Suhhh dude. My name is Chris and this is Touchdowns & Tailgates. Look folks, it is officially the most wonderful time of the year, college football season, and I’m so stoked. The only thing keeping my mind off football this week has been all these freshman girls rolling onto campus. Good golly….okay now back to football! Ah yes, college football season, the time of the year in which both students and fans gather together to get crazy lit and go bananas cheering on their favorite team at the game or on the couch with the bros. Kickoff weekend is going to have tons of great matchups, but let me just highlight a few of the matchups I’m looking forward to most.
#3 Oklahoma vs. #15 Houston:
After a 13-1 season in 2015 capped off by a huge win over Florida State, it’s safe to say Tom Herman’s Houston Cougars are no joke. Dual-threat QB Greg Ward Jr. is bad to the bone, and can burn a defense worse than the sun burns my pale skin. With him and other playmakers, Houston’s offense is gonna be wicked good this year. After a great finish to the regular season and making the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma had a tough loss in the semi’s to Clemson. Despite the loss, this season Baker Mayfield and the Sooners are back and just as strong as ever. The Sooners want that natty championship as bad as I want a repeat of welcome weekend. With two of the top QB’s in the country, this matchup is going to be fun to watch, and I have the Sooners squeaking out a close win, but don’t be surprised if Greg Ward Jr. and the Cougars upset Oklahoma.
#22 North Carolina vs. #18 Georgia:
If I’m being honest, what Kirby Smart’s defense at Alabama did to my beloved Michigan State Spartans on New Year’s Eve still has me rattled. The dude is incredibly smart (see what I did there..) and I have no doubt Georgia will be good defensively with his coaching. On offense, the Bulldogs return eight starters. One key player returning is RB Nick Chubb, who is an absolute BEAST when healthy (seriously the kid probably eats nails for breakfast). UNC, on the other hand, also returns a very good team including a top RB of their own in Elijah Hood and an offensive line that is well-stocked this season, just like my mini-fridge. Although UNC has a very good team this season, I actually think Kirby Smart’s dawgs are better than their #18 ranking and will win in convincing fashion.
#20 USC vs. #1 Alabama
USC is primed for a big season, and with a lot of the hype being around their deep receiving core, it seems new QB Max Browne will be able to thrive. USC is going to have a weakened defensive line, but the hope is that there is enough talent on defense to make up for it. The Alabama defense will most likely be “the shit” again, but on offense they have about as much uncertainty at the quarterback position as I do in my major, which could be a problem. And oh, by the way, Alabama coach Nick Saban is a man among boys when it comes to college coaches. As much as I believe USC will be good this season, Bama is looking to be just as good, if not better. than last year and I expect Bama to take home the “W.”
#11 Ole Miss vs. #4 Florida State
Florida State’s offense is expected to be awesome this year even though the QB situation isn’t 100% figured out yet. The reason for this? Two words. Dalvin Cook. A definite “Heisman hopeful” this year, he, similar to his last name, likes to cook defenses like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, you have Ole Miss with an extremely talented QB in Chad Kelly who I expect to have a huge year. BUT… although my dude Chad Kelly is a bonafide gunslinger, I think the advantage we will really see in this game is in FSU’s defense with guys like DeMarcus Walker, who was a straight up ANIMAL for the Seminoles last season when he had 10.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. Ole Miss should be alright defensively too, but I don’t believe they will be able to hold down Cook and this Seminole offense. I think FSU balls out on national television and wins this one.
There’s plenty more big games this weekend, but that’s my two cents worth of just a few previews for this dope kickoff weekend. Make sure to tailgate like a champ this weekend, and of course, for my Spartans out there, GO GREEN!