5. University of Michigan Wolverines
The Chad Henne and Mike Hart Show return this season for a team that had an argument to be playing in the National Championship Game last season. Together they hope to bring a National Title back to Ann Arbor for the first time since 1997.
Strengths: As mentioned above, it is the offense. Henne and Hart bring a ton of experience to get through the Big 10 wars and a combined 36 TD’s back from last season for the Wolverines.
Weaknesses: Is Lloyd Carr the guy or not. If Michigan is to lose early or struggle in an early contest the distraction of Lloyd Carr’s job status will loom over this program as a very dark cloud.
Game They Should Win: Although they were the I-AA National Champions last season, Appalachian State has no chance against the Wolverines. Welcome to the Big House fellas.
Game They Could Lose: 11/03 at Michigan State. Big road game against a key rival before closing out their schedule against Wisconsin and Ohio State. Will Michigan be looking a few weeks ahead?
Key Game: 11/17, versus Ohio State at the Big House. Seriously, are there any other choices?
“The champions of the West.” I know that has some historical meaning, but it’s still HILARIOUS! Too bad they can’t win out west anymore, or this song might still mean something.
4. West Virginia University Mountaineers
After a rise to dominance in the mid-90s, West Virginia slid back down. Over the past few seasons, though, the ‘Eers have started climbing the ladder again. This team is, easily, the best hope the school has had for a national title in many years. Can Steve Slaton and Pat White lead this team to an undefeated record and a possible BCS title game bid?
Strength: Complete offensive dominance. A team QB rating in ’06 of over 150. Two one thousand yard rushers (Slaton with 1744 and White with 1219). While the spread usually makes people think of passing, the Mountaineers had 44 rushing TDs last season from six different runners. Eleven different players had either a run or catch of over forty yards. Simply put: who do you stop?
Weakness: There might be two small (very small) problems with WVU. First, the kickers missed five out of seven field goal attempts last year from 40-49 yards. In major games, that length of field goal is quite common, so that number will have to get better. Also, the entire team has just 16 seniors, while there are 41 freshmen.
Game They Might Lose: The ‘Eers only play two ranked teams (Louisville and at Rutgers), so I’m going to stay away from those for this pick. The game at Maryland on September 13th will be a tough game. Turtles can be hard to beat.
Game They Should Win Easily: The SEC will look really bad in mid-October when Mississippi State heads to Morgantown and gets destroyed by West Virginia.
Key Game: September 28 at South Florida. While the real key stretch is the Louisville and Rutgers stretch, WVU lost to the Bulls last year. They will have to avoid a letdown here to keep Big East hopes alive.
Okay, I didn’t look all that hard, but some WVU fans need to get some more versions of the fight song on YouTube…without gross pictures of guys with no shirts!
Strengths: Coach Urban Meyer has established himself as one of the top college football coaches in the country. Finally he will be starting his type of quarterback (Tim Tebow) in his style of offense. The offense will not skip a beat this season.
Weaknesses: So, how is that huge target on your back after winning the National Championship? On top of that, good luck in replacing those nine starters on defense. Even more, their SEC road schedule is just brutal. Florida plays at LSU, at Georgia, and at South Carolina where Steve Spurrier is as giddy as a school girl in being given the opportunity to play his former school with nine new faces on defense.
Game they will win: 9/01 against Western Kentucky. Welcome to Division I-A football Hilltoppers!
Game they could lose: 11/10 at South Carolina-Seriously, Steve Spurrier cannot contain himself.
That video is after Florida’s SEC championship last season. By the way, they might want to re-write the alma mater. Did you know that Florida’s alma mater says that UF is “where the girls are the fairest; where the boys are the squarest”? Is that a good thing?
2. Louisiana State University Tigers
Let’s see, here. You lose the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft and you get better? That’s right, SEC. You’d better be ready. LSU is loaded and ready to go. When the Tigers hired Les Miles from Oklahoma State, all I (as a Big 12 fan) heard was, “What has he done?” I think now SEC fans are realizing this guy can coach.
Strength: Depth. At all positions. It’s scary.
Weakness: If I have to choose one, it’s kicking. LSU attempted just 11 field goals last year, making only 7.
Game They Might Lose: September 9th an> against Virginia Tech. This is a great intersectional game, with LSU hosting the Hokies at night in Baton Rouge. Two deep, powerful teams.
Game They Should Win Easily: Their season and SEC opener against Mississippi State. I know the SEC tries to have a Thursday night game each week for ESPN, but, come on. Is this the best they could do for a season-opener? This doesn’t get us excited about the Saturday to come!
Key Game: This may be a cop-out pick, but I’m taking their final regular season game. On November 24th (Friday, as always), LSU plays Arkansas. If these teams play up to par, this day-after-Thanksgiving affair could decide who goes to the SEC title game
1. University of Southern California Trojans
Adam’s Capsule: Wow. What else can be said. Pete Carrol is a master at college football. USC is loaded…again. They are the favorites…again. They have Heisman Trophy candidates…again. They get to beat up Nebraska…again (okay, so that one was just from me). Seriously, the only team that beats the Men of Troy in ’07? The Men of Troy (and not Troy, Alabama).
Could this year’s version of USC football become one of the all-time great teams in college football history? Check back later in January. As a side note, Les Miles might want to be careful in making comments on USC’s schedule, he may very well face them in the National Championship Game.
Adam’s Strength: Pete Carrol. We always focus on the talent on the field, but this guy gets them to LA and gets them to play up to their potential every week, year after year. Pete deserves his due.
Adam’s Weakness: The only one that comes to mind is lethargy. I guess USC could just get tired of winning by 30 every week.
Adam’s Game They Should Win Easily: Anyone got a season schedule, ‘cause it’s all of them! The ultimate blow-out? September 1 against Idaho. I’m thinking 70.
Matt’s Key Game: The BCS Championship Game where they will unload on some poor team hoping for an upset. Seriously, this team is this good. Believe the hype!
I don’t care what anybody says, that’s the best fight song in America (and I’m not a USC fan). When the trombones lead the way (about 40 seconds in); that will bring chills to any football fan.
Four undefeated teams throw the BCS into chaos:
1. Southern California
2. The West Virginia/Louisville winner
3. The Oklahoma/Texas winner
4. The Hawai’i/Boise State winner
Adam’s National Title Game Prediction:
Southern California over West Virginia
Oklahoma/Texas winner finishes #3 with an undefeated record