College football season is finally just one day away. This year, there are several teams who could be serious contenders this season. Many headlines for this year are worth keeping a watchful eye on.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) teams have dominated college football over the past decade, producing seven out of the last 10 national champions.
However, the gap between the SEC and the rest of college football has recently reduced. The Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12) also has contenders for the title of best conference in football.
The Pac-12 is expected to make a strong presence with teams like Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA. Also, more traditional powerhouses like Oregon and USC are looking strong coming into the season.
In Texas, where football is king, Texas Christian University is the team to look out for as a contender. Looking to get revenge after being left out of the inaugural football playoff last year, the team is led by Heisman hopeful, Trevone Boykin. The Horned Frogs are returning 10 starters from their prolific offense, which finished fourth in the nation in 2014.
Then of course is the preseason favorite, Ohio State. This offseason, it already made history by being the first ever unanimous number-one pick in the Associated Press (AP) preseason Top 25 poll. To make expectations for the season even higher, Ohio State is also double-digit favorites in all of its games for this season. So even without playing a game this year, Ohio State already has unbelievably high expectations for this season.
To add to its already eventful preseason, it also has an interesting position battle to sort out. On its roster, Ohio State has two capable quarterbacks, JT Barrett and Cardale Jones. With such a debate, a few college football fans around campus offered insight on the discussion.
UNC-Greensboro student Justin Mackey said that he favors Cardale Jones because the quarterback seems more prepared for the NFL.
“He’s a big body and a pocket passer with ice in his veins,” Mackey said.
David Nyamu, another UNCG student begs to differ, saying JT Barrett should start.
“Cardale Jones has a big arm, and great poise, but Barrett was having a historically good season before he was injured,” Nyamu said.
The situation at Ohio State is a unique problem Urban Meyer welcomes, as it is better to have too many good quarterbacks than not to have one at all.
The Buckeyes’ biggest rival, Michigan, is seeing another intriguing plot with the return of alumni coach, Jim Harbaugh. The struggle to see the Wolverines return to glory after the hire of the former NFL coach was no question the leading narrative in the offseason.
As a proven coach, Harbaugh has the prowess to make the Wolverines contenders; however, Wolverine fans might have to be patient as Harbaugh will be coaching players he did not recruit. This is a sentiment shared by many football fans including ones here at UNCG.
“Michigan will have another year of mediocrity,” Nyamu said, “But I expect Harbaugh to start bringing in big recruits and have UM back in the thick of things.”
Alexander Curington, another UNCG student, offered his thoughts on Harbaugh and believes he will make some impact, even if it isn’t much.
“I don’t think he will make too much of a difference, but I do think they will be better than last year,” Curington said.
After the regular season, we will again see the College Football playoff for the second time.
Last year, the postseason inspired much enthusiasm from fans. “The playoff system was a success on so many levels,” Mackey said. “More importantly, it was great competition and great entertainment.”