As the 2014 NCAA FB regular season starts this weekend, it’s time we make some predictions for this 2014 season that has brought a four-team playoff system.
First, we don’t believe that Auburn will repeat this season as the SEC Champion. They had a fantastic 2013 that brought them that Title as they came close to winning the BCS National Championship game also. Thus, you ask why the Tiger with star QB Marshall returning to lead the team with what should be an improved offensively game of passing will not win the South Eastern Conference.
It amounts to the law of averages, as the Auburn Tigers were good enough to lead in every game they played with the exception of their 35-21 loss to the LSU Tigers. Also, several of their NCAA FB games were very close: beating Alabama on the long return of their missed field goal, beating Georgia on an incredible reception, and holding off a last minute drive to the end zone by the Aggies of Texas A&M, and squeaking by Mississippi State and Washington State.
Yes, they have QB Marshall returning and they lost some key players on both sides of the ball, meaning they are expected to have a lot of close games this season and losing at least two of those games.
Secondly, the Florida State Seminoles will be one of the playoff teams this 2014 season and FSU could be double digit favorites in every game they play this season, and that has never happened at Florida State previously. If one compares that to the Big Ten where Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin could all make it to the playoffs. With the SEC you have Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and South Carolina who are all seeking a playoff spot. While in the Big 12 the teams vying for a spot will be Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas while in the PAC-12 it will be UCLA, USC, Stanford and Oregon.
If you’re seeking a safe bet for this first NCAA FB playoff I would suggest the FSU will be in the Final four to defend its National.
The third prediction I will make is that FSU QB James Winston will not win the Heisman in 2014 primarily because his stats were so good in 2013 that he may have set the bar too high a repeat performance as did Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M which opened the door for Winston to win the 2013 Heisman.
With the door open Winston had a great year in 2013 with some 40 TD’s and the nation’s best passer rating at 184.8 which make it difficult to repeat that performance. Plus, it’s hard to repeat on a 14-0 season as Florida State had in 2013. Since fans tend to move to the next big thing that makes it very hard for Winston to win again without improving his statistics and that almost impossible.
Fourth, it appears that the Big 12 will not be included in the playoffs in 2014 even with the most entertaining conference race in college football for 2014 with Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas who are all pretty good this season. The major setback is their pretty good, and none are dominating teams and they could easily be upset by a TCU or Texas Tech and the conference has not an Alabama or Oregon like teams in the conference. Another negative factor is the Big 12 has no conference championship game.
Then the fifth and final prediction is that the South Eastern Conference will not play for the national title in 2014. It’s not questionable that the SEC has the best conference in college football but this year’s best teams like Oregon and FSU to name a few are not from the SEC.
What I envision is that in this first year of the Playoff’s FSU will beat the No.4 seed at the Sugar Bowl and Oregon will end the NCAA FB season No.2 and with regional home team advantage will play more than likely Alabama in the Rose Bowl. Thus, that brings us to the 2014 national championship with the ACC and Florida State playing the Pac-12 Oregon which would be the first time since back in 2005 when the title game will not include a SEC team.