From the Press Box: CFB season predictions and passing thoughts

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Opinion and Insight

The long wait for college football fans is (with a nod to a few Week Zero games last week) finally over, as the season kicks off today with some gusto.

The resumption of the Backyard Brawl after several years has West Virginia visiting Pitt, with Penn State at Purdue in an intriguing early B1G battle.

Georgia will look to repeat as national champs but must replace seven defensive starters who are now in the NFL as well as key pieces on offense. The Bulldogs have the best TE room by far, but can they count on topping an angry Alabama?

The Crimson Tide are loaded and possess what may turn out to be the best pass-rush defense of all time, led by the best player in CFB in jack linebacker Will Anderson and emerging terror Dallas Turner. Did I mention the Heisman winner at quarterback is also back?

The third head of the Top Trio is Ohio State. Quarterback C. J. Stroud will lead an offense every bit as terrifying as 2019 LSU and 2020 Alabama. If the Buckeye defense finishes in the top 25 overall, the crew from Columbus could easily win it all.

As far as Iowa goes, the Hawks (can you say 8-4?) are likely to come up a bit short of being blown out in the B1G title game. And Iowa State might just be able to force enough pieces into place to find themselves 6-6, maybe 7-5.

Wild speculation, of course, but how about Iowa facing Tennessee in the Music City Bowl and Iowa State drawing Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl?

Both the Hawkeyes and Cyclones have defensive stars who deserve more national notice than they are receiving.

In Iowa City you have beast linebacker Jack Campbell, a 6′ 5″, 245-pound monster who led FCS with 140 total tackles last year, while in Ames defensive end Will McDonald (29 career sacks) had 87 stops last year. Both will be fun to watch as they play out their respective senior seasons.

ORANGE BOWL:
North Carolina State vs Penn State

SUGAR:
Texas A&M vs Baylor

COTTON BOWL:
Houston vs. Notre Dame

ROSE BOWL:
Utah vs Michigan

Semifinals:
PEACH BOWL:
Alabama vs Clemson

FIESTA BOWL:
Ohio State vs. Georgia

National Championship
So-Fi Stadium, Los Angeles
Alabama vs. Ohio State
prediction: Alabama 41, Ohio State 34
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Cookies to the arrival of football season. The high schools have been underway, the colleges are starting at full power this week and the NFL will begin their campaign next week. Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is her favorite sport.

A plate of cookies to Jean Dowd and the eight young ladies swimming for Perry High School. The perennially small roster leaves little room for error and places stress each meet on how to compose the three four-swimmer relays while still making the most of individual skills. Despite being pummeled by points scored from multiple entries against them in each event, the Jayettes win the majority of the 11 races at each meet and score at a high ratio. A shout out to all!

Crumbs to all this shuffling of college conferences. Sadly, the Almighty Dollar is at work. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and another 1,000 words could easily be spent, so . . .  crumbs on anything that makes the college game look more like the pro one.

Finally, cookies to being back in the game. It always feels good when you do what you do, and this, for all the faults and errors, is what I do.

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