To my fellow degenerates,
I start this blog with a question: Have you ever opened the fridge for no apparent reason? The other night, I was watching the classic movie "BeetleJuice". About midway through the movie, I felt an urge (unrelated to the Sildenafil) to pause the movie, get up and check my fridge. Did I get anything out of the fridge? No. Was there a real reason why I needed to check the fridge during this all-american flick? Absolutely not. So why did I check the fridge? Being smarter than google and an alum of Indiana's most elite public school, I decided to think through my actions and come to my own conclusion. After further review (in a Mike Pereira voice), I have come to the conclusion that I simply opened the fridge because I knew exactly what was in there but subconsciously was hoping that the contents within it had miraculously changed. This my friends is the 2022-2023 College Football Season.
Below you will find my thoughts and locks on the upcoming season. Before I started my diligence, I was hoping that this year's CFB season would miraculously change, even though the contents remain the same. We still have God ("Nick Saban") coaching, Texas being overhyped, Lincoln Riley running from reality and Brian Kelly reconnecting with his Southern roots. In all seriousness, when you evaluate all inputs that make up the 2022-2023 CFB season, the output is going to look extremely similar to the past. 3 of my 4 CFB Playoff teams include the likes of: The Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson. Last year, I chose to let my heart, rather than my head, make my preseason CFB predictions. I was sick of midnight gazing into the CFB fridge and seeing the same teams in the playoffs. That's why last year, my CFB Playoff prediction was Georgia, Oklahoma, Miami and Texas A&M. This year, I've come to grasp with the fact that what I see at midnight isn't changing the next morning. I know it isn't as fun or exciting as saying Cameron Ward is taking Wazzou to their first playoffs. But you know what is fun? Bankrupting your bookie. Now below is my analysis on every Power 5 Team with Futures predictions and an excel sheet. Enjoy and subscribe.
Yours in Football and CFB curing the shakes for another 5 months,
Fat Curry/Big Daddy/Spice
The Big 10 is broken down between the East and the West. The Big 10 East is essentially the big brother of the West, and you can assume that whoever wins the East will go on to win the Big 10 Championship. With this said, we will start with evaluating the East. The media pre-season vote to win the East was The OSU followed by Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers and Indiana. Oh boy does Big Daddy disagree with this order (other than The OSU). Without spending too many brain cells, it can be quickly determined that Ohio State has arguably the most potent offense in America. Last year's Achilles' heel was their defense having more holes than my favorite cheese. Hiring Jim Knowles, the best defensive coordinator in America (yes, that's right Arkansas fans) was the move of the offseason. Jim Knowles combined with a year-older offensive line should have this team humming and in the playoffs. Last comment that I will make on OSU for now (until the playoff section) is that Julian Fleming is my sleeper. Jaxon Smith-Njigba should be a top 2 pick in next year's draft with Will Anderson. Marvin Harrison Jr. is talked about a lot. But the name that people have forgotten is Julians. Quick trivia fact for you: Guess who was the #1 wr in the 2020 recruiting class and who was the #2 receiver? If you guessed Julian #1 and Jaxon #2, you'd be correct.
Essentially, the rest of the teams in the East are battling for sloppy seconds. My #2 for this division is Michigan State of all teams. I think Jim Harbaugh tried pulling a Lincoln Riley until the Vikings didn't call him back, and he realized he's stuck in a dead-end job where he just peaked. He saw the speed, strength and stamina of Georgia and knew that Michigan will never be that. Combine his lack of heart and love for nervous birds with their losses on defense (Hutchinson, Ojabo, Hill), it could be a longer season than expected, especially since they'll be looking up to their little brother and that school down south in the standings. If you all really thought I would simply plug in Penn State as the #4 team in the Big 10 East, then think again and go read my hit piece on James Franklin. Unless they decide to use that money to fire him and persuade P.J. Fleck to come coach Drew Allar by week 4, this team's future is toast malone. Give Fat Curry the fighting Locksleys and the team that has been crushing some DMV recruiting. I think Locksley finishes 4th and saves his seat for another season. To round out the East, give me Rutgers and then IU. Rutgers is going to be grittiest team in the Big 10 and followed by Illinois. Do I think Rutgers is a big threat? No. But come October and November, Rutgers is going to put a scare in a top 15 team during a bland noon kick-off under the grey skies and in the armpit of America (New Jersey). Rutgers is going to beat 1-2 teams which will push them above IU. While I like IU's pickup in Connor Bazelak, I do not trust their history in this sport, and I do not trust all of the coaching changes that they had.
