Monday, July 30, 2012

Talking College Championship Football

Phil Steele’s college football magazine is loaded with lists. He starts off on page 3 predicting every major bowl game opponents and the national championship participants.

For the national championship game (drum roll, please), he matches Oklahoma against Florida State.

Some predicted the Sooners to be the national champions last season. But a few key injuries derailed that pursuit and Oklahoma finished a “disappointing” 10-3.

The Sooners are usually a safe pick for the championship, playing their most recent final game in 2008 losing to Florida 24-14. They return eight starters on offense and seven on defense. Oklahoma should contend but must outlast a rugged Big 12 Conference slate where all 10 teams play each other.

Florida State is an interesting pick. The Seminoles were a respectable 9-4 last season and return eight starters on the offense and nine on the defense this year. Florida State advantage is a favorable schedule and membership is the traditionally so-so Atlantic Coast Conference. Two of the three challenging games are at home against Clemson and Florida. The one possible real trap is at Virginia Tech. Coach Jimbo Fisher is trying to carve out his own niche at Florida State, but he has a long road to match former coach Bobby Bowden’s success.

I’m fine with Steele’s Oklahoma pick, but not warm-and-cuddily regarding Florida State. The Seminoles need to win some big games AND avoid the upsets. I don’t see that happening.

Who is your national championship game pick?

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