News / georgia tech
Just three days ago Notre Dame safety Derrik Allen announced he would be leaving Notre Dame immediately while seeking a transfer. The redshirt freshman today announced he would be going back to his home state with the Georgia Tech winning his transfer services.
Allen decided to part ways with Notre Dame one week into fall camp because he wasn't in the 2-deep at a stacked safety position. At the time Allen was seen as the 5th option behind starters Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott. Last week saw freshman sensation Kyle Hamilton make an immediate impact at the safety position in practice to vault Allen on the depth chart. To see a fellow Georgia peach product in Hamilton immediately jump you on the depth chart had to be jarring for Allen.
My honest assessment of Allen coming out of high school was that he would probably outgrow the safety position. Allen's frame (6'1 and 205 lbs) looked like it would fill out to a linebacker in the near future. During Allen's redshirt season he gained the "freshman 15" to put him around 220 which in today's game is too big for safety. I'd be surprised if he sticks at safety in college.
While Notre Dame loses a player who could have easily made the 2-deep next season with the impending graduations of Gilman and Elliott Georgia Tech picks up another big time recruit. First year GT head coach Geoff Collins has been looking into locking down the "404" area code in Atlanta which is where Allen is from (Marietta's Lassiter High School). Allen will get his chance to play vs the Blue and Gold in 2020 when Notre Dame travels to Atlanta to play Tech in the Mercedez Benz Stadium. Allen will also get a chance to play in Notre Dame Stadium when Tech travels to South Bend the following season.
1. Clemson (12-0) - Just a couple of plays away from completing a dream 15-0 season, Deshaun Watson and Dabo Swinney are back to complete the mission.
2. FSU (11-1)- Any other division besides the SEC West would have FSU #1 in it. QB Deondre Francois will be the X Factor. If he can play smart football and get the ball into Dalvin Cook's hands watch out for the Seminoles.
3. Louisville (9-3)- QB Lamar Jackson is a stud but Louisville's defense is down right terrible at times.
4. NC State (7-5) - Huge October home game vs Notre Dame could be breaking point for the Wolfpack to get to a New Years Day bowl game.
5. Boston College (6-6) - It will be interesting to see how they replace their great DC in Don Brown.
6. Syracuse (5-7) - The Orangemen seem to be heading in the right direction with Dino Balbers
7. Wake Forest (3-9) - Honestly can't name a player or coach off the top of my head.
1. Pitt (10-2) - 16 returning starters. Great offensive line. John Conner beat cancer and is back at tailback. The defense should be good enough to win the division.
2. North Carolina (9-3) - Elijah Hood is the best back who many people haven't heard of.
3. Georgia Tech (8-4) - Just a gut feeling but I think QB Justin Thomas and head coach Paul Johnson have Tech bounce back in a big way after struggling to a 3-9 record last season.
4. Miami (8-4) - New coach Mark Richt has his work cut out for him. If he can close the southern Florida borders he should have plenty of talent to work with.
5. Virginia Tech (7-5) - Another new coach in Justin Fuente who is drawing rave reviews so far in Blacksburg. Gotta find a QB and they could build something special.
6. Duke (6-6) - I'm probably underestimating David Cutcliffe and his team here but I'm sure they don't mind playing the underdog role.
7. Virginia (4-8) - Bronco Mendenhall is another new coach in the Coastal but he will have the most daunting task of filling up a roster full of average at best players.
OVERRATED TEAM - North Carolina. I see them taking a step back this season.
UNDERRATED TEAM - Pat Narduzzi will get Pitt to the ACC Championship when most pundits have them finishing 5th or lower in the Coastal.
OFFENSIVE PLAYMAKER - Tie between Deshaun Watson and Dalvin Cook. Both are home run threats whenever they have the pigskin in their hands.
DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKER - FSU Safety Derwin James is a bad, bad manchild.
TOP FRESHMAN - Dexter Lawrence should make an immediate impact on Clemson's defensive line.
COACH OF THE YEAR - Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi.
FINAL PREDICTION - Clemson (12-0) beats Pitt (10-2) and advances to the College Football Playoff Final 4.
College Football week 1 betting lines are already out. Here are some games I'm going heavy on to get the ball rolling for early Christmas shopping aka filling up the SportsCrack Pub with booze and victory cigars.
Georgia Tech (-3) vs Boston College in Dublin - Last year was a disastrous season for Justin Thomas and the Yellow Jackets. Big expectations were thrown on Paul Johnson and his crew because of an 11 win 2014 season. Now everyone thinks they suck because they went 3-9. They are playing an awful Boston College team in Dublin and since I've been to Dublin to watch college football (ND vs Navy 2012) I'm 100% confident the Yellow Jackets run all over the Golden Eagles. GT covers big!
Houston (+10) vs Oklahoma - How in the world is Houston at home a double digit underdog? This game will be close and right now I'm leaning on Tom Herman and his Cougars for the down right win. 10 points is way too much. Oklahoma is a tad overrated going into this season anyways. Houston as the homedog!
Wisconsin (+10) vs LSU at Lambeau Field - While it's not on their homefield you know Wisconsin is going to play their asses off on Lambeau Field. It's basically a home game for them and SEC teams don't travel well north of the Mason Dixie line. Leonard Fournette will have a big game and I think LSU wins a close one but you gotta take Wisconsin as the double digit dog here!
USC (+10.5) vs Bama at JerryWorld - In terms of pure talent USC with maybe the exception of LSU might be the only team that can match up with Bama athletically on their schedule. Everyone has been talking about how Bama is going to blow out the Trojans in Dallas but I don't see it. I think USC gives them a run for their Nick Saban bail money. Take FUSC as the dog!
Notre Dame (-4.5) at Texas - Last year ND throttled Texas 38-3. This year they return a seasoned QB (Deshone Kizer or Malik Zaire it won't matter) going into Austin vs a true freshman QB for the Horns. Charlie Strong is already fighting like mad to keep his job but this result will not help. ND beats Texas and wins big!
Ole Miss (+6) vs FSU in Orlando - For some reason and it's really the only reason I can't shake how bad FSU got beat by Houston in the Peach Bowl. I also can't forget how Ole Miss has beaten Bama the last two seasons. The Rebels match up well here with the Criminoles and will be sending in Swag Kelly to face a likely first time starter in Deondre Francois. I'm betting my money on Kelly to get the job done. Ole Miss wins a close one!
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