The Big 10 West ain't called the West for nothing. It's the wild-west out there and for good reason. You have the heartland of America battling it out, and the victor gets to get doubled up by OSU in Indy. Congrats! Now the media pre-season prediction is Wisconsin takes it followed by Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, Illinois and Northwestern. Yet, WRONG they are again. Fat Curry gives the Big 10 West crown this year to..... Minnesota and Penn State's future head coach. Minnesota won 9 games last year and lost their rock, and the best runningback in the Big 10, Mohamed Ibrahim in week 1 against Ohio State. I think losing him that early and then looking at how they finished the season speaks volumes to their coaching staff and making sure the team never mentally quit. You have to be bold when predicting this division, yet I don't even know if it's that bold to tell you the truth. I like that Tanner Morgan will be going for his PhD and checking out elementary schools in the Twin Cities since he could (and may have?) 6-year old twins. I like P.J. and his ability to churn out great offensive line talent. I like that they have the best back in the big 10 and am all in on his return. I like their motto. I like when they milk the clock against Penn State the entire second half and give James Franklin that dazed and confused look. All of these likes are turning into love, and I love this team to win their side. Battling for second place, I have Iowa followed by Nebraska and Wisconsin. Iowa is returning a crazy amount of talent on both sides of the ball. However, if you watched Iowa last year, you know that their only way to score is through defense and special teams. Fat Curry created this blog to give unwarranted advice that he believes in, and I can never believe in an Iowa offense or Quarterback. Moving on to Nebraska, Scott Frost has more lives than a cat. Him and Nebraska clearly have an unhealthy relationship where each party knows this relationship isn't going to last forever but they're both too afraid, and complacent (but won't admit it), to call it off even if the future may temporarily feel worse. He still likely gets canned this year, but I think he wills his team to a 3rd place finish in the West. It will all depend on QB play, which I am guessing will be Casey Thompson who transferred from Texas. Wisco is my runner-up for the podium (4th place). Wisco has less than 50% of returning defensive production and everyone's favorite, Graham Mertz. The West knows one thing and that's defense. I think coordinators will gladly stack the box and dare Mertz to beat them with a deep ball. To finish us out, I have Purdue, Illinois and Northwestern. Purdue losing every productive body on their team and still getting 3.5 points against Penn State and a 7.5 win/loss record is smellier than the week-old salmon in my fridge. Good thing I eat anything and encourage all of you to run to the smell and slam the under. Lastly, I think Bret Bielema and Illinois are going to be the West's version of Rutgers. I think they're extremely sleepy and will cause 1-2 losses in October and November when they are sandwiched in between top 25 matchups for other teams. While I like Pat Fitzgerald, the shine is wearing off on Northwestern. They absolutely stunk last year and with Hilinski under center, I'll gladly fade this team and forget they have a team until I write this blog again in 365 days.
The National Championship runs through the SEC, plain and simple. Out of the last 8 championships, 5 hail from the SEC. Additionally, 9 of the 16 teams that have played in these last 8 championships are from the SEC conference. Fat Curry hates to say this as much as he hates to hear that the McDonald's ice cream machine is down, but the championship is going to include an SEC team again this year and that team's name is Alabama. Let's save the best for last and start with breaking down the SEC below.
The media's pre-season prediction of the SEC East is that the reigning champs, Georgia "Go Dawgs" Bulldogs, will repeat for their division. Maybe if you're a Eunuch then you would think that. But they don't call me Big Daddy for nothing. The media's pre-season predictions went in the following order: Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt. However, cue ROCKY TOP cause Big Daddy's prediction goes in the following order: Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
Yes, you see that correctly. Daddy has Tennessee ahead of Georgia in the final SEC East predictions. Why you ask? Because Tennessee is about to be the greatest show on earth this fall and their fans will throw mustard bottles and golf balls at me if I do not pick them to win it. Their worst position group last year was likely a coin flip between the O-Line and the Corners (see Jalen Tolbert's stats when he played Tennessee last year). Luckily, Tennessee returns about all production from last year. I am en fuego on Tennessee and this train is going full steam ahead until Will Anderson knocks it off the track in either week 6 or the SEC Championship.
