December 16, 2017

2017 College Football Preview

Editors note: Below you will find takes from some members of The Tailgate Society.  I made the decison to link their twitter accounts to thier names. Feel free to tweet at them how terrible their picks are. — Ted 
The leaves are about to change, the temperature is about to cool down… and college football is about to kick off.

This Saturday, August 26, college football returns, and we here at The Tailgate Society are itching for it. The 2017 season will get started with Oregon State vs. Colorado State at 2:30 Eastern on CBS Sports Network. (Don’t get CBSSN? Just wait a little longer for your fix, when Portland State vs. BYU kicks off at 3:00 Eastern on ESPN.)

Wanna know what’s going to happen this season? You’ve come to the right place. Ten TGS contributors have jumped in to pick conference winners, recommend the best game to watch, and drop some bold takes. We’ll come back after the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 8 to see who was right and who was really, really wrong. For now, read on to preview the 2017 college football season!

 

Emily Cornell    

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Penn State (Big Ten), USC (Pac-12), Florida (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? Wyoming (Mountain West).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Penn State, Florida State, and USC.

National championship game? Alabama 21, Florida State 17 if Florida State wins the Sept. 2 game; Alabama 17, Florida State 14 if Alabama wins the first game.

Heisman winner? J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… “The Game.” Ohio State @ Michigan (Nov. 25).

Favorite college football player of all time? J.J. Watt, Wisconsin DE.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Colorado beats Washington (Sept. 23).

2. Wyoming beats Oregon (Sept. 16).

3. NC State beats Clemson (Nov. 4).

 

Shaun Curran 

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State over Miami (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Michigan over Wisconsin (Big Ten), Washington over USC (Pac-12), Alabama over Georgia (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? South Florida (American).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, and Washington.

National championship game? Florida State 31, Alabama 28.

Heisman winner? Derwin James, Florida State.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Alabama vs. Florida State (Sept. 2). The biggest opening weekend game in college football history.

Favorite college football player of all time? “Primetime” Deion Sanders, Florida State DB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Gus Malzahn, Auburn.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. South Florida finishes ranked in the Top 15.

2. Ohio State loses to both Penn State AND Michigan.

3. Clemson loses four games.

 

Tami Dooley 

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State (ACC), Oklahoma State (Big 12), Michigan (Big Ten), Washington (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? Boise State (Mountain West).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Michigan, Florida State, and Oklahoma State.

National championship game? Alabama 38, Michigan 3.

Heisman winner? Bo Scarbrough, Alabama RB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Alabama vs. Florida State (Sept. 2).

Favorite college football player of all time? Kellen Moore, Boise State QB. The man took the cute little team with the blue turf from obscurity to in the conversation with his 50-3 record, and nothing will ever feel like that again.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? I can’t wait to see what happens when Brian Kelly’s (Notre Dame) ass starts roasting.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Michigan is going to look like world beaters after winning “The Game” vs. Ohio State. Harbaugh’s head is going to be big enough to enter eastern seaboard airspace, and then they’re going to look like they’ve never played football before in the Natty.

2. IOWA STATE IS GOING BOWLING!

3. Nobody is going undefeated.

 

Alex Gookin 

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State (ACC) – no QB, no title for Clemson; Oklahoma State (Big 12) – the Sooners are already missing Bob Stoops; Ohio State (Big Ten) – just too good; Washington (Pac-12) – USC is overrated… again; Alabama (SEC) – lol.

Best Group of Five team? Boise State (Mountain West).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, and Oklahoma State.

National championship game? Ohio State 35, Alabama 28.

Heisman winner? Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Ohio State vs Michigan was one of the most incredible games of last season, and with both being preseason top-10 teams, this November 25th game could determine a CFB Playoff spot and will certainly have Big Ten Title implications.

Favorite college football player of all time? Reggie Bush, USC RB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. The Big 12 ends their CFB Playoff drought with an Oklahoma State win the Big 12 title game.

2. USC will be the #1 team in the nation… before a late-season collapse, and they will miss the CFB Playoff.

3. Another disgusting layer of filth is added to the Baylor debacle and the NCAA slaps them on the wrist with loss of scholarships or something useless like that.

 

Tyler Gross 

Winners of the power conferences? Louisville (ACC), Oklahoma State (Big 12), Ohio State (Big Ten), Stanford (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? Colorado State (Mountain West).

Playoff picks? Ohio State, Alabama, Louisville, and Oklahoma State.

National championship game? Ohio State will play Louisville in the title game after the Cardinals upset Alabama in the semifinal. Ohio State wins the championship game 38-31.

Heisman winner? Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Penn State @ Ohio State (Oct. 28). The revenge game for the Buckeyes’ toughest-fought loss last season.

Favorite college football player of all time? Vince Young, Texas QB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Mark Dantonio, Michigan State.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Oklahoma loses two Big 12 games before they ever get to Bedlam (Nov. 4), where Mike Gundy’s mullet destroys the Sooners in Stillwater.

2. Arizona will go 3-9 and fire Rich Rodriguez in December.

3. The Texas hype train will come to a screeching halt when the Longhorns lose to USC and Iowa State in consecutive weeks.

 

Travis Halm 

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State (ACC), West Virginia (Big 12), Ohio State (Big Ten), USC (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? SMU (American).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, and Ohio State.

National championship game? Ohio State 28, Alabama 21.

Heisman winner? Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Ohio State @ Michigan (Nov. 25).

Favorite college football player of all time? Tim Tebow, Florida QB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Mike Riley, Nebraska.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Oklahoma will go 8-4.

2. Texas will beat USC (Sept. 16).

3. “Gundying” will become the new “Clemsoning.”

