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Category Archives: College Football Preview

Issue One with The Kickoff’s Preseason Picks to Publish August 27th

The Kickoff college football newsletter is putting the final touches on our first issue of the 2018 season. We’ll be emailing Issue 1 to PDF subscribers this coming Monday, August 27th ahead of the Week One games.

The issue includes our Preseason Top 50, which differs from the first AP Top 25 Poll released on August 20th. We agree that Alabama, Clemson and Georgia appear well positioned for continued success this season.

Ohio State’s position on the Kickoff Preseason Poll was unsettled amidst the controversy over Coach Urban Meyer’s future with the Buckeyes following a domestic abuse scandal with one of his staff coaches. The school suspended Meyer for the first three games of the season about to begin. AP’s initial poll had them ranked #5. Kickoff Editor Tommy Duff said the rankings beyond the top 3 could still change beyond the initial picks before Issue 1 goes out to readers on August 27th if the situation develops further.

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Kickoff Editor Offers Early 2018 College Football Analysis

college football preview

2018 College Football Preview

We made it through that cold, dark place between the national title game and the start of spring football. Tommy Duff, Editor of The Kickoff newsletter offers another round of springtime college football analysis.

College football preview

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Asked who he expects to have a better year in 2018, Duff said he has an eye on the Penn State Nittany Lions, who return both Quarterback McSorley and Wide Receiver Thompkins. “Miles Sanders leads to fill Barkley’s place at Running Back,” Duff said. The team went to 7–0 to begin the 2017 season, before losing on consecutive weekends to Ohio State and Michigan State. They finished the regular season with wins over Rutgers, Nebraska and Maryland before beating Washington, 35–28, at the Fiesta Bowl.

Of course, Alabama continues to demand its perineal spot in the pre-season national title conversation based on recent performance. The Crimson Tide finished the 2017 season with a record of 13–1, losing to Auburn before defeating eventual SEC Champion Georgia in the College Football Playoff. “Obviously the big question for Bama in 2018 is whether Sophomore Tua Tagovailoa or Junior Jalen Hurts will win the starting job for the Tide,” Duff said. Hurts led Bama to the title game two consecutive years, but Tagovailoa was named the Offensive MVP of the national title game after replacing an ineffective Hurts in the second half. Offseason departures included Minkah Fitzpatrick, Calvin Ridley, Bo Scarbrough, and Rashaan Evans, but Nick Saban is expected to simply reload.

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The Can’t Miss College Football Games of 2017

Can't miss college football games of 2017

We are just weeks away from the start of the 2017 season, and anticipation is growing for those week one matchups as the countdown clock on The Kickoff’s website moves closer to a brand new season of college football.

Although the first games will be played as early as August 26th, fans are excited for the first full-fledged Saturday game day on September 2nd, when games will include Alabama vs Florida State, Michigan vs Florida, and Virginia Tech vs West Virginia.

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, speaking at the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college football media day, said he would be rooting for his team’s conference rival, Florida State, over his alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Bama won a nation championship in 1992 when Swinney was a senior playing wide receiver.

Some of the other big “can’t miss” games on our calendar:

  • September 9th will also have some major national title implications as we get to see Swinney’s Tigers (minus Deshaun Watson) against Auburn at Clemson, as well as Georgia at Notre Dame, Stanford at USC, Oklahoma at Ohio State, and Miami at Arkansas State.
  • On September 16th, we get a rematch of the 2006 national championship game as new Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman takes on USC. That day, we’ll also get to watch Clemson travel to play Lamar Jackson and Louisville.
  • October 7 sees Boise State tackling Wyoming.
  • On October 14th, Auburn will try to beat LSU for a second straight year.
  • Louisville and Florida State will collide on October 21st.
  • On October 28th, Urban Meyer will seek to avenge Ohio State as the Buckeyes host Penn State. That’s also the day Florida and Georgia meet up to settle that rivalry for another year.
  • Alabama will try to make it seven in a row when LSU travels to Bryant-Denny on November 4th. The Oklahoma at Oklahoma State game the same day could decide the Big 12 outcome and the AAC will get a major battle as USF’s Charlie Strong and Houston’s Major Applewhite face off.
    Washington battles Stanford on November 10th. The winner of the ACC Atlantic may once again be decided at the Florida State/Clemson game on November 11th.
  • On November 18th, Wisconsin hosts Michigan.
  • Auburn may be all that’s standing in Alabama’s way when the Iron Bowl rolls around on November 25th, this game deciding who makes wins the SEC West in recent years.
  • December 9th will see Navy trying to avenge last year’s loss to Army.

Of course, there should be many thrilling games this season, and The Kickoff will be there weekly, giving you our prognostications and revising the Kickoff Top 25 using our Power Ratings system. This fall’s editions will also contain an additional two pages of information in the email/pdf edition that should make those of you who bet on the outcomes happy. Tommy Duff, Editor of The Kickoff, recently detailed what new information will be contained in the added pages in a blog post.

Which games are you most excited about seeing this season? How do you expect your team to perform? Who do you think will be this year’s surprise story? And can anyone top Clemson or Alabama after back-to-back appearances in the title game? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter now and all season long.

