The college football season is heading into week three and there have already been some amazing games. We’re looking forward to the full season, but every year we take a look at the teams that might surprise you. Here are our favorites.
University of Alabama
The No.1 ranked Crimson Tide is expected get off to a fast start but faces some tougher opponents as the season progresses. An early season challenge from Texas A&M could deliver some surprises though. Later in the season the road gets tougher for Alabama, as they face opponents Auburn, LSU, and Mississippi State. Expect some fireworks from QB Tua Tagovailo.
University of Notre Dame
The defensive stars rarely get to see as much of the spotlight as do their teammates on offense, but defense may be the key for the Irish this year as they are fielding a very confident defensive squad. Look for some key plays from “tackling machines” Te’von Coney and Drue Tranquill. They will help Notre Dame to be in the thick of things as the season progresses.
Penn State University
Penn State is a young team facing some tough opposition this season including Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin. The good news in Happy Valley is that 5 key games will be played at home in Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions will be counting heavily on the arm of QB Trace McSorley to deliver as one of the nation’s best and on their Head Coach, James Franklin.
MSU finished the 2016-17 season with a record of 10–8 in the Big 10 Conference, a record that improved to 16-2 in the 2017-18 season. Coach Mark Dantonio continues to emphasize depth in both his offense and defense. Keep an eye on QB Brian Lewerke to be a driving force for the Spartan offense again this year. Lewerke threw for 20 TDs and a total of 2793 passing yards last season.
University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA improved from a Pac-12 Conference record of 4–8 in the 2016-17 season to a record of 6–7 last year. The team will now be under the leadership of coach Chip Kelly (formerly coach of the NFL’s 49ers and Eagles). Kelly has a lot of work to do, and the team will have to learn Kelly’s offense style, but look for the Bruins to bring the heat this year.
Mississippi State University
Incoming coach Joe Moorhead (formerly of Penn State) inherits a team with a strong 9–4 conference record and bowl games in 8 straight years. QB Nick Fitzgerald is back for game 2 of the 2018 season after recovering from an injury suffered in last year’s regular season finale against Ole Miss. Backup QB Keytaon Thompson has been a significant force leading the Bulldog offense.
University of Maryland
A series of QB injuries plagued Maryland last season and despite a quick jump (3–1) early last season, the team never met its full potential. But the team has lots of talent and with QBs Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill healthy and ready, Maryland could be in the hunt this season.
University of Miami
Despite ending the 2017-18 season with three consecutive losses, this Hurricanes team has a lot of young talent, especially in skill positions like running back and receiver. QB Malik Rosier the 26 TD passes last season and the senior is backed up by freshman QB N’Kosi Perry. The Hurricanes may have had a shaky start in this season’s opener but look for them to pull it all together and make it fun to watch.
University of Nebraska
Hopes are high in Lincoln that new coach Scott Frost can deliver big results in his first year, as he did for the University of Central Florida. You may recall Frost as a QB for the Cornhuskers in the 1990s, where he delivered a 13–0 season in 1997. That year Frost’s legendary “Flea Kicker” play versus Missouri was the talk of the season.
Louisiana State University
LSU’s October schedule has them facing some tough opponents in the form of Alabama and Mississippi State in back-to-back games. Fortunately both are home games for LSU fans to easily cheer for their Tigers. The expectations are always high for LSU but which new quarterback will win the battle to lead the team?
While we know these teams might be the standouts this year, we hope every team plays their best. Good luck to all the 2018 College Football Teams!