With the 2017-2018 season about to kick into high gear, it’s time to start looking into which teams are shaping up to go all the way during the 2017-2018 Pac-12 season. So now, in no particular order are our picks for seven teams that may have what it takes to win this year’s championship trophy.
USC’s defensive line will be strong as the team welcomes back their defensive line of Rasheem Greene, Porter Justin and Cameron Smith that will provide a challenge to any top line Pac 12 team. Quarterback Sam Darnold provided to be a force to be reckoned with during 2016 as a freshman, who threw over 3,000 yards even after only starting during the fourth week. But, by our estimates, USC will have to watch how its offensive line shapes up due to the departure of NFL entrant Damien Mama and some of their former starting tackles.
The huskies had an outstanding 2016 season, but will have to deal with the departure of most of the team’s defensive line such as Budda Baker and Elijah Qualls to the NFL. The future of the Washington defensive line appears to be uncertain. However, The Washington offensive line remains intact and with returning quarterback Jake Browning the Huskies can easily make it back into the playoffs.
The Oregon Ducks appear to be poised to rise up toward the championship due to the change in coaching staff. The Ducks have the advantage of Justin Herbert’s experience paired with a maturing offensive line that is sure to make Oregon a great turnaround team for the upcoming championship. Jim Leavitt’s linebacker coaching gig with the San Francisco 49ers leaves him well poised to provide Oregon with the best in defensive line in the conference. Plus, the addition of Wille Taggart as head coach is shaping up to make Oregon’s potential ascent towards the championship quite interesting.
Colorado is in a unique position to raise in the ranks for a potential spot in the championship, the Buffaloes move to expand on offense due to freshman Steven Montez arm strength should help compensate for the departure of senior Sefo Liufau. Montez’s experience and fresh battle tested energy is setting up to be a great addition to take the team toward a championship final. But, a strong offensive line isn’t the only thing Colorado will be counting on, defensive performers with immediate impact such as defensive end Chris Mulumba and nose tackle Javier Edwards twill also bring fresh stopping power to the group. Colorado will also benefit from the return of Coach Mike Macintyre who created the circumstances that brought the buffaloes up in the ranks to end 2016 with a 15th place ranking according to the USA today/coaches poll.
UCLA’s chances to enter into the Pac-12 championship are good if improvements are made on the offensive line. But, the team has suffered losses in its defensive line that will need to be replaced. Freshman Darnay Holmes, son of former Buffalo Bill Derrick Holmes could provide a much-needed boost to the team’s offense. He tallied 1,400 yards receiving coupled with 14 touchdowns during his senior season. He’s hoping to carry that success over to Pac-12 play. We like that UCLA has also recruited outstanding pass rusher, Jaelan Phillips to the Bruins. The 6-foot-5 ½ tall Phillips has a high motor and quick skills that Coach Jim Mora may rely on from day one.
The Wildcats appear to have some potential with plenty of good prospects coming on board to help the effective downfield passer, Brandon Dawkins. The Arizona quarterback’s rushing yards per game was ranked fourth in the Pac 12 during 2016. However, Dawkins will need to improve his aerial game if he wants to lead the Wildcats towards a championship. While the team continued to be hampered in 2016 by injuries, Coach Rich Rodriguez has worked steadily to strengthen the team with the addition of defensive coordinator Scott Boone as well as recruiting five new linebackers that could see Arizona sitting pretty for a championship run.
Head Coach David Shaw has recruited a solid group of offensive lineman who could boost the Cardinals championship hopes for the 2017/2018 season. Stanford’s ability to bring in strong football talent has been continually showcased with first-rate All-Americans and draft picks. They have continued to provide strength to its offensive line with great incoming support from tight end recruits Colby Parkinson and Tucker Fisk. The Cardinals have also signed the nation’s top quarterback Davis Mills as well as five-star offensive tackle Foster Sarell which shows Stanford is shaping up to be top contenders for Pac 12 glory.
So, that’s our picks for up-and-coming teams that could go all the way to the 2017/2018 championships. Whoever squares off during the championships match with such a great pack of players and coaching staff this season’s college season is going to be a great one.
