As the college football season get under way fans look forward to see what will unfold with their favorite team on the field. As is the case, every year many games involve excitement, bad blood, rivalries, upsets, and dominant performances. Each week the national championship game and the bowl games get clearer and clearer as each week ends.
Each team has their own fan base and storylines, but here are the interesting storylines heading into this season on national level:
1) Will the SEC continue its dominance in the BCS Title Game?
Southeastern Conference teams have won the past six BCS national championships. Even with USC ranked number one, a seventh title in a row is not out of the question. LSU, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, and Auburn all have legitimate shots to take home college’s biggest prize for the SEC, but other teams outside the conference can be factors. USC, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Florida State are major contenders for the national championship this year, but SEC teams are undoubtedly the odds-on favorites to win the title again.
2) Which mid-major(s) will make a BCS push?
Every season there is a Boise State, Utah, or TCU that makes a good case to be in the national title picture or BCS Bowl picture. This season is no different because there will be at least one or more mid-major schools that will have a shot at perfection and be in the BCS discussion. However, there are the usual suspects like TCU moving to the Big 12 and Boise State adjusting to life without Kellen Moore before they go to the Big East, the door is open for teams like BYU, Houston, and Ohio to be in that discussion at the end of the year.
3) Which school will be the best Conference Jumper?
With all the hype about the mega-conferences over the past offseason, this is the time for the new kids on the block to show the old guard a thing or two on the field. West Virginia has the best chance to contend for a title this year after they moved from the Big East to the Big 12. The Mountaineers are going from being the favorite to one of the strong contenders. They have one of the best passers in the country in Geno Smith. TCU at least a season to adjust to better competition, while Missouri and Texas A&M may not even make waves in the best conference in the country the SEC. Best those schools could hope is playing spoiler for a national contender.
4) Which Heisman Candidates will stand out this Season?
Every year before the season starts, there are preseason Heisman favorites. Last year, Andrew Luck was the favorite for the Heisman, but in the end it was Robert Griffin III who held up the trophy in New York. This year USC quarterback Matt Barkley is the favorite to win the Heisman and the season has not even started yet. Do not be surprised if Barkley does not win the Heisman when it is all said and done because he faces some stiff competition. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is the consensus second choice. Ball will need to have his team be in the national title picture if he wants to win the trophy. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is the third choice for the Heisman. Robinson could jump the pack if he has a big first game against Alabama.
5) How will Penn State Recover from Jerry Sandusky Scandal?
The biggest question facing Penn State this season is not how many games they will win, but how long it is going to take for Penn State’s probation-saddled program to restore its former glory? The agreement amongst the experts is that it will take up to a minimum of five years. Nittany Lions Head Coach Bill O’Brien inherited this mess, and he as lot of work to do to return this team to past glory. The focus right now has been on righting the wrongs made by past leadership, which what is should be on, but football is still going to be played.
Penn State, who is not eligible for bowl game for four years, must have the commitment from the players to forge ahead. O’Brien already lost Silas Reid to USC, Justin Brown to Oklahoma and Rob Bolden to LSU in the wake of the scandal at Penn State. He has to keep his top incoming recruits quarterback Christian Hackenberg and tight end Adam Breneman from changing their minds as well. This season for Penn State will be about moving forward and building a new chapter in Penn State football and to leave the past in the past.
Be sure to watch college football every week to see these interesting storylines unfold right before your eyes.