and a fantastic receiver. After his showing in Pasadena, it is no doubt that voters are acutely aware of what he is capable of during kick off. Last year, McCaffrey set a tough standard which he now has to live up to. If he wins the pac-12 again, he will be a spearhead in the Heisman conversation.

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
You may recall Chubb for his knees injury which we all witnessed. Because of this, he had to miss the rest of the season. Nick can be a Heisman leading candidate and is capable of being the best running back in the country if he is fully healthy and back up to speed.

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
For two months last season, Fournette led the Heisman race. With a strong campaign this year, he has a chance to come back up and be the player to beat in the 2016 Heisman Trophy race. In recent history, only a few backs have been able to beat his fusion of speed and power. Watch out for him this season.

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
Freeman is slightly overshadowed by other running backs, partially because of Oregon’s distress last year. With Freeman’s physicality, Oregon is competent to punish spread-out defenses and spread the field.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
This player has certainly got it all; size, speed, and agility. In the 2015 Heisman vote, Dalvin finished seventh, not quite living up to his status as the nation’s most explosive running back. Unfortunately, Cook may be limited by injuries.

J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
In 2014, Barrett finished fifth in the Heisman race as an unexpected redshirt starter. This season presents a perfect opportunity for Barrett to become a star. The Ohio state will likely utilize his legs and push the tempo.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield finished fourth in the Heisman vote after an excellent debut with the Sooners. He transferred from Texas Tech and took the big 12 by storm. With the new offense coordinator, Lincoln Riley, Baker fits perfectly under him and has passed RB Samaje Perine as the top Heisman candidate for the Sooners.

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss
A year ago, this would have been impossible, but after a good start in his college career, that began at Clemson, Chad excelled in leading the Rebels to the Sugar Bowl and a 10-3 record. Kelly has one of the toughest nation’s schedule, but if Ole Miss pulls through that schedule, then he has an excellent opportunity to be in the Heisman conversation.

Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston
In 2015, the tandem of Ward led Houston to new heights. Ward has a chance to compete for a Heisman finalist spot. He may not win, but he will have attracted attention mainly if he has a big game in the cougar’s opener.

With two finalists back, we can make strong arguments for all of these players. The safest bet probably is Watson as the country’s best quarterback. Although all these players have a great chance to win.

College Football Week 1

Week 1 College Football Predictions

College football is back, as the opening weekend games promise to be one of the better lineups in recent years. You can expect at least one upset in the first full weekend of college football, which will spark the debate on who has already played themselves out of the bowl season playoffs.

Here are my Week 1 college football predictions:

Oregon State at Minnesota, Sept. 1st

Oregon State Beavers head coach Gary Andersen is too good of a defensive whiz to allow his defense suffer through another bad season. You can expect his front seven will keep the Minnesota Gophers running game in-check, but containing quarterback Mitch Leidner is another story. No question, Leidner is very efficient in the Gophers short passing game. Still, don’t be surprise if this contest comes down to which team scores first will win the game. Both schools pride themselves on having aggressive defenses that create turnovers, which provides the offense with ideal field position.

Prediction: Minnesota 17 Oregon State 10

Colorado vs. Colorado State in Denver, Sept. 2nd

This is one of the best non-conference rivalry games in all of college football, as the play can get downright nasty between the two schools. The Colorado Buffaloes have too much upper-class experience that should be able to wear down a young Colorado State Rams defense. You can expect Colorado’s offense to score early and often in the contest. Ideally, the Rams would love to have a few regular season games under their belt before facing the Buffaloes, but don’t discount the Rams offense from making this game interesting. I’m a firm believer in Mike Bobo’s head coach style, as he hopes to grind out just enough offense to win the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

Prediction: Colorado 28 Colorado State 20

LSU vs. Wisconsin at Green Bay, Sept.3rd

What a non-conference matchup, as you have two perennial top ten teams playing in historic Lambeau Field. LSU is traveling to the heart of Big Ten country to answer the questions about their ability to compete in marquee matchups. Wisconsin is coming off an impressive Holiday Bowl victory over USC last December, but the Badgers haven’t fared well in opening weekend games. They have looked flat in consecutive losses to LSU and Alabama. It’s time for them to have a convincing opening game win. This will be a tough assignment, as LSU has a potent rushing attack with Corey Clements and Leonard Fournette. Plus, add the arm of quarterback Brandon Harris that can consistently stretch defenses. Still, this should be a fantastic early season contest.

Prediction: LSU 28 Wisconsin 21

USC vs. Alabama at Arlington, Sept. 3rd

How fast did Alabama Crimson Tide reload following a National Championship season? It will be hard to play to the standard offered by last year’s team. Bama head coach Nick Saban expects to have a defense that can shutdown the USC Trojans running game, but can his pass defense contain Southern Cal’s explosive outside receivers. The Trojans hope JuJu Smith-Schuster’s ability to go up and catch the football will present problems for the Alabama secondary. On the other side of the ball, USC corners will have their hands filled with Bama wideout Calvin Ridley, who is a deep threat that can strike early and often. Each team expects to score the majority of their points via the air.

Prediction: Alabama 30 USC 27

Notre Dame at Texas, Sept.4th

The national spotlight will shine brightly on Austin this weekend, as Notre Dame is coming to town to face the Texas Longhorns. This opening weekend contest showcases two of the most storied football programs in the history of college sports. No one in Austin has forgotten how Notre Dame embarrassed them in South Bend last season. Texas head coach Charlie Strong must show that his team is ready to defend, but the bigger key is stopping Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire from making an early Heisman case, The Longhorns defense should keep the game competitive for three quarters before Notre Dame pulls away with two late fourth quarter scores.

Prediction: Notre Dame 34 Texas 17