Monday, August 17, 2009

Lucia's First College Football Season (Preview)

My mom knits Lucia a hat for every month of the year. This month's edition arrived and just in time for football season.

Lucia was born a couple of weeks into last year's college football season, so aside from a game or two, she never really got the chance to enjoy the glory that is college football.

In case you couldn't tell, Lucia is not a Mizzou fan. Her daddy is a Buckeye fan. By proxy, that makes her a Buckeye fan. She now has a knitted hat, onesie, and Beanie Wells football jersey to prove it. (Let's hope she doesn't injure her toe or roll her ankle.) The girl is ready for the '09 season. Just look at that game face.

Lucia was born days before Ohio State's debacle in LA last year. Her presence was the only thing that helped me through that terrible loss. (That, and a bomber of Hog Heaven Barley Wine.) Now, I'm hopeful that her first full CFB season will be one to remember.

Anyway, here's my take on this upcoming season...

BCS Conference Champions:
Big East - Who cares?
Not one Big Least team made the preseason top-25 coaches' poll. There's a reason for this: they're a basketball conference. I keep hearing how improved the Big Least is year after year with almost nothing offered up as proof. Whatever, I've already wasted too much space on this conference. Cincinnati will win the conference and get trounced in the Orange Bowl again.

ACC - Miami
This was my "who cares" conference last year, and I was right. This conference was mired in mediocrity. This year's edition will be won by a four-loss Miami team. Have you seen their schedule? They play Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma for their first four games. They'll be lucky to split, but that would put them at 2-1 in the conference. Three conference losses could win the ACC. My money is on an improving Miami team who will take the experience from that first stretch of games to their conference title. Besides, Virginia Tech lost their stud running back.

SEC - Florida
This was my pick last year and they're making it easy on me this year. Florida pretty much has everyone back from last year's dominating national championship team, including Saint Timothy Tebow (the NFLS's next great fullback) and King Beast Brandon Spikes. As much as I want to hate this team, I can't help but recognize their greatness at this point in time. Of course, the conference may be down yet again this season, making their path to the Mythical National Championship even easier.

Big 12 - Texas
Apparently, living here has given me some great insight into the Big 12 conference. I correctly picked Oklahoma to win the conference and that Missouri would only win only nine games despite all the hype surrounding the team. This year, Texas will win the tie-breaker (like OU last year) over Oklahoma (whom they'll beat handily) and Oklahoma State (who will beat them and get demolished by OU). Mizzou? They will lose the North to Kansas and maybe win 7-8 games overall. Illinois will get them on opening weekend this year.

Pac 10 - USC
USC will win this conference forever, but this year will be tougher than usual. Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, and Arizona all look to be improved this year. I predict USC will lose two conference games this year, but it will be enough for a return trip to the Rose Bowl and a rematch with...

Big 10 - The Ohio State University
OSU has the most talent in the Big Ten. Although several teams will be improved (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan), no one can match up with the Buckeyes. I'll have more to say on this below. I also think this year will be a year of redemption in the bowl games. Every team aside from the top three will be improved from last year. It may mean lower level bowls, but I'm betting the Big Ten will have a good showing this year.

BCS Buster - TCU
Last year, I came close in calling this one. I picked Ball State, but they faltered in their last two games after starting the year with twelve wins in a row.
This year I'm not going as far out on a limb. TCU with their dominating defense is due for a breakout season. Their schedule isn't nearly as daunting as in years past with out of conference games versus Virginia and Clemson. So, the Horned Frogs could enter their mid-November tilt versus Utah undefeated.

The Heisman Trophy - Colt McCoy
I get the sense the voters don't want a two-time winner. Besides, McCoy maybe should have won the trophy last year instead of Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. Tim Tebow also has a Heisman, but it seems as if Archie Griffin will remain as the only two-time trophy winner. As an Ohio State fan, I'm fine with that.

Ohio State National Championship Scenarios: (There's really only one.)

1) Ohio State beats USC in the 'Shoe. This is every Ohio State fan's dream scenario. The Trojans enter Ohio Stadium with a freshman quarterback. The 105,000+ shake him into some mistakes. Terrelle Pryor will begin his legacy with a memorable performance as an experienced Buckey defensive line takes control of USC's running game. It probably won't happen, but I can dream.

2) Ohio State gets blasted by USC again, closing the door on anyone outside of Columbus ever taking the Buckeyes seriously again. I know this is all doom and gloom, but I fear things will get worse for Ohio State before they get better. USC is loaded once again. OSU has a bunch of young, unproven players to break in. Their week 1 opponent (Navy) will do very little in helping them prepare for the Trojans.

My Gut Feeling:
Ohio State will come close, but will lose another big game. Terrelle Pryor will live up to the hype in keeping the Buckeyes in the game, but it won't be enough. It will be what's expected. From here, a newly confident and determined Ohio State team will tear through the Big Ten on their way to a fifth straight Big Ten title and a shot at a rematch with USC in the Rose Bowl.

Realistic Ohio State Prediction:
They'll lose to USC and probably one more in the Big Ten, possibly at Penn State. However, I still believe they will win the Big Ten or at least a share. Unfortunately, if they win a share, they won't go to the Rose Bowl. The BCS has had it with Ohio State flops. On to the Capital One Bowl versus the second or third best team in the SEC. This will probably be their first bowl victory versus an SEC team. Most will say big deal, but it will be an important stepping stone toward the 2010 season.

Then, who wins the Mythical National Championship? Texas
Florida should win it. They have all the talent and experience. Some are saying that Arkansas will trip them up, but I think they'll be ready for the Razorbacks. I sort of like Tennessee and super safety Eric Berry's shot at an upset, but I don't really trust Lane Kiffin can pull it off. Either way, Florida will probably be back in the BCS championship game. There, they will lose to Texas who has an eerie resemblance to the last Longhorn team to win a BCS crown.


Jerry and Dena said...

A perfect fit! There is more OSU stuff to come, but it'll wait for September. Right now I'm busy working on the birthday hat!

comoprozac said...

Well, she already has a birthday suit.