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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Three of the biggest headlines heading into the college football season

Will Waco recover?

Looking beyond the obvious legal and ethical issues that have plagued Baylor University this summer, many will wonder how the Bears will fare this season. The dark cloud of sexual assault allegations and an alleged environment of unfit behavior hovering over Baylor’s athletics has many wondering what Baylor’s response will be. The offense should not be an issue for the Bears as star QB Seth Russell returns after a neck injury sidelined him for the latter part of the season. Expect Russell and NFL-worthy running back Shock Linwood to carry a large amount of the load offensively as the Bears will once again have one of college football’s top offenses. It’s their defense, however, that could let the team down as only five starters from last year return. Of course, the biggest loss for Baylor will be former head coach Art Briles on the sideline and it’s this factor alone that will cost them some games. Regardless of how many starters return this year, it’s Briles’ play-calling ability and locker room presence that has carried the Bears in past years. All in all, this team should still be fun to watch. But don’t expect to see double-digits in the win column this season.

Can anyone stop the Rollin’ Tide?

For the fourth time in the last seven years, the Crimson Tide will open up the season as the defending national champions, and though top players from last year are gone, the Tide still have a boatload of talent that, in truth, is just as good, if not better than, last year’s squad. With last year’s Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry gone, one would think Alabama’s backfield would have a huge gap. Well, get used to the name Bo Scarbrough, because the sophomore will pick up right where Henry left off. With the running back sharing the same physical ability as Henry and being faster than Henry was, it’s hard to imagine the Tide’s running game slowing down any time soon. Just as the running back position has been a foundation on national champion teams in the past, the outstanding defense the Tide constantly produce will also be a factor. Despite many stars gone on the defense side of the ball as well, Alabama will still be the best defense in the nation, with players like Tim Williams and Reuben Foster stepping up to become the next stars of an elite defense. Looking at the schedule, it’s hard to see the Tide go the distance with a perfect season. With all the talent on this roster, however, they will have no issue making it to the playoffs for the third straight year, and they could win yet another title.

Run Christian Run!

In what was the season of the running back last year, it was the unlikely sophomore from Stanford, Christian McCaffrey, who left us amazed week after week. McCaffrey broke the NCAA all-purpose yards record, finishing the season with 3,864 all-purpose yards. The record was previously held by Barry Sanders, who set it in 1988, and if that doesn’t give you an indication of the type of player McCaffrey could become, then no worries—the Stanford running back will surely light up the stat sheet again this season. Though the Cardinal’s schedule is much tougher then it was last season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see McCaffrey at the Heisman ceremony in December, despite his team’s record including a few losses. While we all hope that the record set last year will once again be tested and possibly broken, it seems unlikely. Nevertheless, Christian McCaffrey was the most exciting player in college football last season and we will have to wait and see if the trend continues this season.


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