Deep Fried College Football
It's almost that time; we're officially less than a month away my friends! Here is a complete and comprehensive guide of exactly how excited you should be:
Okay if you're not exactly as excited as these fine gentlemen then you seriously need to re-evaluate your life.
There are approximately 1536 regular season college football games in the FBS (Or Division 1A for you nostalgics like myself). So no; we’re not going to go through every one of those, but we may get to quite a few of them throughout the season. I hope to be able to do what I did last year; which is give you some Thursday night insight and then some Saturday night picks as well. I’m thinking about doing a podcast as well this season with several guests but time will tell if there is enough interest for that. What you’re about to embark on is a complete prediction rundown; I’m going to give you conference champs, some favorable over/under win totals, some Heisman picks and of course some playoff contenders. I’m going to use futures odds mainly found on Bovada, and I’ll let you know if the odds are from somewhere other than Bovada. I’m going to be putting a lot of research in these picks, not just drawing names out of a hat. So let’s embark on this wonderful journey together my friends. There may be a hint of TL;DR here but that’s why I’m giving you almost a whole month to digest! Enough chit chat let’s get down to business.
We’ll start with some good looking over/unders, then we’ll go to conference plays, then I’ll handicap the Heisman race and finally some playoff plays. In the over/unders I’m going to pick some of the best looking plays I see. Bowl games and conference championships do not count for this exercise, only the 12 (or 11) regular season games. I’m obviously not going through all 128 FBS teams but if you are curious about a certain team shoot me a tweet or email and I’ll do some research and get you my prediction for that team.
Alabama 9.5: Whoa, seriously? 1 loss to Ohio State and Alabama is now a candidate to not win 10 games? Look it’s not the Tide’s fault that Urban Meyer has a quarterback factory somewhere near Columbus. I’ll take the Tide to win 10+ games all day every day. Alabama over 9.5 wins.
California 5: Can the Golden Bears go bowling? They return a QB who some are projecting as a first round draft pick in Jared Goff. Dude has a cannon and he and the rest of the Cal offense will put up a lot of points under Sonny Dykes. The offense has never been the problem, the defense has; it’s been atrocious but I think they’ll be decent enough to let Cal outscore more than 5 opponents. They’re going bowling folks; Cal over 5 wins.
Clemson 9: Clemson is a sleeper pick for me to get to the playoff. I like what they’re bringing back a lot. QB Deshaun Watson is coming back and if he stays healthy he could be in the Heisman race. The ACC shouldn’t be too tough and I think they’ll beat FSU this year. I don’t think 11 wins is out of the question at all so therefore take Clemson over 9 wins.
Colorado 5.5: Colorado may be the worst team in the power 5 conferences and with a tough Pac12 ahead wins could be few and far between. Their out of conference games are at Hawaii, UMass, Colorado State and Nicholls State. I don’t think they’re going to win all 4 of those, much less win more than 1 conference game. I feel pretty confident that Colorado wins under 5.5 games.
Colorado State 7.5: When Florida scoops up your head coach you can expect a dip in productivity. I think Colorado State can still be pretty decent in 2015 but they lost their QB to the Saints and their top rusher in Dee Hart as well. That sounds like a losing formula to me. Colorado State under 7.5 wins.
UConn 3: Look; I’ll be honest, I don’t know shit about UConn football. Except that they tried to come up with some crazy ass rivalry game with Central Florida without actually telling Central Florida. They HAVE to win that game right? UConn over 3 wins.
Florida State 9.5: Uh oh, here’s where we may start to get a little crazy on you. The Criminoles lose a lot this offseason; yes mainly Rapey McCrabLegs, but plenty of other NFL talent. What players they did have coming back seemingly all punched out a nice lady in a bar. BUT WAIT, they brought in that turnover machine from Notre Dame, SAVIOR! I’m calling it now; Florida State loses at least 3 games in 2015. Florida State under 9.5 wins.
Iowa 7.5: What’s Kirk Ferentz’s buyout again? Ask any Iowa fan and I guarantee you they know that number. The Hawkeyes have a pretty weak schedule; as usual, because you know B1G football (we get it tOSU you’re good. The rest of your league sucks ass). With that in mind I think they’re a pretty safe bet to get to 8 or 9 wins. Iowa over 7.5 wins.
Kansas 1.5: Holy shit, there’s actually a team with these odds? Scratch what I said about Colorado these dudes must be terrible. I know they fired Charlie Weis and are still paying him to run up his Arby’s tab. Other than that, I don’t know much, except they did keep it close against TCU last year. They play the South Dakota State Jackrabbits week one. I think they’ll win that one, and SURELY they can get 1 more win in 11 chances, right? Kansas over 1.5 wins.
Miami (The U) 6: Look I know the Canes aren’t going to be world beaters this year but I’ve got enough faith in them to win more than 6 games. QB Brad Kaaya is returning and the kid has the tools to be a stud. I think they’ll win at least 7 and possibly 8. Miami over 6 wins.
