Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BCS Predictions: Not so fast, Gators

In my quest to find the 2009-10 BCS National Champion, I had to first narrow down the field to a handful of teams that could win the title. The eight teams (or groups of teams) that make up my list of hopefuls are: Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State/Ohio State, Southern Cal, Alabama, Virginia Tech, and Boise State/TCU/Utah.
Let me explain a few those picks: the winner of PSU/OSU has a shot at an undefeated season and a title chance, and the only reason I didn't do the same with UT/OU is because the Sooners lost to Texas last year and still made it to the title game. Realistically, only one of the mid-majors has a chance. I'd say Boise has the best shot, returning QB Kellen Moore, a sophomore who threw 25 touchdowns last year.
To narrow it down even more, lets start by giving Virginia Tech and the group of small schools the axe. To be nice, the ACC is horrible, and the Hokies always seem to have big expectations. Accompanying those lofty goals in 2009 will be a brutal start to the season, when VT plays Alabama in the best non-conference game of the year and Nebraska two weeks later. Even if they get past those two, Beamerball will fall apart for one week like it always does, and they'll probably lose to, say, Boston College. Also, while we're being honest, the BCS will never let a mid-major win a National Championship, so bye-bye little guys.
Next, I think Penn State, being at home, will win the annual clash with the Buckeyes, so that removes Ohio State from contention, but we've seen the Nittany's get screwed before, and, even if they go unbeaten, I don't think they'll make the cut. Moving to the west coast, USC is starting a freshman quarterback and lost their entire linebacking corp from 2008, so I'm saying "naw" to the Trojans, plus I don't even think they'll win the Pac-10.
That leaves us with Florida and Alabama from the SEC and Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12. Florida isn't going to lose until the SEC Championship at the earliest, when they play the Tide and I don't see them losing there either. Florida will move unscathed into the BCS Title Game. On the Big 12 side, sticking with the home-field theme, I think Colt 45 and the Longhorns beat Stoops' Sooners in the Red River Rivalry. Texas' biggest challenge will be a matchup at Oklahoma State, but I think they will win that game and advance to play Tim Tebow in January.
Do you remember the last time the media was anointing a college football team as "one of the greatest teams ever?" I do, and I remember that team being 2005's Southern California team led by Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. ESPN ran a segment leading up to the Championship game that matched USC up to the greatest teams in history and analysts picked the winner of each matchup. Do you remember what happened to Pete Carroll and company in that title game? They got pushed around and flat-out beat by Mack Brown, Vince Young and Texas. So, ladies and gentlemen, I'm calling for the upset.
The 2009 National Champion will be the Texas Longhorns.

More Predictions:
Heisman Trophy Winner: Colt McCoy, Texas

ACC Champion: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Big Ten Champion: Penn State Nittany Lions
Big East Champion: South Florida Bulls
Big Twelve Champion: Texas Longhorns
Pac-10 Champion: Oregon Ducks
SEC Champion: Florida Gators
MAC Champion: Central Michigan Chippewas
Mountain West Champion: TCU Horned Frogs
WAC Champion: Boise State Blue Fields
Conference USA Champion: Houston Cougars
Sun Belt Champion: Florida International Golden Panthers

Do they matter anymore?
Notre Dame: 7-5
Michigan: 6-6

BCS Bowl Predictions:
BCS National Championship Game: Tim Tebow's vs. Colt 45's
Rose Bowl (of course, presented by Citi): Oregon Ducks vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Sugar Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Boise State Blue Fields
Orange Bowl: South Florida Bulls vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Fiesta Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Southern California Trojans

NFL predictions will be up by next week. Thanks for reading.

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