Last year the Cincinnati Bearcats became the College Football equivalent to Cinderella, making it to the College Football playoffs. So now that we know it can be done, are there any teams ready to make that run like the Bearcats did last year? If you want to bet on college football, check out the top sports betting sites! We will also take a look at some power conference teams that could make a surprising run.
The Cougars had an outstanding season last year, losing in the AAC Conference Championship game to the Cincinnati Bearcats, and they look to be even better this season. The Cougars returned over 75 per cent of their defense last season, and, more importantly, they return Quarterback Clayton Tune, who threw 30 touchdown passes and only ten interceptions. Stud running back Alton McCaskill also returns; he was a near-1,000 yard rusher with 16 TDs last fall. The Cougars do not play the Bearcats in the regular season, which will help them make it to the AAC Championship game again. The Cougars will host an improved Kansas Jayhawks team and will also play Texas Tech; the concern here will be the Cougars schedule when it comes to making it to the College Football playoffs? The Schedule may not be tough enough for them to get to that final four, but they are a team capable of winning 12 games.
Tennessee seems like a team on the cusp of possibly regaining their glory days. The Vols were 7-6 last year, and those seven wins included a nice win over the number 18th ranked Kentucky Wildcats. The Vols’ offense will be led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, who nearly eclipsed 3,000 yards passing last fall with 31 TDs and just three picks, Hooker is an efficient, competent quarterback, and the Volunteers offense will be in good hands with him at the helm. The biggest question with this team will be on the defensive side of the ball, where they allowed well over 30 points per game last season. Two early road games at LSU and Pitt will tell us whether the Vols are ready to leap back into contention in the SEC?
This team has the prerequisite schedule to pull off what Cincinnati did last year. The schedule is challenging, but it gives the Cougars a shot to make a playoff run. The schedule includes games at USF, host Baylor, and goes to Oregon in the first three weeks. Then to Las Vegas against Notre Dame, hosts SEC contender Arkansas, goes to Liberty and Boise State and closes at Stanford. BYU will be stacked on both sides of the ball as they bring back quarterback Jaren Hall, their top two receivers, most of its offensive line, and almost all its defense. If the Cougars are sitting at 3-0 after the first three games, get ready for this team to take a wild ride to playoff contention. Check out the top new sportsbooks!
The Big Ten West looks to be there for the taking, and as of right now, I would make the Gophers the favorite to come out of the West. The Golden Gophers lost last year to Illinois and Bowling Green, but they also upset Wisconsin, so to say this team was hard to get a read on last year is an understatement. The Gophers return quarterback Tanner Morgan will be one of the top signal-callers in the country. Morgan’s numbers have fallen off the last two years because the talent level has dropped. Still, I look for Morgan to have a tremendous season, and a healthy Mo Ibrahim in the backfield will be critical to the Gophers making a run at a Big Ten West Championship.
It’s been a while since a Pac 12 team has made the college football playoffs, but that could all change this year as the Utah Utes seem to get closer every year. The Utes bring back critical production in quarterback Cameron Rising and running back Tavion Thomas, who scored 47 touchdowns combined last fall. They will have to replace some vital parts on the defensive end as they have lost stars such as linebackers Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell, the Utes have recruited well over the last few years, though, and that gives me hope that the Utes could have a breakthrough season.
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