This feels familiar. On Monday night, the Clemson Tigers will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide for the College Football National Championship. It is a rematch of last year’s title game, when the Tide took down Clemson in a thriller. While it often feels as though the same few teams dominate the landscape of college football every season, this is actually the first time we have ever had a rematch in a title game.
This year, it feels deserving. Clemson and Alabama were the top two teams in the country at the end of last year; they were one and two in the preseason, and now they will finish this season first and second yet again.
The championship matchup is more than one unit versus another, but it really feels like this will be an epic battle between the Alabama defense and the Clemson offense, perhaps the two best units in the country.
The Crimson Tide defense is certainly the best in the country at what it does. It finished the year ranked first nationally in total defense, scoring defense, and rushing defense. It was also a top-five team against the pass, and a top-25 team in the red zone, on third downs and in turnovers. There was no shortcoming to this group.
The only hole to be found came after safety Eddie Jackson got hurt and was lost for the year. He now helps from the sidelines as his teammates shut down and stifle all-comers. Three Crimson Tide players were named first-team All-SEC members. Of those three, Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster are arguably the very best players in the country at their respective positions.
Set to face this group is the Clemson offense, led by two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson. Watson led one of the most prolific passing attacks in the country this season thanks to a slew of elite receiving weapons. Mike Williams is probably the best wide receiver in college football. Artavis Scott pairs with Williams to form the best duo Alabama will have faced this season. That doesn’t even include the likes of Hunter Renfrow or tight end Jordan Leggett.
The rushing attack, led by Wayne Gallman, is nothing to be ignored either, especially when Watson himself starts to move around. If Alabama does have a weakness to exploit, it reveals itself when the opposing quarterback runs around and makes himself a threat on the ground. The whole group is buoyed by one of the best offensive lines in football. The Clemson line is the only one in the nation that ranked in the top five in both adjusted line yards and sack rate according to Football Outsiders.
This battle could decide the winner of the championship, but there are so many more elite players that will have a say as well.
In the reverse matchup, the Alabama offense faces the Clemson defense; two premiere units in their own right. Alabama was very good on offense when freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts had time to throw and felt comfortable in the pocket. Like many QBs, even the most veteran of passers, Hurts disintegrated against pressure. If he has time, he is able to survey the field, as well as lead a fearsome running game.
Both Hurts and tailback Damien Harris topped 1,000 yards on the ground this year. Bo Scarbrough topped 700 yards himself and was the star of the Tide’s national semifinal win over Washington. The weapons keep coming on the outside if Hurts is able to find them. It will be up to the Tigers’ front seven to make sure he doesn’t.
While Alabama had the very best defensive line this year by adjusted line yards, Clemson ranked a highly impressive 12th. It also ranked seventh in sack rate, which was an even better showing than Alabama. The group is led by Christian Wilkins and Carlos Watkins. Watkins, along with linebacker Ben Boulware, and defensive backs Cordrea Tankersley and Jadar Johnson, was named to the All-ACC first-team defense.
On the sidelines is where another advantage may be found. Nick Saban leads the best coaching staff in the country for Alabama. There is a reason Saban has won five national championships in his career, going for number six here. He is the best in the business. The departure of Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator is certainly not ideal at this juncture of the season, but Saban’s culture and the existence of Steve Sarkisian to step in help cover up that hole. Dabo Swinney and his staff at Clemson are great at their jobs; they just aren’t on Alabama’s level.
Expect Alabama to win another title over the Tigers because of Saban, the defense, and a never-ending slew of skill players.
College football is one of the most fierce games played. The sound of the fans packing in their teams stadiums on a Saturday to watch their favorite teams do battle is an experience. Some of these teams have had a large amount of success while a select few have went down in history as being almost God like. We will look at a few of the teams that have had the largest number of wins in their schools history. These teams have been the most successful in amassing victories.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes have been successful to the tune of 885 wins. This is a very impressive feat that few teams have been able to even come close to. Last season the Buckeyes went 12-1 for the season and won impressively in the Fiesta Bowl over the Irish of Notre Dame. When 2016 arrived many wondered if the Buckeyes would still be at the same level that they were at last season and the answer to this question was very much a yes.
