Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Big College Football Conference-by-Conference Season and Heisman Predictions

Look, I'm not gonna tell you I have any intention of giving you good advice.  I think this is a half-informed batch of guesses.  But I do watch lots of football and I read about sports constantly.  Who are you to read this?  I don't think you exist so I'll be honest: this year won't even be as informed or desparate as last year.  Last year nobody read this blog but I was unemployed and had every channel DirecTV offers at my disposal.  This year I'm back at my old job and super-depressed.  But I don't even have my DirecTV shit set up yet.  Right now we're on what's called the "Family Package."  What does that mean?  No channels with any potential entertainment value.  Families don't go for shit like that.  This will be as quick as possible.  Not a lot of write-up, just a bunch of lists.  Records listed are for regular season only, conference record in parentheses.  Let's get this under way, shall we?

Miami will finally rule the ACC.  I believe it even more than I'm hoping for it.  I expect it.  The Canes are back to being loaded at every position.  They'll be screwed this year if Jacory Harris gets hurt but they could still win the conference.  That's at least as much an indictment of Christian Ponder and Butch Davis and Georgia Tech in general as it is a vote of confidence in the overall depth at The U.  But this Hurricanes team is at the highest talent level they've had in at least 7 years.  They remind me of the 2000 squad more than anything else.

Florida State, 9-3 (7-1)
Boston College, 8-4 (5-3)
Wake Forest, 7-5 (4-4)
Clemson, 7-5 (4-4)
Maryland, 6-6 (3-5)
N.C. State, 4-8 (1-7)

Miami, 11-1 (8-0)
Virginia Tech, 10-2 (6-2)
North Carolina, 8-4 (5-3)
Georgia Tech, 7-5 (4-4)
Duke, 4-8 (1-7)
Virginia, 3-9 (0-8)

Title Game: Miami over FSU

Nebraska's last season in the Big XII.  Last season of 12 teams.  What do they call it next year?  No more title game since they won't have the minimum necessary for that.  But that's next year!  Can Nebraska come out on top for a going away present? No!  Oklahoma will take it.  Yep, that's right.  Not Texas.  Not Texas A&M.  Oklahoma.  Last year was a fluke and this year will be business as usual.

Nebraska, 10-2 (6-2)
Kansas State, 7-5 (4-4)
Missouri, 6-6 (3-5)
Iowa State, 5-7 (3-5)
Kansas, 4-8 (1-7)
Colorado, 3-9 (1-7)

Oklahoma, 11-1 (8-0)
Texas, 10-2 (7-1)
Oklahoma State, 9-3 (6-2)
Texas A&M, 7-5 (5-3)
Texas Tech, 6-6 (4-4)
Baylor, 1-11 (0-8)

Title Game: Oklahoma over Nebraska

This conference is not as bad as people think but it could end up in some disarray this year.  Pitt is the obvious choice to win it with West Virginia the only likely contender.  But there's a chance that UConn, USF or one of the other losers steps up and wins this thing.  There's always a chance, though, and it isn't going to be taken.  Cincinnati will fall back to earth.  Good riddance.

Pitt, 10-2 (6-1)
WestVirginia 9-3 (5-2)
UConn,7-5 (4-3)
USF, 7-5 (3-4)
Cincinnati, 6-6 (3-4)
Rutgers, 5-7 (3-4)
Syracuse, 5-7 (2-5)
Louisville, 4-8 (2-5)

BIG 10
The other one that needs to change its name.  I hate the Big 10.  I hate every team in it, from an entertainment value standpoint.  I want to choose Wisconsin to win it but that would be stupid.  Ohio State has to be the best team here, don't they?

Ohio State, 11-1 (8-0)
Wisconsin, 10-2 (7-1)
Penn State, 8-4 (5-3)
Purdue, 7-5 (5-3)
Iowa, 7-5 (5-3)
Michigan, 6-6 (5-3)
Michigan State, 6-6 (4-4)
Minnesota, 4-8 (2-6)
Northwestern, 4-8 (2-6)
Illinois, 3-9 (1-7)
Indiana, 1-11 (0-8)

Look, some of these are gonna be a crap shoot, OK?  I don't really know the schedules at all and some of these conferences just barely exist.  Can I put Case Keenum on the Heisman short list when his team is terrible and in a terrible conference?  You're goddamed, right I can.

East Carolina, 9-3 (6-2)
UCF, 7-5 (5-3)
Southern Miss, 7-5 (4-4)
Marshall, 6-6 (4-4)
Memphis, 5-7 (3-5)
UAB, 3-9 (2-6)

Houston, 11-1 (8-0)
SMU, 8-4 (5-3)
Tulane, 5-7 (4-4)
Tulsa, 5-7 (3-5)
Rice, 4-8 (3-5)
UTEP, 2-10 (1-7)

Title Game: Houston over ECU.  Big money, baby.

