College football’s Power Five conferences are bursting with talent every year. But who’s going to win them?
Every year we see a surprise team, but the Cinderella story doesn’t always have the happy ending we love as sports fans… thanks, Alabama. Most conferences are usually a dogfight, and nothing can ever be decided until conference championship games, but who will be crowned 2018 champions in each of the Power Five conferences?
ACC: Clemson Tigers
Clemson has a load of returning talent, especially along the defensive line. Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins anchor an incredible defensive front for the Tigers, while Kelly Bryant is a competent college quarterback. Five-star recruit Trevor Lawrence is waiting in the wings, ready to take over for Bryant, and the rest of the roster is still beyond solid. This is a team that has made it to the College Football Playoff in each of the last three seasons, led by an excellent coaching staff. Count on Clemson to be in the national championship picture come December.
Big 10: Ohio State Buckeyes
Just like Alabama, Urban Meyer just has a revolving door of four and five-star recruits that follow the same path. They wait in the wings for a year or two, get coached up, become a star for a year or two and leave to the NFL. It’s an incredible system, and it should prove to dominate again this season. Led by sophomore running back J.K Dobbins on offense, and Nick Bosa on defense, the Buckeyes should dominate the same way they do every year. Bosa is arguably the number one prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft, and OSU coaches are raving about new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins. In all likelihood, unless there are some unforeseen upsets or injuries, Ohio State should be on their way back to the College Football Playoff.
Big 12: West Virginia
The Mountaineers are ready to take a big leap forward this year, behind a potent offense. David Sills V is one of the best wide receivers in the country, and Will Grier is a perfect fit for the team’s air raid style offense. The Big 12 is definitely the land of little defense, but if West Virginia can play decent defense, they can find themselves on top of the conference. Losing Kyzir White to the NFL will be a big hit for the defense, but great teams know how to bounce back from big losses like that.
Bow Down to Washington. The country will understand by the end of the year, Washington is for real. They have one of the best coaching staffs in the country, led by Chris Petersen. They also have an incredible defense returning all five starters in the secondary that was the best in the Pac-12 last season, and a potent offense with a senior quarterback/running back duo in Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin. Factor that in with a slew of players returning from injury, and Washington has a real shot to make it to the CFP for the second time in three years.
Do we really have to even put anything here? Year after year, Alabama churns out a competitive team. Year after year, they end up with a top recruiting class. Year after year they find a way back to the national championship game. You get the point, Nick Saban teams just don’t lose, and no matter who is at quarterback for the Crimson Tide this year, that should hold true. With a pair of great quarterbacks, a trio of great running backs, and a fierce defense expect nothing less than perfection from the Crimson Tide, we all should just be used to it by this point.