Its hard to believe it has been 232 days since Alabama defeated Clemson 45-40 in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T on Jan. 11.Weve waited 33 weeks for the Crimson Tide and Tigers -- and everyone else -- to take the field again, and Kickoff Week for the 2016 season is finally here.Never before has college football offered so many delightful appetizers to what figures to be a drama-filled, 14-week race for the four spots in the College Football Playoff. No. 9 Tennessee and No. 19 Louisville play in games on Thursday night, and No. 8 Stanford, No. 12 Michigan State?and No. 23 Baylor?play on Friday night.Then it really gets serious on Saturday, when No. 3 Oklahoma?plays No. 15 Houston?(noon ET, ABC), No. 5 LSU?plays Wisconsin?at Lambeau Field! (3:30 ?p.m. ET, ABC)?Texas A&M?hosts No. 16 UCLA?(3:30 p.m. ET, CBS), No. 18 Georgia?plays No. 22 North Carolina?in Atlanta (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), No. 1 Alabama plays No. 20?USC?in Arlington, Texas (8 p.m. ET, ABC), and Auburn?hosts No. 2 Clemson (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).On Sunday night, No. 10 Notre Dame?plays at Texas?(7:30 p.m. ET, ABC), and then No. 4 Florida State?and No. 11 Ole Miss?square off in Orlando on Labor Day night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).Regardless of the outcomes, remember: Its only the first game!With the college football season kicking off in two days, here are my predictions for how the Power Five Conferences will stack up this season:ACCChampion: ClemsonOffensive player of the year: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson Defensive player of the year: Derwin James, S, Florida State Coach of the year: Dabo Swinney, Clemson Freshman of the year: Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State Comeback player of the year: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Coach on the hot seat: Steve Addazio, Boston College Coordinator on the rise: Tony Elliott, offensive coordinator, Clemson Team most likely to rise: Pittsburgh Team most likely to fall: Duke Nonconference game of the year: Clemson at Auburn, Sept. 3 Conference game of the year: Clemson at Florida State, Oct. 29 Biggest potential upset: Louisville over Florida State, Sept. 17Three bold predictions for the ACC1. Pitt running back James Conner will run for 1,500 yards: There wont be a better story in college football this season than Conner, who beat Hodgkins lymphoma after being diagnosed last winter. If that wasnt enough, hes coming back from a knee injury that caused him to miss nearly all of the 2015 season.2. Two ACC teams will make the College Football Playoff: The winner of the Clemson-FSU game in Tallahassee, Florida, will have the inside track at winning the ACC and earning a spot in the playoff. But the loser wont be entirely out of the CFP race and might grab one of the four spots, especially if teams from the Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC devour each other during conference play.3. Wake Forest will go bowling: After back-to-back 3-9 seasons, coach Dave Clawson finally has depth in the trenches and the right guys at quarterback to run his offense. If Wake Forest can go at least 3-1 in nonconference play (home games against Tulane, FCS foe Delaware and Army and a road game at Indiana), it will have a chance to finish 6-6 and play in its first bowl since 2011.Big 12Champion: OklahomaOffensive player of the year: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech Defensive player of the year: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas Coach of the year: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma Freshman of the year: Shane Buechele, QB, Texas Comeback player of the year: Kenny Hill, QB, TCU Coach on the hot seat: Charlie Strong, Texas Coordinator on the rise: Lincoln Riley, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma Team most likely to rise: Texas Tech Team most likely to fall: Baylor Nonconference game of the year: Ohio State at Oklahoma, Sept. 17 Conference game of the year: Oklahoma at TCU, Oct. 1 Biggest potential upset: Texas over Notre Dame, Sept. 4Three bold predictions for the Big 121. The Big 12 will expand to 12 teams: Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby interviewed representatives of 20 -- 20! -- schools earlier this month about possibly joining his league. By mid-October, the Big 12 will indeed add two more schools for next season -- Cincinnati and Houston.2. Texas will start 3-0: Slow starts doomed the Longhorns in coach Charlie Strongs first two seasons. In 2014, the Longhorns started 2-4 and finished 6-7. Last season, UT started 1-4 and finished 5-7. This year, UT is going to start 3-0 with home victories over Notre Dame and UTEP and a road win at rebuilding Cal. Then theyll return to Earth with back-to-back losses to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.3. Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes will throw 50 touchdowns: The Red Raiders have had plenty of strong-armed quarterbacks come through their quarterback-friendly system. But Mahomes might be the best one yet. Hell throw for more than 5,500 yards with 50 touchdowns to lead Tech to a winning record in Big 12 play for the first time since 2009.Big TenChampion: MichiganOffensive player of the year: J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State Defensive player of the year:?Malik McDowell, DE, Michigan State Coach of the year: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Freshman of the year: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan Comeback player of the year: Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin Coach on the hot seat: Darrell Hazell, Purdue Coordinator on the rise: Tim Drevno, offensive coordinator, Michigan Team most likely to rise: Nebraska Team most likely to fall: Wisconsin Nonconference game of the year: Ohio State at Oklahoma, Sept. 17 Conference game of the year: Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 26 Biggest potential upset: Michigan State over Michigan, Oct. 29Three bold predictions for the Big Ten1. Michigan wins the Big Ten and makes the CFP: If the Wolverines make the CFP in Year 2 under coach Jim Harbaugh, theyll certainly earn it. Theyll probably have to win two of three road games at Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State. But Harbaugh has built a dominant defense, and hell get enough from his quarterback to finish 11-1.2. Iowa will be undefeated in November again: The Hawkeyes are sort of flying under the radar, much like last season, when they finished the regular season 12-0 before losing in the Big Ten championship game and Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. This season, Iowa will win its first nine games before falling to Michigan twice, once in the regular season on Nov. 12, and again in the Big Ten championship game.3. Wisconsin will start 2-5 but still make a bowl: After winning 10 games in coach Paul Chrysts first season, the Badgers are probably going to take a step back in Year 2. They open the season against LSU at Lambeau Field and then play Michigan State (road), Michigan (road), Ohio State (home) and Iowa (road) to open Big Ten play. After starting 2-5, the Badgers will win four of their last five games to finish 6-6.Pac-12Champion: StanfordOffensive player of the year: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford Defensive player of the year: Budda Baker, S, Washington Coach of the year: Chris Petersen, Washington Freshman of the year: Theo Howard, WR, UCLA Comeback player of the year: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA Coach on the hot seat: Mike MacIntyre, Colorado Coordinator on the rise: Tee Martin, offensive coordinator, USC Team most likely to rise: Washington Team most likely to fall: California Nonconference game of the year: USC vs. Alabama (Arlington, Texas), Sept. 3 Conference game of the year: Stanford at Washington, Sept. 30 Biggest potential upset: Utah over Washington, Oct. 29Three bold predictions for the Pac-121. The Pac-12 will be left out of the CFP: For the second straight season, the Pac-12 wont have a team in the CFP. Last year, Stanford won the league and finished 12-2. Only one other Pac-12 squad -- 10-3 Utah -- finished with fewer than four losses. Stanford will win the league again in 2016 with two losses, falling at UCLA and Washington in back-to-back games in September before finishing the season with a nine-game winning streak.2. Washington State quarterback Luke Falk will throw for more than 5,000 yards: Falk, a junior from Logan, Utah, threw for 4,561 yards in 12 games last season and this year hes poised to become the 15th FBS player to eclipse 5,000. He threw for only 289 yards in the Cougars rain-soaked 24-17 loss to FCS foe Portland State in last years opener and didnt play in a 45-10 loss at Washington in the regular-season finale because of a concussion. He attempted at least 50 passes in eight games last season and should be even more efficient.3. The UCLA-USC game will decide the Pac-12 South: The Bruins and Trojans look like the teams to beat in the Pac-12 South. The Bruins have quarterback Josh Rosen, while the Trojans might have more overall talent. UCLA will fall at Texas A&M and Washington State, but will defeat the Trojans at the Rose Bowl to win the division.SECChampion: AlabamaOffensive player of the year: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU Defensive player of the year: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M Coach of the year: Nick Saban, Alabama Freshman of the year: Jacob Eason, QB, Georgia Comeback player of the year: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia Coach on the hot seat: Gus Malzahn, Auburn Coordinator on the rise: Dave Aranda, defensive coordinator, LSU Team most likely to rise: Tennessee Team most likely to fall: Mississippi State Nonconference game of the year: USC vs. Alabama (Arlington, Texas), Sept. 3 Conference game of the year: Alabama at LSU, Nov. 5 Biggest potential upset: Texas A&M over LSU, Nov. 24Three bold predictions for the SEC1.?LSU coach Les Miles will survive another Alabama loss: Once again, the Tigers will roll through September and October before meeting a familiar stumbling block in November: Alabama. The Tigers will fall to the Crimson Tide, 21-20, at Tiger Stadium on Nov. 5, which will be their sixth straight loss in the series. This season, though, LSU will recover to win its last three games and will finish 11-1. Alabama will win the SEC West, but the Tigers will be the second-highest ranked SEC team and will be invited to the Allstate Sugar Bowl.2. Nick Chubb will run for more than 1,000 yards: Chubb hasnt played since tearing knee ligaments in a 38-31 loss at Tennessee on Oct. 10. To a man, his teammates say hes 100 percent healthy and faster than he was before the injury. With a freshman quarterback possibly lining up under center, Chubb will again carry the Bulldogs on his back. Hell start slowly, but will emerge as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate by seasons end.3. If Auburn doesnt beat Texas A&M or LSU at home, its going to get ugly on the Plains: Auburn opens the season against Clemson and starts SEC play with home games against Texas A&M and LSU. 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