Sunday, July 7, 2013

Preseason College Football Predictions: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

The 2013 College Football season will kick off on Thursday, August 29th, with the 5 p.m. CT kick off on ESPN of North Carolina @ South Carolina.  Plenty of good games in Week 1 to look forward to, including a top FCS vs. FBS matchup on Saturday night, when defending FCS #1 North Dakota State @ Kansas State, with a 7:30 p.m. CT on the new Fox Sports 1 channel.

Many will suggest that Phil Steele has the best publication for preseason previews, but Stassen suggests otherwise lately, when it comes to Phil Steele's predictions.  However, for overall information, Phil Steele is among the bestA must buy for the College Football junkieLindy's has been #1 the past three seasons with preseason prediction accruacy from 2010-2013, followed by Athlon Sports, then Phil Steele.

The #1 publication for 2012 for accuracy was new publication Compu-picks.  However, we may have to disagree with them on at least one of the preseason headlines for 2013:

Why Alabama is the national title favorite yet again;
Why Texas Christian will be the surprise team of 2012;
Why Florida will be the disappointment of 2013;
Why you’d have to be insane to put Louisville in your top 10;
Why you’d have to be insane to keep Oklahoma State out of your top 20;
Why Stanford will be worse than you think;
Why Ole Miss will be better than you think;
Why West Virginia will be a surprise cellar dweller;
Why Indiana will surprisingly escape the cellar;
Why Kansas State is in for a big decline;
Why Colorado will be a lot better (but still lousy)

Both Compu-picks and Phil Steele (#11) are downgrading Stanford, but if defense wins championships, Stanford may be a team to keep high entering into 2013, not moving down the Top 25Stanford is strong in the defensive line, linebacker and secondary corps entering into 2013.  Also, Stanford is solid in the offensive line heading into 2013, as well.  Look for coach David Shaw to have Stanford in the hunt in 2013.

Alabama has certainly shown how importance championship caliber defense is in the pursuit of a BCS Title Game Championship.  The Crimson Tide remain the team to beat in 2013, but Stanford is a good candidate for #2 this season.  A look at Cidsports Preseason Top 5 compared to Early Picks:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide are winner of 3 out of 4 BCS title games!
  2. Stanford Cardinal seeking 4th BCS bowl game in past 4 years!
  3. Oregon Ducks have played in 4 straight BCS bowls and '10 BCS title game!
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off probation and 12-0 record in '12!
  5. Georgia Bulldogs last BCS bowl was during '07 in Sugar!
After the Top 5, the 6-10, 11-20 and final 5 in the Top 25 will be very interesting in 2013.

Phil Steele still loving Florida State with a #3 preseason rating, after preseason #1 last year;
Phil Steele says Texas #4, after 9-4 record and #19 AP last year;
TSN like Florida at #4 over Georgia #12, don't see it;
Is Southern Cal worth of #6 Phil Steele, coming off 7-6 record in '12, earn it;
USA Today likes Boise State #6 this preseason, after 11-2 record, #18 in AP;
Only Phil Steele likes #7 Louisville with a single digit ranking, see above;
USA Today likes #9 Nebraska, despite 5 straight 4-loss seasons under Bo Pelini;
#12 Virginia Tech per Phil Steele, but no others early agree;
USA Today giving Bill Snyder and Kansas State a little love at #24, see above;
TSN is the only one suggest Ole Miss #25 is ready for Top 25 statis, see above;
Any of the early preseason magazines missed on Notre Dame (QB Everett Golson's suspension)

If you like FCS vs. FBS college football match ups in 2013, there will be 110 games for the 2013 season.  With 12 regular season games generally in 2013 for each FBS program, here are the Top 15 games for the season between FCS vs. FBS programs, using 2012 Sagarin Ratings:

  1. Kansas State vs. North Dakota State (35)
  2. Texas A&M vs. Sam Houston State (63)
  3. Florida vs. Georgia Southern (72)
  4. Nebraska vs. South Dakota State (79)
  5. Oregon State, Toledo vs. Eastern Washington (88)
  6. SMU vs. Montana State (90)
  7. Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa (92)
  8. Colorado vs. Central Arkansas (94)
  9. Indiana, Purdue vs. Indiana State (95)
  10. Baylor vs. Wofford (96)
  11. Michigan State vs. Youngstown State (97)
  12. Colorado State, Fresno State vs. Cal Poly (99)
The Iowa Hawkeyes are under the radar, after an awful 4-8 season in '12.  Could Iowa be prime for a rebound and surprise in the Big Ten in '13?  The Hawkeyes don't play Indiana, Illinois or Penn State in conference play.  USA Today #23 Northern Illinois is the season opener for the Hawkeyes on August 31. 

Seniors are expected to be the backbone of the University of Iowa football team each fall. In 2013, the Hawkeyes' senior linebacking corps of James Morris, Christian Kirksey (#20 pictured) and Anthony Hitchens is ready to do its part.