The Big Ten doesn’t show a lot of promise unless Ohio State wins out or there’s a surprise lurking elsewhere. The ACC is another of those that feels like a done deal, but how close can other teams get to knocking off the Tigers?
We at The Alabama Take continue to give our modest predictions for the coming 2019 season! Let’s dive into two more conferences!
Blaine Duncan — It’s all about that U! No, it’s not. Did you ever see that Godzilla movie where the monster stepped all over the city and then burned some of it? That’s what Clemson will do to Miami in the the ACC Championship Game in December. It’s all about those Tigers. Clemson will dominate their schedule (a visiting and tough Texas A&M is the only possible blip) because of their array of talent: Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are NFL players in the making. The defense has some rearranging to do, but they’re so well established now — a la An Alabama — so it’s much more about reloading. And yeah, Dabo is becoming quite a dick but that doesn’t stop him from winning. (If anything, it may help.) Besides, who else will get them? Poor Willie Taggart couldn’t win his way out of musical chairs game if he was the only one participating, there were fifteen chairs, and no music. And there may just be some musical chairs at FSU by season’s end. Syracuse may be good, but they’re not great. Virginia could beat a team or two and raise some eyebrows, but it won’t be a team from South Carolina. ACC Champions: Clemson Tigers
TD Wood — Y’all remember when all the pre-season talk used to be about how Alabama took all of the fun out of college football? We already knew the ending, so why bother watching? Then, “little ol’ Clemson” came along and toppled the evil empire, right? Wrong. Clemson is not an underdog. College football is not the MCU. College football is a land of haves and haves-nots. Clemson has it. College football is more akin to European club soccer than it is to any version of some plucky American grit story. There are programs who have the means, and they use those means to win. Clemson is among the elite, and you think that’d mean they could drop this “aw shucks” phony-ass humility act, but na. Say what you will about Alabama fans, and we deserve it, but at least we recognize who we are. Elsewhere, I wonder if we should question if Willie Taggart is in over his head in Tallahassee, or if Jimbo Fisher left the program a mess? I’m curious to see Georgia Tech post-Paul Johnson, and if Syracuse can keep trending upward. ACC Champions: Clemson Tigers
Blaine Duncan — There are real possibilities that Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, or Penn State all vie to win the Big Ten this year. Ohio State has a schedule for victory, other than a pesky trip to Ann Arbor, though that hasn’t caused problems in the past, has it? This year, they’re under the helm of Ryan Day, a first-year head coach for both the Buckeyes and for his career. I never have faith in those situations. And it’s only barely a struggle to pick against the Badgers who have such a strong runner with Jonathan Taylor because he’s really about it for them. Nebraska could even win some big games, but Scott Frost is an asshole and I’m not picking them out of spite (there’s a science to this football stuff, I swear). Instead, Michigan has experience, their tougher opponents will be at the Big House, and they have less pressure on idiot manchild Jim Harbaugh as he’s no longer calling the plays on offense. That’s just what the fool needed. Michigan will win the Big Ten, but with some losses, which could very well put the entire conference out of the playoff picture. Big Ten Champions: Michigan Wolverines
TD Wood — Ugh, Jim Harbaugh’s gonna get a Big Ten title, isn’t he? I’m a Ravens fan, and we have a Harbaugh — the good one, John, and that’s an egregious use of the word good, although the man has a Super Bowl ring, when he beat Jim. So… yeah. Urban Meyer’s gone, but Ohio State is still loaded with talent. Who the hell knows what Penn State will do. I’ve heard some noise about Scott Frost making the second year leap at Nebraska, so sure, why not? In other news, Rutgers is still awful, they’ve won four Big Ten games in the last four seasons. Four. And three of those were in 2017. The Big Ten should be embarrassed, seriously. “For the New York market” they said. The only people who watch football in New York are people who moved there from places where they actually give a shit about college football. I hope, like, I don’t know, fucking Minnesota wins the conference. Big Ten Champions: Michigan Wolverines
Come back on Thursday for our takes on the SEC, who makes the playoffs, and who will win it all. Plus, beginning this Saturday morning, we begin our weekly picks against the spread.