2009 Preseason BCS Bowl Projections: 2nd Edition (January 29)
My very early BCS Bowl predictions. Please remember that these can and likely will change. I will post new predictions probably every time I change them and definitely will once the actual preseason polls come out.
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
FLORIDA vs. OKLAHOMA
Nothing really changes here. Seriously considered moving Texas in here over Oklahoma, but decided that Oklahoma's more likely to make it. USC might be better than either Oklahoma or Texas, but the Trojans will lose some game that they shouldn't and be left out of it again.
Florida has 11 defensive starters returning from a very good defense, as well as three great offensive linemen, Tim Tebow, and many of their running backs. Should have a very good running attack, and Tim Tebow will strengthen the passing game.
Oklahoma has nine defensive starters returning from a pretty good defense, as well as Sam Bradford, Chris Brown, and Demarco Murray. The loss of all five offensive linemen could take them out of this spot, but OU will likely work on that part of their team a lot and it should be at least decent.
OLE MISS vs. VIRGINIA TECH
Virginia Tech will have a solid defense with seven starters returning there, but its offense is questionable. QB Tyrod Taylor will have to improve to lead them through this season. If VT can create a good offense, along with a solid defense, the Hokies could be trouble in 2009.
Ole Miss has eight defensive starters returning from a defense that was nearly as good as FSU's (if not better), as well as QB Javon Snead, who was already very good last year and should be better, and runners Cordera Eason, Brandon Bolden, and Dexter McCluster (who is actually a WR but ran the ball well for Ole Miss in 2008). The Rebels also return a strong offensive line.
TEXAS vs. BOISE STATE
I think Utah will be better than Boise State, but Utah has a few tough teams to get by and likely won't go undefeated. Boise State has almost nobody to compete with, and likely won't lose in their regular season.
The Broncos will have a pretty good defense, with six starters returning (and BSU usually has a pretty good defense anyway). Kellen Moore returns to lead what should be an excellent pass offense, and their offensive line should help RB Jeremy Avery (614 yards, four TDs, 5.5 YPC) get some good yards.
Texas is a serious national title contender, with four of its five offensive linemen returning, along with star QB Colt McCoy and WR Jordan Shipley. The Longhorns' defense will be pretty good again, too, with six starters returning.
OHIO STATE vs. USC
USC will possibly be the nation's best team again, with four offensive linemen returning along with their dangerous RB trio of Joe Knight, Stafon Johnson, and CJ Gable; they also have plenty of people to pick from who will get the job done at QB.
On defense, USC loses seven people, but has pretty much all five-star recruits to fill in those spots. Ohio State faces a tough schedule, playing USC earlier in the 2009 season, Penn State on the road, Iowa at home, and many other Big Ten teams that could give them a hard time.
FLORIDA STATE vs. WEST VIRGINIA
Florida State has eight defensive starters returning from an already solid defense. They might have some trouble on offense, losing their starting RB Antone Smith, but QB Christain Ponder should improve and help out this offense. RB Jermaine Thomas, a freshman in 2008, looked OK and will have much more success behind a good offensive line that won't lose any starters from 2008.
FSU should beat either VT or Georgia Tech during the season, but will probably lose to Florida and one of those teams. They could also be looking at the Sugar Bowl, and VT might move over here. Keep an eye on Georgia Tech, too.
West Virginia will likely take the Big East without a problem. They have eight defensive starters returning from a pretty good 2008 defense, and RB Noel Devine will be decent.
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