College Football Preview
Ok, College ball season starts tommorow evening, with a slate of games highlighted by Wake Forest/Vanderbilt (yes, I know, that's a pretty crappy highlight). So without any further ado, here is my look ahead and predictions for the Power Conferences.
The Marcus Vick era finally begins at Virginia Tech, and younger Vick has quite a bit of pressure on him. In addition of trying to live up to his brother's name, he also has to deal with the pressure of playing on a team which won the League last season. Meanwhile, FSU is having all kinds of issues at QB, and Miami is trying to rebound from a very dissapointing last season. Going by the "It's Miami, so they can't be bad two years in a row" theory, I'm picking the 'Canes to win the ACC this fall.
Big 10 (11)
The power in the Big 10, as always, is with Ohio State and Michigan. OSU is returning no less than 18 starters. Michigan is coming off a League Title. It'll be a battle till the end, and the only reason Michigan will win out is because the season-ender is gonna be at the Big House.
With Nebraska still in apparent disarray trying to install their West Coast offense, the Big 12 is still the property of perennial powerhouse Oklahoma, and their neighbors to the south, Texas. The Sooners have owned the Longhorns over the last few seasons, but their is reason to believe that will be turned around this year. Jason White is gone, and Vince Young is ready, in many people's opinion, to challenge for the Heisman. Still, until Mack Brown & Co. can knock the monkey off their back, it's tough to pick against the monkey. Look for Oklahoma to win the League again.
The Big East is getting some imports this season, and a lot of folks like one of those imports, Louisville, to win the League this year. But their starting QB from last year is gone, and West Virginia and Pittsburgh still have a recruitng advantage over what until this year has been a md--major school. WVU graduated a few players off of a dissapointing squad last season, so I look for a repeat winner here, as well, in Pittsburgh.
The nation's premeire conference is going to be a war zone this year. Last year's undefeated League Champ, Auburn, lost their entire backfield in the offseason, so a drop-off must be expected. Across the state, the Crimson Tide are statring to recover from their probation, so look for them to return to elite status shortly, although they are probably still a couple of years away. The class of the West this season appears to be the LSU Tigers, who are returning 20 starters (!!!), but NOT their head coach, who moved on to the NFL. Over in the East, the big story is the return of Steve Spurrier, although not to Florida, but rather to South Carolina. Florida has a new coach, too, and Urban Meyer has inheirted one hell of a football team, including a QB that is a potential #1 overall pick in an upcoming NFL draft. Tennessee is powerful, as always. I look for a barnburner of a Championship Game between LSU and Florida, and damned if I know who is going to win.
When Heisman Trophy Winner Matt Leinart decided to return to USC, that took, for many people, a lot of suspense out of this coming football season, especially in the Pac 10. UCLA will have a decent squad, and Coach Tedford will probably find someone at Cal to replace Aaron Rogers, but USC should be dominant one more time.
Michigan def. Oklahoma
SEC Runner up def. Texas
Miami def. Pittsburgh
Rose Bowl (BCS Championship)
USC def. SEC Champ