With the 2016-17 college football season just around the corner, everyone is starting to talk about how their favorite teams are going to do. I particularly am interested in seeing my favorite teams make progress. I also can’t wait to see who surprises in comparison to the last season, both good and bad.
There will be some teams competing for a national title that nobody saw coming, and teams that hit the skids and get their head coach fired. We will find out which players worked hard during the summer practicing and in the weight room, and which ones might not have taken things as seriously as they should have.
Here are a few of my predictions on teams that will exceed or fail to meet their expectations in 2016.
Michigan State Spartans OVER 7.5
Last year was a dream season for the Spartans as they won the Big Ten and made the college football playoff. It’s going to be tough to match that success with so many good players graduating, but the coach keeps finding a way. Especially on defense, where year in and year out he finds a way to shut down opponents. I think with expectations low he exceeds them once again.
Clemson Tigers OVER 10.5
Another team that went to the playoff last year but fell short against Alabama. I know this is a high win total but their schedule is extremely weak playing in the ACC, and they bring a lot of talent back on both sides of the ball. I think last year got them over the hump.
Houston Cougars UNDER 9.5
This team exceeded expectations last year and proved a lot of people wrong. I know that they play in a weak conference. I know that this team is under-rated year in and year out. I just don’t see them getting to double digit wins this year so you have to like the under.
Memphis Tigers OVER 5
Losing your head coach is always tough. Last year this team surprised a lot of people and that won’t happen again. Teams don’t forget when you beat them and revenge will be on their minds. But, I think the number here is a little low and they can win half their games.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish UNDER 9.5
This is a public team which drives the win total up. I just don’t see how they win 10 games with the brutal schedule that they have. I know that Chip Kelley is one of the best in the game, that he has a lot of talent, and a solid recruiting class coming in. But, double digit wins? Nope.
Southern California Trojans OVER 7.5
This team has been beaten down ever since Pete Carroll left and the scholarship situation turned terrible. They are finally coming out of that dark stain and they have a head coach everyone can get behind. I don’t know if they have enough to win the conference, but getting to eight wins shouldn’t be a problem.
Stanford Cardinal OVER 8.5
When you have the best player in the game it’s tough not to be high on a team. The Cardinal just dominated Iowa in the Rose Bowl last year, and that was a Hawkeye team that had only lost one game the entire season, and that was in the last few minutes against a very good Michigan State Spartan team. I think they dominate yet again this year and a Pac-12 title is likely.