The college football season is at its halfway point and it has been an exciting one. Top ten showdowns, upsets and highlights have buzzed across TV screens and social media all season long.
This is your official Anchor analysis for the first half of the Division 1 college football season, in which we will take a firsthand look at the top teams and players and predict who will make the D1 college football playoffs.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide are the consensus number one overall team in both the AP and coaches poll, and it’s hard to argue. Alabama is currently undefeated, and all but one of their wins has been by double digits. In my opinion, this could be the best Alabama team of the last ten years. The defense has been nearly perfect, allowing only 9.8 points per game. The Defense is led by Defensive back Ronnie Harrison, D-lineman Raekwon Davis and future first round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick. Harrison has two interceptions and 44 total tackles.
Raekwon Davis has been a beast on the line, racking up 5.5 sacks on the year. Minkah Fitzpatrick is probably the best pure defensive back in the country, racking up 35 total tackles and one interception.
The offense for Alabama has been clicking all year, averaging 43 points per game. This lineup is led by quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has done it both on the ground and in the air, passing for 1,223 yards and rushing for 572 yards. Alabama coaches have put together a team that is the favorite to win the College Football playoff.
Penn State: This year has seen Penn State come back to their true dominant form of the past. The team has been led by the favorite to win the Heisman this year, running back Saquon Barkley, who has rushed for 757 yards and averages 6.5 yards per carry.
Another highlight of this squad is quarterback Trace McSorley, a Davey O’Brien award hopeful, who has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 1,879 yards. This team has stood firm during the first half of the season. However, they have two very tough road games ahead against big ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan State, both of whom are 6-1 on the year.
This team has been built around the backfield and that backfield has delivered day-in and day-out. This team is the perennial favorite to win the big ten and go on to the college football playoff.
Georgia: They are another dominant SEC team this season. Georgia has been great this year with big victories against a top ten Notre Dame squad and a blowout win against their rival Tennessee. The team has been led by star running back Nick Chubb and Linebacker Roquan Smith. Chubb has rushed the ball for 688 yards and averages 6.4 yards per carry. Smith has led the defense with 53 total tackles.
They still have to play good competition in Florida, South Carolina, Auburn and Georgia Tech, but they should be favored in all four of those games and play Alabama in the SEC championship game undefeated.
TCU: TCU has shown to be a force within the Big 12 conference, shutting down one of the best offenses in the country in West Virginia and a top ten program in Oklahoma State. The team is led by Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill, who has completed an astonishing 70.2 percent of his passes for 1,728 yards. This team has won impressive games early, but still have to contend with an Iowa state team who has shown to be a top 25 contender, and the powerhouse that is Oklahoma led by Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield. Also, they cannot play down to a Texas Longhorns team that is much better than their record shows. However, this squad could easily win the Big 12 and get a berth in the playoff this year.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin is currently undefeated and playing good old fashioned Wisconsin football, with strong running game and very good defense. The defense has kept opposing offenses away from big scoring games, allowing only 13.3 points per game. The Badger’s running game looks pristine, led by Jonathan Taylor with 1,112 rushing yards already.
However, the Badgers have possibly the weakest schedule so far of all the top five teams. They also still have to play against Michigan and whoever wins the eastern division in the Big Ten Championship game, either Penn State, Ohio State, or Michigan State. But if any team can beat the odds, it is Wisconsin.
This year has been one of my favorites for college football, with massive upsets by both Syracuse over Clemson and Iowa State over Oklahoms. These were both major highlights of the year. I think that the four playoff teams will be an undefeated SEC champion Alabama, an undefeated Big Ten Champion Penn State, TCU and a one loss Georgia Bulldogs team.
The Heisman award this year should go to Saquon Barkley, who has carried Penn State on his back. The best aspect of college football is that every game is a playoff game, and every win matters. Here’s to looking forward to an exciting second half of the season.