In the first two parts of our staff roundtable, we made our predictions for the big questions around Ohio State, and the Big Ten at large. But there are big topics beyond just the Big Ten, and they deserved our #hot #takes as well. For this section, we make our national predictions.
Which team in the preseason Coaches Poll Top 10 is most likely to disappoint?
Auburn: 5 votes
South Carolina: 4 votes
UCLA: 3 votes
Michigan State: 1 vote
Oregon: 1 vote
Alabama: 1 vote
Not surprising that there is a fair amount of SEC skepticism within the LGHL newsroom, with more writers expressing it towards Auburn. It isn't hard to see why, with both a challenging schedule, and a nearly unprecedented run of good luck in close games last season. Even if Auburn is actually a better team than they were last season, it can be hard to see those results as sustainable.
Which team in the preseason Coaches Poll 11-25 range do you see as having the best chance of making the playoffs?
Stanford: 5 votes
USC: 2 vote
Georgia: 2 votes
LSU: 2 votes
Washington: 1 vote
Wisconsin: 1 vote
Clemson: 1 vote
Texas A&M: 1 vote
Our panel was most impressed by the experience and physicality of Stanford, liking their chances to advance to a playoff more than the rest of the field, although if Georgia can stay healthy, they had many admirers as well. Clemson and Texas A&M struck me as somewhat surprising choices, given what each of those teams lost, but what do I know?
Which team outside the top 25 do you see a potential sleeper?
Missouri: 6 votes
Louisville: 2 votes
Oklahoma State: 2 votes
Iowa: 2 votes
Florida: 1 vote (wait, really?)
Miami (FL): 1 vote
LGHL is high on Missouri, as they return an exciting QB, most of a good offensive line, some good defensive ends, and play in the SEC but skip Alabama. Louisville and Oklahoma State got some love thanks to potentially explosive offenses, Iowa got some votes thanks to a good line and an easy schedule, and Chad voted for Florida, in what I assume was a rather tragic typo.
Which team outside of the Power 5 do you see as the most dangerous?
Cincinnati: 3 votes
UCF: 3 votes
Marshall: 3 votes
BYU: 1 vote (Ed. note: this vote did not come from Matt)
Ohio: 1 vote
Basically, everybody agreed that this year is not a strong crop for non-Power 5 schools, as multiple voters said "I don't know", and one, whose identity I shall protect, voted "TCU", forgetting what year it was (or maybe that was an elaborate troll). Cincinnati might have the highest potential on offense and the best QB, UCF could have the best defense and the pedigree, and Marshall has a great QB and such an easy schedule that going 10-2 might be considered a disappointment.
Who is the highest profile coach that's going to get axed this year?
Will Muschamp: 9 votes
Brady Hoke: 3 votes
Dana Holgorsen: 1 vote
Les Miles: 1 vote (whaaaaaat?)
When you're an SEC team that loses to an FCS squad, you're on the hot seat, especially if you've presided over an era where a fun, explosive team has become one of the most boring in high level college football. If the Gators can't make a big change in a hurry, most of us think Muschamp is gone. Hoke got a few votes, and I like the sneaky Holgo pick. I can't defend Les Miles though, but who knows what's going on with him?
Who is winning the Heisman Trophy?
Marcus Mariota: 5 votes
Braxton Miller: 2 votes
Jameis Winston: 1 vote
Brett Hundley: 1 vote
Todd Gurley: 1 vote
Nick Marshall: 1 vote
The LGHL crew wasn't particularly confident in this pick, but ultimately the crew went with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota to put up enough numbers to get the award, over Miller, Winston, a slew of other QBs, and Georgia's Todd Gurley. Which means there is NO way the actual winner will be somebody on this list.
Who is making the National Title game, and who is going to win?
Alabama over Florida State: 3 votes
Florida State over Alabama: 2 votes
Ohio State over Florida State: 2 votes
Florida State over UCLA: 1 vote
Florida State over Ohio State: 1 vote
Florida State over Auburn: 1 vote
Ohio State over Oregon: 1 vote
Ohio State over Alabama: 1 vote
Ohio State over Auburn: 1 vote
Oregon over Alabama: 1 vote
Auburn over Oklahoma: 1 vote
Florida State is the favorite to appear in the title game, with 10 votes, and Ohio State and Florida State are tied with five folks picking them as national champs apiece, but the most common result? That belongs to Alabama beating Florida State. God bless, and Roll Tide.
That does it for this year's preseason roundtable. What did everybody mess up, and what will we be laughing about in December, when Muschamp's Florida Gators are the national champs?