Regarding Georgia, most may ask if I would have them winning if their starting quarterback's name wasn't Stetson and the answer is still no. Georgia had an amazing year, but it's hard to replicate and follow up all-time great performances. Their defense, barring the first Bama game, was arguably the greatest college defensive season of all time. I'm not saying their defense will be mediocre this year, but it's dang near impossible to set all-time records in back-to-back year. The dawgs also lost a lot of production on both sides of the ball. Sure, they have Jalen Carter, the potential #1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft (but won't be), but it's hard to replace names like Pickens, White, Cook, Walker, Davis, Wyatt, Walker, Cine, Dean, Tindall, Camarda, Shaffer, Salyer, Kendrick, Fitzpatrick. Yes, you counted that correctly. 15 Georgia Bulldogs got drafted in 2022. My brain says put Florida or U.K. ahead of Georgia but my heart says give Kirby some credit for making adjustments and finding a way to be competitive this year. We shall see. Following up the Dawgs is Florida and U.K. What each team has in common is potential Heisman candidates. Florida to me is a dark horse and provides a better QB in Anthony Richardson. I love what Billy Napier is already accomplishing on the recruiting trail, and this was not a total rebuild. Last year's team had a lot of hype until Bama beat them at home by 2. After that, things just kind of fell a part until Eli "Brutus" Drinkwitz and Missouri put the final dagger in them. I think Florida can be a team of chaos and plant their flag early by beating Utah at home Week 1. U.K. on the other hand has more returning production, but I am not sold on Will Levis. I love Willy boy more than anyone else. On October 5, 2019, I went to the house that James Franklin has no right to be in and saw a schlacking between Penn State and Purdue. In that game, I saw Will Levis and said on that day that he should be playing instead of Sean Clifford. Fast-forward a few years and now Levis is a projected top-10 pick and Sean Clifford is prepping his resume for his upcoming KPMG interview after the season. Now I have changed my GroupMe name to Will Levis over 32 because he will not be a 1st round pick in the 2023 NFL draft. However, Stoops and Levis have a lot of production returning (other than Wan'Dale Robinson) and probably beat Georgia at home. However, I still think they are missing too many pieces and end in that 3-4 range.
To conclude the East, we have South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt. South Carolina has the Spencer Rattler tour and brings along Austin Stogner. I love what Beamer has done with South Carolina in just a year getting a Duke's Mayo bowl victory over North Carolina. The momentum is nice but just unsure if they have surrounding pieces to get more SEC wins than just Arkansas, Missouri and Vandy. Yes, they will beat Arkansas after Arkansas loses to UC week 1 and loses all motivation for the rest of the year. Missouri, where to start. They lose their QB of the future in Bazelak who transfers to IU. They lose Badie, the best runningback in the SEC not named Tank. Their rushing defense was dead last for a period of time last year. The only reason that I have them ranked ahead of Vandy is because their name isn't Vandy. They also got the #2 receiver in the nation last year, Luther Burden, so expect him to get fed more than Daddy at an Arkansas Golden Corral.
For the SEC West, the media's pre-season prediction was Bama, TAMU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, Miss State and Auburn.
While Bama will win the SEC West, the following ranking is a more accurate representation of the season upon conclusion: Bama, Mississippi State, TAMU, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn.
To start with Bama, the team made the championship last year and some argue they would have won it if Jameson Williams doesn't get hurt. Daddy doubts that given he predicted that Georgia would win by 14 exactly, off by one point. Anyways, Bama never felt like a true Bama team last year and were nearly champions. They lost to Auburn's now 3rd-string quarterback, should have lost to Auburn and had one of the worst O-Lines that I can remember under Nick "God / Future Alabama Governor" Saban. They now bring in Jahmyr Gibbs and Jermaine Burton as two, high-profile offensive weapons from Georgia Tech and Georgia, respectively (yes Fat Curry just used the word respectively). Bama is going back to the Championship this year. But will they win? Stay tuned.
