Predictions for 2010 College Football Season [UPDATED]
Well, another year of college football is now in the books. The Alabama-Texas "National Championship" game hardly turned out to be the classic everyone hoped for, given Colt McCoy's early exit to injury on Texas' 5th offensive play. Nevertheless, a job well done by the Alabama Crimson Tide and a well-deserved "championship". Congrats to Nick Saban and his crew.
Now for some preliminary predictions:
'Bama will obviously finish the 2009 season ranked #1. The big question is where 14-0 Boise State will finish. No worse than 3rd (behind Florida), but possibly at #2, with Florida at #3.
For 2010, the Tide will be ranked the preseason #1 and will never lose that ranking throughout the season, finishing undefeated and once again winning the SEC Championship game, probably against a 1 or 2-loss Florida.
Boise State will begin the season with a top-5 preseason ranking. The Broncos will also finish the 2010 season undefeated. Bowl prediction for Boise State momentarily.
The Big 10 will begin the season with 3 teams ranked in the top 10: Ohio State, Iowa, and either Wisconsin or Penn State. Two of those teams - Ohio State and Iowa - will finish the 2010 season ranked in the top 10. The Buckeyes will finish undefeated at 12-0 (yes, there's a little wishful thinking going on here, but it's not completely unlikely), and the Hawkeyes will finish with only 1 loss, which will come to Ohio State in a close game in Iowa City.
Wanting to avoid yet another Ohio State vs. SEC matchup in the "National Championship" game, the pollsters will finally give Boise State the opportunity to prove themselves in the big game against Alabama. The easy pick is Alabama to win, but I've learned not to bet against Boise State and it is very difficult to repeat as "National Champion". I'm making this one a tossup.
Ohio State will return to the Rose Bowl for the second straight year to play either USC or Stanford. I'd like to pick Ohio State to win, but the PAC-10 will be gunning for them after what Ohio State did to their champion in this year's Rose Bowl. Again, I'll rate this as a tossup. If the Buckeyes match up against Stanford, and the Cardinal (what a stupid mascot name - why not "CardinalS") manage to beat Ohio State, Michigan will end the Rich Rodriguez experiment, after RichRod's Wolverines finish the regular season at 7-5 and lose to some 8-4 team in one of the "lesser" bowl games, and will hire Jim Harbaugh to be their new head coach.
Iowa will play the Tebow-less Gators in the Sugar Bowl, and will once again surprise the Big 10 naysayers with a Stanzi-led touchdown drive in the 4th quarter to pull out a win.
That's my predictions for now. I reserve the right to change them as the 2010 season approaches.
Some more predictions:
2010 will be a down year for the Big 12 and the Big East, and the ACC will continue to struggle, but will show some improvement from former perennial powers Miami (who, by the way, plays Ohio State in Columbus) and Florida State. The PAC-10 will show overall improvement from their performance in 2009, with USC and Stanford (in no particular order) being the top performers (see Rose Bowl prediction above).
Well, the AP voters have already proven me wrong on one of my predictions, and by extension, likely on a couple of other predictions for next year.
It appears that the ESPN voters - Fowler, Herbstreit, James, et al - conspired to deprive Boise State of the #2 or #3 slot in the final poll. Surprise, surprise. ESPN has a vested interest in keeping their golden boys in the SEC and Big 12 untainted and leaving Boise State on the outside looking in.
Given that voting pattern, it appears that the voters would have no qualms about sending an undefeated Ohio State to another BCS "championship" game over an undefeated Boise State, contrary to what I predicted above.
(Hat tip: Tito at The American Catholic)
UPDATE #3 (11 January 2010)
Developments over the weekend indicate that my prediction for the PAC-10 may be off, at least where USC is concerned. Good thing I reserved the right to alter my predictions.
Word is that USC coach Pete Carroll has tendered his resignation and will be announced shortly as the new head coach for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. There is speculation that Carroll is getting out of Dodge one step ahead of the law, as NCAA sanctions are expected against USC's football program in the wake of the Reggie Bush scandal.
Without one of the top recruiting head coaches in the country, with high school prospects renegging on their commitments to USC, and under the cloud of an NCAA investigation and probable sanctions, I don't see how USC is going to be the powerhouse it was in previous years. And I don't know what coach with the ability to maintain that tradition would be willing to risk coming to USC and facing NCAA sanctions not of his own making.