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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Alabama, Florida State, Oregon, Kansas State And South Carolina 5 Best College Football Teams

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By Kelso Sturgeon

It is seldom an easy task to predict with any degree of certainty which two teams will play for the NCAA football, but I will still walk to where angels fear to tread.

After months of analysis, my figures say five teams—Alabama, Florida State, Oregon, Kansas State and South Carolina—are the best and any of the five can be in the title game.

Put a gun to my head and demand I pick the two teams that I believe will meet in the title game in The Dallas Cowboys Stadium in early January and I will select Alabama and Oregon simply because of their blue-chip talent and supersonic speed and quickness. Florida State, Kansas State and South Carolina are almost equal in talent, but none of the speed and quickness of Alabama and Oregon.

Oregon is led by the best quarterback in college football in the person junior of Marcus Mariota (3,655 yards passing with 31 touchdowns and just four interceptions while missing four games with injuries) who runs with pure efficiency the most talented college offense in the game.

Then there is the big-time boost of being—by far—the fastest and quickest team in the country. Teams get crushed by the Ducks simply because they can’t contain their speed on offense.  There is no better example of this than redshirt freshman wide-receiver Devon Allen, who just won the 110-meter high hurdles in the NCAA champions in record time—13.16 seconds. His time beat the previous record set by future Olympic Gold Medalist Aries Merritt (13.21 seconds) in 2006. Believe me, my analysis says he is but one of 17 Oregon players who can run a hole in the wind.

This volume and depth of blue-chip talent and the combination of amazing speed and quickness of the Ducks is extremely difficult to overcome.
For the record, I am down on Oregon at 6-1.

Alabama, which has won three of the last five national championships, went 11-2 last year—a major disappointment for the Tide and will be seeking revenge in a take-no-prisoners season—and this team has all the talent it needs to go the distance and make amends. First of all, lost on all those pundits who are saying Alabama with just 12 starters returning will be in a rebuilding mode. That’s about as far from the truth one can be. The Crimson Tide have four straight #1 recruiting classes on hand, have six four and five-star running backs in camp, and will just plug everybody in and keep marching. This is a definite team on which to bet this season.

South Carolina is going to continue to be a Top Ten football team despite the loss of QB Connor Shaw, the winningest signal caller in school history, because it returns 16 starters and 58 lettermen. The Gamecocks will field one of the best offensive lines in the game and have more blue-chip depth than all but four or five other teams. It will be no surprise if they go the distance.

Kansas State may be 75-1 to win the national championship and that number is the product of a media which because of its laziness and love of long-gone tradition. No problem, however, because this certainly will help bettors cash some big tickets on the Wildcats. This is by far the best Kansas State team of the decade, is loaded with offensive talent and will field one of the best 9-10 defenses in the country. I am already down on Kansas State at the 75-1.

Florida State went 14-0 last season on its way to the national championship, beating Auburn 34-31, for all the money. Florida State may do it again, but it will start the season missing several players on a nationally top-ranked defense that gave up just 12.1 points and 281.4 yards per game. That is not to suggest the Seminoles do not have to players to plug in the new players but there is no way they will record these figures this season. The schedule is tougher and every team on it will take its best shot to beat the defending champions.

Opening Betting Lines For Marquee Games For First Two Weeks Of College Football Season

(Last Season’s Record Posted…Home Team In Caps)

Thursday, August 28
SOUTH CAROLINA (11-2) -9 over Texas A&M (9-4)
Ole Miss (8-5) -9 over Boise State (8-5) (Atlanta)

Friday, August 29
ARIZONA (8-5) -23.5 over UNLV (7-6)
BYU (8-5) -16.5 over CONNECTICUT (3-9)

Saturday, August 30
AUBURN (12-2) -24 over Arkansas (3-9)
Colorado (4-8) -4 over Colorado State (8-6) (Denver)
GEORGIA (8-5) -9 over Clemson (11-2)
NORTHWESTERN (5-7) -9.5 over California (1-11)
UCLA (10-3) -21.5 over VIRGINIA (2-10)
Ohio State (12-2) -14 over Navy (9-4) (Baltimore)
Penn State (7-5) -2.5 over Central Florida (12-1) (Dublin, Ireland)
Alabama (11-2) -27.5 over West Virginia (4-8) (Atlanta)
Florida State (14-0) -17 over Oklahoma State (10-3) (Arlington)
LSU (10-3) -7 over Wisconsin (9-4) (Houston)

Monday, Sept. 1
LOUISVILLE (12-1) Pick’em over Miami (9-4)

Friday, Sept. 5
Pittsburgh (7-6) -9 over BOSTON COLLEGE (7-6)

Saturday, Sept. 6
STANFORD (11-3) -3.5 over Southern Cal (10-4)
NORTH CAROLINA (7-6) -21 over San Diego State (8-5)
TEXAS (8-5) -6 over Texas (8-5)
OREGON (11-2) -13 over Michigan State (13-1)
NOTRE DAME (9-4) -3 over Michigan (7-6)
OHIO STATE (12-2) -18 over Virginia Tech (8-5)
BOISE STATE (8-5) -10 over Colorado State (8-6)

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