Following in Bama's shadow will be Mississippi State. What I want in dark horse teams are strong qbs, coaches as wise as Solomon and corners that can get free real estate in opposing receiver's heads. This is the definition of Miss State this year. Will Rogers to me will have the year that people expect Will Levis to have. Emmanuel Forbes is going to be a 1st round pick in this upcoming draft, and Mike Leach deserves to be king of the SEC hill for at least a week. I respect what he is building down there and expect it to all come together this year.
TAMU to me beats out LSU for the 3 spot. I like LSU as a dark horse but not in the same manner that I like Miss State. It is also one of Daddy's rules of life to never bet on a guy by the name of Jayden Daniels. As much as I hate to say it, LSU, Kelly and his "family" will likely be back competing for the SEC West #1 seed come 2 years. TAMU is getting too much hype after having the best recruiting class of all time. TAMU should likely make the playoffs and compete for a ship in 3 years but it isn't going to be this year. Also, Jimbo's achilles heel has been never putting together elite qbs at TAMU. Mond was good but never amazing enough to win the conference. It also concerns me that Jimbo hasn't named a starting QB yet, and I may be a little upset that Jimbo crushed my Isaiah Spiller and Haynes King for Heisman bets last year. Wouldn't have to write blogs for McDonald's money if those would have cashed.
To round us out, you have Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn. I originally had Arkansas in the 6-seed (read my previous blog) until the entire state convinced me that they are winning 10-games this year and going to a New Years Six Bowl. Therefore, I have slotted them a whopping one-seed higher since my last blog to commend the fans for unrealistic optimism. For more Arkansas information, read Stats, Snacks and Hacks: Why Arkansas Fans will be calling for 2023. Regarding Ole Miss, the only person left at Ole Miss is Lane Kiffin. Ole Miss lost the best offensive coordinator last year (Jeff Lebby), a defensive coordinator (d.j. durkin) who is almost as good a coordinator as he is as making people forget about his outdoor workouts. They bring in a young stud in Jaxson Dart to replace Matt Corral (the best QB in last year's draft fyi). But they are still missing an entire team. Other than O-Line and Secondary, their returning production is minimal at best. However, it will likely be enough to beat out Auburn for the last spot. Why is Auburn the last spot? Well it's because I don't trust the buy-in of their team. They nearly fired Bryan Harsin in the off-season after just one year after position coaches left and right left. Bo Nix, who should be a sponsor for Icy Hot since he is so dang inconsistent in his play, transferred to Oregon. Recruiting has been dropping off, and you know it's bad when The Athletic doesn't even have a Beat Writer for Auburn but have one for Vanderbilt. The only thing that gives me an ounce of hope for their season is they play Penn State (read my article on James Franklin) and they have the best Running back in America. Yes, Tank Bigsby is better than Bijan Robinson. My prediction for this year is that Bryan Harsin gets fired after a Penn State loss and Tank calls it a season and goes to prepare for the NFL draft. This will cause a tremendous downhill slide and fans will be clamoring for 2023.
Looking at the ACC, I already have two of the four playoff spots filled with OSU as my #1 seed and Bama as my #2 seed. So who is my #3 seed? Well, my #3 seed actually comes out of the ACC and is another familiar face. Not overthinking this year's playoff, the #3 seed is going to be Clemson. I think Dabo is going to use last year's adversity to motivate and beat up on a pretty weak ACC. There's a lot of noise about NC State making a run for it this year, but Clemson dwarfs NC State in terms of coaching and talent. D.J. vs. Klubnik reminds me of Kelly Bryant vs. Trevor Lawrence. This was Trevor's Freshman year when Kelly Bryant was on a short leash and ultimately pulled a few weeks into the season. I actually think that D.J. lasts all season and shows off why he was one of the highest recruits in the nation. Klubnik likely gets some reps but fades to the sideline and is holding a clipboard come ACC play.
