The 2021 college football season is rapidly approaching and college football fans are already looking ahead to the upcoming season. One of the most popular predictions for this upcoming season is predicting every Power 5 conference team’s record in 2021. This article will give you a quick overview of how each conference fared last year, as well as what to expect from each conference in 2021.
The nfl football algorithm prediction is a new way to predict the outcomes of every college football Power 5 conference for the 2021 season.
College football is back after a 2020 season and an offseason unlike any other.
With the addition of a new brand, image, and likeness, rumors of an enlarged College Football Playoff (we believe), and Oklahoma and Texas moving from the Big 12 to the SEC in the near future, not much should change on the field. In the top tier of the FBS, there is still a significant gap between the haves and have-nots.
Defending national champion Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma will be right back in the CFP mix, with Georgia, Texas A&M, Oregon and others trying to chase them down.
My picks for each of the Power 5 leagues are as follows:
11-1, 8-0 Clemson
8-4, 5-3 Boston College
7-5, 4-4, Louisville
7-5, 4-4, NC State
Wake Forest wins by a score of 7-5, 4-4.
6-6, 4-4 Florida State
Syracuse is 0-8 and has a record of 2-10.
North Carolina won by a score of 10-2, 7-1.
Miami is 9-3 with a 6-2 record.
6-6, 4-4 Virginia Tech
6-6, 4-4 Virginia
Pittsburgh is 7-5 with a 3-5 record.
Georgia Tech is 4-8 with a 2-6 record.
Duke 1-7, 4-8
Clemson is the ACC champion. QB Sam Howell of North Carolina was named offensive player of the year. Bryan Bresee, Clemson’s defensive lineman, was named Defensive Player of the Year. Will Shipley, RB, Clemson, Freshman of the Year Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami, has made an impact transfer. Boston College’s Jeff Hafley was named coach of the year. Syracuse’s Dino Babers is on the hot seat. Tony Elliott, Clemson’s offensive coordinator, will become a head coach. Clemson versus. Georgia, Sept. 4 (nonconference game of the year). Miami versus North Carolina on Oct. 16 is the conference game of the year. The upset of the year is Florida State’s victory against Miami on November 13th.
The ACC has three bold predictions.
Clemson wins the ACC (again) but misses the CFP: Even if the Tigers lose to Georgia in Charlotte on Saturday night, they still have a good chance of running the table in the ACC, something they’ve done three times in the last six seasons. However, the Tigers’ remaining nonconference schedule (FCS program South Carolina State, UConn, and South Carolina) as well as the fact that they don’t play North Carolina, Notre Dame, or Miami during the regular season may prevent them from reaching the CFP for the seventh consecutive season, especially if teams like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma go undefeated or have only one loss.
Miami slides down a cliff after losing to Alabama: Since 2013, the Crimson Tide have not only dominated ACC opponents in neutral-site openers, but they have also drained the life out of them for the remainder of the season. The Tide won by an average of 29.5 points in four such openings against Virginia Tech (2013), Florida State (2017), Louisville (2018), and Duke (2019). The Seminoles were the only team who came within three touchdowns of winning in Atlanta, but they lost 24-7. Each of the four ACC teams lost at least five games after that. With nonconference matchups against Appalachian State and Michigan State on the horizon, the Hurricanes can’t afford to lose their first game.
D’Eriq King is back after a great 2020 season, but Miami has a difficult nonconference slate, starting with Alabama. USA TODAY Sports/David DeFelice
Mike Norvell is back on the bowling alley for Florida State: The Seminoles should be considerably better in Year 2 after three consecutive losing seasons, including a 3-6 record in Novell’s first season. FSU may start the season with two quarterbacks (UCF transfer McKenzie Milton and Jordan Travis), but Norvell is expected to choose one of them before the end of the season. FSU used the transfer portal often in 2020 to bolster a defense that allowed 36 points and 456.3 yards per game. Jermaine Johnson, a former Georgia linebacker, and Keir Thomas, a South Carolina defensive lineman, should be able to assist right away. With nonconference games against Notre Dame and Florida, as well as ACC crossover games against Miami and North Carolina, the schedule is challenging. Bobby Bowden, the legendary FSU coach, loved where the program was going under Norvell, and that should be enough for us to trust.
View highlights from Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who is expected to have a great second season with the Longhorns.
