While the head coaching position certainly means a lot in terms of a program’s success, it is becoming increasingly clear that the quarterback position is more vital. The quality of a quarterback can make or break a coach’s job security and recruiting well for that position can help sustain year-over-year winning seasons. As an NC State fan, I remember when Philip Rivers exited and Chuck Amato miscalculated on some QB recruits after Rivers left for the NFL. It led to his firing. If Philip would have redshirted or the Wolfpack would have had a competent quarterback, that person would have been left playing with the #1 defense in the country at the time. So close, but yet so far away. Look what is happening right now. Joe Burrow has resurrected a perennially low scoring offense at LSU, Penn State has not fallen off since McSorley left due to Sean Clifford’s success, and SMU is undefeated with a solid QB transfer in Shane Buechele. Conversely, NC State is struggling and just made a change at the position, Nebraska is off to a slow start due to Adrian Martinez’s sophomore slump and Purdue is off to a horrific start after losing their quarterback Elijah Sindelar to injury. Look at the Top 5 teams in the country – Bama (Tua Tagovailoa), Clemson (Tyler Lawrence), Georgia (Jake Fromm), Ohio State (Justin Fields) and LSU (Joe Burrown). Need I say more?
My Top 7 Heisman Rankings:
1- Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama
2 – Jalen Hurts – QB, Oklahoma
3 – Joe Burrow – QB, LSU
4 – Jonathan Taylor – RB, Wisconsin
5 – Justin Fields – QB, Ohio State
6 – Chuba Hubbard – RB, Oklahoma State
7 – JK Dobbins – RB, Ohio State
My Top 7 Teams:
1 – Ohio State
2 – Alabama
3 – LSU
4 – Clemson
5 – Georgia
7 – Florida
Tough 2-5 week ATS last week. Need a good rebound. Let’s get it done!
Oregon -20.5 vs. Colorado – The Ducks offense did not produce for me last week. Cal’s defense is much better than Colorado’s D. I expect Oregon to put more points on the board this week.
Oregon 42 Colorado 20
Clemson -26.5 vs. Florida State – Interesting that FSU is choosing to start James Blackman. Curious decision. Clemson hasn’t quite hit their stride yet. YET. I expect them to start rolling this week. Expect a big game from Lawrence.
Clemson 45 Florida State 17
Nebraska +7.5 at Minnesota – The Gophers are undefeated and Nebraska has sputtered a bit out of the gate. I expect this game to be much closer than expected. Huskers play inspired.
Minnesota 27 Nebraska 24
Iowa +3.5 vs. Penn State – Iowa’s defense is strong. Penn State has been scoring over 40 points a game but runs into a wall in this one. Very tight Big Ten struggle.
Penn State 23 Iowa 21
Texas A&M +17.5 vs. Alabama – Bama is definitely the better team, obviously. I think the Aggies show up at home and play a very inspired game. Jimbo knows all about big games.
Alabama 37 Texas A&M 24
Washington State +1.5 at Arizona State – I will take Mike Leach over Herm Edwards every time.
Washington State 31 Arizona State 27
LSU -13 vs. Florida – Huge game. Tigers get after Kyle Trask and Burrow throws for 3 TD’s.
LSU 35 Florida 20
Tennessee +7 vs. Mississippi State – I was impressed with Tennessee freshman quarterback Brian Maurer. I think he is the future of the program. I am going with the upset in this one. Go Vols!
Tennessee 28 Mississippi State 24
Purdue +3.5 vs. Maryland – Maryland QB Josh Jackson is out. Unsure if that isn’t such a bad thing for the Terps. Both these teams are without a quarterback but Maryland is taking a nosedive from the start of the season.
Purdue 28 Maryland 27
Season ATS record: 25-27