The media's pre-season rankings for the ACC Atlantic was Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Louisville, Florida State, Boston College and Syracuse. Daddy's rankings are Clemson, NC State, Florida State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Louisville and Syracuse. I don't want to beat a dead horse but Clemson is going to go undefeated in regular season play. Their hardest game is at Notre Dame but doesn't come until November 5. Notre Dame's hopes and dreams luckily are going to die week 1 at The Shoe Stadium so Clemson shouldn't have to sweat too much about that game. Moving on to NC State, this is this year's sexy media pick that everyone says because they don't want to be the one guy with logic at the lunch table that says Clemson will bounce back. Is NC State good? yes. Do they have a good coach in Doeren who leaves to go coach UCLA after this year? Yes. Do they have a good quarterback in Leary and quarterback of the defense in Drake Thomas? Yes. Is all of this good enough to beat Clemson at Clemson? Absolutely not. Sure they beat Clemson last year at NC State, but everyone gave Clemson a run for their money last year. This is a new year and you better believe Dabo has the offense humming again. Especially since I predict he is retiring from coaching football and will be on College Gameday in 3 years. So they boys need to make these last years count.
Moving on, Florida State needs to have a successful season for Mike Norvell or else he is gone. Former Louisville QB Jordan Travis has the keys to the offense and the season will be determined on his play. Is he good enough to potentially run the tables and scare Clemson for the crown? I'd bet not. Treshaun Ward is a dang good rb and he will be assisted by dudes like Benson, Williams and Hill. The defense greatly improved last year too. In 2020, they finished outside the top 100 in every stat that matters. Fast-forward to last season, and they improved greatly by finishing 30th in yards per play, 30th in yards per carry allowed and 19th in tackles for loss per game. With a strong run game and improved defense, this team should allow Norvell to retain his seat for another season. Moving on to Boston College, this is a team that caught the injury bug last year starting with their potential 1st rounder Phil Jurkovec. Is he a 1st rounder? Likely not. But coming into last season, dang near every pre-season NFL mock draft had Phil as a 1st rounder. That's how good he was supposed to be and how potent their offense could have been Fast-forward to today, Phil is healthy and ready to rip the ball to Mr. Zay Flowers, but the question is will he have time to throw and can they keep Phil on his feet? They've already lost Mahogany on the line to an ACL tear and Zion Johnson to the NFL draft. Ozzy Trapilo is their most senior offensive lineman returning this year with a whopping two starts last year. If their is one part of their team that I am going to trust, it is their defense because of Jeff Hafley. Sacks and pressures will have to improve if this team wants to crack the top 3 of their division, but I do think they have enough returning production to make things interesting.
Wake Forest is a team that I may have even had above NC State if I had written this 3 weeks ago. But as we all know, a lot can change in football in a matter of weeks. Wake Forest's nucleus, Sam Hartman, was ruled out indefinitely with non-football-related medical condition on August 10. It sounds like Wake Forest is hopeful that Sam will return later this year, but what is a coach supposed to say when asked by the media. I think they are keeping their cards close to their chest and don't want to rule out Sam returning until they have to. Note this is an individual who accounted for 50 touchdowns last year. While their team brings back dudes (A.T. Perry in particular), it's just difficult to evaluate a team that loses their leader 3 weeks before their first game. Either this motivates or deflates morale. As a betting man, I think this hurts the team and they fall in the ranks. Onto Louisville who is essentially a poor man's Arkansas. What K.J. Jefferson is to Arkansas, Malik Cunningham is to Louisville. Not only was Malik their leading passer last year, but he was also their leading rusher. Now Louisville has made recent buzz on the recruiting trail as they snagged Rueben Ownes, the #1 running back in the NATION. However, this does not help their on-the-field play this season (similar to the TAMU buzz elevating expectations). Malik's favorite and best target, Tyler Harrell, transferred to Bama. My concern with Louisville on offense is that they have no offense other than Malik. If I am an opposing defense, I'll gladly drop 5 in coverage, put a spy on Malik and have my ends play contain. Force Louisville's offense in between the tackles and it will collapse. And speaking of collapsing, their defense made me vomit last year. Watching their defense against Air Force in the First Responder Bowl showed me that this team was not going to quickly fill all of the glaring holes in just 8 months. For reference, their defense has been bad for a few years now and the Teddy Bridgewater/Lamar Jackson days of Top #10 UL teams will not be on the horizon until this is fixed. Put another way, Louisville finished 98th (2021), 76th (’20), 98th (’19), 127th (’18) and 53rd (’17) over the past five seasons in The Athletic’s Max Olson’s stop rate, which measures a unit’s effectiveness at stopping opponents from scoring.
