Your Summertime NFL And NCAA Football Preview
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I know you're as ready as I am to get the football season kicked off, so let's take a moment to discuss who I'll be watching and who I think the biggest contenders for this season are in both the NFL and NCAA.
First off, let's get the ball rolling on NCAA. We all have high hopes for Kliff Kingsbury and the gang, but it'll be a tough road in the Big 12 from the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and yes, even TCU. TCU could be a legitimate sleeper this year, and even Baylor could be in the mix. It's a total free-for-all, as, in all actuality, there is no standout Big 12 team.
Otherwise, the rest of the NCAA has all the usual suspects at the helm regarding National Championship intentions. Alabama of course will have a great team, that's a safe bet, though other SEC counterparts also have their stocks rising. Teams like LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, and even Mississippi State could be definite contenders and possible suppliers of kryptonite for the Crimson Tide. Other teams looking to get back into contention include Michigan and Ohio State, a team coming off of a year of sanctions disallowing them from earning a bowl appearance. Ohio State went a perfect 12-0 last year when it, in essence, didn't really count. Games to watch on week 1: Texas Tech at SMU, North Carolina at South Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas (Sun Belt teams apparently love to upset the SEC), Mississippi State at Oklahoma State, Alabama vs. Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome, Georgia at Clemson, and LSU vs. TCU at Cowboys Stadium.
Let's take a moment to address the professional side of things as well.
Right here and right now, I'm saying the St. Louis Rams look like one of the biggest sleepers in the league. Period. Watch out, because that NFC West division is absolutely nasty. Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona, and St. Louis all crammed into one division should make for some phenomenal match-ups throughout the season. I think the Seahawks could make a title run as well, but as far as divisional playoff births go, it's anyone's crown for the take in the NFC West. I also like the Packers, Giants, Bears, Lions, or Falcons to be potential contenders.
Regarding the AFC, and yes, I do think to AFC is the better division as a whole, I have a couple of favorites. Of course, it wouldn't be a good ol' classic football post without saying I have high hopes for my beloved Tennessee Titans, though I will say after an amazing offseason, regarding the NFL Draft and free agency, the Titans are also a sleeper kind of team, as they've always been. Other than the ol' powder blue, I could see the Steelers, Ravens, Dolphins, Patriots, Texans, Colts, Broncos, and Bengals all being a possible contender. Games to watch on week 1: Baltimore at Denver, Arizona at St. Louis, Tennessee at Pittsburgh, Atlanta at New Orleans, Green Bay at San Francisco, and Houston at San Diego.
There you have it; with just a few weeks left until the first pigskin gets kicked off, we'll be anxiously awaiting football's glorious return. Until then, I guess...we'll just watch some baseball and racing...