Here's my ridiculous coup.  Navy in the Top10 at season's end!  Go Middies!  Notre Dame will be better this year but still terrible.  Ricky Dobbs will win the Heisman that Tommy Frazier should've won.

Navy, 11-1
Notre Dame, 8-4
Army, 4-8

The original mid-major in basketball has never put up a legit contender in football.  This year is not going to make me feel bad about saying: I have no clue who's supposed to be good here and it doesn't matter.  10th-rate conference with no decent bowl affiliations.  Nobody cares.

Temple, 7-5 (6-2)
Buffalo, 7-5 (5-3)
Ohio, 5-7 (4-4)
Akron, 4-8 (4-4)
Bowling Green, 5-7 (4-4)
Miami OH, 4-8 (3-5)
Kent State, 3-9 (3-5)

Northern Illinois, 8-4 (6-2)
Ball State, 7-5 (5-3)
EMU, 7-5 (4-4)
CMU, 6-6 (4-4)
Toledo, 4-8 (3-5)
WMU, 3-9 (2-6)

Title Game?: Temple, as long as we're just making shit up.

We are just making shit up.  I think TCU is a full fledged program at this point so I'll take em to win this conference.  I don't have much to base that on, though.  I know they fucked up royally in the bowl game against Boise last year.  Andy Dalton looked fairly unimpressive upon closer inspection.  Maybe he's as good as his numbers this year?

TCU, 11-1 (8-0)
BYU, 8-4 (6-2)
Utah, 8-4 (5-3)
Air Force, 7-5 (5-3)
SDSU, 6-6 (4-4)
Wyoming, 5-7 (4-4)
UNLV, 4-8 (2-6)
CSU, 3-9 (1-7)
New Mexico, 2-10 (1-7)

I want to believe UCLA is the best team here.  Or Stanford.  But it's really Oregon.  And USC isn't even dead yet.  It might be a rough year in the Pac 10.

Oregon, 8-4 (6-3)
Stanford, 7-5 (6-3)
Oregon State, 7-5 (6-3)
USC, 7-5 (5-4)
UCLA, 7-5 (5-4)
California, 6-6 (5-4)
Arizona, 6-6 (5-4)
Washington, 6-6 (4-5)
Arizona State, 5-7 (3-6)
Washington State, 1-11 (0-9)

Tebow's gone.  Urban Meyer should've left.  Alabama is pretty awesome.  LSU is the same every year even when they win the National Championship.  Ole Miss and Miss State are horrid.  Georgia never wins any big games.  I'm sure the final standings will look nothing like this.

Florida, 9-3 (6-2)
Tennessee, 8-4 (5-3)
South Carolina, 7-5 (5-3)
Georgia, 8-4 (5-3) - I don't think this is how the SEC standings work but I've got Georgia losing the USC, so they're behind them in my book.
Kentucky, 7-5 (4-4)
Vanderbilt, 3-9 (1-7)

Alabama, 11-1 (7-1)
LSU, 9-3 (6-2)
Auburn, 8-4 (5-3)
Arkansas, 5-7 (2-6)
Ole Miss, 4-8 (2-6)
Miss State, 3-9 (0-8)

Title Game: Alabama over Florida.  Like last year but worse.  Rompy rompy rompy.

I made a promise to myself that I would do this whole article.

Arkansas State, 7-5 (6-2)
Troy, 7-5 (6-2)
Florida Atlantic, 7-5 (5-3)
Florida Int'l, 7-5 (4-4)
Louisiana-Monroe, 5-7 (4-4)
Western Kentucky, 4-8 (3-5)
North Texas, 3-9 (3-5)
Middle Tennessee, 3-9 (2-6)
Louisiana - Lafayette, 1-11 (1-7)

So there you have it.  Miami beats up an old ghost in the title game by beating Alabama and finally wins the Fiest Bowl.

Heisman list:
Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy - best network-ready story for the Heisman.  If Navy is as good as I hope they are, he'll be in the public eye.  He's a great option QB and a future politician.  Run, Ricky, Run!

Jacory Harris, QB, Miami - No chance in hell he wins the award.  But he'll be the big name for the best team in the country.  That gets you invited to New York, if nothing else.

John Clay, RB, Wisconsin - He's really good.

Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma - He will get much undue credit for bringing Oklahoma back from the brink.  It's not his fault.  He will put up a ton of stats.

Case Keenum, QB, Houston - I hope he wins it.  He is my fave player in college football because he reminds me of the old-timey Run-n-Shoot Houston Cougs.  New age Andre Ware.  6,000 yd season is possible and would get him real close.

Others to consider:

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State
Brandon Saine, RB, Ohio State
Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
Dion Lewis, RB, Pitt
Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia
Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Storm Johnson, RB, Miami
Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska

There will be more after the first week.  Complete weekly predictions coming tomorrow or Wednesday.