It’s time for my ever-annual, always-wrong college football preview!
Why should you keep reading when I’m always wrong? So you can trash me on Twitter throughout the year! (You do follow me on Twitter, right? If not, why not?!?!)
Anyway, on with the preview.
We’ll look at the the six BCS conferences, then you can read my 10 bold predictions.
Let’s make this clear: if Florida State does NOT win this conference, it will be a totally ruined season in Tallahassee. The Seminoles play Oklahoma early in the year, and I think that might be the only game they lose (if they lose that one).
What the Big East needs the year before TCU joins is, well, respectability. They have a shot at it when South Florida travels to Notre Dame to open the season. They also have a shot to lose it right off the bat. If teams lose games they should win, the attitude of “same ol’ Big East” will reign.
My pick for this conference is South Florida. I know Pittsburgh is the favorite, but I like USF’s speed in the round-robin and short (only 7 conference games) season.
Big 10 (+2)
Yes, get used to it, the Big 10 now has 12 teams, not just 11. My Cornhuskers join the league, and they fit perfectly into the culture. Their schedule is murder, though.
I have no idea what the divisions are in this league (Leaders and Legends??? My vote was “Lakes and Plains”…how perfect is that for the Upper Midwest?), but I’m picking Wisconsin to beat Nebraska in the regular season, then lose to them in the Big 10 title game. The Huskers will play in the Rose Bowl as the Big 10 rep. That’s how weird this season could be.
Big 12 (-2)
The Big 12 now has 10 teams (and, soon, there will only be 9) and will not have a conference title game. Oklahoma is the favorite…by far. They will win this league, but not before struggling with Texas A&M.
Welcome Utah and Colorado to the ChangeYourNameWhenYouAddTeams-12. Utah will be the better addition this year, but Colorado means that the Pac-12 should be skiing champs every single year!
My pick in this league is Oregon. I know they have to travel to Stanford, but Oregon’s offense should be blazing by that point in the season. The Ducks play LSU to open the season, so we should know if they will be in the national title picture right out of the gate.
Yes, the SEC is strong. It is the best conference this year. I will ask the question that no one else is willing to ask though: If the SEC is always “so” strong and “so” rugged, how does someone always come through without a loss? It’s worth asking, right?
My pick is Alabama here. I don’t think they will go unbeaten, but I think they win this conference.
10 Bold Predictions
1. Boise State will go unbeaten…again. Yes, I think they will beat Georgia in week 1 (although it should be a wonderful game).
2. Boise State will be left out of the title game…again. And without good reason, I might add. (Here come the comments!)
3. There will be 4 undefeated teams at the end of the year. They will be the two teams I have in the title game (to be announced in a moment), Boise State, and Houston.
4. I’m agreeing with Pat Forde on an upset alert for the opening week: Murray State will upset Louisville to open the year, just as they did to open the Men’s NCAA tournament back in March. [UPDATE: My total fail there. Morehead St. beat The 'Ville in March. Thanks to Stuart for pointing that out in the comments. Just a total fail on my part!]
5. Auburn will finish 5-7 after winning the national title last year.
6. Ohio State, though on probation, will win at least 8 games. (That game with Miami sure looks like a great showcase of college football’s “best,” doesn’t it? After this off-season, I never want to hear about how “scandalous” college basketball is compared to football!
7. Notre Dame will play in a BCS bowl game, but with two losses.
8. Andrew Luck will not win the Heisman trophy. Landry Jones of Oklahoma will.
9. Before the 2012 season starts, the SEC will announce plans to expand to 16 teams, not 14. (Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Duke are my choices to move.)
10. The BCS title game will feature two “OU’s”, as Oklahoma will defeat Oregon to win the title. My other top choices to play in the game (in order): Alabama, Boise State and Nebraska. Can you imagine the explosion in the Midwest if Nebraska and Oklahoma played for the title?
Enjoy the season!