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Today's Free Pick
2017 Playbook Football 10 Questions Interviews
1. Which NFL teams do you see being 'Play On' worthy this season?
The Carolina Panthers in the NFC and the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC. Both enter off down seasons last year after having been playoff squads each of the previous three and five years, respectively.
2. Which NFL teams do you see being 'Play Against' worthy this season?
I have the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raider on my fade list this season. Both teams overachieved en route to the postseason, with each surrendering more yards than they gained.
3. Which NFL teams do you see making it to the Super Bowl this season?
I would be surprised if it's not the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. While it's difficult for defending Super Bowl champions to return a second-straight season, the bottom line is the common denominator for most Super Bowl teams is that they are almost always lead by the best quarterbacks in the league. Tom Brady answers the bell in the AFC, and while Aaron Rodgers likely holds advantages over Russell Wilson, it's hard to ignore Pete Carroll's defense.
4. Which College Football teams do you see being 'Play On' worthy this season?
As outlined in the 2017 Playbook Football Preview Guide magazine, Florida State and Kansas State are extremely experienced and well coached. In addition look for Oregon to enjoy a bounce back campaign under new head coach Willie Taggart (see more below).
5. Which College Football teams do you see being 'Play Against' worthy this season?
Despite the talent returning, I will be surprised if Penn State puts up the sort of number they did last season when they went on a roll like a snowball rolling down a hill. They'll likely find avenging opponents more than read for the defending Big Ten champs this go round. I'd also be surpassed if LSU surpasses expectations given Ed Orgeron's 2-18 SU career mark against winning SEC opponents. Call it an LSU-PSU fade train.
6. Which College Football teams do you see making it to the College Football Playoff Championship Game this season?
If it's true that the best quarterback find their way to the Super Bowl in the NFL, the same can be said for the best coaches in college football. Smiley put, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are without peer, With neither Alabama or Ohio State tackling consecutive road games, while only playing four true road games this campaign, the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes look to be awfully tough in 2017.
7. Which new head coach hire will prove to be the best in the NFL this season?
Buffalo's Sean McDermott brings a breathe of fresh air to Buffalo and it couldn't come at a better time. Now under its 4th head catch in 6 years, the Bills have a manageable home slate and half of their road foes owned losing records last season. Toss in the fact that QB Tyrod Taylor ranks 4th in the league in TD/INT ratio among current signal callers and it would be no surprise to find the Bills switching places with Miami this season.
8. Which new head coach hire will prove to be the best in College Football this season?
The feeling here is Willie Taggart will prove to be an ideal hire for the floundering Oregon Ducks. For openers, he inherits a team that played the most freshmen of all FBS teams in 2016. If new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt - former head coach at South Florida and DC at Colorado last year, whose stop-unit improved 76 YPG in 2016 - holds up his end of the deal, OU will improve leaps and bound this campaign.
9. Final closing thought on the 2017 NFL season.
It will be interesting to see how the move of the San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles pans out. I find it head-scratching that the league turned its back on the 2nd largest city in the country for 22 years before moving the Rams from St. Louis back into the spotlight last year, only to follow-up the next season by displacing the Chargers into the same cesspool - all in the name of fattening up the NFL coffers. Loyal fans in San Diego and St. Louis deserve better.
10. Final closing thought on the 2017 College Football season.
It was refreshing to watch Clemson rally past Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game last season. It will be a bigger pleasure welcoming UAB back into the FBS wars. The program should never have been shut down, and loyal head coach Bill Clark deserves all the success the Blazers can muster this season.