We are seven weeks away from the most exciting regular season of any sport in the world. Let's talk a little college football and some of the current offerings that I'm betting before the first kickoff even happens.
The ACC is a competitive conference, but at the top one team stands alone. This isn't the SEC, where teams like Georgia, LSU and Auburn have the potential to disrupt Alabama's dominance. Clemson is head and shoulders above the rest of the conference and there is no doubt in my mind they win the ACC title again.
Matt Campbell is a special coach and has proven capable of winning big games during his tenure at Iowa State. Ohio State even had eyes on him to replace Urban Meyer. His talented quarterback, Brock Purdy, is back, and while Oklahoma is the class of the conference, 12-1 on a team that should be just as competitive as it was during their third-place campaign last season seems worth the risk.
Two paragraphs ago I spoke about Clemson's dominance, and now I'm advocating to play against the Tigers. Texas A&M had Clemson on the ropes last year, and Jimbo Fisher is building a solid program in Aggieland. This is established reputation and home-field advantage inflating a spread against a not-yet-fully-realized quality opponent. I expect Clemson to win by 10-14 points in this game.
UCLA has been miserable for a few years, but the Bruins' recruiting has never been that bad, and Chip Kelly knows how to coach college football. Betting on top 10 teams as double-digit favorites on the road is not a position you want to take frequently.
A lot of power rankings, regular rankings, metrics, etc., put these teams on equal footing. Iowa State gets home-field advantage, but also gets Iowa early in the year, when the Hawkeyes will be still adjusting to an offense without their two first-round tight ends. In a rivalry game where small margins make a world of difference, I expect Iowa State to get it done.
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