NCAA Football

The NID 2015 College Football Freeview Issue

The NID 2015 College Football Freeview Issue

You’re walking through that retail store with the red bulls-eye on the wall and you look down at the cart, noticing all the random shit you happened to impulsively acquire, a mixed feeling of “about-to-be-buyers remorse” and “I need a bucket of caramel corn” are internally competing.

Considering, the original intention was to only pick up a birthday card and shampoo, it’s a traditional fail. In accordance, you proceed to the check out while still responsibly ignoring the eight dollar DVDs. However, one more thing catches your eye. Instinctively, you notice a collection of glossy magazines in your peripheral …

Your vision finally focuses. Your eyes quickly scroll from top to bottom and your body is already releasing pleasure-inducing-dopamine as you susurrate:

“College Football Preview Issue”

It’s a damn good feeling, yet, I can make it even better. Like those infomercials say, “you might pay $9.99 at the store, but, I’m going to throw it in today for FREE…”

So, grab that caramel corn instead and leave the media-biased articles on the shelf for the schlub behind you.

I’m jumping in the 128-team, college football deep-end to give you my top five teams, breakout players, and even uniforms to keep an eye on during the 2015 College Football season.

Now, with great satisfaction, (or until I get a chance to sell out) I present to you, the first annual Now It’s Dark College Football Freeview Issue:

Top 5 Teams:

1.) Ohio State Buckeyes

College Football 2015

Ohio State Buckeyes – Courtesy Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports

THE defending champs are loaded with an embarrassment of riches on both sides of the ball. That being said, the men of scarlet and gray also have one of the game’s best leaders in Urban Meyer. Coach Meyer’s main conundrum is choosing a starting QB, which has since been narrowed down to two competitors once Braxton Miller decided to CATCH touchdowns this year.

The Buckeyes QB riddle will be solved by either an Alabama-crushing, cannon-armed, Cardale Jones …

… or the super-cool, touchdown-machine, JT Barrett …

Factor in Miller’s playmaking ability, Ezekiel Elliott’s playmaking ability, Mike Thomas’ playmaking ability, Joey Bosa’s playmaking ability… Annnnd you get the point.

All of Ohio and Vegas (Odds: 3 to 2) expect OSU in this year’s College Football Playoff.

2.) TCU Horned Frogs

College Football 2015

TCU Horned Frogs – Courtesy

What I lack in knowledge of an actual horned frog, I make up for in respect for Trevone Boykin. The TCU signal caller piled up 42 total touchdowns while leading his squad to a Big XII title and the dismantling of Ole’ Miss in the Peach Bowl …

The defense has some questions but, this high-octane offense should see an increase (yes, increase) in productivity with a year’s worth of experience behind them.

All of that offense plus being left out of last years playoff should have Head Coach Gary Patterson’s team motivated and TCU’s opponents worried.

3.) Michigan State Spartans

College Football 2015

Michigan State Spartans – Courtesy

Over the last few years your computer would have exploded if you were to put two B1G teams in a preseason top 5, but, the times they are-a-changing. Coming off of a spectacular Cotton Bowl win, Sparty has an NFL ready QB in Connor Cook and a handful of pro-prospects on the D-line.

Coach Mark Dantonio knows how to develop talent and win close games. I expect MSU to be in the playoff discussion all year long.

4.) Oregon Ducks

College Football 2015

Oregon Ducks – Courtesy

Last year’s national runner-up may have lost their Heisman Trophy winning QB, but, whether it’s changing uniforms or plugging in new starters, it’s all water off a Duck’s back. Those flashy jerseys, trophies, and 24 wins over the last two years tend to keep the top recruits lining up.

Now that Marcus Mariota is a pro in Tennessee, Oregon is hoping FCS-transfer Vernon Adams can replicate his 9 yards per play average on a much larger stage.

Considering, Adams did that at Eastern Washington University, he should feel right at home with all the other skill players in Eugene.

5.) Auburn Tigers

College Football 2015

Auburn Tigers – Courtesy

The SEC may have three “Tigers’ in conference, but, the ambush from Auburn is ready for an attack on the college football playoff. (See what I did there?).

These Tigers are lead by the Cam-Newton clone Jeremy Johnson. Johnson has been waiting in the weeds for the last two years and should have a breakout year in Head Coach Gus Malzahn’s system.

Factor in the addition of a new defensive coordinator and the Tigers seem primed for a run at the prized SEC championship.

Now that you know the teams to watch, here are five players poised to really shine this year:

Darron Lee

College Football 2015

Darron Lee – Courtesy

You know about the Buckeye offensive, but, this LB was named Sugar Bowl Defensive MVP and is in a system that allows him to make plays all over the field. Somehow he’ll improve on 81 tackles and 2 INTs.

Everett Golson

College Football 2015

Everett Golson – Courtesy

This QB led Notre Dame to the championship game in 2012, but, he’s wearing FSU Seminole Gold this year. Expect him to pick up right where Jameis Winston left off.

Cody Kessler

College Football

Cody Kessler – Courtesy

A USC QB with a season total of 39 TDs to 5 INTs usually wins some hardware, but, that was just Kessler’s warm-up. He’s a lock for 40 TD’s and 4,000 yards passing. Plus, he’s got seven pooch punts.

• Nick Chubb:

College Football 2015

Nick Chubb – Courtesy

Georgia RBs are usually pro-level studs and this is no exception. He ran for over 1,500 yards as freshman in the SEC. Yup, he’s legit.

Shilique Calhoun

College Football 2015

Shilique Calhoun – Courtesy

The Michigan State defensive line is full of NFL talent and he’s the ringleader. He’ll definitely add to his 16.5 career sacks and maybe even his 3 TDs.

Here at Now It’s Dark, we’ve got the teams and the players covered, but, part of the football pageantry is also about what is literally covering them.

In 2015, these squads are hoping the “if you look good… you play good” mantra is true. Thanks, Deion.

• UC Bearcats look great in all black

• Maryland Football’s alternate might be the best in the nation

• How sick are the San Diego State Aztec unis? They made a video to show you …

• UNC football’s argyle stripe is a thing of beauty

• The Akron Zips’ are crushing the helmet game.

*Honorable mentions go to the USF Bulls and TCU Horned Frogs. Obviously the “distract the opponent theory” is being tested.

You can now hang out at the water cooler and chat with confidence. We brought you the best players, teams, and even freshest uniforms for the 2015 College Football season.

Also, I hope you really did save some caramel corn, because the pro-football preview is coming soon!

Steve Waniewski

Steve Waniewski writes reviews and articles for NID Magazine and can be reached at [email protected]