Oklahoma is 12-0 and has a 9-0 record.
Iowa State won by a score of 10-2, 7-2.
Texas is 9-3 with a 6-3 record.
Oklahoma State is 8-4, with a 5-4 record.
TCU wins 8-4, 5-4.
7-5, 5-4 Kansas State
7-5, 4-5 West Virginia
Texas Tech is 5-7, with a 2-7 record.
Baylor is 4-8 with a 2-7 record.
Kansas is 1-11 with a 0-9 record.
Oklahoma is the Big 12 champion. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas, was named offensive player of the year. Mike Rose, LB, Iowa State, was named Defensive Player of the Year. Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas, was named Freshman of the Year. Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma, has made an impact transfer. Coach of the Year: Texas’ Steve Sarkisian Coach on the hot seat: Matt Wells, Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator who will become the head coach: Alex Grinch, Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator. Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 11 (nonconference game of the year). The conference game of the year will be played on Nov. 20 between Iowa State and Oklahoma. West Virginia defeated Iowa State on Oct. 30 in the year’s biggest upset.
The Big 12 has three big predictions.
This will be Oklahoma and Texas’ last season in the Big 12: The Longhorns and Sooners will feel very uncomfortable on the road during Big 12 play this season. The Longhorns’ road trips to TCU and Baylor, as well as the Sooners’ short journey to Oklahoma State for the Bedlam game on Nov. 27, may be a nightmare. I’m sure the Pokes would love nothing more than to eliminate the Sooners from contention for the College Football Playoff. Even the Rice Owl Band must be salivating in anticipation of a game in Austin on Sept. 18. Despite the fact that both OU and Texas officials have said that they plan to fulfill their Big 12 commitments until May 2025, I’m predicting they both wind up in the SEC sooner rather than later for the benefit of everyone’s sake.
Oklahoma makes it to the College Football Playoff for the fourth time, but loses: The Sooners have made it to the CFP four times, losing once under Bob Stoops and three times under Lincoln Riley. After the 2017 regular season, OU came near to winning a semifinal game until Georgia fought back to win 54-48 in two overtimes in the Rose Bowl. Of course, losing to No. 1 seed Clemson in 2015, No. 1 seed Alabama in 2018, and No. 1 seed LSU in 2019 isn’t a bad thing, but those games weren’t very close. Oklahoma is coming closer to closing the defensive talent gap, but they’ll be eliminated in the semifinals once again this season.
Last season, Bijan Robinson excelled despite receiving just a few carries. The Texas running back could have a breakthrough season as a result of his increased workload. Getty Images/Tim Warner
Two Big 12 players will be invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York: After throwing for 3,031 yards and 34 total touchdowns in 11 games as a first-year starter in 2021, Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler is generally considered the Heisman favorite going into the season. He’ll certainly continue to put up eye-popping statistics. However, Robinson, the very gifted Texas running back, may wind up being the league’s most valued offensive player. He set a Texas single-season record with 8.2 yards per run last season. Sadly, Tom Herman made a coaching error by restricting Robinson to just 86 carries, which is 27 less than quarterback Sam Ehlinger and six more than Roschon Johnson. In the last two games of 2020, Robinson rushed for 355 yards and six combined touchdowns.
Ohio State is 11-1 overall and 8-1 in conference play.
9-3, 6-3 Penn State
8-4, 6-3 Indiana
7-5, 5-4 Michigan
Maryland 4-5, 6-6
5-7, 3-6 Michigan State
4-8, 1-8 Rutgers
Wisconsin won 10-2 and 8-1.
Iowa wins 9-3 and 7-2.
Northwestern is 7-5 with a 4-5 record.
Minnesota 5-7, 4-5.
Nebraska 5-7 and 3-6
Purdue is 4-8 with a 2-7 record.
Illinois is 4-8 with a 2-7 record.
Ohio State is the Big Ten champion. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State, was named offensive player of the year. Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern, was named Defensive Player of the Year. Ohio State’s Jack Sawyer, a defensive end, was named Freshman of the Year. Stephen Carr, RB, Indiana, has made an impact transfer. Ohio State’s Ryan Day was named coach of the year. Scott Frost, Nebraska’s head coach, is on the hot seat. Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator, will become a head coach. Ohio State vs. Oregon, Sept. 11: Nonconference game of the year Penn State vs. Ohio State on Oct. 30 is the conference game of the year. Northwestern beats Wisconsin on Nov. 13 in the year’s biggest upset.
