It's finally here! College football is back and the longest offseason in sports is over. We've got a great slate of games to open the season, thanks in large part to a growing movement by a few teams and conferences to shed the cupcakes from the schedule and replace them with a few high-profile, strength-of-schedule boosting Power 5 opponents.
As always, we head into opening week with a bunch of ideas, opinions and perceptions that we try to convince ourselves are facts. As history proves, however, we are quickly corrected by the football gods. Nobody gets it right, because more often than not, the outrageous happens.
With that, here are five outrageous predictions for Week 1 of the 2015 college football season.
Taysom Hill will rush for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns against Nebraska
Hill is the quarterback, the best running back and the bread & butter of the BYU offensive attack. He's at 100 percent coming off his injury 10 months ago, and he'll exploit a defensive personnel group whose core allowed 177.8 rushing yards per game a last season. It will be a lower scoring game than most think, and Hill's ground game will be the difference in a slight upset win for the Cougars.
3 FCS teams will record wins over Power 5 teams
Illinois State was one drive from winning the FCS national championship in 2014. The Redbirds visit an Iowa team with a bunch of question marks. Richmond is consistently one of the better FCS programs nationally. Look for them to stun Maryland at College Park. In Pittsburgh, the Panther and their new head coach Pat Narduzzi play host to Bo Pelini and Youngstown State. Pelini will have his team, which includes a couple of his former Nebraska players, fired up to take down a team that has nothing to gain from playing them.
Podcast: Week 1 Preview w/ Rece Davis
Nick Chubb will rush for 300 yards against Louisiana Monroe
Look for Chubb to bust a couple of long runs early on his way to 30 or more carries. Once Georgia has this one in the bag, it will be time for Chubb to pad those stats — and subsequently his Heisman resume — in what should be a video game-like performance that keeps him and the Bulldogs in the national conversation.
2 Top 10 teams will lose
The same teams appear in the top 10 of both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. I see four teams who very well could lose their opening games: No. 2 TCU travels to Minnesota, No. 6/7 Auburn hosts Louisville, No. 3 Alabama squares off with No. 18/20 Wisconsin and No. 1 Ohio State travels to Virginia Tech. At least two of them will lose.
The Top 4 you see now will all be absent from the College Football Playoff
Take a look at the top four teams in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. Bookmark this article. Not one of those four teams (Ohio State, TCU, Alabama or Baylor) will even get a shot to play for the national championship in January.