We are over halfway through the college football season where teams will begin to hit the the stretch run. Teams who suffered an early season loss will have the opportunity to work their way back into the College Football Playoff or conference championship discussions. November brings surprises and upsets each year and this year will be no different. Five weeks are remaining in the college football season with plenty of surprises still in store. We have five bold predictions for the final month of the season.
1: TCU finishes the season undefeated, makes the College Football Playoffs – TCU has played their toughest part of their schedule with games against Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Kansas State behind them. The Horned Frogs will still face difficult tasks with trips to Texas and Baylor still remaining on the schedule. TCU is in a great position to finish the season undefeated. Winning the Big 12 and going undefeated will likely be a strong enough resume for them to make the College Football Playoffs. Max Duggan is playing at a high level throwing eight touchdowns and only one interception over his last three games. TCU’s has come close to making the College Football Playoffs but this is the year they finally get over the hump.
2: Three SEC head coaches are fired – Bryan Harsin is on the hot seat and likely to be fired before the end of the season. Auburn has a 3-4 record and may lose every game remaining on their schedule. Harsin is not working out and the administration is likely to make a change before the end of the season. The SEC has multiple teams who have underperformed where at least two other schools will make a change before the bowl season is completed. Texas A&M is another candidate to make a change. The Aggies expectations have increased with Jimbo Fisher’s recruiting success. Texas A&M has a 3-4 record and will struggle to make a bowl game. Missouri could look to replace Eli Drinkwitz has he has struggled in the SEC. Drinkwitz is 14-16 across three seasons and has not won more than six games in a season. Mike Leach has struggled with his transition to the SEC as well. Leach currently has Mississippi State with a 5-3 record but numerous difficult games remain.
3: North Carolina wins the ACC – North Carolina has been one the most polarizing teams in college football this season. The Tar Heels continue to win games but almost every single game is decided by single digits even if they are playing a lesser opponent. North Carolina ranks 9th in scoring defense and also ranks 113th in scoring defense. Mack Brown’s team still has two games against ranked opponents with a trip to Wake Forest and a visit from NC State. A matchup in the ACC championship game would likely feature Clemson. North Carolina has the offense to match Clemson in the conference championship game. The issue would be stopping the Tigers on a consistent basis. Drake Maye is playing at a Heisman level completing over 70% of his passes while throwing 24 touchdowns and only three interceptions. North Carolina also has the ability to lose at least one game and still make the ACC Championship.
4: Hugh Freeze is hired by a power five program – A day is going to come where a school is going to call Hugh Freeze and bring him back to a power five program. He has proven to be successful at every coaching stop in his career. Freeze currently owns a 33-12 record across four seasons at Liberty. He is only 53 years old and has plenty of years remaining in his coaching career. A few high profile jobs have already opened such as Nebraska and Wisconsin. Other jobs such as Auburn and West Virginia could possibly open up before the end of the year. Freeze will likely receive at least one call about a job this fall. Ole Miss was left in rough shape after Freeze left due to recruiting and academic violations. Would schools consider his history or would they buy his latest work at Liberty?
5: Bo Nix gets invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony – Bo Nix has improved so much under this new offense. He’s focused. He’s having fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a dark horse for the Heisman. Okay I’ll get serious now. I thought Oregon would be a bad team after they were run out of the building by Georgia. The Ducks have started winning games and Nix has been a major part of their success. He threw two interceptions against the Bulldogs in the season opener but has only thrown one interception the rest of the season. Nix has also scored at least three touchdowns in each of the last six games. He is completing 71.5% of his passes with 17 passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns. Oregon’s schedule includes a marque matchup with Utah on November 19th. The Utes dominated Oregon twice last year so revenge over Utah would help increase his chances of making the trip to New York City.