Notre Dame 9: 42-14; no that won’t be their record but I guarantee you every Irish fan knows what that means. Sorry; had to get some trolling in, no big deal. Notre Dame has a decently tough schedule and we’ll see just how good this Malik Zaire kid is week one against Texas. I don’t see Notre Dame getting more than 8 wins in 2015 and Brian Kelly will start to feel the heat. Notre Dame under 9 wins.
Tennessee 8: The Tennessee hype train has been full steam ahead this offseason and if we’re being honest I don’t really understand why. Their head coach is named after a dog, making it two dogs roaming around the sidelines. They have a pretty tough schedule too with Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. I don’t think they’re getting more than 8 wins with those teams on the schedule. Tennessee under 8 wins.
Virginia 4.5: Is anyone in the country’s seat hotter than Mike London’s? I doubt it. They’re not very good and they have a decently tough schedule. They won 5 games last year including wins over Miami and Louisville but don’t look for that to continue in 2015. Virginia under 4.5 wins.
Virginia Tech 8: What happened, did Frank Beamer refigure out how to coach QB’s over night? I know that they beat Ohio State last year, but I can assure you that’s not happening again; I don’t care who’s suspended. With Miami, Duke, Georgia Tech and North Carolina all still on the schedule I don’t think it’s too hard to find 4+ losses. Virginia Tech under 8 wins.
Washington 4.5: Damn, is a team that won 8 games last year really expected to fall off this much? I know they have a tough schedule but are we willing to say they’re going to be half as good as last year? I’m not. I think Chris Peterson is a good coach and he’ll find a way to get this team bowl eligible. Washington over 4.5 wins.
There, that’s 15 win totals for you. I hope you’re happy. I know that was a lot of information so why don’t we take a quick music break:
Hopefully you’ve completed your required listening and are now ready to advance to the next step in the process; conference champions! I couldn’t really find any through Bovada, but whenever they release they’ll be close to this I’m sure. I’m only going to do the power five conferences here, but again if you would like others please let me know. I’ll give you the odds, then a brief synopsis, then my pick to win the conference and a few value plays I might throw some money down on.
- Florida State 5-2
- Clemson 3-1
- Georgia Tech 4-1
- Louisville 8-1
- Virginia Tech 8-1
- Miami 10-1
- Duke 12-1
- NC State 12-1
- Pittsburgh 15-1
- North Carolina 18-1
- Boston College 30-1
- Virginia 30-1
- Syracuse 75-1
- Wake Forest 100-1
This actually looks like a pretty good conference to get some value with. First off if you read above you’ll know that I think Florida State is going to lose at least 3 games. Although it’s still the ACC I don’t think that’s going to be enough to get it done. I honestly believe Clemson can sneak in the playoff but they’ll have to win their conference first to get that done. Also, I like Miami more than most and see a ton of value there at 10-1. Georgia Tech is a hot commodity this offseason after winning the Orange Bowl last year, but I’m not as high on them as some. So here are my official picks for the ACC:
Actual Pick: Clemson 3-1
Value Picks: Miami 10-1, Duke 12-1
- Ohio State 1-2
- Michigan State 13-4
- Wisconsin 8-1
- Michigan 12-1
- Nebraska 12-1
- Penn State 15-1
- Minnesota 18-1
- Iowa 25-1
- Rutgers 40-1
- Maryland 50-1
- Indiana 60-1
- Northwestern 60-1
- Purdue 100-1
A few things jump out here; one, is that they’re not really giving anyone other than tOSU much of a chance. Two, I completely forgot Maryland and Rutgers were a part of this conference. Three, how bad does Purdue miss Drew Brees? Okay so yeah I think this is definitely Ohio State’s to lose, and I think they’re entirely too talented to do so. However, I hate getting at least less than even money on a futures bet so if I do bet anything on the B1G it won’t be on Ohio State’s QB factory.
Actual Pick: Ohio State 1-2
Value Picks: Penn State 15-1, Iowa 25-1
- TCU 17-10
- Baylor 5-2
- Oklahoma 4-1
- Oklahoma State 5-1
- Texas 7-1
- Kansas State 10-1
- West Virginia 15-1
- Texas Tech 20-1
- Iowa State 25-1
- Kansas 100-1
I know it’s rather confusing; but no, the Big 12 does not have 12 members. Vegas, much like everyone else is predicting this to be a two horse race between TCU and Baylor. Those two will play on Friday November 27th. The night before the Iron Bowl? Hell yeah, sign me up! I think TCU ultimately is bringing too much talent back, and they’re probably still pissed off they got left out last year. They'll beat Baylor but they won't win the conference. I know I had them to win it earlier but I'm changing my mind. With Oklahoma naming Baker Mayfield as the starting QB I'm going with the Sooners to win the Big 12.
