After one of the more memorable endings in the era of the college football playoff, and in recent memory altogether, Georgia outlasted top eventual top NFL draft pick, Baker Mayfield, in the Rose Bowl to face the perennial title contenders of Alabama in the national title game.
It was a battle of true freshman quarterbacks who looked more akin to grizzled veterans on the grandest stage in the sport. Jake Fromm (UGA) and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama(who came in for Jalen Hurts and quickly became a household name) return to lead their respective teams back to gridiron glory.
Leading the vast majority of the game, Georgia failed to deny the Crimson Tide yet another title trophy for their crowded case, and college football lines list Alabama as the overwhelming favorites to repeat as national champions.
However, it’s no surprise that with key returners on both sides of the ball and boasting the top overall recruiting class, the Dawgs of Athens, Ga is also thought to be favorites to contend again in the 2018-19 season.
An interesting storyline for the upcoming season and there are many, is the development of former Ole Miss quarterback and Michigan transfer, Shea Patterson.
Patterson, as a sophomore for the Rebels, threw for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns. Considered a frontrunner to win the starting quarterback for the Wolverines this fall, his eligibility to play in the 2018-19 was up in the air until recently, but the NCAA has officially cleared him to play immediately. It is huge news for Michigan, and potentially for the landscape of college football in general next season.
Naturally, the popular picks for the upcoming season’s top 25 feature the usual suspects: Clemson, Miami, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, and well, you get the picture.
Way out west, however, there are a couple of teams who while typically have good football teams, aren’t considered to have a legitimate chance at cracking the College Football Playoff.
Boise State and Washington seem to be consensus preseason top-20 teams, and if the dominoes fall just right, both could have a real shot at sneaking into final four teams next season.
Jake Browning, who passed on the NFL draft, returns for what should be a potent offensive attack for the Washington Huskies. Thought by most to enter the season in the top 15 at worst, they may be the team to beat in the Pac-12, and potentially in the country.
Stanford, oddly enough, should challenge Washington for both the Pac-12 and a chance to scratch and claw their way toward a chance to compete in the CFP. Bryce Love returns to lead what should be an improved offensive scheme after rushing for more than 2,000 yards this past season, and is primed to help Stanford run through the aforementioned Huskies to reclaim the Pac-12 and bully their way into the championship contender picture in the process.
Will we see another all-SEC affair in the next title game, or will an underdog prevail? Time will tell, as it is sure to be another memorable season that we won’t soon forget.