 

Spencer Hughes 

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State (ACC), Kansas State (Big 12), Penn State (Big Ten), Washington (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? South Florida (American).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Penn State, Florida State, and Ohio State. The Big 12 is shut out again when regular season champion Oklahoma State loses to Kansas State in the new conference title game.

National championship game? Alabama 31, Penn State 14.

Heisman winner? Trace McSorley, Penn State QB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Florida State @ Clemson (Nov. 11). This was one of the most exciting games of the 2016 season, and it’s the final ACC game for both teams this year. The winner is likely to clinch a division tile and maybe a path to the CFB Playoff.

Favorite college football player of all time? Seneca Wallace, Iowa State QB. The first half of the 2002 season was the most fun I’ve had as a football fan.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech. The Red Raiders need at least eight wins or there will be a new staff in Lubbock for 2018.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. 2017 will be Mike Riley’s last season at Nebraska. Riley will be replaced by Scott Frost after he leads Central Florida to a strong finish in his second year there.

2. Northwestern will win the Big Ten West and will go on to lose the Big Ten Championship Game by four touchdowns.

3. Washington’s clear path to the CFB Playoff will be cut down in a thrilling Friday night game when Stanford beats the Huskies in overtime (Nov. 10).

 

Jared Leeper 

Winners of the power conferences? Clemson (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Ohio State (Big Ten), USC (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? Boise State (Mountain West).

Playoff picks? Ohio State, Alabama, USC, and Oklahoma.

National championship game? Alabama will win. No way they go two years without winning one.

Heisman winner? J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… The atmosphere of the Iron Bowl is really hard to top (Alabama @ Auburn, Nov. 25).

Favorite college football player of all time? Biased answer: Troy Davis, Iowa State RB. Unbiased answer: Reggie Bush, USC RB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic, because he sucks will likely have five or six scandals of some sort swirling around him.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Bobby Petrino (Louisville) gets involved in another sex scandal and gets a new 20-year contract anyway.

2. The Big 12 will have a team primed for the CFB Playoff, and they will lose in the newly-created Big 12 Championship game because of course.

3. Iowa State wins eight games.

 

Austin Narber 

Winners of the power conferences? Louisville (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Wisconsin (Big Ten), USC (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? BYU (independent).

Playoff picks? Alabama, Oklahoma, Louisville, and Wisconsin (in order).

National championship game? Alabama 35, Oklahoma 31.

Heisman winner? I’ll go with somewhat of a sleeper in Jake Browning, Washington QB. He’s currently tied for ninth best odds, seventh among QBs. Washington has the one of the easiest schedules in the country, and Browning is coming off an insane sophomore season: 3,430 yards, 43 TD (most among P5 QBs) and Pac-12 offensive player of the year honors. Voters always look at wins and losses (especially for QBs), and even though I have UW losing to USC in the Pac-12 title game, Browning should be responsible for enough regular season wins and gaudy numbers to justify the award.

If someone could only watch one game this year… There are so many options here, but I have always felt the recipe for a perfect college football game has three main ingredients. Let’s assume having two “good teams” playing against each other is a given:

  • Rivalry/History/Bad blood
  • Points, points and more points
  • Postseason implications (the later the better)

My pick happens a little early for my taste (Nov. 4 in Week 10), but there should be a lot riding on this year’s Bedlam matchup between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in Stillwater. If OU gets by Ohio State in Week 2, both teams should be undefeated and positioning for a spot in the inaugural Big 12 championship game. Watching a couple Heisman-caliber QBs doesn’t hurt either.

Favorite college football player of all time? Reggie Bush, USC RB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? No question it’s Mark Dantonio at Michigan State. After finishing 3-9 last year, MSU lost its QB and 12 other starters. They also ranked 35th in recruiting this offseason with no five-star commits. With road games at Michigan and Ohio State, plus Penn State on the schedule, I don’t see how he survives.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Ohio State doesn’t even sniff the Big Ten Championship or a playoff berth. Penn State and Wisconsin will benefit from easier schedules, securing a rematch in the title game, and the Buckeyes lose to Oklahoma, Iowa and Michigan anyway.

2. Miami nearly knocks off Louisville late in the ACC Championship, narrowly eliminating USC from the CFB Playoff.

3. Under the lights in their final home game of the season, Iowa State becomes bowl eligible by taking down Oklahoma State on the heels of their devastating home loss to Oklahoma the week before. A late interception by Kamari Cotton-Moya seals the game. Final score: 37-31.

 

Jake Ohlde 

Winners of the power conferences? Florida State (ACC), Oklahoma State (Big 12), Ohio State (Big Ten), Washington (Pac-12), Alabama (SEC).

Best Group of Five team? South Florida (American).

Playoff picks? Florida State, Alabama, Washington, and Ohio State.

National championship game? Alabama 35, Florida State 16.

Heisman winner? Sam Darnold, USC QB.

If someone could only watch one game this year… Louisville @ Florida State (Oct. 21).

Favorite college football player of all time? Michael Bishop, Kansas State QB.

Coach who will get on the hot seat? Butch Jones, Tennessee.

THREE BOLD TAKES:

1. Pittsburgh wins the ACC Coastal division.

2. Jesse Ertz (Kansas State) leads the Big 12 in rushing yards.

3. Oklahoma State runs the table in Big 12 play but loses in the conference title game.

Spencer Hughes
Spencer Hughes 8 Articles

Staff Writer

Spencer is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa native currently located in Jacksonville, Florida. He holds degrees from Iowa State University (B.A., 2014) and Duke University (J.D., 2017) where he learned that you can’t choose which is better between Hilton Coliseum and Cameron Indoor Stadium; they’re just different. Spencer is a lifelong fan of the Iowa State Cyclones, Minnesota Vikings, Scott’s Tots, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Oxford comma. He will discuss college football playoff scenarios or health care legislation with you whenever you want.

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