College Football starts this weekend. Here are some of the reasons I will be watching college football this season.
In the ACC, can Deshaun Watson finish the deal for Clemson this year and give the Tigers their first national title in 35 years. The junior quarterback took Clemson to the national title game last season where the Tigers fell just short against Alabama. All Watson, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, did against the Crimson Tide was record 487 total yards and four touchdowns.
Speaking of Alabama, I always wonder who in the SEC can unseat the Tide. You have to believe Ole Miss has the best chance. The Rebels have the conference’s best returning quarterback in Chad Kelly. And they have beaten Alabama each of the past two years. LSU also could challenge and Tennessee looks like it is finally ready to move into the Top-Ten after a prolonged absence.
Watch out for Houston. A non-Power 5 playoff team has yet to reach the final four within the new playoff system. This year, Houston could change all that. After going 13-1 with a Peach Bowl win over Florida State, the Cougars earned a top-15 preseason ranking and have a challenging enough schedule, games against Oklahoma and Louisville, to give them a chance to play for a national championship.
I will be curious to see if Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are for real. Everyone seemed to think it would take him a few years to turn around the once proud program. Instead, Harbaugh is way ahead of schedule. Inheriting the players from a five-win team in his return to Ann Arbor, Harbaugh doubled the Wolverines’ win total just one year later. I have to wonder if expectations are too high. Anything but the school’s first Big Ten title in 12 years may be considered a failure.
Notre Dame will try what never works. A two-quarterback system. Last year, Urban Meyer was forced to figure out one of the greatest quarterback controversies of all-time at Ohio State. This year, Brian Kelly lands the unenviable task. Instead of deciding between senior Malik Zaire and junior DeShone Kizer, who won 11 games after Zaire broke his ankle early last season, Kelly has opted for a two-quarterback system. Ohio State was a unanimous top ranked program in the preseason. The Buckeyes and their three quarterbacks later watched Clemson and Alabama play for the national title. If history prevails again, Notre Dame will face another disappointing end to its season.
This could be the years the SEC loses its stranglehold as the country’s premier conference. The SEC is still the deepest conference as it has six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll. But there are other conferences that have more power at the top. It has been awhile since anyone has uttered that statement. The top four in the ACC (Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina and Clemson), Big 12 (Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State) and Big Ten (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa) are all arguably superior to any four the SEC can put out there.
Where Are The US Men Tennis Players?
The 2016 US Open began this week. And with it comes the question of just when will we see an American male make a run at a Major.
Tennis in this country only seems to thrive when it has a star. Decades after John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras dominated the tournament, and 13 years since Andy Roddick was the last American to win the title, there appears to be an opening at the top of the game due to injuries to the likes of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
Any upstart American will still have to deal with top seed Novak Djokovic and Olympic Champion Andy Murray.
Our best hope is Steve Johnson. He is the highest seed at No. 19 but he is the lowest-seeded top American in the Open’s 49-year history, six rungs below where John Isner came in each of the preceding three years.
Future Trivia Question
The Denver Broncos announced this week that second year quarterback Trevor Siemian will be its starting signal caller in 2016.
Siemian, 23, a former seventh-round pick out of Northwestern without a regular-season NFL pass attempt to his name, beat out Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch.
Siemien is inheriting the starting job from Peyton Manning who retired after the Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Sanchez was the favorite after being acquired this offseason, but he faltered badly in his audition. Sanchez now faces the humiliating prospect of being demoted to third string behind rookie Paxton Lynch or being cut from the roster entirely.
Here is the trivia question. If Siemien actually starts on Week One, he will become the first quarterback ever to start for a defending Super Bowl champion to never have thrown a single pass in the NFL.
Bronco QB Trevor Siemian