It’s That Time Of The Year Again…So, Predictions…
It’s the first day of September which means the air’s a little cooler, summer’s officially over (at least I think it is. I’ll get a staff member on that) and YES… college football kicks off tonight.Being a ‘Noles fan, I am feeling the anticipation of this being ‘The Year FSU Returned’. Hopes are riding high on the arm and feet of talented FSU QB EJ Manuel as well as a host of great backs, receivers and maybe the best defense they’ve had at FSU in quite some time (shhhhhh… Noone’s talking about that).
I’m not going to do a weekly Top 25 this year, although I may do a Top 5 starting after Week 2. I’m going to abide brevity. So to start the new trend, here are my quick Heisman contenders and Conference predictions:
Top 10 Heisman hopefuls in no particular order: Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina), Trent Richardson (Alabama), LaMichael James (Oregon), Case Keenum (Houston), Andrew Luck (Stanford), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), EJ Manuel (FSU… If they have a good year he HAS to be), Russell Wilson (Wisconsin), Denard Robinson (Michigan), and Kellen Moore (Boise State). The winner almost always seems to be someone who seemingly comes out of nowhere (like last year’s Cam Newton). Noone’s really talking about Houston’s Keenum. If he stays healthy, he’ll throw for 9 billion yards, but Houston has to win games. LeMiacael James seems to have the best shot, but I’ll go with the kid from Pensacola, Trent Richardson. he has to have a big year for Alabama if they have a shot at winning the SEC West and I think he will.
SEC:’Bama in the West (Their defense should be better than last year… New QB, but so what? ‘Bama loves to win ugly with FGs and interception returns for TDs.) Arkansas will challenge, but my Dark Horse: Mississippi State. I believe in what former Florida assistant Dan Mullen is doing there. The East is probably the toughest division in any conference this year. It’ll be interesting to see how LSU plays with Jared lee returning to the starting QB slot with Jordan Jefferson possibly throwing his life away in a drunken bar brawl… allegedly. We’ll find out just how good a coach Gene Chizik is after losing a LOT on both sides including seedy QB Cam Newton who led his team to the National Championship last year. Even Ole Miss isn’t a gimme’.
The East: South Carolina. This will be Spurrier’s best chance to win the SEC since he’s been there. They’re as loaded as a Gamecock team has ever been. Their schedule is a lot tougher than what the experts have been saying. I think the Georgia game may determine their year, but @ MSU, @Tennessee, @ Arkansas, then Florida at home will NOT be easy. They’re Out Of Conference schedule is also tougher than it looks on paper. Sure, they have Citadel late in the year, but East Carolina CAN beat them on a good day, Navy gives most teams they play trouble because of their offense and SC get Clemson at the end of the year, who ‘on paper’ should be better this year than last. My Dark Horse: Georgia (Mark Richt’s fate may be determined in the first 2 games at home against Perennial Monkeys In The Wrench Boise State and South Carolina. If they lose both it’s all over for their head coach. I don’t think they will, though.
SEC Championship Game: USC over Alabama… I think this current team matches up very well with ‘Bama. Stephen Garcia is a pretty good QB if he can get rid of his boneheadedness.
The Big 12: No title game this year… I think Oklahoma will win the league, but I think they will lose a couple of games (one out of conference)… In saying that, FSU has not had good results against te Sooners. My Dark Horse stays in-state: Okie State. They have several challengers, though. Texas A&M has everyone back. Texas will return to being one of the top teams… And I think K-State is going to spoil some teams’ dreams.
Big 10: Ummm… The Legends side: Michigan. They have more returning than anyone else and they have a new defensive coordinator. Dark Horse: Nebraska, of course. I think Northwestern will surprise some people, too.
On the, um… Leaders side: Wisconsin. Penn State’s my Dark Horse. And mark it down. Ohio State could lose 5 games this year.
Wisconsin wins the league.
The South: Since USC can’t win it, I’ll go with UCLA. They have practically everyone back. For my Dark Horse I was going to pick Arizona but their schedule was apparently made by Satan (in successive weeks: @#9 OSU, vs #7 Stanford, vs #3 Oregon, @ #25 USC, @Oregon State who beat them last year before getting my pick UCLA at home… ridiculous). So I’ll go with Arizona State who everyone else is picking as a dark horse.
Oregon wins the league again.
Big East: Going with the ‘Scuse. UCONN’s my Dark Horse… No reason.
Mountain West: Boise State, hands down, even if they did lose their defensive coordinator and their top receivers. If they beat Georgia, they’ll go undefeated until their bowl game. Dark Horse: TCU, obviously. Speaking of Dark Horses, Kellen Moore (above) may have a shot at the Heisman if they go undefeated.
ACC: In the Coastal: Virginia Tech. Beamer ball rolls on. Dark Horse: I was going to say Georgia Tech, but despite all of the negative stuff, I think Al Golden is a good coach and Miami ALWAYS has talent. They’ll definitely take a hit with the suspensions, but I do think they’ll be better this year.
And the Atlantic: Is there any doubt? Florida State is not only LOADED with talent, but it looks like they’re on the verge of big things. They’re going to beat Oklahoma this year, not because they’re a better team, but because they’re playing at home… They will remember the spanking they took last year…. And they’re better than last year. They have most everyone back and their defense is going to be a monster (shhhhh…). My Dark Horse: I don’t HAVE one! I’m all in with the ‘Noles. Maryland will improve on a 9 win season last year, though, with their new coach.
National Championship game: The ‘Noles over Oregon. YES! I’m a homer, but I think I have some empirical evidence to back my pick this year. It should be fun.