If you spent any time at the movies this summer, you know some of them were less than stellar. But if you keep your eyes open, you'll find there's a little bit of college football intrigue packed tightly like a box of melted Junior Mints just waiting to be revealed. Here are a few of our favorites while we wait out the dog days of summer.
Jurassic World-Nobody would blame you for considering Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder a relic of the Jurassic Era, but make no mistake; he’s still running the show exclusively in Manhattan. The problem for Snyder, now entering his 25th season at the helm, is that his Wildcats are expected by most to drop off from last year’s 9-4 season. When that happens at 75-years old, boosters get nervous, and fans start to talk (just ask Bobby Bowden). A couple of down seasons and this coaching legend could quickly become extinct.
Ted 2-Louisville fans feel pretty good about last year’s 9-4 record, but after groundbreaking seasons in 2012 and 2013, Cardinals fans are wondering when the 2nd coming is due to arrive. The second coming of Teddy Bridgewater, that is. Sophomore QB Will Gardner played well last year (1669 yds, 12 tds, 3 ints) but as a junior member of the ACC facing the likes of Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami, the time for Bridgewater-esque numbers is now. Something tells us that Petrino’s second act in Louisville will deliver a quarterback messiah to the Louisville faithful.
Trainwreck-Yeah, were talking about Eastern Michigan. Much like their movie counterpart, it’s time for the Eagles to clean up their act. With no bowl appearances since 1987, Chris Creighton took on a nearly impossible task to make Ypsilanti’s best relevant again. Rynearson stadium is now referred to as the Factory, and the Eagles now attempt to break cinder blocks before running on the field (the key word being attempt). With no FCS schools on the schedule and road games at LSU, Toledo, and NIU, next year we may be talking about the Eagles again when Universal Pictures releases Trainwreck 2.
Fantastic Four-Unlike the movie by the same name, THIS fantastic foursome are actually worth the price of admission. The Florida Gators secondary, made up of Vernon Heargraves, Brian Poole, Keaunu Neal, and Marcus Maye were spectacular in 2014 combing for 202 tackles, 11 interceptions and 32 passes broken up. With a number of teams trotting out inexperienced QBs in the SEC this year, these four will have a field day and may even be able to defeat Dr. Doom (Les Miles) on September 19th in Baton Rouge.
Ant-Man-Having a 5’10” quarterback is not all that unusual in college football (ask the service academies on most years), but expecting him to pass like he’s 6’3” is a different matter. UTEP’s Mack Leftwich will be called upon to do just that in 2015 for the Miners. Head coach Sean Kugler is high on the sophomore QB and appears to be heading towards calling on Leftwich to be the hero and lead the Miners to back-to-back winning seasons for the 1st time since 2004-2005. It’s quite a tall order with no returning starters at wide-out!
Southpaw-Being a quarterback in South Bend can be a constant week-to-week fight, but Malik Zaire is up for the challenge of erasing the residue of the departing Everett Golson’s national championship run of 2012. The southpaw QB looked good in very limited action in 2014 (21/35, 266 yds) and will need to rely on RT Mike McGlinchey and his 1 career start to protect his blind-side. Irish fans have been calling for Zaire for a long time, and with high expectations for Brian Kelly’s 2015 squad, Zaire is in for the fight of his life.
Mad Max: Fury Road-You don’t take away Max’s family, or Max will come looking for you! That is exactly what will happen in 2015 as the former USC Golden Boy tries to back up the reputation he had as a can’t-miss prospect before he found himself out of a job in L.A. With a new leash on life in the islands and free reign to zip the ball around to speedy receivers Quinton Pedroza and Marcus Kemp, Wittek will win back his rave reviews, increase his stock for next year’s draft, and help Hawaii put up more wins than anyone expects. And of course, take out their enemies in the process (Air Force, were looking at you).
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation-Okay, we all know Boise is king of the group of 5, but what about this? Georgia Southern, the current darling of the Sun Belt, went 9-3 last year and benefitted from monster seasons courtesy of RB Matt Breida (1,485 yds, 17 tds) and QB Kevin Ellison (1,096 yds, 12 tds). This year they both return as do 8 starters on defense. With a road upset over West Virginia and a home win over a good Western Michigan team, this team could find themselves square in the hunt for that G5 golden ticket. And a single loss at Georgia certainly wouldn’t hurt their cause if they run the table otherwise. It could happen! It’s not like hanging off the side of a plane or anything!?!
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