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College Football Insider Predictions, Odds and Picks for the 2016-17 NCAA Season

College Football Insider Predictions, Odds and Picks for the 2016-17 NCAA Season

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Apart from Alabama being awesome, few things are ever certain in college football. But just like in every season, there will be teams who will dominate over the rest, rise above expectations, and also fall below. With the 2016 college football season just around the corner, let’s get the inside scoop on the programs that have the best chance to fit that specific bill.


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2016 College Football Insider Predictions and Picks

Why the Florida State Seminoles will dominate

Florida State is loaded, y’all. At just about every position. The Noles return 17 starters from last season, including studs like running back Dalvin Cook, defensive back Derwin James, defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker and offensive lineman Roderick Johnson. This is quite possibly the most talent-rich roster in the country.

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Florida State’s defense ranked ninth in points allowed last season, and can only get better with all the talent on that side of the ball. James figures to fit in seamlessly into Jalen Ramsey’s role as that Swiss Army knife playmaker in the defensive backfield, while Walker and Josh Sweat make opposing quarterbacks run for dear life.

The only question mark on the team is at quarterback, where redshirt freshman Deondre Francois is set to start. But of course, the last time the Noles gave the keys to a four-star redshirt freshman, Jameis Winston led them to an unbeaten season and  the national title. Head coach Jimbo Fisher is that good at developing quarterbacks, and Francois’ dual-threat ability will be a new wrinkle for Fisher to utilize this season.

With all that talent on the roster, FSU almost looks destined to go over 10 wins in the regular season, with its toughest road games coming against Louisville and Miami. The Noles will also have the advantage over its main ACC rival, Clemson, as this year’s matchup will be at Tallahassee. If the Noles get past that test, their +800 odds to win the national championship will look that much better.

Why the TCU Horned Frogs will overachieve

Who knows what TCU could’ve achieved had its stars, Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson – not to mention its defense – remained healthy last season. Boykin and Doctson are gone, but eight starters return along that Gary Patterson-led defense, which – if healthy – can see the Frogs do big things in the Big 12.

Having such a strong defense will only help new quarterback, Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill, get used to his surroundings in Fort Worth. “Kenny Trill” was pretty prolific in his lone season as the Aggies’ starter in 2014, and he’ll have another talented receiving corps at his disposal at TCU.

KaVontae Turpin, Jaelan Austin and Jarrison Stewart were immediate contributors as freshmen last season. Meanwhile, upperclassmen Ty Slanina and Deante Gray will both return from injury to add some much-needed depth.

The Horned Frogs’ over/under regular season wins is slated at just 8.5, a number they can easily blow away thanks to a fairly favorable schedule. The toughest game on that schedule will be Oklahoma on October 1, but they’ll be at home for that matchup. And with Baylor in disarray, that road trip to Waco in November doesn’t look too daunting. They definitely seem like a worthwhile bet at +3,000 to win the national title.

Why the Michigan Wolverines will disappoint

To be fair to Michigan, the expectations set for them this season are so high that nothing short of a national title will be considered a disappointment. But that’s what you get for hiring Jim Harbaugh and raising the stakes sky-high.

The Wolverines – +1,000 national title contenders – obviously have a ton of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They finished sixth in the S&P+ ratings and can easily break into the top five this year. They also return a ton of experience along the offensive line. However, quarterback remains a big question mark once again. They are also a bit lightweight at running back, as well as linebacker.

Michigan’s schedule looks fairly straightforward for the first seven weeks, but then it gets real tough late. They face three road games against Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State in the last five weeks of the regular season.

Do they have enough firepower to take at least two out of three wins from that stretch? And even if they do get two of three, a loss to either Sparty or the Buckeyes could see the Wolverines edged out in the division, the conference title game, and the College Football Playoff.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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