Time to dust off this old blog of mine and allow for a little college football talk. Since all of the college football pundits are talking and predicting these days, I thought that I’d put my picks on record as well. So here we go!
Big East Conference
Gimme tha trophy: West Virginia-Geno Smith(2,763 yds 24/7 ly) is going to put up BIG numbers in Holgerson’s offense, really, really big numbers. If the defense can stay steady, the Mountaineers should wrap this up quickly. Tavon Austin is fast…really really fast.
Close but no cigar: Pittsburgh-the Panthers have a new outlook on life now that “the Stache” is gone. I listened to new head coach Todd Graham’s press conference before their opener, and boy was he a confident guy.
Darkhorse: USF-Head coach Skip Holtz has an athletic team that is starting to believe. If BJ Daniels can keep his mistakes to a minimum, they’ll definately challenge.
Mountain West Conference
Gimme tha trophy: Boise State-Heisman hopeful, Kellen Moore will put up video game-like numbers again this year (3,845 yds 35/6 ly), and Chris Petersen’s group will most definately run the table. Will the BCS finally deam them “worthy?” Has Petersen found playmakers on the outside to replace Titus Young and Austin Pettis? I guess we’ll see quickly.
Close but no cigar: TCU-Like Petersen, Patterson is due for a big time job soon. This will be Patterson’s first really big coaching test. How will his team respond after graduating Andy Dalton and a ton of productive players on both sides of the ball. Sophomore QB Casey Pachall has big shows to fill.
Darkhorse: Air Force-Only because, it’s the Air Force.
Conference USA (I think they need more teams, don’t you?)
Gimme tha trophy: Houston-Chase Keenum is getting a 6th year. It seems like he’s been there for 12 years. He’s the perfect fit for the Houston offense that bubble, slip and jailbreak screen’s people to death. Patrick Edwards is the speed demon WR that gets a lot of touches that way. Can they win the conference and make this conference respectable in the same year?
Close but no cigar: Tulsa-Damaris Johnson is pretty unstoppable in the Tulsa offense. The Senior WR is a “do-it-all” player that rushed for 560 and had 876 receiving with a combined 11 TD’s. They have a tough schedule though, starting with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the first three weeks. Their reward for the tough games…Boise State in week 4.
Gimme tha trophy: Toledo-As much as WR Eric Page gets the pub, I really like the two RB’s that the Rockets offense has. Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams are two versitale backs that can grind it out all day. That will definately help the Rockets to close out games. Coach Tim Beckman can waste little time to get the Rockets ready though, as they play Buckeyes and Boise State in weeks two and three, both on the road.
Close but no cigar: Ohio-I’ll say this again, I’m really impressed with the job that Frank Solich has done with OU. He’s 98-55 in 7 seasons and he has the Bobcats believing and making plays. The big question mark will be if Solich’s defense can hold up. They have only four returning starters on defense.
Darkhorse: Temple-That sounds really funny to me, because the could easily be in the “Gimme tha trophy” category. Since fomer head coach Al Golden has taken his talents to South Beach, for a destroyed Miami team, Steve Addazio steps in to kick the tires this year. One thing Temple will be is physical. Something the MAC usually isn’t very comfortable with.
Big 12 Conference
Close but no cigar: Oklahoma State-Justin Blackmon is probably one of the best WR’s in the country, if not THE best. Brandon Weeden could be a darkhorse Heisman candidate because of how much Okie State throws the ball. Last year he had 3,433 yards passing 34/13. The senior will be looking to do it big this year and definately has the December 3rd date with big brother Oklahoma circled. This years game should live up to its nickname…Bedlam.
Darkhorse: Texas A&M-I almost didn’t put them here because I’m a little tainted with all of their jumping to the SEC bullshit, as if they are really good enough to fit into that league? I think in his fourth year, it’s probably put up or shut up time for Mike Sherman. Sherman is 19-19 overall, 1-4 against Top 10 teams, 3-9 against Top 25 teams, and 6-7 on the road against BCS teams. Time will tell for the Aggies.
Big 10 Conference
Gimme tha trophy: Nebraska-Taylor Martinez brings the Huskers option offense of old back to life, he’s a ridiculous athlete, and the Huskers have that “black shirt” defense back. Their defense could boast the best defensive tackle in the conference with Jared Crick. Somehow Bo Pelini has a super pipeline to freakishly good defensive line players, and Crick is do difference. The October 1 showdown with Wisconsin in Camp Randall is going to be racous environment.
Close but no Cigar: Wisconsin-I really, really like Wisconsin this year. Especially now that they have Russell Wilson. Bret Bielema’s Badgers could also be the conference winner. Can he get his team to forget about the bowl game loss to TCU last year? Can all his offense playmakers stay healthy. I’m expecting Wilson and Nick Toon to have HUGE years. Especially since defense will have to pick whether they want to be beat up all night by Montee Ball and James White, or get beat deep by Wilson.
Darkhorse:Michigan State/Ohio State-These two teams have a lot of talent. Sparty has a great set of leaders with Mark Dantonio and QB Kirk Cousins. Their power running game will be as good as ever and should beat up defenses all year. They have a really tough October though having to face Michigan and Wisconsin at home and then go to Lincoln on three consecutive weeks.
The Buckeyes had a tumultious off season, have all types of players suspended, have a new coach and got ditched by their QB 1. I think most people are writing off Ohio State and new head coach Luke Fickell this year. I’m telling you that they are going to be a lot better then people think. If they can scratch and claw their way through the first 5 weeks(which is a long time to do that), they can have enough guns to get through the Big 10 schedule and make some noise.
Ok, that’s enough for one day. I still have the WAC, SEC, Pac-12 and ACC to do. Overall, I’m really excited for the early season match ups this year. Teams are finally getting away from scheduling cupcakes. We’ll see who survives and stays healthy enough for conference play.