Lastly, do I even waste precious keystrokes on Syracuse? I mean they just aren't good. They may surprisingly have the best running back in the ACC in Sean Tucker. But other than Sean, I just don't know where to start and where to end (similar to me at Golden Corral). Last thing I will share about Syracuse are Sean's stats from last year. Get to know his name because you'll be hearing it on GameDay this year:
ACC Coastal & Notre Dame:
Onto the ACC Coastal and going to include Notre Dame here. The ACC Coastal is like Challenge Butter. Is it a great value butter? No doubt about it, but that's all it is. It's no Land O Lakes butter. As I break down the ACC Coastal, you will see that the Coastal has some good teams but nothing great or worth wasting calories over to research. The media's pre-season rankings were in the following order: Miami, Pittsburgh, UNC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Duke. Meanwhile, Fat Curry's predictions are UNC, Miami, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke and Georgia Tech.
That's right nerds. This is the year that UNC and Mack Brown win it. First off, it won't be Pittsburgh. Fun trivia fact of the night is Virginia Tech is the last team from the ACC Coastal to repeat division titles. So knowing this stat won't be broken this year because I said it won't be, then who can win it this year? Realistically, it's either Miami or UNC. Looking at the two teams, Miami has more hype and returns more talent from a better team. However, another fact of the day quickly rules out Miami winning it all. Only Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski (2007) and Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente (2016) are the only ACC coaches to win their respective divisions and reach the ACC title game in their first season with their team. The Athletic even says that "if Miami can find a reliable deep threat, improve its running game (as most expect it will) and tackle better, the Canes might be good enough to finally win the conference." If that's journalism, then Big Daddy is the next Walter Cronkite. Miami is going to have enough coming back with TVD to warrant competition for the top spot. But just because they got a really good coach doesn't bring the U back. The U has never won the ACC and won't this year. Give Mario a few more years and then Fat Curry may change his mind. On the other hand Mack Brown, Drake Maye and Josh Downs are going to give UNC the year that they should have had last year. Expect UNC to show the country that last year was a fluke.
Believe it or not, Pittsburgh is returning more of their ACC championship team than Miami and UNC are returning their underachieving teams from last year. So why are they a distant 3rd in my flawless rankings? Well it's only because they lost a Heisman finalist and Biletnikoff winner in Kenny Girl Hands Pickett and Jordan Addison, respectively. I can't bet on a team to repeat when it hasn't happened since in '08 and relied so heavily on the passing offense. When you lose all of the passing production, I don't think it's worth betting on a team who "brings back a majority of their defensive production" that gave up 44 points and 517 yards to Western Michigan last year.
To round us out, we have Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke and Georgia Tech. Virginia ahead of Virginia Tech is a combination of Brennan Armstrong being an absolute menace to mediocre ACC defenses and will be sure to notch 1-2 upsets, meanwhile, Virginia Tech's offense last year gave me hemorrhoids that I still haven't recovered from. Virginia has Tony Elliott coming over from Clemson after an abysmal year as Clemson's Offensive Coordinator. I think Tony is smart enough to keep things consistent and give Brennan the greenlight to air it out. It's also worth mentioning that Virginia Tech's new coach is Brent Pry who came from the house that James Franklin doesn't deserve to be in. This warrants an automatic one-seed downgrade in Fat Curry's final rankings. Lastly, give me Duke ahead of Georgia Tech. This strictly comes down to Georgia Tech having one of the toughest schedules in America:
One of my favorite unders this year is Georgia Tech under 3.5. Looking at the above schedule, things aren't going to be pretty.
Let me get one thing straight here. The BIG 12 is a bigger mess than my lower intestine after hitting the Golden Corral all you can eat sirloin. There's more question marks to all of the teams and how this conference is going to shake out than the text that my girlfriend sent me after I asked if she wanted a Wendy's frosty (please sponsor me if you're reading this) for her upset stomach (the Large Chocolate frostys really seem to help me). My analysis is going to be rather quick here because I'm still shooting from the hip after conducting hours of research and playing devils advocate.