For the Big Ten, here are three big predictions.
Jim Harbaugh keeps his job: The Wolverines won’t defeat Ohio State (again), but they’ll do enough to guarantee Harbaugh’s return to the Big Ten for an eighth season in 2022, which will be warmly hailed across the conference. The Buckeyes will beat the club from up north for the eighth game in a row, tying the series’ greatest winning run (the Wolverines also won nine in a row from 1901-09). Michigan’s last win against OSU was a 40-34 triumph on Nov. 26, 2011 — just 3,567 days ago if you’re keeping track.
Nebraska will not go bowling: Scott Frost is well aware that his return to Nebraska has not gone as planned. After Saturday’s defeat to Illinois, the Cornhuskers are 12-21, haven’t won more than two games in a row, and haven’t gone bowling in four years, the longest such skid in six decades. “Starting to feel like The Charlie Daniels Band — used to be very famous, now he mainly performs county fairs and things like that,” he told Nebraska fans last summer. Charlie Daniels hasn’t played in quite some time, Scott (check the internet). Last month, new sports director Trev Alberts didn’t seem pleased with an NCAA probe into inappropriate training during the COVID-19 stoppage (particularly because the Cornhuskers didn’t appear to improve). Frost seemed to be in a pickle since he was so far behind that he was ready to make a bargain. Frost even attempted to avoid playing Oklahoma. He’s definitely not carrying on the tradition of the 1971 Huskers, dubbed the greatest team in history.
During Week 0 of the season, Nebraska and Scott Frost were defeated 30-22 by Illinois. Ron Johnson is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
Wisconsin will be a strong contender for the College Football Playoff: Few teams were as hindered by COVID-19 as the Badgers were last season, and some may be underestimating their chances of making the CFP this year. Wisconsin has a highly advantageous Big Ten schedule, with home games against Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern, as well as road games against Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, and Minnesota. It also avoids Indiana and Ohio State throughout the regular season. After averaging the fewest yards and points in 17 years last season, Wisconsin’s offensive must improve. The Badgers will be tough to defeat if quarterback Graham Mertz remains healthy and tailback Jalen Berger is as outstanding as he was in spurts last season.
Oregon won 10-2 and 8-1.
9-3, 6-3 Washington
Stanford wins with a score of 7-5 to 5-4.
California is 6-6 with a 4-5 record.
4-8, 2-7 Oregon State
Washington State is 3-9 with a 1-8 record.
7-2, 10-2, 10-2, 10-2, 10-2, 10-2, 10
Utah is 9-3, with a 7-2 record.
Arizona State is 8-4, with a 5-4 record.
UCLA is 8-4, with a 5-4 record.
Colorado 3-6, 4-8
Arizona is 2-10 and 1-8.
Oregon is the Pac-12 champion. Kedon Slovis, QB, USC, was named offensive player of the year. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon, was named Defensive Player of the Year. Korey Foreman, DE, USC, was named Freshman of the Year. QB Charlie Brewer (Utah) has made an impact transfer. Mario Cristobal, Oregon, was named Coach of the Year. Clay Helton, USC coach, is on the hot seat. Graham Harrell, offensive coordinator of USC, will become a head coach. Oregon at Ohio State, Sept. 11 (nonconference game of the year). Oregon at Washington, Nov. 6 is the conference game of the year. The upset of the year is Colorado’s victory against Washington on November 20.
There are three big predictions for the Pac-12 this year.
Only two of the 28 places available in the first seven iterations of the CFP have gone to Pac-12 schools. Since Washington was defeated 24-7 by Alabama in a semifinal in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in 2016, no Pac-12 school has been chosen to play in the College Football Playoff. This season, Pac-12 football, which has appeared to be on life support for the last several years, receives a much-needed boost. After a few of the CFP favorites lose a couple of times, one of five Pac-12 teams — Arizona State, Oregon, USC, Utah, or Washington — will capture lightning in a bottle, finish 12-1, and earn the No. 4 seed.