We’ll be bringing you weekly trivia questions on our Facebook Page and editions of The Kickoff. Those who answer correctly each week will become eligible to win a subscription in a random drawing. Twice a week, we curate the headlines that interest college football fans on our website in a feature we call “The Feed”.

To make sure you don’t miss any of the valuable information in The Kickoff college football newsletter, take advantage of our Buy One Get One Free subscription deal on Email/PDF subscriptions. It won’t last forever, so act now!

UAB fans celebrate program’s return in spring scrimmage

UAB fans celebrate program’s return in spring scrimmage
Michigan St holds spring game under cloud of investigation
Oklahoma, Tennessee agree to matchups in 2020, 2024
The biggest workout warrior on every Way-Too-Early Top 25 football team
Can Las Vegas become a new destination in college football?
The ACC’s most versatile man, Derwin James, is back
How Michigan is working to replace Jabrill Peppers
Big Ten Backs Off Plan for Friday Football Games for Northwestern
QB Emory Jones ‘110 percent’ committed to Ohio State but visiting Southern powers
New Tennessee AD John Currie says Butch Jones ‘on the right trajectory’
Why 4-star Tyneil Hopper calls Auburn ‘a great fit’
4-star defensive line recruit Alfred Thomas has Georgia on top
2017 NFL mock draft: Big changes in the top 5
Six players with plenty to prove in spring practice

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Photo by Steven Stiefel

College Football is Back!

College football is back

College football begins anew as THE KICKOFF prepares to publish our first issue of the new season on Monday, August 29.

Kickoff College Football NewsletterThose of you who have subscribed to our email/PDF version can expect to see it in your inbox as you start your week and begin to make your picks in your office pool or fantasy football league for the Sept. 3rd matchups. This is a Monday morning ritual you’ll repeat throughout the fall. If you have not resubscribed yet, visit to get an additional issue to give a friend for FREE. Don’t wait, the promotion ends Sept. 1st! You can also give us a call at 423-267-0953.

Defending National Champions Alabama sit at the top of the new AP Top 25 Poll just released. Certainly, Nick Saban always has enough playmakers to contend for the title in any given year.

The Top 4 (Bama, Clemson, Oklahoma & Florida State) are identical in the Coaches’ Poll. The AP thinks LSU will have a better year than Ohio State, vice versa for the Coaches’ Poll. Both polls have Michigan, Stanford, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Michigan State, TCU, Washington, Houston, UCLA, Iowa, Georgia, Louisville, Southern Cal, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Baylor, Oregon, and Florida in their Top 25 rankings.

Other teams receiving votes in the AP Poll, but failing to crack the Top 25, include Miami, Texas A&M, Utah, Washington St., Boise St., San Diego St., Wisconsin, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, Navy, Northwestern, W. Kentucky, South Florida, and Toledo.

Earlier today, KICKOFF Editor Tommy Duff revealed our Top 25 on WAAK-LP K94.7 radio in Boynton/Ringgold, Ga., with talk show host David Jenkins. The top of the rankings match the other polls, as would be expected. Duff said the Sept. 3 game between Oklahoma and Houston will tell fans a lot about whether the Cougars deserve to be ranked #13. Georgia is ranked #14, he said, because it has potential but also some question marks, including how Kirby Smart will settle in as a head coach in Athens.

Duff said #36 Auburn did not crack the Top 25 because of injuries, the departure of running backs and uncertainty about how QB Sean White will do when many expected John Franklin to get the starting job and “be a superstar”. The Florida Gators barely failed to crack the Top 25, coming in at 26; Duff said their first real test will be a Tennessee team that has to win on Sept. 24th with the Volunteers preseason ranked as high as #6. Butch Jones may feel his seat starting to get warm if the Gators get a 12th straight win in the series.

What are your preseason thoughts?…

  • Which teams do you think are over-rated?
  • Will Bama repeat as National Champs?
  • Which schools will come out of nowhere to shock us this fall?
  • Which games have the most potential to shake things up early in the Top 25?
  • Which four will face off in the College Football Playoff?

Now’s your chance to put your choices in writing so you can brag, “Pfffft. I called it back in August…” THE KICKOFF is certainly locking in our Preseason Prognostications in Monday’s first issue. We’ve been doing this since 1951, so you might want to listen up. Our weekly KICKOFF Thermostat tells you which teams are trending up or down and why.

In contrast to the other polls, THE KICKOFF releases our Preseason Top 50. We typically start the season by comparing our ranking to the Vegas Oddsmakers’ ranking and the Coaches’ ranking for the previous season. We preview Games of the Week and assign our proprietary KICKOFF Power Rating to the teams so you have a quantifiable way of comparing them when making your weekly picks. We’ll list the schedules of FBS and select FCS teams so you have a handy reference of who plays when and where. We tell you who we think are going to be the Breakout Players to watch in 2016. We look back in history to the rankings of the past and entertain you with weekly trivia questions that test your knowledge of the sport.

We want to have an ongoing conversation with you on Twitter throughout the season so we can talk about college football. Be sure to follow us at !


college football contest

Even if your favorite team isn’t a winner this fall, you could be, but first you’ll need to sign up for our FANtastic Football Sweepstakes. We’ve already started weekly drawings for a free 2017 subscription, as well a chance to win coolers and a 48-inch HDTV to watch games on. Sign up to enter at

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