Nebraska has managed to take 889 victories in their time of existence. This has been one of the best performances from this team that has fallen off the national map in the past couple of seasons. The team has started to turn things around a little bit though. Last season, however, was not the case as the team did not have a season that they would be proud of. Then 2016 came along and it has been a whole new program as the team is back to their winning ways. If this keeps going, there is a chance that Nebraska will move up in the overall rankings for being the a team with the most overall wins team in college football.
Tied with Nebraska, the spot for #3 may be at stake this weekend as it will be a matter of winning and losing. For Texas. Seeing as though this year is not exactly going all that well, it is possible that we will see Nebraska overtake Texas for the third spot. Texas under Mac Brown was a powerhouse, but ever since he retired, the team has been very lackluster to say the very least. This may be part of why fans are not as behind the team as they once were. The Pride of Texas needs a shot in the arm to return to the glory days that won them 889 games in the schools history.
Here you have a school that is rich is history and has a proud tradition of upholding the winning ways for the school. When you play for the Irish, you are joining an elite group of men that have strapped up and taken to the football field to do battle with some of the best teams in the nation. In the schools history, they have managed to win a total of 896 games. This will put them four games away from that beloved 900 games won. This also means that they are in second by 38 games with Michigan. The next few seasons will prove to be interesting as both teams will be duking it out for that coveted #1 spot.
Michigan is a team that plays smash mouth football and takes no prisoners. It has always been that way and will continue to be that way for as long as the game is played. Michigan is a team that has been getting better and better over the years and will soon be an unstoppable force.
Realizing your talent in any field is very important. Acquiring skills and developing them is a core factor that guarantees success in one’s life. Here we are going to talk about players who developed their football skills and became some of the best to play the game in history.
Football is a kind of sport that demands a lot of competence and application of knowledge. But it also depends a lot on athletic ability. One can become a star in this field by through having quality coaching that grooms that ability, or by just being a freak of nature talent wise.
College football has had many great players in it’s history. There are the guys who could run, juke, catch, or throw the ball with the best of them. There are also those who could defend, get to the quarterback, or tackle anything coming their way.
But, what about the players who could do both? Today’s game has become more specialized where players are either on offense or defense, but back in the day the iron men played on both sides of the ball. We took a look at the best two way players in history and put together this short list. Fans of these players and teams had something to be proud of as the guys poured their hearts out and left everything on the field.
A well-known player in his days with the Chicago Bears. His vast football IQ and awareness of the game made him a star of his days. He was one the best defensive players in the history of the game. A fierce lineback that whenever he made a big hit the whole stadium would be on their feet going nuts. His fans loved him so much because of his prowess on the field, but he also played both center and fullback for the offense. He emerged sixth in the Heisman Trophy race in 1963. To this time, the best linebacker awards are given to the best player courtesy of this legendary actor.
He was a man of his class. He was referred to as the “sixty-minute man,” because of his ability to play every second of the game without having to be substituted for another player. He played center, middle linebacker and could handle duties on special teams. By the end of his career, Chuck was a two-time Consensus All-American in 1947 and 1978.
Bronko Naguski is a man to remember. He could control the ball in a fascinating way that made everyone admire his skills in college football. He played defensive and full back. At the end of his football career, he was voted First-American in both positions.
His career at Michigan proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was an excellent player full of potential and had a future in the NFL. He was a lockdown cornerback. During his career, he finished with 16 interceptions. By the end of his career, this player had won the Nagurski Bednarik and Thorpe Awards. He went on to have a great pro career and only recently hung up his cleats.
Jim Thorpe will always remain the books of history. He played Major League Baseball and won gold medals in both the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. In college at Carlisle, he played running back, defensive back, kicker, and punter. Due to his unbelievable athletic ability and physical talents he was named Consensus All-American in 1911 and 1912.
Football is a brutal game with several coaches on each sideline.These coaches make a ton of money, but if they don’t performed are quickly let go. Even some of the best, but they normally don’t go unemployed for long. This article is a story of five schools that will deeply-regret firing their coaches and thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There is no going back once a coach is let go, and they often need to stay around for the sake of the school.
