College football is right around the corner, with the season beginning beginning Thursday with exciting games such as Marshall v. Ohio State and FAU v. UAB (also Pittsburgh plays Utah in what is honestly kind of an interesting game). Then, things really get interesting starting Sunday. With that in mind, here’s some predictions heading into this season:
ACC: I’m taking Florida State in their division and Virginia Tech in theirs, with Va Tech to win the conference. I don’t know if North Carolina qualifies as a sleeper, but if they are, I think they could win the conference if everything break right.
Big East: Despite the loss of Brian Kelly, I still think Cincinnati wins the Big East, though West Virginia and Pittsburgh will definitely contend.
Big 10: The names everybody is bandying about are Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and I think Terrelle Pryor will finally put it together for a full season and lead the Buckeyes to the conference title. Also, since it is a point of interest to many, I think Michigan wins eight games and Rich Rodriguez keeps his job.
Big 12: Nebraska seems like a lock to win the North, and I think Oklahoma will take the South and win the conference. Also, I like Texas A&M as a sleeper, though they certainly have gotten their fair share of press this offseason.
Pac 10: I’ll take Oregon, though I think despite all the hoopla surrounding them USC will be near the top of the division, though of course they can’t technically win the conference, or at least history won’t record it that way.
SEC: Maybe I’ll be wrong on this, but the SEC seems a bit down this year, at least on paper. I don’t see anybody winning their division except Florida and Alabama respectively. Maybe South Carolina will finally contend, but I don’t see it. Also, I think Alabama wins the SEC again.
As for the non-AQ teams, I really only see Boise State and TCU contending for anything. There was a bit of hype for Middle Tennessee State this offseason, but now with the Dwight Dasher imbroglio that doesn’t seem likely. I don’t think Houston or BYU or a team of that ilk is going to do much. Additionally, unless Boise state beats Virginia Tech, they are likely to struggle to make a BCS bowl game. Could be a year without a non-AQ team in a BCS bowl. Also, I think Notre Dame wins nine games this season.
In regards to the Heisman, no name really sticks out to me. Mark Ingram is banged up and has Trent Richardson behind him. Kellen Moore is at Boise State. I don’t hold that against him, but some will. Case Keenum will have the numbers, but in a very pass happy offense. Maybe a running back like Jacquizz Rodgers or Dion Lewis will step up. However, for now I’ll go with Pryor.
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Let the games begin!