The media's pre-season prediction for final rankings was: Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Kansas. Big Daddy's prediction is Baylor, TCU, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas.
I would not bet on any of these teams to win the National Championship or even go to the Playoffs. But what I would bet on is Baylor, TCU, Texas or Kansas State to win their conference championship. Barring Texas, you could bet the other 3, or 30% of the BIG 12, and still make money if just one wins. Think about Baylor last year. They had such dim expectations and ended up winning their conference. They did lose a lot of offensive production, but Blake Shapen returns after winning a championship and forcing Gerry Bohanon to transfer to USF. Aranda is actually a hit man and quite literally a psychopath. He shows no emotions after crushing the souls of his enemies. Given he has some of his boys coming back, I think their my favorite bet to win the Big 12. My next favorite bet to win the BIG 12 is the second best private school in Texas...TCU. Sonny Dykes inherits a dang squad from Gary Patterson who gets fired and joins Texas as an Analyst. If Duggan can get the ball to potentially the #2 receiver in next year's draft after Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, the horned frogs are looking competitive enough to make the BIG 12 championship. Check out their returning production:
My next two teams worth betting on are Texas and Kansas State. Texas has already lost a guard and a receiver in Isaiah Neyor who had one of the best performances in last year's bowl games for Wyoming. I am not discounting the 5-7, 7th place finish that Texas had last year. However, they have the better version of Trevor Lawrence playing Quarterback in Quinn Ewers. For those who forgot, Mr. Quinn was rated higher by 247 coming out of high school than Trevor Lawrence (and Trevor won a championship the first year he took over the offense). I don't think Texas wins it all but they have the third best running back in the ncaa behind Tank Bigsby and TreVeyon Henderson. Texas is coming back and I see them getting 9 wins at a minimum. Lastly, Kansas State edges Oklahoma for my fourth seed as they bring back one of the most fun backs to watch in Deuce Vaughn. They also get Adrian Martinez from Nebraska who was a low-key baller with never a ton of talent around him. This man broke his jaw mid-season last year and kept playing. He brings that GRIT, leadership and energy to a KSU team that is older and wiser than me after a 12-pack of Busch Latte.
For the teams that I advise not to bet as conference champs, that is Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas. Oklahoma was ravaged after Lincoln Riley left the school quicker than Tom Brady leaving Bridget Moynahan and their son. Oklahoma never played defense to begin with, so when they don't have much returning production on defense and on offense, this get's Daddy worried. Their new QB, Dillon Gabriel, is the most basic, overrated qb in America. Get ready for him to be benched by October 1 after losing to TCU.
Oklahoma State had an electric last year but lost the mastermind behind the season. For the 5 of you reading this and yelling at your screens that Mike Gundy didn't leave, you're right. But they did lose Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles to OSU. Derek Mason comes over after one year at Auburn (and previously fired at Vandy). The Athletic sums up Oklahoma State in this manner: "It seems fair to conclude this Oklahoma State team will be much more dependent on Sanders playing his best football. They’ll go as far as he goes. If he can play consistently well and they can protect and support him, these Cowboys should remain a real factor in the Big 12 race." Well guess what folks, Spencer Sanders has never been consistent. Dude is hot cross BUNS. The next time someone asks me if either Oklahoma team will win the Big 12:
Quickly, Texas Tech is a very fun team. They have a great schedule with the majority of the hardest Big 12 teams playing TTU in Lubbock. I put their ceiling higher if they start Donovan Smith who should glimpses of being a baller last year. However, they have Oregon wash out Tyler Shough who is a prime example why we should never put consideration into pre-season NFL Mock Drafts as some had this cat going #1 few years ago. West Virginia Coach Neal Brown may have the hottest seat in the Big 12 right now. He gets a former 5-star, 70s pornstar to be his quarterback in J.T. Daniels:
All joes aside, J.T. is one of the few qbs that I would trust with my job. If J.T. "Theta Chi Pledge" Daniels can't get it done, then I don't know who can. I think they have a fun season and notch 1-2 upsets and clinch 5 wins but miss a bowl game. Lastly, Iowa State and Kansas each have one thing in common and that is coaches that I really respect. Matt Campbell is more loyal to Iowa State than juries are to O.J. Simpson. He probably lost his chance to go anywhere in America, but why doesn't he leave Iowa State this year and go to Auburn once they fire Bryan Harsin? Book it. They lose a ton of talent but at least the team gains a new qb and loses Broctober/Mr. Irrelevant. Lance Leipold is in his second year at Kansas after a pretty successful year 1 where he brought a little bit of swagger back to the Jayhawks when they beat Texas. Although Texas had a down year, that is exactly the type of teams that Kansas needs to beat in order to take the next step to mediocrity and not being last in the Big 12. There's still so many holes that they end dead-last, but I'm rooting for Lance to beat Oklahoma this year and give Brent Venables a Urban Meyer on-field aneurysm.
