(Photo Credit: Sooners Wire)
The 2021 College Football season is right around the corner. In a few short weeks, we all will get to cheer for our schools and our favorite teams. After a crazy COVID season, fans are all ready to get back to some normality. All season long, I will bring you my "expert" analysis on college football. Let's start off with my conference champion picks for all 10 conferences.
American Athletic Conference: Cincinnati Bearcats
There is no question that Cincinnati is going to be the favorite in the American this season. Luke Fickell has his team focused on one thing and that is a College Football Playoff berth. Last season they earned a New Years Six Bowl Berth and lost a heartbreaker to Georgia. They return star QB Desmond Ridder as well as defensive leader Ahmad Gardner. This team not only wants to make noise in their conference, but they are ready to make a playoff run.
Conference USA: Marshall Thundering Herd
If you know me, you know how I am not only a Marshall fan, but I am also an alumnus. I will gladly be biased in this guess. Marshall started the season 7-0 and then proceeded to end the year 0-3. First-year Head Coach Charles Huff comes from Alabama where he hopes to take his success there and translate it to his new home. Marshall is returning star QB Grant Wells and top playmakers Willie Johnson, Corey Gammage, and Xavier Gaines. There is a lot of excitement in Huntington, West Virginia brewing.
MAC: Toledo Rockets
Toledo has been a power in the MAC for many years, and this year will be no different. In 6 games last season, Toledo was able to put up video game numbers. Toledo was a very young team in 2020 that went 4-2. Last year's team has been able to mature and is ready to use their veteran experience to make noise in the conference. Running back Bryant Koback and receiver Isaiah Winstead are ready to build on their 2020 campaign and are ready for a breakout year.
Mountain West: Boise State Broncos
This conference is one of the hardest to pick. There are 4 teams that are also in contention for this spot. San Diego State, Nevada, San Jose State, and Wyoming all can make a run to try and take down the Broncos. Boise State's biggest plus for me is their weak schedule. Their two toughest games are both at home, and they return QB Hank Bachmeier who is looking to enter his name into the nation's top QB. If things all work out for Boise State, they will be a tough team to beat in the end.
Sun Belt: Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
Let me just state the obvious. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are the best name in all of college football. Last year Louisiana won 10 games and was the biggest surprise of 2020. They return 20 of 22 starters from that team. Last year's offense averaged 30.2 points per game and QB Levi Lewis returns to pick up right where he left off. Coastal Carolina is still a threat, but after playing in their shadow last season, Louisiana is ready to make this season all about them.
ACC: North Carolina Tar Heels
Clemson has won this game every year since 2015, and at some point, their dominance on the conference needs to come to an end. That year is 2021! North Carolina is returning Heisman Trophy contender Sam Howell to lead the charge this season. The Tar Heels defense struggled in 2020, but 10/11 starters will be returning with the hopes of improving their defensive struggles from 2020. If there was ever a year for the Tigers to be dethroned in the ACC, this North Carolina team is the team to do it.
Big 12: Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners return star QB Spencer Rattler who is poised for a monster season. Lincoln Riley led Oklahoma to 3 straight appearances in the College Football Playoff, but after a tough 2020, Oklahoma is ready to make another run. The Sooners return all their star-studded defensive players like Perrion Winfrey, Isaiah Thomas, and Nik Bonitto. With Oklahoma set to join the SEC in the near future, they are going to add another Big 12 championship this season.
Big 10: The Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State is the favorite to win the Big 10 every year. Until Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa decide to all team up and sabotage the Buckeyes, then Ohio State is going to continue running the conference. Even with the uncertainty of the QB situation, Ohio State still has the best receiver room in all of college football. Whoever wins the job will get to throw to WR1 Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.
Pac 12: Oregon Ducks
Oregon is going to go back to back in the Pac 12. The Ducks return 16 starters from their championship team in 2020. With the addition of Boston College transfer Anthony Brown is expected to lead the Oregon offense, the Ducks are more experienced and overall better than Washington or USC. Even though all 3 teams are very talented and return a handful of players, Oregon is the better overall team. Kayvon Thibodeaux is going to have a monster year and that will help Oregon run the table with the Pac 12.
SEC: Georgia Bulldogs
This game is going to feature the defending national champs Alabama, but Georgia finishes the game on top. Georgia's triple threat of JT Daniels (QB), Zamir White (RB), and Kearis Jackson (WR) is the best trio in all of college. The SEC East is going to take a step back with Florida losing a lot of talent and Georgia is the most talented team in the East. Alabama has a tough schedule in 2021, and a late loss could drop them from the game. Georgia has all the pieces to get there and can make the run this year.
(All Logo Photos Credited To: Wikipedia.com)