Saturday, September 03, 2011

Season Predictions

Season predictions are, for the most part, worthless. On the off chance you were right, you can point back to say "lookee how smart I am!" But generally they are meant to be forgotten.

But that doesn't stop those who follow the game closely from trying. Here are my guesses for conference winners and other general predictions. For conferences with two divisions, the overall winner is listed first:

Big East: South Florida
Big Ten: Michigan State, Illinois
SEC: Alabama, South Carolina
Pac 12: Oregon, Southern Cal
ACC: Florida State, don't know who's on the other side
Big Texas: Oklahoma
MAC: Western Michigan, Ohio
CUSA: don't care
WAC: don't care
Mountain West: don't care but Boise probably
Sun Belt: don't care

National championship game: Alabama and Oklahoma

Heisman: Kellen Moore of Boise State

Additional predictions:

* Iowa will finish with more wins than last year's national champion (Auburn).

* Boise State will suffer an Iowa 2010-esque collapse: despite tons of seniors and a favorable schedule, the stars will not align and they will stumble out of BCS contention. (For Boise, this means 9-3 or 10-2, vs. the consensus guesses of 12-0 or 11-1.)

* Despite the talent and schedule for an 11-win season, Notre Dame will finish 9-3 or 8-4. If you divide the schedule into thirds (or fourths), figure one loss for every four (or three) games. For the sake of specificity, the losses will be @Michigan, Air Force, @Stanford and USC as a tossup. The reasoning: Notre Dame can beat every team on their schedule--on paper and in a vacuum. But the college football season is a grind, 12 games over 13 weeks. Notre Dame doesn't have the luxury of a I-AA team or "breather" game. They will have to compete week in and week out to win each game. That will take its toll in terms of exhaustion and injury, leading to a play here or there that tips a win into a loss.

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