Wrapping up my last Sams Adams Octoberfest, I feel more enlightened than Buddha to give you insight into the Pac 12. Plain and simple, there's going to be an underdog to win this conference and make the #4 seed of the playoffs.
The media's pre-season prediction for final standings was Utah, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Cal, Arizona State, Arizona and Colorado. Big Daddy's final rankings are: Oregon, USC, Utah, UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona, Washington State, Cal, Arizona State and Colorado.
Oregon is my #4 seed in the playoffs where they will have a nice rematch with OSU (2014 National Championship) where OSU will beat the breaks off of them. Until then, Dan Lanning inherits a really good squad who will be led by Noah Sewell. Dan Lanning just orchestrated the best defense of all-time, so I think he will do just fine in the Pac 12. Watch out for Oregon to play close with Georgia week 1. USC is my #2 for the Pac 12, although I wouldn't bet them to win the conference. Instead, I would bet Utah. The reason for this is Utah is the better team, and they get USC at home. What worries me though is Utah has a much harder schedule than USC and also have to play Oregon at Oregon and at UCLA. Their non-conference may also beat them up in playing at Florida and against SDSU. I need Utah's defense to improve mightily, especially the secondary and Clark Phillips. Those dudes got lit up like 4th of July fireworks by OSU in the Rose Bowl and that concerns me a bit if they are going to repeat as Pac 12 champs.
I think this is the last year that UCLA's ole ball coach is Chip Kelly. I think he gets fired for a 4th place finish and NC State head coach, Dave Doeren, takes over given his connections to California. Fun fact of the night: DTR sucks and I have about 60 minutes before I fall into the abyss and do not publish this article before Gameday starts in Dublin. Washington is a pure gut feel of Daddy's (and I have twice the gut of you 3 readers left at this point). Washington is going to start Penix from IU which I am not too happy about. He never looked the same mentally and physically at IU since getting hurt. However, I really like their new coach Kalen DeBoer and think they have an underrated home stadium that can snag a few wins against a shaky Pac 12. Stanford is where whole heartedly differ from the media. The media thinks they are going to suck. If that is the case, then David Shaw should probably be getting mentioned for termination. However, I like David and haven't heard a dang thing. I think David and Tanner McKee can rally this team back to those 7-8 win seasons that their fan base has come accustomed to seeing. Oregon State is a hyped up team by the media, but the wagon is a little too full for me. They won 7 games last year, and people are jacked up for more. Fun Fact is that the last time they won more than 9 games was in 2012 when they went 9-4. I just don't buy it after one-season (similar to IU last year of a lesser degree). Arizona and Washington State are my dark horses for chaos in this conference. Jedd Fisch is creating a squad at Arizona. I do not think they make a bowl game but they for sure go over 3 wins. Fun fact is they snagged the #4 wr in the 2022 class, Tetairoa McMillan, after he decommitted from Oregon. Watch out for these cats in 2 years.
Two words for Washington State that you need to know this year: Cameron Ward. Cam Ward is this year's Bailey Zappe. That's all I am going to say and let this sentence age like a fine wine.
Cal, Arizona State and Colorado all suck. Cal just extended Justin Wilcox which makes as much sense as figuring out who voted for Lori Lightfoot and how she became Mayor of Chicago. Herm Edwards is done in ASU after this year and Colorado is going to blow it up after not winning one game this year.
OSU v. Oregon
Bama v. Clemson
OSU over Bama