With Alabama’s exciting victory over unbeaten Clemson earlier this week, view the 2015 college football season came to an end and Alabama won the CFP Championship. Even though the teams have barely settled back into their campuses after the trip to Arizona, is it too early to start thinking about next year? Well, probably, but let’s do it anyway. Here are some things to look for in the 2016 season:
- The Clemson Tigers will probably open the season ranked #1. They will most likely be bringing back 17 starters including Heisman Trophy finalist, Deshaun Watson. Even though they have a few significant losses, they will be in a position to regroup around the core players that will be returning. Key match-up for next year: A road game against Florida State. Pencil that one in now as one to watch. Will the Tigers be able to repeat their perfect season and return to the championship game?
- The Expectations for Michigan are Off the Charts. This year’s 10-3 team also returns a group of strong players, especially on defense, and no doubt Wolverines fans can practically taste the chance to make it to the championship game. Some oddsmakers are reporting that Michigan has 12/1 odds of making it to the final game. One thing is for sure: Coach Jim Harbaugh has started the recruiting season and everyone is taking note!
- The Big Twelve May Host a Conference Champsionship Game. At the NCAA convention this week, the league voted to allow the Big 12 to have a conference championship game, even if does not expand from its current ten-team roster. However, the Big 12 Commissioner walked back the rule change, stating to ESPN that the vote did not necessarily mean that a championship game would happen. ESPN reports it is unlikely that a championship game would be held next year, in any event.
- Alabama isn’t Going Anywhere. This team has won four championships in the last seven years. Even with star running back Derrick Henry declaring he will enter the NFL draft next year, can you really count on Alabama not to be in the hunt for a national title? No. And if politics have anything to do with it, AL.com encourages Crimson Tide fans to vote democrat in the next election. Why? Eleven of ‘Bama’s sixteen championships have come with democrats sitting in the White House. And four have come with O-Bama occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
- Big Ten to Begin Nine Game Conferenece Schedule. Despite the fact the Big Ten coaches unanimously hate the 9-game conference schedule, it’s here. All Big Ten teams will now have to play nine conference games and one intersectional game against a power league. No more padding those scheduleds with MAC teams. We can only wonder what the bowl eligibiilty will look like with nine conference games. Yikes.