Actual Pick: Oklahoma
Value Picks: Oklahoma State 5-1, Kansas State 10-1
- Oregon 9-4
- USC 11-4
- Stanford 5-1
- UCLA 5-1
- Arizona State 6-1
- Arizona 7-1
- Utah 10-1
- California 18-1
- Washington 30-1
- Washington State 40-1
- Colorado 50-1
- Oregon State 50-1
Has Oregon turned into the Alabama of the West? They lose a ton of talent but remain the favorite to bring home the Pac-12. Apparently people are expecting a big falloff from Oregon State after the Mike Riley departure. I think there are some value plays here as this thing always seems to be up for grabs. I think USC and Oregon will (finally) play for the title with USC ultimately winning thanks to their QB Cody Kessler.
Actual Pick: USC 11-4
Value Picks: Arizona State 6-1, Arizona 7-1
- Alabama 5-2
- Auburn 15-4
- Georgia 5-1
- LSU 8-1
- Ole Miss 8-1
- Tennessee 8-1
- Arkansas 10-1
- Missouri 12-1
- Mississippi State 12-1
- Texas A&M 15-1
- Florida 18-1
- South Carolina 25-1
- Kentucky 75-1
- Vanderbilt 100-1
Even though everyone is freaking out about Alabama they’re still the favorites to win the SEC; meaning all is right with the world. The Barn is getting a lot of love too although they too are replacing a QB. For all the love Arkansas has been getting they’re only the 7th best odds, which was a bit surprising. Ultimately I’m a Gump and I’ll always be a Gump so I’m picking Alabama. Even though I’m quite aware that no one ever repeats in the SEC.
Actual Pick: Alabama 5-2
Value Picks: Georgia 5-1, Ole Miss 8-1, Arkansas 10-1
Phew, now we’ve gotten through that. Good job team! Now let’s look at some Heisman odds. I know that trying to pick a Heisman winner is one of the dumbest things you can do but guess what? WE’RE DOING IT ANYWAYS! We’ll I’m not giving you just one guy, because no I’m not that dumb. I’ll give you a handful of dudes that I could see bringing home the trophy in December. I’m also not listing out all of the odds so if you want to see those, you can do so here.
So let’s narrow that field down a little bit. I’m going to stick to mainly just quarterbacks because it’s seemingly ALWAYS a quarterback. In fact the last non-quarterback to win was Alabama’s Mark Ingram (Roll Damn Tide) in 2009. Of all the non-QB’s I think the best picks are:
- Ezekiel Elliot (RB Ohio State) 7-1
- Nick Chubb (RB Georgia) 10-1
- Leonard Fournette (RB LSU) 14-1
I know I know, I’m really going out on a limb with those three. Of the three I think I like Fournette the most with his versatility and Adrian Peterson-esque physique. As mentioned this is basically a quarterback’s race so that’s who my favorites are. The five QBs I think most likely to take home the Heisman are:
- Trevone Boykin (TCU) 6-1
- Cody Kessler (USC) 12-1
- Deshaun Watson (Clemson) 16-1
- Seth Russell (Baylor) 33-1
- Brad Kaaya (Miami) 66-1
Again, not exactly BOLD predictions but I think these are 5 pretty safe bets. I like Kaaya a lot and think at 66-1 that’s incredible value. As you’ll notice Deshaun Watson is in bold, that’s because if he can stay healthy he’s my pick to win the 2015 Heisman Trophy.
On to the Playoff! So I’ve found some odds for teams to get into the playoff here. These are Bovada odds so we’re going to run with them. I’ve gone back and forth on who I think gets in but I do believe all four are on this list. So without further adieu here are my four plaoff teams:
- Ohio State 2/5
- Alabama 7/4
- Oklahoma 8/1
- Clemson 9/2
I know I’m very pro Clemson but I think they’ve got a real shot to get there in a weak ACC. Again, I can’t not pick Alabama and I have a hard time not seeing Ohio State there. That leaves Oklahoma over TCU for me, I think after last year whoever wins the Big 12 will get in but it wouldn’t surprise me if a team like USC snuck in there.
Now for the granddaddy of them all; the National Champions! You can get a full list of odds here, but I’m going to give you my best values. I’m not going to give you a true champion because we all know by now that I would just pick Alabama. So feel confident throwing some money on any of these teams, starting with my four playoff teams:
- Ohio State 3/1
- Alabama 15/2
- Clemson 22/1
- Oklahoma 25/1
- Oregon 20/1
- Georgia 25/1
- Ole Miss 40/1
There you have it folks, my complete rundown of the 2015 College Football season. Be sure to check back each week for weekly picks and plays. I guarantee you there will be much more humor involved from week to week, I had to get the serious business out of the way first. Also, if you’d listen to a podcast with me and guests let me know, because I’d very much like to do one. We’re close my friends, we’re close!