College football predictions: Second-chance expert picks for 2021 champion, playoffs and more

Seven weeks into the 2021 faculty soccer season, suffice to say, it has not performed out as anticipated. Probably the most chaotic seasons of the final 15 years enters the midway level with 47 video games misplaced by groups ranked on the time within the AP Prime 25 and Cincinnati wanting like it might turn out to be the primary Group of 5 workforce to earn a School Soccer Playoff bid.

Among the many different surprises is Georgia already ascending because the clear No. 1 workforce within the nation, Clemson not solely falling off the nationwide radar but additionally struggling to compete within the ACC, Wake Forest standing because the ACC’s lone unbeaten workforce, Michigan and Michigan State holding that very same distinction within the Massive Ten, quarterback Spencer Rattler shedding his beginning job at Oklahoma and there being no true Heisman Trophy front-runner getting into Week 8.

There are some previous standbys, although, reminiscent of Alabama and Ohio State — regardless of early losses — showing to be reliable CFP contenders and a scarcity of on-field success resulting in teaching vacancies at LSU and USC. In truth, there are 5 open jobs already amongst FBS groups with three Energy 5 spots already obtainable.

We at CBS Sports activities open every season by having our employees break down its picks for the College Football Playoff, nationwide champion, Coach of the 12 months and Heisman Trophy winner. However we’re human, and even we will get issues mistaken. There was even a shakeup in our All-America selections on our midseason team.

That is why we’re again on the midway level of the season with a handful of second-chance knowledgeable picks. This is how we consider the remainder of the 2021 faculty soccer season will play out.

School Soccer Playoff predictions

2021 nationwide champion

Georgia: The Bulldogs protection is, by far, the perfect unit within the nation. Georgia has navigated a number of accidents to quarterback JT Daniels, answered its receiving questions and showcased some of the punishing speeding assaults within the nation. The Dawgs are essentially the most full workforce within the nation … and it is not even shut. — Barrett Sallee (Jerry Palm, David Cobb, Shehan Jeyarajah)

Ohio State: The flexibility to overwhelm opponents with ability expertise is a luxurious that few groups possess, however Ohio State is on the prime of the checklist. Most do not have an “straightforward button” on offense, and the Buckeyes have (a minimum of) three with Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and rising famous person working again Treyveon Henderson. Successful playoff video games towards elite groups would require an explosive offense, and Ohio State is among the few groups within the nation who’ve the personnel to match these necessities. — Chip Patterson (Dennis Dodd, Tom Fornelli)

Greatest workforce to overlook CFP

Alabama: No one has extra expertise prime to backside than Alabama. The recruiting rankings bear that out each season. Nonetheless, if Georgia goes on to complete the 12 months undefeated, the Crimson Tide can be no higher than 11-2 and unlikely to make the School Soccer Playoff. Many nonetheless assume Bama is the perfect workforce even after the loss to Texas A&M, but when it would not win out, the perfect workforce can be dwelling watching the CFP on TV. — Palm (Dodd, Patterson, Sallee, Jeyarajah)

Ohio State: Getting higher because the season goes on, Ohio State can be set to face a a lot harder schedule. The Buckeyes have already got one loss and nonetheless have No. 7 Penn State, No. 25 Purdue, No. 9 Michigan State and No. 6 Michigan on the schedule, along with street video games towards Indiana and Nebraska. Whereas they could be favored in every of these video games, none of them are significantly straightforward wins, and a slip up would probably doom Ohio State to greatest workforce out standing. — Cobb

Cincinnati: Till the CFP Choice Committee offers us a motive to consider it would put a workforce from exterior the Energy 5 within the playoff, I refuse to anticipate it. We have seen this story play out a couple of instances within the CFP period already. Lets see if the Bearcats are even near the preliminary prime 4 when the primary set of CFP Rankings are launched in early November. — Fornelli

Midseason Coach of the 12 months

Mel Tucker, Michigan State: Within the quick time period, Tucker has achieved some of the vital turnarounds in latest reminiscence. Fifteen transfers from 14 faculties have contributed mightily to an undefeated season. In his time within the SEC, Tucker was generally known as the perfect recruiter within the convention. Apparently, he can coach a bit of, too. Michigan State is off to its first 7-0 begin since 2015. — Dodd (Fornelli, Cobb)

Kirby Sensible, Georgia: Earlier than the season — heck, earlier than each season — all of us marvel which workforce goes to be the one to make a run at Alabama. Sensible’s Bulldogs have flipped the script. It is his workforce everyone seems to be questioning if they will beat. That features Alabama, which can get a shot to do exactly that on Dec. 4. The Dawgs’ dominance of the primary half of the season is why Sensible is the coach of the 12 months, to date. — Palm (Sallee)

Dave Clawson, Wake Forest: Whereas these awards are usually reserved for the efficiency over one season, it is honest to credit score the years of constructing that introduced the Demon Deacons so far the place they’re the final remaining unbeaten workforce within the ACC and chasing this system’s second convention championship within the final 20 years. A lot of what Wake Forest does nicely factors again to nice teaching and improvement, and this 12 months we’re seeing it with turnover margin and clutch performs in shut video games. It is the eye to element all through the roster that helps Wake Forest overcome perceived expertise deficiencies and stand right here in 2021 as some of the constant applications within the ACC. — Patterson

Heisman Trophy front-runner

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State: We’re all so determined to discover a reliable Heisman candidate after all of the preseason favorites flamed out that I’ve seen speak of Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams being a candidate after one begin. In the meantime, Stroud is on the helm of among the finest offenses within the nation and the quarterback of a workforce that may win the Massive Ten and attain the School Soccer Playoff. If he continues taking part in this fashion over the ultimate half of the season whereas the Buckeyes face three groups at present ranked within the prime 10, he will climb to the highest of the leaderboard. — Fornelli (Palm, Patterson)

Bryce Younger, QB, Alabama: The sophomore is tied for third within the nation in landing passes with 24. He is solely tossed three picks and in addition has the fourth-best passer score within the nation (180.4). Younger has completed all of this with a disappointing offensive line and the burden of the faculty soccer world on his shoulders. he should not be written off just because his protection could not cease Texas A&M. That wasn’t on him. — Sallee (Cobb)

Jordan Davis, NG, Georgia: Davis’ statistical contributions are minimal (1.5 sacks, 3.0 tackles for loss), however his affect can’t be underestimated. Georgia’s nostril guard is nicknamed “Godzilla” for a motive. He collapses traces on offense and particular groups. There’s an opportunity the Dawgs would not be undefeated with out him. That is why Davis is popping up as a reliable Heisman candidate. — Dodd

Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State: Sure, the Wake Forest switch is the main rusher in faculty soccer with 997 yards in seven video games regardless of fielding fewer carries than three of the following 4 working backs on the checklist. Sure, his presence helped Michigan State bounce 90 spots nationally in speeding offense and 82 spots in complete offense regardless of a lot of the identical personnel because the 2020 squad. However most significantly, the junior is the catalyst of a Michigan State rebuild that has the Spartans again within the prime 10 for the primary time since 2016. Cartoonish statistics? On-field affect? Riveting storyline? Walker checks all of the bins. — Jeyarajah | School soccer predictions: Second-chance knowledgeable picks for 2021 champion, playoffs and extra


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