Top College Football Players Come Draft Day

Three schools will dominate the initial 15 picks of the 2017 NFL Draft 
In the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft, expect three schools to have six of the initial 15 picks selected in the first round including four from the University of Alabama, and two each from The Ohio State University and Louisiana State University (LSU). All expect the Cleveland Browns to start off the first round with the selection of defensive end Myles Garrett from Texas A&M. Despite the lack of a franchise quarterback, the Browns will not be able to keep themselves from picking Garrett since his performance at the recent NFL combine was more impressive than they had expected. The second pick belongs to the San Francisco 49’ers and it is expected that the first of four Alabama players will selected. Defensive end Jonathan Allen is expected to be the pick despite the poor showing he turned in at the combine. This selection could potentially change if the 49’ers are able to deal for New England Patriot’s backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo or Washington Redskin’s signal caller Kirk Cousins.

The first of two LSU players to be drafted will be Jamal Adams. Adams, a safety, will be selected by the Tennessee Titans who have this pick which was obtained from a trade made with the Los Angeles Rams one year ago. Despite not having the best of combines, the Titans like Adams namely since Malik Hooker of Ohio State is expected to be out four to six months due to a pair of surgeries. The New York Jets will make it back to back LSU players drafted when they choose running back Leonard Fournette. Although Fournette was slowed by injuries in his senior season, he has graded out a lot better than a couple of running back selected of late in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley.

The seventh and eighth pick of the first round will come from the Buckeyes. The Los Angeles Chargers will go with Malik Hooker who will fill an immediate need since Eric Waddle departed. Although Hooker has gone through recent surgeries, he is expected to be available prior to Week One of the 2017 season. The Carolina Panthers have the eighth pick and will likely go after the best available player. Cornerbacks are deep in this year’s draft yet expect the Panthers to select Marshon Lattimore who is considered the top corner available. The Panthers value high character players which Lattimore fits and they need to fill a void left when Josh Norman departed to the Redskins.

The Cincinnati Bengals own the ninth pick and they are projected to take the third Alabama player selected in the first round. Linebacker Rueben Foster will likely fill in the spot filled by veteran Karlos Dansby who is a free agent. Foster is considered the top linebacker prospect but did not fair well at the combine as he was asked to leave when he had a disagreement with a hospital worker. The fourth Alabama prospect to be selected will be cornerback Marlon Humphrey. This second first round draft pick was obtained through the trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s draft. The Browns have several needs to address and own 11 picks in the 2017 draft. There secondary is considered the worst in the NFL anchored by a hobbled former Pro Bowler Joe Haden. Haden is no longer reliable enough to be counted on and the Browns need to move on with their overhaul of the roster. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey would fill the void, and along with expected first pick Myles Garrett, gives the Browns new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams an opportunity to realize immediate improvement.

Top Stadiums You Want To Play In

The Top 10 College Stadiums to Play in 
The thing which stands out about college football isn’t necessarily the game itself or the amenities that come with it. No, it is the atmosphere surrounding an entire stadium.

While the action is fierce between the sidelines, I have always found the college football experience to be entertaining due to the venue. Whether it is the history or the mixing of local residents with current students and school alumni to creating a raucous backdrop, there are just certain stadiums that bring it all together.

The following is a list of 10 college football stadiums as of today which I would want to play at if I had a chance to do so.

1) Rose Bowl, UCLA (Pasadena, CA)
The Bruins are fortunate to play home games here, but it is the sense of history which pervades around it which would get to be. The Rose Bowl game gets played here every New Year’s Day. It’s simple bowl-shaped seating makes every seat a good one for the over 100,000 who regularly show up on Jan. 1.

2) Memorial Stadium, Clemson (SC)
Also known as Death Valley, the home of the current national champions is a fun one especially for the home team. For me, few traditions are better than the Clemson players rubbing Howard’s Rock and then running downhill onto the field in front of 80,000 screaming fans.

3) Notre Dame Stadium (South Bend, Ind.)
In terms of a historical sports site with great moments of the past combined with modern amenities, the home of the Fighting Irish would be the ideal place. Thanks to a recent $400 million renovation, Notre Dame Stadium figures to have a seating capacity of around 85,000.

4) Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
When it comes to seating capacity, none can match “The Big House” which has a capacity of 107,601. It used to be nearly 110,000 a few years ago. Combine all those in attendance with the maize and blue colors of the Wolverines and it would be quite an atmosphere to play in.

5) AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
If I was a college football player, I would definitely want to have a glimpse of the next level at some point. So the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, would be just that glimpse. A billion-dollar mecca with a huge video screen overhead, the stadium currently serves as the home to the Cotton Bowl game since 2009.

6) Ohio Stadium, Ohio State (Columbus, OH)
Known as the “Horseshoe” for its unique shape until school officials finally closed off the open-ended horseshoe with new stands, the Buckeyes’ home now seats over 104,000 on game days. With all those scarlet and silver colors, it can be a great site to view from the playing field on Saturdays.

7) Sanford Stadium, Georgia (Athens, GA)
There may be larger stadiums and ones with really wild atmospheres, but for pure venue, I would love to play “Between the Hedges” at the home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. There is a long row of privet hedges beyond either sidelines, giving this field or classical field which gets frequently surrounded by over 93,000 spectators.

8) Kyle Field, Texas A&M (College Station, TX)
Going back to the atmosphere pitch, few can match the 12th Man citing at Aggies home games at Kyle Field. Recent additions has caused the stadium’s capacity to rise over 20,000 a few years ago. Now, the Aggies play in front of over 102,000 regularly. There is nothing like playing football in front of a pack of students in uniforms.

