ON THE SIDELINES: Ohio State will repeat as national champions

by Aug 31, 2015SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments





If you could see my face, you’d know the disdain I have with myself for even saying this, but Ohio State is my pick to win the College Football Playoff National Championship.  I have disliked Ohio State ever since I saw then-head coach Woody Hayes punch Clemson defensive back Charlie Bauman after an interception that ended the Buckeyes hopes in the 1978 Gator Bowl.  I was seven.  I have disliked them for a long time.

That said, Ohio State definitely has the easiest road to a national championship than the other top pre-season teams.  They only have one team on their schedule in the pre-season top 25 (#5 Michigan State).  Other than that game, the only one that looks like it could be interesting at all is the Nov. 28 matchup against bitter rival Michigan.

The middle of their schedule is almost Twinkie-like with a run of games including: Hawaii, N. Illinois, W. Michigan, Indiana and Maryland.  There are high school teams that could give a few of those teams a run for their money.

If Ohio State can figure out their quarterback situation, they’ll cruise into the final four for the national championship playoffs.  And, what a situation they have…good grief, it must be a nightmare to have to decide between J.T. Barnett and Candale Jones.  Head coach Urban Meyer, who will be shooting for his fourth national title this season, has said he will not make his decision known until minutes before kickoff in their season opener against Virginia Tech.

Other teams that I feel will be in the top four playoffs include TCU, Auburn (don’t tell my friend Joe Martin I said that…I’ll never hear the end of it), and Oregon.

TCU has 10 returning starters on offense and only has two pre-season top 25 teams on their schedule including #19 Oklahoma and #4 Baylor.  If they can patch the holes on their defense, their potent offense which frequently puts up close to 50 points a game will take them to the playoffs.

Auburn has a tougher road with five top 25 teams on their schedule including #9 Georgia and #3 Alabama.  Both of those games are bitter rivalries, and it doesn’t matter where Georgia and Alabama are in their season, they’ll be gunning for the Tigers.  Will Muschamp was hired in the off-season and will definitely have Auburn’s defense fired up and ready to go, and Jeremy Johnson, a 6’5” phenom with great accuracy according to the reports, is set to take the snaps.

Oregon has a shot…an outside shot, but I’m giving them hope.  They have four top 25 teams on their schedule, but to get to the end, they’ll have to run the gauntlet at the end of the season including games against Stanford, USC, and rival Oregon State.  Many are saying there’s no replacing Heisman winner Marcus Mariotta, but the Ducks might have an answer.  Vernon Adams transferred in the off-season from Eastern Washington where he started for three seasons and threw 121 touchdowns.  In an interesting twist, the Ducks open their season against the Eagles of Eastern Washington.  Quack, quack.

Well, there’s my pick and my thoughts…I’ll write again on this topic at the end of the season to summarize how badly I messed it all up.


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