#1: Mark Richt
Mark Richt was fired after 15 years at the University of Georgia where he won the SEC twice, nearly won a national title in the polls and won the SEC East a few times. He created a solid program that had great talent, but he never seemed to get over the hump. Fans screamed for his job for years until he was finally fired. He left almost immediately for his alma mater at Miami, and he has not looked back. Georgia does not look the same.
#2: Mack Brown
Mack Brown did not win enough national championships for the Texas boosters, and he had to go. The school has unrealistic expectations of their football to the point that Mack Brown was fired even though he was perennially-competitive. He is one of the best minds in college football, and he trained many fine assistants in his day. He owned the state of Texas, and he beat Oklahoma more often than not. His firing has led to a lull in Texas football that is driving the fans crazy.
#3: Phillip Fulmer
Phillip Fulmer is a former player, graduate assistant, assistant coach and head coach at the University of Tennessee. Knoxville runs through his veins, and he won a national championship at the school in the first-ever BCS title game. He recruited Peyton Manning away from Ole Miss, and he made T. Martin into a star. He coached so many great players there is not enough room to list them all. Firing Phillip Fulmer was a knee-jerk reaction to the resurgence of Florida and Georgia. Phillip Fulmer left Knoxville, and they have not been the same in a decade. Tennessee football may never recover, and it is all because they fired a hometown boy.
#4: Larry Coker
It is not entirely fair to blame the University of Miami for firing Larry Coker. Significant NCAA infractions were uncovered during his tenure, and the team felt as though they needed to let him go. The school moved on to other coaches who could not fit the bill, and Miami has not returned to its greatness of the early 2000s. The team won a national championship and played for another. They were in every game, and they revived the swagger found at “The U” through their winning culture. Coker’s loss still haunts Miami football.
#5: Bobby Bowden
Bobby Bowden was forced out at FSU after many years on the job because it appeared he did not have control of the team. He allowed several things to slide during his reign over the program, and winning just two national titles was not good enough for some fans. He was pushed out by the athletic department in favor of a coach they believed could save them. Jimbo Fisher came in to resurrect FSU football, and he did so with a Heisman winner, a national title and renewed prominence.
Each coach fired on this list was pushed out because the school did not believe they were measuring up. Some firings are needed due to the culture of the team. Others were wrong in every respect, and the schools are paying for their mistakes even now.
The Pac-12 is an interesting conference because it always has a wealth of teams who would win it even if we do not know who they are. I have seen multiple teams win the conference over the past few years, and I am stumped about which one will win this year. This article explains why I am experiencing confusion over the winner of this season’s conference championship, and I will delve into a few teams who have a chance to win the conference outright.
Oregon has been in the college football playoff before, but they are not as far above the other teams in the conference in talent as they once were. Oregon spent a few years winning the conference every year, but they are now in an arms race with every other team in the conference. They have played tough rivalry games with teams such as Stanford and UCLA, and they have been caught by the other three teams on this list.
Stanford has not fully recovered from the loss of Andrew Luck, but they are still an incredible team with the college football leader in total yards from scrimmage in Christian McCaffrey. They will score quite a lot of points every game, and they will compete for the conference title. It is quite possible they may win the conference with help from a few lucky bounces and a potential Heisman winner.
USC may return to prominence under Clay Helton, but only time will tell. Clay Helton has been given free reign to create a new culture in Los Angeles, but it is possible he may take a few years to create a culture that will consistently win. The winning Clay Helton does this season will ensure the Trojans are on the right track for a much harder push at a national title in 2017.
Jim Mora has done quite a good job with UCLA and their culture even though he is a Washington graduate. He is an incredible coach who has used his personality to help the team understand how they must play, and he has shown that his coaching style is quite effective. He still has good recruiting classes every year, and he has shown that he knows how to develop quarterbacks under his system. UCLA has not been this good since Troy Aikman transferred there in the 80s, and it appears they will compete for another conference title.
Any one of the four teams on the list may win a conference championship, but I believe that Stanford will come out on top because they have a gamebreaker in Christian McCaffrey. He is the sole reason why their offense is so efficient, and he is simply too hard to defend for the average college football player in the conference. They will enter the playoff with at least one loss, but they will survive their conference title game after what will prove to a hard-fought season of tough games against strong opponents.