9) Neyland Stadium, Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Traditionally, the home of the Tennessee Volunteers has been one of the larger stadiums in the country over the years. Neyland, with all of its orange coloring, went over 100,000 in capacity way back in 1996 and still is the fifth-largest college stadium with 102,455 capacity today.

10) Albertsons Stadium, Boise State (Boise, Idaho)
The chance to play on the Smurf Turf or “The Big Blue” as others call it is near the top of my wish list. It may be a little bright for the eyes, but the night-time atmosphere in the cozy 36,387-capacity stadium is still tremendous. Locals love their underdog Broncos and playing on the turf is a unique experience.

Most Dreaded Stadiums To Play In College Football

Most Dreaded College Stadiums to Play In 
Playing an away game in college football can be intimidating as it is. There are some stadiums where the home team definitely has the advantage. At every game there will be thousands of loud fans cheering on the home team. These are some of the most intimidating college football stadiums to play in.

Tiger Stadium at LSU
This stadium has been nicknamed Death Valley and is of one of the most dangerous places to play in all of college football. There are over 100,000 Tiger fans that show up for each game to support their team. The end zones are the school colors of purple and yellow. This stadium is always in the top 25 ranking of all iconic stadiums. The night games here can be so loud the stadium is called Deaf Valley by some.

Ohio Stadium at Ohio State
This stadium got the nickname the Horseshoe due to the unique shape. This is one of the largest stadiums in college football. The OH, Io chant can be heard during the game from loyal fans. It is tough for a visiting team to make their presence known here.

Kyle Field at Texas A&M
This is the NCAA’s version of the 12th Man. The field is filled to capacity every game. The stadium has seen some improvement over the last couple of years which has only made it more popular. The fans here will support their team and they come out to every game.

Michigan Stadium at Michigan
This stadium is the largest in the United States. This stadium is so large that it is the third biggest stadium n the world. It even got the nickname Big House. The stadium can hold over 100,000 Michigan fans every game. if playing in the large stadium is not intimidating enough than playing in front of all the home fans just may be. When the players enter the field the need to jump to touch the banner to follow the tradition of college football and to honor the fans that have come to attend a good college football game.

Sanford Stadium at Georgia
This stadium is nicknamed Between the Hedges. The field is surrounded by green hedges making it one of the most talked about stadiums in college football. The UGA mascot can be seen walking around the field and by the time kick off comes around this stadium is packed with fans.

Memorial Stadium at Clemson
This stadium is smaller then some of the others but it is big with noise and pride for their team. This stadium is known for their fireworks when the Tiger take the field. Following the fireworks are balloons and noise from the crowd. Many say this team has the most dramatic entrance in college football. While this stadium may be small it is just as intimidating or not more then the other college stadiums.

Rose Bowl
This is one of the most famous stadiums and most well respected games played in college football. The stadium is one of the most challenging places to play in. Some think it is due to nerves while others think it is due to the tough teams that play here. This stadium even hosted the Olympic games.
These are some of the most intimidating stadiums in college football. These stadiums accommodate the fans so they can show the pride they have for their home team.

Teams With a Chance at the College Football Playoff

NCAA Playoff Outlook

The NCAA college football season just completed week 7. We are now far enough into the season to have a clear picture of who is in the hunt for the playoffs and who isn’t. Remember, just the top 4 ranked teams in the NCAA make the playoffs every year. Some experts could argue that any team in the top 20 or 25 has a legitimate shot at the tournament. While this is true, there are certainly teams that have a much better shot than others. Obviously, teams that are currently undefeated have the best chance.

Undefeated teams

It is important to understand that teams that are in one of the power conferences have the best shot at making the playoffs if they are undefeated. The highest rated conference in college football is the SEC, and its best team is the University of Alabama. They have been walking all over teams lately and are  currently the clear cut favorite for the NCAA championship. Barring any disaster, they should make it to the playoffs.

The same goes for Ohio State, Michigan, and Clemson. These three teams also control their destiny when it comes to the FBS playoffs. Ohio State and Michigan face off during the last week of the season. That game will essentially be a playoff game for both teams in their quest for a title. Other undefeated teams not ranked in the top 3 are Washington, Texas A&M, Nebraska, and Baylor. There is enough time left in the season for some of these teams to face off and had others a season-ending loss.

One-Loss Teams

Thanks to the advent of the NCAA playoffs, a regular season loss isn’t the death knell that it used to be for many’s teams seasons. The strongest one-loss team so far is Louisville. Their only loss came at the hands of an undefeated division rival, Clemson. If they win out, they could face the Tigers in the conference championship for a shot at the playoffs. The University of Houston’s football program has come on strong the last couple of seasons. They also only have one loss and could be a dark horse candidate for the playoffs.

Dark Horse Candidates

Some schools that play in smaller conferences have an outside shot at making the top 4. Boise State seems to be undefeated every year but is hampered by their weaker conference schedule. If enough teams lose and they remain undefeated they could make it in, though. Their strong reputation from past seasons should help them. Big 12 mainstay Oklahoma has a couple of losses but plays a tough enough schedule that they could get in if enough things go their way.

Honestly, there are still too many undefeated teams this early in the season to have a clear cut picture of the playoff outlook. Obviously, any team that is ranked in the top 4 right now that wins out will get an invite. Anyone who has watched a lot of college football over the last few years understands that this is unlikely. The unpredictability of college football is what makes it so exciting. Let’s just sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of this NCAA football season.

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