Three-Point Stance: Five bold predictions for Week 1
Rivals national columnist Mike Farrell is here with some predictions for Week 1, some college football players who have been around forever and the Mount Rushmore for LSU Tigers.
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1. FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR WEEK 1
Finally the big weekend is here — week one of college football and here are five bold predictions for the games on the slate. And I mean bold.
1. Let's start with LSU losing outright to UCLA. The Tigers are a three-point favorite on the road and UCLA doesn’t exactly have a great home-field advantage. But the LSU prep has been hindered by Hurricane Ida and there are still a lot of young players in key roles on this LSU team. Chip Kelly goes 2-0.
2. It’s not a stretch to say Alabama will win, of course, but how about a 30-point win over Miami . ‘Bama is favored by 19.5 so a rout is expected but I’m thinking more of a 37-7 kind of drubbing even with new faces at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and so on.
3. Clemson wins and you can book it. There is just something that tells me that Dabo Swinney will out-coach Kirby Smart and find a weakness in the elite Georgia defense to exploit. And Smart will have no answer until it’s too late.
4. Indiana will win on the road at Iowa, which isn’t easy. It comes down to the quarterbacks for me and I don’t trust Spencer Petras right now. I also like the toughness and physicality Tom Allen has instilled in his team.
Ever see a player on a college football roster and wonder how he still has eligibility? Kellen Mond comes to mind last year for Texas A&M and this year there are many more due to the eligibility forgiveness of last season. Here are 10 guys I feel like I covered in high school a decade ago.
Nick Starkel - Starkel has had a topsy-turvy career, beginning at Texas A&M, where he started five games as a redshirt freshman in 2017, then lost his starting job to aforementioned Kellen Mond as a sophomore, transferred to Arkansas and started five games as a junior. He then transferred to San Jose State before the 2020 season, where he had his best season as a collegiate player earning all-conference honors on the way to leading the Spartans to their best finish in program history. Now in his sixth year of college football, he leads a San Jose State team that should once again challenge for the Mountain West crown.
Brock Purdy - Going into his fourth year as a starter at Iowa State, Purdy has started every game in his career since the Cyclones' fifth game of his freshman season back in 2018. He's got Iowa State in place to contend for a Big 12 crown as a senior, and if the Cyclones do bring home the league title he's poised to go down as one of the best in program history.
Adrian Martinez - It feels like there has been someone with the last name Martinez starting for a decade in Lincoln. But Adrian has been the starter for the Cornhuskers since he arrived on campus in 2018. His 2021 season has not gotten off to a great start after losing to Illinois in Week 0, but it wasn't his fault – his statistical line was still pretty solid, but the rest of the team did not carry their weight.
D'Eriq King - After four seasons at Houston, including a very strange senior season where he stopped playing after four games to preserve his redshirt, King is in his second season at Miami, where he is the unquestioned leader of a Hurricanes team that has ACC title aspirations. He actually began his career as a wide receiver before transitioning to QB halfway through his sophomore season for the Cougars. His career stats are impressive - more than 7,600 passing yards, nearly 2,000 rushing yards, and 520 receiving yards and 108 total touchdowns. With a big season, he could land in the top five all time in total touchdowns.
McKenzie Milton - Now at Florida State after a horrific injury cut short his junior season at UCF, Milton is looking to get back to the field after not playing in nearly three seasons. He led the Knights to their undefeated season in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 37 touchdowns, and completing 67 percent of his passes, but it's unlikely he'll hit those same numbers again this year with the Seminoles. That being said, even seeing him back on the field is a miracle after the physical ordeal he underwent.
Demetris Robertson - A top-10 prospect at any position in the country in 2016, Robertson chose Cal over a bevy of suitors, and had an impressive debut in 2016 catching 50 balls for 767 yards and seven touchdowns. However, he struggled out of the gate as a sophomore with some injury issues and transferred to Georgia before the 2018 season. After a redshirt season, he never made the impact that most people expected him to in Athens, and now finds himself at Auburn for his sixth-year in college. He should have plenty of opportunity to get some touches with the Tigers' losing all of their notable pass catchers from a year ago.
Austin Kendall - After three seasons at Oklahoma, where he backed up the likes of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Kendall transferred to West Virginia before the 2019 season, and won the starting job. But after getting unseated by Jarret Doege during the 2020 season, Kendall transferred to Louisiana Tech.
Jarrett Guarantano - Another QB from the 2016 high school class, Guarantano had one of the most turbulent careers we've seen during his time at Tennessee. He started six games as a redshirt freshman in 2017, started the entirety of his sophomore season but ended up splitting time with Brian Maurer as a junior. He then battled with Harrison Bailey, JT Shrout and Brian Maurer to start as a senior, and is now playing for Washington State, where he is competing with Jayden de Laura for the starting job.
Hunter Johnson - The second-ranked prep quarterback in the country in 2017, Johnson began his career at Clemson, but never started a game behind Kelly Bryant. Once Trevor Lawrence arrived in 2018, Johnson transferred to Northwestern and had to sit out the 2018 season. He won the QB job out of camp in 2019, but was quickly pulled for Aiden Smith. He didn't attempt a pass in 2020 with Peyton Ramsey taking the reins, but is slated to start for the Wildcats this fall.
Mohamed Ibrahim - A four-year starter for Minnesota, Ibrahim has been a staple in the backfield for the Gophers since he got to campus in 2018. The Big Ten's leading rusher a season ago, Ibrahim is poised to put up even bigger numbers in what will likely be his last season in the Twin Cities.
3. MOUNT RUSHMORE OF LSU FOOTBALL
Finally, I continue the look at the Mount Rushmore of college football since 1980 with the LSU Tigers.
Joe Burrow - Burrow's 2019 season is arguably the best season from a quarterback in college football history. On his way to winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Tigers to the national championship, Burrow threw for 5,671 yards (third-most ever) and 60 touchdowns (most ever) in 15 games, completing more than 76 percent of his passes and adding another five touchdowns on the ground. Burrow collected every trophy conceivable during the course of his senior season, and will never be forgotten in Baton Rouge.
Patrick Peterson - Maybe the best defensive back to ever come out of DBU, Peterson was a two-time first-team All-American, Jim Thorpe and Bednarik Award winner, and the definition of a lockdown corner. As a junior, he also returned punts and kicks for LSU, leading the SEC in yards per punt return (16.1), punt return touchdowns (2), and kickoff yards per return (29.1). He was a true playmaker no matter where he lined up on the field.
Tyrann Mathieu - If anyone is going to give Peterson a run on the claim of best LSU defensive back, it's Mathieu, who was one of the most devastating defensive players in college football this century. As a sophomore, the Honey Badger was a Heisman Trophy finalist, consensus All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the year, and Bednarik award winner, as well as SEC defensive player of the year and championship MVP. Despite being controversially dismissed from the team the following year, he remains one of the best to ever suit up in Baton Rouge.
Glenn Dorsey - A two-time first-team All-American, Dorsey was an absolute menace on the interior for the Bayou Bengals during his time in Baton Rouge. The 2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, that season Dorsey took home the Lombardi, Lott, Nagurski, and Outland trophies while leading LSU to a national title. For two-straight years, he was simply unblockable, and his talent was rewarded by being named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2020.