Hey, don’t forget about Chip Kelly: Kelly led Oregon and its high-flying attack to the national title game 11 years ago, when the Ducks were defeated 22-19 by Auburn on Wes Bynum’s 19-yard ( goal as time expired. Kelly stayed at Oregon for two more seasons before leaving for the NFL and then returning to the league at UCLA in 2018. We had no idea he was there until now. In his first three seasons, the Bruins finished 10-21 overall, including 10-15 in the Pac-12. In Kelly’s credit, coach took over a shambles of a squad from Jim Mora Jr., but the club in 2021 is filled with super seniors and more skilled players. The Bruins might be a genuine sleeper if they can get more regular quarterback performance. When they beat LSU in the Rose Bowl on Saturday night, they’ll offer the Pac-12 a much-needed boost of confidence.
Arizona State crumbles: Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils have been mostly average throughout his tenure. Because the season was interrupted by COVID-19, it’s difficult to draw much from from previous season’s 2-2 record. Arizona State had been tipped to be the league’s breakthrough team in 2021, but with an NCAA investigation into suspected recruiting violations hovering over the school, it’s tough to see that happening. Three of the team’s top recruiters are on administrative leave: defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins, wide receivers coach Prentice Gill, and tight ends coach Adam Breneman. Edwards likened the scenario to his childhood inability to hit curveballs. It must feel like Sandy Koufax is throwing them this time.
Check out some of Georgia quarterback JT Daniels’ highlights ahead of his second season with the Bulldogs.
Georgia is 12-0 and has an 8-0 record.
Florida 9-3 and 5-3 respectively.
8-4, 4-4, 4-4, 4-4, 4-4, 4-4, 4
Missouri is 7-5 with a 3-5 record.
Tennessee 3-6, 6-6
South Carolina is a state in the United States. 2-6, 5-7
2-10, 0-8 Vanderbilt
Alabama is 11-1, with a 7-1 record.
Texas A&M 10-2, 6-2
LSU is 8-4 and 5-3.
8-4, 4-4 Ole Miss
Arkansas is 6-6 with a 3-5 record.
Auburn 3-6, 6-6
Mississippi State is 6-6 with a 3-5 record.
SEC champion: Alabama Offensive player of the year: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss Defensive player of the year: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU Freshman of the year: JoJo Earle, WR, Alabama Impact transfer: Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama Coach of the year: Kirby Smart, Georgia Coach on the hot seat: Ed Orgeron, LSU Coordinator that will be a head coach: Bill O’Brien, offensive coordinator, Alabama Nonconference game of the year: Clemson vs. Georgia, Sept. 4 Conference game of the year: Alabama at Texas A&M, Oct. 9 Upset of the year: UCLA over LSU, Sept. 4
SEC Predictions: Three Bold Predictions
Georgia and Alabama meet twice: If the Bulldogs beat Clemson on Saturday night, they’ll have a strong opportunity to run the table until they meet in the SEC championship game against rival Alabama. The Crimson Tide will win that game, but the Bulldogs will face them again in the College Football Playoff national championship. Georgia’s attack could be powerful if quarterback JT Daniels performs well against tougher competition and the offensive line holds up, particularly after tight end Darnell Washington returns. On defense, Georgia’s front seven is as skilled as deep as any in the FBS. Isn’t it true that the football gods have to smile on Georgia sooner or later? Perhaps not…
Nick Saban will lose to a former assistant coach: It’s no secret that Saban’s teams have rolled opponents coached by his former assistant coaches. He is a perfect 23-0 against his proteges, including a 4-0 mark last season. In fact, he’s 11-0 against them in the previous three seasons combined. All streaks must come to an end, I think, and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher will take down his mentor for the first time in five tries in College Station, Texas, on Oct. 9.
Hugh Freeze transformed the Rebels into an SEC West powerhouse in five seasons from 2012 to 2016, leading them to big bowl games and defeating Alabama in back-to-back seasons. But, of course, it all came tumbling down when he resigned due to accusations of recruitment breaches and an escort scandal. Last season, the Flames were undefeated on the road against two ACC opponents, with just a one-point loss to a third (15-14 against NC State) keeping them from being undefeated. On Nov. 6, Freeze returns to Oxford, Miss., and the quarterback duel between Corral and Liberty’s Malik Willis will be one of the greatest of the season. Ole Miss’ defense will struggle once again, and Liberty will come out on top 42-39. The Flames will parade Freeze around the Square as part of their celebration.
The college football predictor is a prediction tool that predicts every college football Power 5 conference for the 2021 season.
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