We know it is early, but there are many promising college teams to watch this 2016 football season. Some teams are expected and some are a surprise. Here are four teams we have highlighted.
- University of Alabama — The Crimson Tide pick up right where they left off last season, delivering a thorough beating of one of the most prominent college football programs in the country. Alabama took USC — a team previously ranked in the top 20 — behind the proverbial woodshed, and ended up turning the game into a laugher. So, the biggest question moving forward for the Crimson Tide is: will they respond with the same “gusto” when they play a team that’s not as overwhelmed as the Trojans were? USC might be back on the road to national relevancy, but at this point in time, they simply don’t have the same speed, strength, and athleticism on defense that SEC opponents like Ole Miss or LSU — both of whom Alabama has to play on the road — have on their respective rosters.
- Florida State — The opening act of the 2016 college football season might have gone basically in the polar opposite manner of how the Florida State Seminoles might have desired, but they still managed to keep the national narrative of them being one of the best teams in the entire nation. Down 28-13 at halftime against Ole Miss, an inspired speech by James Winston — a championship alumnus of Florida State who urged the team to let their inner “dogs” out — helped the Seminoles outscore the Rebels by a score of 32 to 9 in the second half of the game. Outside of the quality win early in the season, one of the biggest positives to come out of the game was the Seminoles being able to solidify their quarterback position. Freshman quarterback Deondre Francois routinely flashed glimpses of brilliance, single-handedly accounting for 478 yards of offense himself. After a “tune-up game” against Charleston Southern this Saturday, the Seminoles will have to face another early-season challenge when they play Louisville (on the road) on September 17th. For Florida State Seminoles custom college football jerseys go to http://recreationandsportsworld.com/customized-college-football-jerseys.
- University of Houston — If you don’t know, now you know: Tom Herman’s University of Houston Cougars are the real deal. In their trouncing of the previously #3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners, the Cougars had a two-touchdown lead heading into the fourth quarter. After finishing last season with a 13-1 record and a victory in the Peach Bowl against Florida State, Houston now has consecutive victories against teams ranked in the top 10 for the first time in school history. The downside for them is that they won’t play another ranked team until midway through November (they play Louisville, at home, on November 17th). So, if the Cougars have legitimate aspirations of being one of college football’s “final four,” they can’t afford to lose a single game this year.
- University of Texas — Unless you happen to live in the state of Oklahoma, most college football fans would agree that the sport is simply better when the University of Texas is nationally relevant. And after their thrilling overtime victory against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, the Texas Longhorns are back on the national map. This was easily the most important victory in embattled coach Charlie Strong’s tenure in Austin. However, the team and the coaches can’t enjoy the “Texas is back” narrative for very long, as they’ve got two of their next three games on the road, followed by the Red River Shootout against Oklahoma (who’ll very likely be looking to avenge last year’s loss).
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